Sophomore Embraces Risk and Reward at Oglethorpe

Mon Baroi '15

If you looked at the list of colleges I considered going to, Oglethorpe was number eight…out of a list of eight that included St. John’s University, Gonzaga University, Wabash College, Guilford College and Earlham College. I chose to come to Oglethorpe because of its proximity to Atlanta and its small classes. And, living up to its motto, Oglethorpe has helped me figure out how to make a life, make a living, and make a difference in society.

When I came to Oglethorpe my freshman year, all I wanted to do was “fast-forward” through the next four years. I wasn’t expecting to begin the process of starting a nonprofit called Oglethorpe’s Tiny Homes, and to work at Pegasus Creative, an on-campus student communications agency.

Two friends and I were sitting around a table during lunch, and after telling them that I wanted to build prototype tiny house that was sustainable, their response shocked me: “Yeah,” they said, “Let’s do it. We can help!” We went to the university administration about our idea and they asked us how they could help us. Oglethorpe shocked me with its spirit of encouragement.

Mon, Cartrez Wilson '15 and Jacob Tadych '14 discuss the Oglethorpe Tiny Homes project.

Although I knew that I wanted to build a house, and had an idea of how it would look, I was lost on what purpose the house would serve. Some of my classes in my major (politics) and minor (nonprofit management) actually helped me realize the purpose of Oglethorpe’s Tiny Homes.

It’s not about building houses, but rather, reinventing the philosophy and people’s perception of what a house should be. One of my politics classes, “New American City,” was focused on the political history of the city of Atlanta. Without this class, I would not have understood the dire need for affordable housing in Atlanta. Many of my politics classes have helped me understand who gets what, when and how in society. Oglethorpe’s Tiny Homes is all about creating affordable homes that increase people’s self worth without jeopardizing their net worth.

Mon with fellow Pegasus Creative member Caitlyn Mitchell '13

One of the most important things I have learned at Oglethorpe is that if you want to make a difference you must take risks and not be afraid of failure. Working at Pegasus Creative, Oglethorpe’s student communications agency, has helped me get better at taking risks and learning from my mistakes. At Pegasus, you are given responsibilities and tasks that the whole Oglethorpe community (and everyone else) can see and be affected by it. For example, I have helped build websites for Oglethorpe that potential students and current students will use. My responsibilities and the risks I’ve taken at Pegasus have helped me not be as afraid of failure.

Coming to Oglethorpe has helped me figure out how I want to live and what I want to do.  Looks like my lucky number is eight.

Editor’s note: Both Mon Baroi ’15 and Jacob Tadych ’14 were recently selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University conference in recognition of the Oglethorpe Tiny Homes project. Read about it here.

A Petrel Lands with the Atlanta Hawks

Sporting the red & black: Arthur Hamilton '11 was an official member of the press during last week's game against the Detroit Pistons. The Hawks won 104-96. Photo: Rachael Alston, GSU '11

Last week’s Atlanta Hawks game against the Detroit Pistons was especially exciting for Oglethorpe senior Arthur Hamilton. Though an admitted Hawks fan, Hamilton was actually there covering the game on assignment.  He was chosen by the Hawks to experience the NBA game as a professional journalist—interacting with Hawks staff members, sportswriters and broadcasters along the way. 

Did you know? In 1979, the Atlanta Hawks held open practice in the Oglethorpe University Field House.

“Overall it was a great experience,” said Arthur, a former basketball player himself. “I got to see all of the backstage media guides and production.  My favorite part of the whole day was…during the postgame press conference.  We got to have a 15-20 minute Q&A interview session with [Hawks Coach] Larry Drew.”

The communication and project management major currently interns at Turner Sport’s NBA TV, and hopes to work with them and NCAA.com after graduation. With five sports-related internships under his belt, Arthur felt comfortable working in the Philips Arena press box. 

“It was good to see a new perspective and experience the media questions and backstage production,” said Arthur.  “Everything I learned through my experience on Sunday furthers my desire to [seize] opportunities in my career path.  I hope that the contacts I met and networked with will develop my…career opportunities in the near future.  Sports have always been my passion, so why not do something…that [I'm already] passionate about?”