Student Organizations

My Take On TU: First-Generation Student Blazes Trail

Stephanie Mandujano personifies the definition of determination. As the first person in her family to attend college, she is blazing the trail for her younger siblings. The Tulsa native recalls a drive to succeed that began at an early age and says she always knew she would continue her education beyond high school. Acceptance letters arrived from The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, the University of Arkansas and The University of Tulsa. Mandujano’s heart told her that one stood apart from the others.

My Take On TU: Engineers Without Borders

In the fall of 2017, a group of students from The University of Tulsa’s Engineers Without Borders-USA chapter traveled to the country of Bolivia to conduct site assessments for an upcoming service project. Working with Engineers in Action, a nongovernmental organization formed in Tulsa, five undergraduate students, TU EWB-USA chapter co-adviser Laura Ford, a professional mentor, an Engineers in Action engineer, a translator and a cook embarked on a 10-day adventure that led them to the East Andes mountains of Bolivia, through large cities and small villages such as El Alto, La Paz and Machacamarca.

My Take On TU: I Love TU!

The email below was sent by Amy Smith, a freshman biochemistry major from St. Louis, to her admission counselor, Teresa Bont, just a few weeks after she arrived on campus this past fall. Amy’s excitement is contagious, don’t you think?

Hi Teresa!

I freaking love TU. The campus is beautiful, and everything is exactly as I hoped it would be. I have made so many new friends here and I love the atmosphere. I really love how big TU feels, but at the same time is small and homey. My classes are great and my professors are all really nice. Since I came in with so many credits, I’m already taking pretty much all science classes, which is great for my major of Biochemistry.

I’ve joined a few clubs on campus, and they are a blast! I go to two-step every Thursday and I have met and danced with so many new people and learned lot’s of new moves. I’ve also gotten involved in the Red Cross club on campus, as well as AED (the pre health professions club) and Student Health Advocates Association (SHAA). All of them are so much fun, and there is always free food 😉

I did not get involved with greek life, but that definitely doesn’t mean that I am excluded from anything. I know at a lot of big schools greek life is necessary to get involved, but at TU that certainly isn’t true. I have plenty of greek friends and I hang out with them all the time, and I still get invited to a lot of the greek events.

Homecoming this past weekend was also so much fun! It’s really cool to become a part of all the TU traditions, and being at the bonfire and going to the game was quite the experience. Also, campus was the most lively that I have seen it. There were so many people and so many festivities that it was impossible to be bored. I love that at TU there is always something to do and someone to hang out with and that you never run into a face that isn’t friendly. I really do feel so much at home here.

The city of Tulsa is beautiful. I love the view of downtown from the library steps, and I even got really lucky that I can see the skyline from my dorm room in Hardesty! So far I’ve tried a bunch of the local restaurants (all amazing by the way), and explored some of the hotspots, such as Cherry Street, Utica Square, and Guthrie Green. I didn’t end up going to the state fair, but I heard a lot about it from people on campus. We went to the center of the universe, watched the fireworks from the driller stadium, and went to the Rose Garden all in the same evening! There is always something to do in Tulsa, and I never get bored.

All in all, TU is such a wonderful place to be, and I could not be happier with my choice to enroll here. I love TU with all my heart and I’m so glad to call this place my home. Hope this is helpful 😊


My Take on TU: STEM^2

Today’s My Take on TU comes from Alyssa Hernandez, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Tulsa, OK.

This past fall, the Student Team Engaging Minorities in STEM (STEM^2) organization hosted the Second Annual STEM Fair at The University of Tulsa. The event was focused on informing high school students of all the wonderful opportunities TU and a career in STEM has to offer. This year, a total of 74 high school students, 32 parents, 52 TU students, and nine community members attended. The event was a tremendous success, receiving a great amount of positive feedback from students, parents, and administration.

Key aspects of the event consisted of a science show, presented by Dr. Iski and Dr. LeBlanc, both Assistant Professors in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Additionally, students experienced a campus tour, various organization/club booths from the university and the Tulsa community, as well as a phenomenal guest speaker, NASA’s first Hispanic female flight director, Ginger Kerrick.

We were honored to have such an admirable guest at this year’s STEM fair. Her life’s journey is a true example of hard work and determination. Coming from a diverse background and being female, the proverbial glass ceiling was always present. Yet, that didn’t stop Kerrick. Initially, aiming to become a professional basketball player, to wanting to become an astronaut, and then to making history, Kerrick’s story kept everyone in the room wanting to hear more. Excitement grew when Kerrick surprised everyone with a phone call from space! Peggy Whitson, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station called Kerrick during her presentation and was delighted to answer a few questions from the students. With her down-to-earth personality, and impassioned speech, Kerrick encouraged others to pursue their dreams. She is now the division chief of the Flight Integration Division at the Johnson Space Center.

Overall, the event was intended to inspire and empower the next generation of STEM majors. With the hard work of all STEM^2 officers and the vision of the organization’s President, Natalie Santa-Pinter, we pulled off another great year at the STEM Fair! We hope to have opened doors to new opportunities for the high school students, leaving them ambitious about pursuing higher education; ultimately making their interests in STEM a reality in their future careers.

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.

My Take on TU: Students Revive Minority Engineering Clubs

minorityeclubs-300x207When mechanical engineering major Alyssa Hernandez arrived at TU in the fall of 2014, she looked for a way to connect with fellow students who were studying engineering, but TU’s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) had fallen inactive. With the help of a small group of determined students, she started from scratch. Hernandez and another TU student attended the National Institute for Leadership Advancement (NILA) at Facebook headquarters, networking with employers and learning how to further the SHPE mission.

“The SHPE organization is more than just empowering Hispanics to overcome the obstacles of higher education, but to diversify the workforce and create more of an inclusive community,” she said.

SHPE members brought their new ideas back to Tulsa, facilitating social events and career and study sessions. They attended national and regional conferences, volunteered alongside regional chapters at a Habitat for Humanity site and homeless shelter and helped host two Noche de Ciencias events where students from low-income areas participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities.

During the past two years, Hernandez said the chapter has grown from six to 15 members. Thanks to SHPE networking opportunities, she has received her first engineering internship and inspired other minority groups to become more active.

“SHPE has been extremely helpful in mentoring our young organization,” said Donovan Adesoro, a petroleum engineering junior and president of the National Society for Black Engineers. “We owe a large part of our success to them.”

09-09-15-ens-job-fair-110“They allow us to network with industry professionals who work at Fortune 500 companies,” he said. “Unfortunately, these job fairs will be one of the few in their lifetime when they interview with employees who all look like them.”

While making lifelong friends and preparing for a career, Adesoro said giving back to the community is his favorite part of NSBE. After graduating from a high school where 80 percent of the students received free/reduced-price lunches, he understands the importance of college preparation. NSBE eventually hopes to establish a junior member program that pairs high school students with a TU faculty member for summer research.

“I can relate to a lot of the local high school students who aren’t sure what an engineer even does or the difficulties of paying for a college education,” he said. “The “NSBE Jr. program will enable us to overcome that.”

TU’s newest engineering club is the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, reinstated in March 2016. It regularly collaborates with AISES junior programs and Native American clubs.

“I have seen first-hand that Native American children are not reaching their full potential because of cultural norms or a lack of funding,” said group president and mechanical engineering student Amanda Hooper. “I do not want to sit idly by as my people struggle.”

Although each club will strive to achieve its own goals in the 2016-17 academic year, they plan to partner for activities that promote inclusion within all engineering and science industries.