Categorized | Features

Recent Wooster alumni to share stories of success at Tartan Talks

Sally Kershner
Features Editor

On Feb. 10, in Gault Recital Hall, The College of Wooster will be presenting its first annual Tartan Talks. While it may sound like another lecture series or political presentation, Tartan Talks give a unique inside look at the lives of recent alumni succeeding after their time at the College — no lecture involved. Tartan Talks were created to replace the previous licensed event TEDxWooster, a presentation following the style of TedTalks, so that the College could host its own independent event.

Organized and executed by Marina Rosales, the event planner for the center for entrepreneurship, and Peter Abramo, the director for entrepreneurship, Tartan Talks is an event that strives to highlight how the College’s graduate qualities are acted upon in real life. These graduate qualities are what the curriculum is built upon, acting as the foundation of Wooster’s liberal arts education. The Tartan Talks are not lectures; they are stories.

“I think it’s very important for students to see the graduate qualities that will be carried with them throughout their different paths after graduating [from] Wooster and be able to reflect on those graduate qualities by listening to the experiences of these four alumni,” said Rosales.

“A lot of what we do at the College is built around these graduate qualities … We take something from a piece of paper and show how these people are actually living the graduate qualities. Tartan Talks brings the graduate qualities to life and show that this does matter,” said Abramo.

The four alumni that will be sharing their stories are: Shyniece Ferguson ’14, a media mogul and publicist at 300 Entertainment, an independent record label; Abena Boamah ’13, a social entrepreneur who created her own shea butter company called Hanahana; Avantika Daing ’95, a marketing visionary who is the chief revenue officer at Jopwell, a hiring startup that helps companies recruit underrepresented minority candidates; Tyler Delhagen ’06, an innovative educator who is one of the founding teachers of a charter school in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

“We purposely chose graduates who are younger so you can say ‘Oh! I can do that too!’ They are more approachable and realistic to relate to,” said Abramo. The goal behind these Tartan Talks is to show current students how their dreams are not as far away as they think, with the most recent alumni graduating only four years prior.

The alumni will share their stories starting at 10 a.m., where coffee and muffins will be provided, and will conclude with the last speaker at 2 p.m. Instead of just having four alumni speak in a row, Tartan Talks reinvents this speaker-based event by bringing in different groups from the College to interact with students and perform. In between speakers, a cappella group Shades of Gold will be performing, along with improv comedy group Don’t Throw Shoes. Additionally, a prize will be raffled off to everyone that attends Tartan Talks, amping up the incentive to attend and see yourself in some of these alumni shoes.

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