If you stopped by Hoff Theater in Stamp Student Union Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m., you may have noticed nine students standing on a big stage talking about topics ranging anywhere from keeping a journal to fulfilling the aspirations of your 5-year-old self.

These students are living up to the University of Maryland’s school motto, as “Fearless Ideas” is what sparked the idea of creating Terp Talks. A student-run organization created by former university student Cyrus Ameri with the goal of putting on a TED Talks-inspired showcase, Terp Talks gives university students who excel in public speaking and are passionate about certain topics a platform. This semester, Terp Talks had its second showcase. Terp Talks is run by its current president Alexander Shapiro.

The Terp Talks speakers were fortunate enough to work with speech coaches who helped shape and mold their speeches. Some speakers used the speeches that they had developed in their COMM107: Oral Communication: Principles and Practices class while others formed new ones.

Elizabeth San, a freshman international business major, spoke passionately about going beyond the headlines of newspapers or Facebook posts and how we should become our own private investigators to learn more about travesties that occur throughout the world.

San’s speech, titled “What’s wrong with our world view,” with the word “world” crossed out by “western,” touched upon the November Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people and injured many more. The world, San proclaimed, rightfully mourned for those who lost their lives and their families with the #PrayforParis on social media, but wrongly ignored other travesties that occurred and continue to occur daily throughout the world in countries such as Lebanon, Iraq and Kenya.

Sophomore astronomy and physics major Matt Marks used stunning images and well-rehearsed speaking techniques in order to express his own sentiment toward the breathtaking feats that mankind has accomplished in the past 50 years from landing the first man on the moon to orbiting the planet of Mars.

He described how federal funding for aerospace projects has significantly decreased in recent years and how the world has ceased to collaborate on such impactful endeavors. Marks called upon our generation and future ones to continue the legacy of ingenuity and creativity that our predecessors have worked so hard to construct.

One other speaker spoke from personal experience about the intense poverty that plagues India and how children have never seen soap in their lives. Beginning with the stunning fact that billions of residual soap packs in hotels across the America are sent to garbage dumps, Josh Silverman, a freshman Arabic and government and politics major, spoke about the efforts of Erin Zaikis to distribute recycled bars of soap throughout India.

Passionate about spreading hygiene across the globe, Zaikis created the company Sundara which not only recycles used soaps and repackages them, but also gives jobs to local citizens to become ambassadors of hygiene to their own communities. Silverman’s message was that hard work pays off and having the attitude to never give in when someone says no to you ends with a new beginning of starting something you could have never imagined.

Terp Talks is not an event you want to miss next year. Students get the opportunity to apply for a spot on the Terp Talks team each semester, so if you missed the showcase this time around, next semester there will be a new roster of interesting speakers to hear from.

Joshua Ashkenazy is a freshman double majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology. He can be reached at joshkenazy@gmail.com.