Alumni Chat: Britney Grayson

Britney GraysonToday’s blog post is from Britney Grayson, a 2004 TU graduate who is currently training at Vanderbilt University in the general surgery program.

I will finish my third of five years of general surgery residency this summer. Vanderbilt is one of the top 15 general surgery training programs in the country. I am so stinking blessed to train here. I am currently deciding between additional training in transplant or possibly pursuing a career in mission-based international surgery. As part of my fourth year of residency, I’ll be in Kenya this October working with their surgeons and learning about delivering surgical care in resource-poor environments. I still hope to incorporate research in whatever field I choose. So basically no clue where the next steps will lead me- I’m just enjoying the ride :)

In considering college choices, I was attracted to The University of Tulsa for the specific opportunities it provided to undergraduates and now, many years later, I can tell you that it did not disappoint! As a freshman, I worked in a biological sciences lab- a strategic ploy to make myself an attractive medical school applicant. As a sophomore, I worked with my professor/mentor to create a research project that blended his interests with mine and I worked on the project, with the assistance of a laboratory technician, for the remainder of my college career. To have that much input in project design was quite frankly much more than I had earned. In fact, I can’t imagine giving a 19-year-old that same opportunity if I had my own lab right now. THAT is what is so special about TU. Based on these experiences, I pursued a Ph.D degree in addition to the M.D. and have committed to keeping research a part of my future. Continue reading

Brittany’s Top 10 Sophomore Learnings

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Brittany J. is a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

As my sophomore year comes to a close, I AM TERRIFIED. I am terrified that I am now classified as an upperclassman, a junior, half way to the adult world, and half way done with college. Initially, I don’t think I’m ready for any of that. But I don’t want to indicate that my sophomore year was a waste when in reality, it was full of many important life lessons that will guide me throughout the rest of my college years and into the adult world. Here are the Top 10 tidbits that I learned the hard way. So take note of them now, and you’ll be way ahead of the game.

  1. Year Number TWO is brand NEW: Sophomore year is NOT the same as freshman year, and that’s okay (because it’s better). You’re living in a new place, you’re taking classes more specific to your major, and you’re supposed to know what’s going on (key words: supposed to). It’s important to realize that with all of these new adjustments you’ll get to know a variety of new people and you may make new friends. You need to embrace this change and not try to replicate all the memories you have from your freshman year. As soon as you do this, you’ll begin having even better experiences because you aren’t trying to copy the old ones.
  1. Socks with flip-flops is not an acceptable fashion statement: It may not be fashionable, but it is my personal favorite. However, I have a good set of friends that have my best interests at heart. Because of this, they ended up stealing three pairs of my flip-flops and hiding them throughout the year to prevent me from further embarrassing them and myself. More importantly, they help me dress for interviews, proof-read my résumés, and prepare me for the professional world. It may not be here yet, but it’s important to preview the job fairs and research colloquiums so that when junior and senior year rolls around you’re already familiar and comfortable in those professional environments. By the time you will be looking for a job, you’ll be an old pro.

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Innovation & Imagination = TEDx at TU

IMG_5118Today’s Tuesday with Tulsa is from Katie Snyder, a junior Communications major from Des Moines, Iowa.

The thing I love about the University of Tulsa is that I, as a student, have the power to have an impact on my campus. Last semester I decided that I wanted to bring a TEDx event to campus. I saw a need for this program, because there are so many brilliant students and professors at TU working on projects and ideas that could change the world. But these ideas needed the right platform to be shared.

IMG_5150TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, seeks to spread powerful new ideas through concise, interdisciplinary talks. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. This event was aimed at sparking deep discussion and connection around the theme “Innomagine”—the intersection of innovation and imagination.

I teamed up with my friend Hannah, who had a similar interest in the TEDx program, and we spent the year planning and organizing the first ever TEDxUniversityofTulsa. We started by sending out a notice to campus, asking students and faculty to nominate their friends or professors that have ideas worth sharing. We interviewed all of these nominees and selected eleven speakers. These speakers gave talks on a wide range of topics – from advocacy, to disability, to outer space. They shared original research and provided brand new perspectives on old questions. We also chose student performers: two spoken-word artists and a bluegrass group. One of the best parts of being an organizer is getting to help these talented individuals share their message and inspire others. Continue reading