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

Serving Children In West India – My Travel Bug Story

IMG_2122Today’s Tuesday With Tulsa comes to us from David M., a 2010 TU graduate with a degree in Political Science. David is currently working as a campaign manager for The Shreyas Foundation in West India.

During the summer between my sophomore and junior year at TU, I elected to study abroad in Spain for seven months. Two of my older sisters had studied abroad during their college years, and I had known since I started college that I wanted to do it, too. I HAD to do it. TU had an incredible study abroad program, and as it was cheaper to send a student abroad then was the cost of tuition, it was practically free for me. Soon after I was bound for Europe.

Little did I know that my adventure abroad would lead me to where I am now. You see, I caught what people call “the travel bug,” (i.e. the complete and total inability to stay in one place for a prolonged period of time). Since that point, I have lived and worked in four different continents. After spending a year in Argentina, I made a feeble attempt to return to my hometown of Tulsa and keep a “steady” job. That lasted about a year before I started going crazy. My boss recognized my need to NOT be in a “steady” job, so he basically fired me from my position. I threw everything I owned into my car and moved back out to Washington D.C. where I had lived for a summer. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I just had to do SOMETHING. Continue reading

The Ease Of Studying Abroad

1888439_721841354526667_981847913_nToday’s Tuesday with Tulsa comes to us from Kristina M., a junior Sociology major from Tulsa, OK.

I fostered the desire to go abroad from the very moment I knew how easy it was at The University of Tulsa. Before even starting school at TU, I went on my tour of the campus and was given some statistics on how many students go abroad, proving how easy it was. Next was the decision of where I wanted to go to and when I wanted to plan this adventure. Location was easy. I read a book entirely set in Ireland and it was no contest that I wanted to see the same beautiful scenery described in the books I read, in person. Timing was something that took more forethought. I decided on going my sophomore year to leave open the possibility of me going again later in my college career. With that all decided, funding was the next question, leading me to an information session on the Gilman Scholarship, a nationally competitive scholarship that is based both off of need and merit. That info session changed the still tentative plans that I had made so far.

The Gilman Scholarship encourages travel to non-traditional places, meaning places that students don’t often go to, and does that by awarding more scholarships to these places statistically speaking. That wasn’t the entire reason that I changed my location, but it made me start to consider other locations that weren’t in Europe. I chose Uganda after narrowing down my options. I started looking at programs in Africa because, as a sociology major, I wanted to go to a poor country and the Uganda: Post Conflict Transformation through SIT best fit my interest. Continue reading