OU Alum & Students Link Up For Star-Studded Conference

Trustee Trish Treadwell (right) mingles with OU students during an alumni event last fall.

Last week, Oglethorpe alumna and trustee Trish Treadwell ’96  sponsored several OU students to attend the Seventh Annual Spelman College Leadership Conference for Women of Color.  The two-day intergenerational event attracts thousands of women of color from around the world, and this year, Treadwell accompanied five young future leaders to the conference:  Stephanie Perello ’12, Zena Stephens ’13, Keturah Thomas ’13, Erica Blake ’13, and Malika Whitley, a 2011 OU graduate.

This year’s conference theme, “Reset: Sustaining Women for 21st Century Leadership,” stemmed from the concept that women of color, in particular, feel obligated to take care of others—often at the expense of themselves.  The modern woman juggles her responsibilities as a student, as a family member, and as a business and community leader. More than 40 professional men and women spoke at the conference, including CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien, Olympian Bonnie St. John, and Kimberly Davis, president of JP Morgan and Chase Foundation.

To Malika Whitley ’11, who is a member of Oglethorpe’s 2011-12 IDEX Fellowship for Social Enterprise, many of the speakers’ points hit home.  As an IDEX fellow, she will be challenged to create ways to improve India’s Affordable Schools.   “I enjoyed all of the speakers but what Soledad O’Brien had to say really struck me the most,” said Whitley.  “She has just finished a new documentary about motivating students in failing schools, and she spoke about giving children resources and incentives to come to school.  Many people in both the United States and in India view school as a luxury, but by giving students something to show their parents—something to attest to the benefit of schooling, we can change this notion.  I plan to take these ideas with me when I go to India.”

Throughout the conference, the young women took in advice about branding, taking care of themselves professionally and personally, and training their minds to be resilient.    Continue reading

What’s Finals Week Without Books, Bowling, and Brownies?

Sophomores (from left) Detty Mutombo, Mireille Djemmo, and Kenya Adeola make use of the quiet space in the Library's 24-hour room. "After a semester of hard work, Dead Day was definitely a way to relieve stress before hitting the books again," said Kenya.

Dead Day at Oglethorpe is the one day that falls in between the last day of classes and the first day of exams.  With no classes and no finals, the campus is known to Oglethorpe students as “dead,” leading many to flock to the library or their dorm rooms to take advantage of some last-minute studying. As the semester comes to a close,  students head into a finals week full of unique OU traditions.

Oglethorpe’s Parents Leadership Council (PLC) made studying just a little bit easier that semester as they brought back the Fall Exams Study Break in the Emerson Lounge.  It was a one-stop shop for candy, chips, home-made Rice Krispies treats, and brownies…as much as one can fit in a brown paper bag—arguably the best “brain food” around.

In addition to a full day of studying, many OU students looked forward to EggsAM breakfast, an annual tradition that involves Oglethorpe faculty (and staff) cooking and serving breakfast foods for pajama-clad students—at 9:00 p.m.  It’s a fun and tasty way to end an unusually quiet day at OU.

But Oglethorpe wasn’t that quiet all week.  The Student Government Association Programming Board (SGA) hosted its annual Dead Day’s Eve party, and SGA did not disappoint.  The event was held at the upscale Ten Pin Bowling Alley in Atlantic Station, and students got the chance to have a little fun off campus before the real studying began. If free food wasn’t enough, then 12 bowling lanes, three billiards rooms, and a packed dance floor certainly did the trick.

Hands on Atlanta Day: 168 Hands for Success

Oglethorpe volunteers at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve.

Oglethorpe University’s Center for Civic Engagement offered students and parents the opportunity to participate in Hands on Atlanta Day 2010, a volunteer effort that reached out to four different nonprofit organizations. Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Lynwood Park Recreation Center, Open Hand, and Making a Way Housing saw a cumulative 441 hours from the 168 hands of 84 dedicated, Oglethorpe-affiliated volunteers. These volunteers were students, parents, staff and alumni who all came together to make a difference in the community.

I worked at Blue Heron Nature Preserve and found it to be a wonderful experience. Most of the work was outdoors: gardening, some painting, weeding, etc. This is the type of volunteering that not only touches your heart, but allows a sense of immediate accomplishment, as the end results are very clearly different from the beginning product.

Volunteers at Open Hand.

Many organizations, such as Blue Heron Nature Preserve and the Centers for Disease Control, are currently looking for volunteers. OU students – do you have all of your service hours required for your extracurricular organizations? Do you have all of your Petrel Points? Are you a rising upperclassman looking to boost your résumé? Are you interested in other service opportunities? There’s something for everyone if you stop by the Center for Civic Engagement and ask for volunteer opportunities.

“Twelfth Night” at Oglethorpe

The OU Playmakers’ performed the classic Shakespeare comedy, Twelfth Night in April of 2010. This Shakespearean comedy made many laugh, cry, and laugh until they cried.

Set in Illyria, the play uses mistaken identity as the source of its humor. Viola, the lead character, finds herself in a sticky situation after she shipwrecks on the shores of Illyria. She masquerades as Cesario and becomes a servant to Duke Orsino, who is in love with Lady Olivia. When Orsino sends Cesario to tell Olivia of his love for her, however, Lady Olivia falls in love with Cesario, believing he is a man. Meanwhile, Cesario begins to fall for Orsino, creating a classic love triangle. The story becomes even more complicated when Viola’s brother, Sebastian–whom she believes is dead–shows up and woos Olivia. The comical subplot of the play adds even more twists to this web of romantic adventure, intensifying this clever comedy.

The play was directed by Allen O’Reilly with Georgia Shakespeare, the professional theater-in-residence at Oglethorpe University.

Twelfth Night ran April 8-10 in the Conant Performing Arts Center, and was the last play of the 2010 season.

Shakespeare on a Budget

At Oglethorpe University on Thursday, February 25th , Friday, February 26th, and Saturday, February 27th ran the  abridged version of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” presented by Rehearsal Room C (Oglethorpe’s student-led theatre group).

The Monty Python-style comedy incorporated Shakespeare’s 37 plays and154 sonnets into one hysterical 99 minute period, and starred students Ben Silver ’13, Danielle Hitchcock ’13, and Christo Taoushiani ’13. Many had a good laugh, and let’s face it, in this economy, who couldn’t have used one?