2012 Symposium Spotlights Oglethorpe Students’ Academic Accomplishments

On Tuesday, the OU community gathered  for the 2012 Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium to celebrate the academic achievements of our students. The annual event provides OU students with a platform to present their own work—and fellow students, faculty, parents, and staff take the opportunity to learn more about the various topics, support the presenters, and engage in passionate discussions. Nearly 200 students presented during more than 30 sessions about topics drawn from a wide variety of disciplines.

We asked students Joscelyn Stein, Dayana Diaz, and Weston Manders to give us their thoughts about the Symposium:

This year’s topics ranged from “The Homeric Hero: What Winston Churchill and Odysseus have in common…or not” to “Mosquito in the Room: America’s Cuban Obsession and the Need for a New Era of Cuban-American Relations,” to ”The Evolution of Fairies in Literature: From Oral Folk Tales to Peter Pan” and “The Benefits of Cooperative Interspecies Evolution: Why Would you have a Dog?”

A new addition to the day-long event was StoryCore, where students from the OU radio station video recorded students and faculty sharing ”OUr Core moments,” reflections on the Core Curriculum. Oglethorpe’s Core Program helps shape our academic community and is regularly the focus of shared stories. Many of us have our “Core moments”—when something we encounter reminds us of something we learned in a Core course, when ideas are suddenly are connected. The collection of 90-second videos will be posted on the StoryCore page over the next few weeks. Here’s the first StoryCore video in the series, by Chelsea Reed ’13, a Communications and Rhetoric major.

Also new to the Symposium this year was an “Homage To OUr CORE in Poetry and Creative Verse.” The poetry slam/creative word jam took place in the Lupton Auditorium and gave a stage to students and faculty to share their poetry, spoken word and freestyle compositions, penned in honor of our Core Curriculum. The friendly competition chose winners in a few categories:

Judges’ Choice: Kaci Palmore
Most Creative: Chou Thao
Connection to Core: Will Carter

The day-long celebration of student achievements ended in the Conant Performing Arts Center with the annual Honors and Awards Convocation, which recognized individuals who had excelled during the academic year. Congratulations to all of the honorees!

View photos from the 2012 Liberal Arts & Sciences Symposium!

Will & Drive: One OU Student’s Comeback Story


In this CNN video report, Will Carter ’12 demonstrates how an electronic device has enabled him to drive again after a brain injury.

Like many Oglethorpe students, Will Carter ’12 has found “his place” over the past three years, carving out his niche in theatre and slowly making a name for himself in Atlanta’s crowd of amateur stand-up comics.  But unlike most others, Will has had to overcome remarkable odds to get here, a story that he tells with pride on the CNN Health blog this week.

The rising senior and award-winning playwright has always enjoyed the performing arts, and as a youngster he enjoyed watching comedians perform on stage.

“I have always been a kid who loves to make people laugh,” recalls Will.  “I would watch a lot of stand-up when I was younger…when Toy Story first came out, I quoted it constantly just to make people laugh.”

But at age 17, Will was involved in a head-on car accident that left him with a severe brain injury and a long road to recovery ahead.  The once highly confident high school student had become wheelchair bound, he’d lost his ability to drive, and tasks that once came easy to him, like studying, took more focus and concentration than ever before. Continue reading