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TEDxgcu Recap: A Q&A With Dominic Pachuilo

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By Aly Halbakken
Student, Honors College

Dominic Pachuilo, an honors student studying business management, served as the president and license holder for this year’s TEDxgcu. We sat him down for a few questions about what it’s like to be involved in such an inspiring campus-wide event, and here’s what he had to say.

What is TEDx?

I like to think of TEDx as a franchise of TED. TED allows a community member to apply for a license after a week of training, and if they are approved all they receive is the ability to use the TED name. Organizers are responsible for the rest. Specifically, us TEDx-ers here at GCU aim to empower, encourage and educate our community through the power of storytelling!

Why did you decide to bring TEDx to GCU?

I can’t take responsibility for bringing our event to campus: the founding members were Luke Amargo, Jed Woods and Austin Mosher. I was the speaker acquisition director in its inaugural year, and the past two years I have been the license holder and president. With that being said, I believe I fully understand why the original group brought TEDx to campus–to bring challenging ideas to campus, to inspire change in our community and to give students professional experience in their field of study.

Why is it important that TEDx exists?

To give ideas worth spreading a stage. To inspire. To help others understand that they have the ability to do whatever they set their mind to.

Why do people come to TEDX?

To be challenged and hear incredible stories. TED represents a powerful community of thinkers wanting to challenge the status quo.

What was the vision for this year’s TEDx?

The vision was to show off the Phoenix community and the amazing thinkers we have in this city with our theme, Elevate PHX. Attendees got to witness six talks, two performances and a beautiful production with a professional emcee and live music.

We think of TEDx as a theatrical performance, not a conference. Beautiful displays, high energy and inspiration to pursue your dreams are at the top of our list. On top of what is happening in the theater, we had a TEDx village outside Ethington. We are partnered with the Phoenix Art Museum to make a space where we can be creative, begin to think about the change we want to make and take action.

Anything else should we know about TEDx?

One fun thing we did this year is that every student who purchased a student ticket had the opportunity to win $250 through a red balloon scavenger hunt!

What else are you involved in aside from TEDx?

I am a strong believer of not spreading myself too thin. Besides TED I work at a tech startup called Journeyage and I am an endurance runner. Those three things take up most of my time.

What are your plans for the future?

If business continues to do well, I will continue working for Journeyage!

What else should we know about you?

My main pursuit in life is to love well. The culture we have created at TEDxgcu is one of safety and vulnerability. That is what I live for–communities of love that trust each other enough to fail together, lift each other up and push forward.

To learn more about the Honors College’s community of ambitious and motivated students, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.

About Aly Halbakken
Communications & Marketing Major, Honors College

Aly is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She’s passionate about the tool of social media and hopes to get paid to post on Instagram someday. She is studying communications and marketing in the Honors College. Currently, she’s the Chief of Staff for ASGCU. She oversees the student government’s internal affairs, branding, multimedia and public relations teams. In her free time, she’s a Zumba instructor and loves to cook.

Read more about Aly.