The UFM Community Learning Center partnered with the Manhattan Public Library to host Manhattan’s first Talk20MHK event June 22. Eight Manhattan residents spoke about their unique passions, followed by a short question and answer session.
In her introduction to the evening, Kayla Savage, education coordinator for the UFM Community Learning Center, said, “So many people have asked, ‘What is Talk20MHK?’ Technically, it is eight presenters, talking for 20 seconds each on 20 slides about their given topic.”
Many of the presenters were educators at K-State. Whitney Bandel, instructor in art and digital media, gave a presentation on electronic textiles, explaining what they are and how they are used. She wanted to show people how art and science can work together.
“I’m hoping that [electronic textiles] can help inspire people who are looking to get more into STEM, but maybe from a slightly different angle,” Brandel said. “For me, I always found science and math really intimidating, but I loved art. I think art is a really great vehicle for learning about electricity and circuitry and going into all of that in more of a hands-on process.”
Brandon Irwin, assistant professor in kinesiology, talked about tiny houses, specifically their benefits to personal health and solutions to social problems. He wanted the audience to leave with a new understanding of how one’s health relates to their community.
“A lot of times, people think that health is what you learn about when you go to the doctor: eating right, exercising, taking your medication,” Irwin said. “That’s all part of it, but it’s also way bigger than that. I hope they broaden their understanding of what health is […] I really hope they see how tiny houses can help solve social problems.”
Other K-State faculty presenting their ideas included two library staff members. Zain Iqbal, instructor for Hale Library, discussed cross-cultural exchange and his Peace Corps trip to Uzbekistan, and Daniel Ireton, associate professor for Hale Library, presented on sword fighting with the Broken Arm Academy.
The remaining presenters presented information on permaculture, nonviolent communication, padding in Kansas and a historic military trail stretching from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley.
Diedre Lemon, a librarian at the Manhattan Public library, said she was looking forward to the event and was happy to help organize it.
“I was very interested in the event because building the community, being a part of the community. That’s something that, as a librarian, I’m very much interested in,” Lemon said. “I’m really excited to be here. It helps me to learn about Manhattan a little bit more, to see what the community is interested in, what we need to build better communication and community.”
Vivienne Uccello, public relations coordinator for the Manhattan Public Library, said she hoped the attendees learned new things from the presentations.
“[I hope they] have some knowledge of things going on in the community that they didn’t know before, and they know who to contact if they want more information,” Uccello said. “Hopefully some conversations have started that would not have started otherwise.”
The UFM Community Learning Center and the Manhattan Public Library will host their second Talk20MHK on Jan. 25, 2018. For more information about the presenters and their topics, or to submit presentation proposals, visit talk20mhk.org.