The TEDMED conference streamed live to the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center Wednesday afternoon discussed modern medicine and healthcare.

Photo Credit: Emily Ng | Daily Texan Staff

Streamed live to UT students and staff from Washington D.C., this year’s TEDMED conference explored perspectives on modern medicine and health care around the world.

Carolyn Kenny, MBA graduate student and president of the MBA Healthcare Association, which co-hosted the event with TEDxAustin, said TEDMED is an opportunity for viewers to learn about issues in health care directly from an influential collective of researchers. 

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a set of conferences owned by the nonprofit Sapling Foundation. TED hosts programs around the globe and post lectures online, emphasizing innovative and engaging research presentation.

“The idea behind TEDMED is to bring speakers who are innovators in their field together, and then people together to watch those speakers,” Kenny said. “It’s a big deal because it’s globally dispersed, so the conference is actually in Washington, D.C., but there’s people all around the world in 80 different countries watching the content.”

The conference was streamed at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. In one of many talks, Jonathan Bush, an entrepreneur and CEO of athenahealth, spoke about the relationship between for-profit and nonprofit institutions in health care. 

“He was talking about disrupting the idea that once you’re at the top, you have to protect your turf and stay only in that market area, but you know, redefining and enlarging your market,” said Melanie Smith, UT alumna and Austin resident. “I thought that was a great idea.”

Although only day one of the three-day conference was screened, Kenny said students and staff have access to all the content because of UT’s status as a TEDMED flagship affiliate.

“So we are hosting this one day of the event, but because we are a flagship affiliate, we actually are allowing students and staff of the university to have access to the content through Sunday, which is really exciting,” Kenny said.

Shelly Tom, an MBA graduate student and vice president of Austin affairs of the MBA Healthcare Association, said the TEDMED talks are important to the work of MBA students. 

“TEDMED, being very forward thinking, challenging conventional thought, is really a great opportunity for us MBA students to understand and listen to what these leaders, these scientists are doing, and how that can impact what we’re doing in our work and in our line of work,” Tom said.

Kenny said she expects there will be more TED screenings in the future.

“This is the second year that the MBA Healthcare Association has hosted TEDMED, and I think that’s something we would like to continue to do in future years because we’re getting lots of positive response from the UT community about it," she said.

The UT schools of business and law have developed a streak for enrolling and graduating Hispanic students and employing a significant percent of Hispanic faculty, according to a new ranking by an online magazine.

The UT School of Law and the Red McCombs School of Business MBA program placed first and fourth, respectively, for Hispanic inclusiveness in a ranking by, which ranks schools on their diversity practices based on Hispanic enrollment, faculty and degrees awarded. The magazine also considers an institution’s plans to increase Hispanic enrollment. This is the second year UT’s School of Law took first place and the 14th year McCombs ranked in the top five. According to the website, out of the total 534 MBA students enrolled, 33 are Hispanic, making its enrollment 6.2 percent. Out of its 273 total degrees awarded, the business school gave 21 to Hispanics. Out of a total 100 MBA faculty, three are Hispanic. The School of Law has 170 Hispanic students enrolled out of a total 1,130, making its enrollment 15 percent. Out of 386 degrees awarded, 60 were awarded to Hispanics. Five of the 92 full-time faculty are Hispanic.

Matt Turner, marketing researcher for McCombs, said he gave the data used to rate the business school. Turner said the highest-ranking schools have either high Hispanic enrollment or are generally considered prestigious schools.

“McCombs has been in the top five for 14 years,” Turner said. “It’s easy to hit third or fourth a year or two in a row, but to be consistently ranked highly for a long period is the salient piece.”

He said the ranking is the only diversity-based ranking for which the business school submits data.

Rodrigo Malta, McCombs director of MBA admissions, said the business school has a consistent recruiting process both nationally and internationally. Malta said the school’s recruiting and the program’s welcoming environment contribute to the high ranking.

“UT is known as a pretty prestigious university, and the ranking validates that,” Malta said. “We’re looking for diversity and diversity of thought, and these kind of rankings put a spotlight on that.”

Marketing junior Omar Cisneros said the ranking makes him proud to be part of the business school.

“Coming from a primarily Hispanic town, I think a good mix makes for a better learning environment,” Cisneros said.

Officials from the School of Law did not get back for comment by press time.

Printed on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 as: Hispanic enrollment raises diversity rank