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

Q&A With…Megan W.

Megan WhiteToday’s Tuesday with Tulsa comes to us from Megan W., a senior Speech Pathology major from Tulsa, Okla.

What are your plans following graduation?

I knew when I declared my major in speech-language pathology that I’d have to get a master’s degree to become a licensed therapist. I finished up all of my grad school applications at the end of January, so now I’m waiting to hear back from all those schools. Thankfully, I’ve already been accepted to my first choice school… TU! If everything falls into place, I’d love to rent a house near campus with some of my speech path friends also entering the master’s program here and start my next chapter at TU in the fall.  Fingers crossed!

In five words, describe your TU experience?

Verging on cheesy, but I’d have to say that TU has been “everything I wanted and more!” Before I came to TU, people kept telling me how great of a school it was. The truth of that has been proven over and over for me. It seems like I’ve just stumbled into so many great opportunities here, but I know that these didn’t just happen by chance. TU’s whole goal is to prepare its students for life after graduation. From forming great relationships with my professors, being encouraged to volunteer in the community, getting involved in Greek life, studying abroad, and even presenting a poster at the national speech-language pathology conference, I feel confident that TU’s training has given me the tools I need for success. I LOVE this school, and I tell everyone who asks me about it! Oops, that was a lot more than 5 words :)

What is your favorite TU tradition?

My favorite tradition is our Alma Mater. The best part of my day is hearing it play from Sharp Chapel’s bell tower every evening at 5 o’clock.  I also love that the student section sings it with our teams after every home sporting event. One of my favorite football memories was staying through all four rainy quarters of a big game this past fall. The rest of the stands had cleared out long before, but there was still a group of us students ready to sing along with the band, spirit squad, and football team. Now it makes me happy each time I hear that song!

What is your favorite student organization on campus?

I actually have two: the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and the TU Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The BCM is a great place for fellowship and to meet new people. And they also offer a free lunch every Monday afternoon for anyone on campus. The leader, Brandon Brister, is such an awesome guy. He can make anyone feel welcome! TUSSLHA is basically the speech pathology club on campus.Our organization puts on an annual conference here at TU called Route 66. Speech therapists from around the state are always really excited about it. Two of our officers, Erin Alexander and Lauren Stanley, have planned a great conference this year!

What drew you to being a Speech-Language Pathology major, and how has TU prepared you for life after college in these fields?

In high school, I knew that my future job would have to involve helping others, and my two favorite subjects were English and science. As I was looking at colleges and trying to figure out a potential major, I kept thinking of how to combine those interests. My mom suggested researching speech therapy, and as soon as I visited the department here, I was hooked. I love the flexibility of the field and the impact I’ll be able to have on my clients. Now I tell everyone to look into speech pathology as a major! I decided to minor in biology to keep me more involved in science. Because of that, I was also able to participate in a study abroad field course focusing on dolphin communication in the Bahamas. I added a Deaf Education minor after learning more about deaf culture through the ASL classes I took. That opened doors for me to study abroad again, this time learning Italian Sign Language in Siena, Italy.