Lilly Howard

Lilly Howard

“Well, if you feel like you can do it, then just do it.”

That’s the advice Lilly Howard received from her supervisor, Dr. Elonda Ervin, Executive Director of Multicultural Services and Programs (MSP), when asking about Indiana State University hosting its own Tedx event.

“Well, that wasn’t the answer I was (expecting),” said Howard, who at the time was a graduate student leading the Women’s Resource Center in MSP.

At that point, the challenge was on. “We basically put this event together in a month and a half,” Howard said, describing it as a difficult but rewarding experience. “I was being challenged constantly and having to come up with creative solutions.”

To add to the challenge, Howard had to deal with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, which not only pushed the Tedx event fully online but also led to the university moving fully online after Thanksgiving break. This cut even more into limited time for organizing the event. “It was a roller coaster,” she said.

However, when the conference went live on ZOOM on Nov. 19, 2020, featuring pre-recorded speakers, Howard was pleased with the results. “I wouldn’t say it went without a hitch,” she said. Although there were a few technical difficulties, the event received positive reviews.

“The virtual aspect actually benefitted us,” Howard said. “We were able to reach a global audience.”

Howard, who completed her Master of Science degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education in summer 2021, said she is thankful for the support she received from MSP, and that she is looking forward to the next Tedx event at Indiana State.