My Take On TU: Assess And Conquer

As a sophomore film studies student, Sydney Alison is already a University Ambassador, an anchor on TUTV, a member of the Student Association cabinet and former resident hall president. Her impressive résumé of activities and outgoing spirit is especially remarkable because she was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. Watch her TU story below:

My Take on TU: Unmanned Aircraft System Competition

The University of Tulsa Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering hosted TU’s first Green Country Unmanned Aircraft System Competition August 25-27.

Fourteen high school and college teams from Oklahoma and Dallas competed in a package delivery event requiring drones to fly a package from its source over obstacles to a destination where the package was delivered before returning to the start line. Teams could build their own drones or program one purchased off the shelf. Total scores were based on safety, round trip travel and teamwork.

Making TU Your Home

Katie Snyder is a 2017 TU graduate from Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated with a degree in Media Studies and recently accepted a position with JNA Advertising in Overland Park, Kan.

Katie Snyder does not wait for opportunity; she creates it. In four years at The University of Tulsa, Snyder has established a legacy of not only finding her place in nearly every TU community, but also making TU her home.

Leaving her hometown, Des Moines, Iowa, Snyder launched a new adventure in Tulsa. Without knowing anyone, “It was hard to put myself out there, but it is something that you absolutely must do if you want to get the full experience out of college,” Snyder said.

Her communications prowess was triggered her first year by assisting the TU Athletic Department. From softball to basketball, Snyder did media relations for more than 500 games. As a freshman, Snyder won an award from the Association of Women in Communications based on her sports and public relations experience.

Through the TU Undergraduate Research Challenge (TURC), Snyder interned at the Tulsa Sports Commission for class credit. From the tourism perspective, Snyder learned the importance of room availability in hotels and even how to set up soccer nets for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship. “It was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done,” she confided.

Vince Trinidad, the executive director of the Tulsa Sports Commission, described Snyder as a “dynamo” and explained that her internship coincided with major national-level sporting events. No matter the challenge, “her enthusiasm and energy knows no limits,” Trinidad said.

Throughout her TU career, Snyder interned at Propeller Communication and Saxxum. She advertised for events like Tulsa’s Great Raft Race, Tulsa Oktoberfest and Tulsa Tough. It was not long until the Media Studies faculty found a rising star.

Media Studies adjunct faculty member Bill Hinkle knew Snyder was special on the first day of class. “There is nobody that is more committed, more polished and more driven to be successful than Katie Snyder, nobody,” Hinkle said.

With Hinkle’s mentorship, Snyder discovered advertising along with professional opportunities to test her advertising skills. The National Student Advertising Competition allows students to create advertising campaigns for a national company and present them at a conference. As a sophomore, Snyder was the runner-up presenter for a Pizza Hut campaign, which meant she was tasked to memorize the entire script.  On the first day of rehearsal, “She shows up Monday and had already memorized all 20 minutes, of everybody’s part. That never happens,” Hinkle said.

The following year, Snyder led the team in an advertising campaign for Snapple. Because Snapple is in a precarious glass bottle, grocery stores place them on the bottom shelf, and with the TU team’s tagline, “bottoms up,” Snyder knew they were taking a risk. To glorify the bottom shelf, they even rewrote the words to “Friends in Low Places.”  Snyder’s team chose humor to highlight where customers can find Snapple. Unfortunately, the judges were not amused.

“I’m proud that when we failed, it wasn’t because we came in with a mediocre idea that could be easily overlooked. We came in with something bold that makes them think differently about their product. I think that that’s our job,” Snyder explained.

The Snapple defeat did not deter Snyder, and she received the highly competitive Stickell Internship, which showcases the 16 best advertising students in the nation. The internship included placement in a top public relations firm. Snyder worked for PulsePoint Group in Austin, Texas, which focuses on digital consulting and crisis communication. Snyder’s first client was a Japanese energy company, which had a nuclear disaster in the past. When it comes to a crisis, “always have a human voice and be quick and decisive with your communication,” Snyder said.

Snyder flexed her public relations skills for TU in the NOVA Fellowship, which is managed by Associate Professor of Marketing Charles Wood. NOVA helps students problem solve and bring big ideas into fruition. “I tend to have big dreams, and I don’t know how to make them happen,” Snyder said. Her innovative project was to bring TEDx talks to TU. When Woods heard the TEDx plan, “I believe I shouted ‘Yes’ and threw my arms up like they had scored a touchdown,” he said.

After months of planning, Snyder interviewed 40 speaker candidates, and with the theme of “innomagine,” which combines innovation and imagination, TU held its first TEDx. The event was so popular that TEDx has agreed to be an annual TU event. “It’s a gift to TU that I get leave when I graduate,” Snyder said.

Snyder has worked as a university ambassador, freshman orientation leader, resident assistant, and she also won an Outstanding Senior Award. Snyder credits her accomplishments to supportive faculty and TU’s friendly environment. She advises incoming freshman to “jump in and take advantage of all there is here.”

The University of Tulsa is Snyder’s home away from home: “We’ve got enough for it to be home to anybody, and if you don’t have it, you can create it.”

My Take on TU: 5 Ways I Get Involved on Campus

Today’s blog post is written by Erin Jones, a junior Communication and Spanish major from Bemidji, Minn.

The music program is one of my favorite things about TU! There are so many wonderful opportunities to learn music, strengthen your talent, and highlight your hard work! Through the marching band and pep band, I have had the opportunity to travel to two NCAA football bowl games, as well as March Madness for Men’s Basketball.

Coming to college, I knew I wanted to continue practicing my faith, but I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to find a place to call home.  The St. Philip Neri Catholic Newman Center on TU’s campus allows students to strengthen and practice their faith, and it serves as a great place to meet others.

Sigma Alpha Iota is an International Music Fraternity.  Sigma Gamma, TU’s collegiate chapter, is home to many talented women who long to further the development of music throughout the country.  We work together to advance music in multiple ways: philanthropy projects, volunteering in local elementary music classrooms, and supporting one another in our musical endeavors.

At TU, I had the opportunity to join Mortar Board, a prestigious honor society focused on highlighting students’ academic achievements, leadership skills, and service projects.  The organization allows initiated members to meet to discuss how to further our individual academic performances, but more importantly, how to serve others on our campus and greater Tulsa community.

Through campus housing, my friends and I were given the opportunity to develop a theme house to enhance the campus community.  CulTUring Campus’s mission is to educate ourselves and the campus at large about the diverse cultures around the world.  Due to TU’s already diverse campus community, we as a theme house can engage with a variety of students who attend our events throughout the year.