The Center for Global Education is proud to recognize our inaugural class of Global Graduates. This select group of graduating students are distinguished for excelling academically, contributing to the TU campus community, and partaking in unique experiences abroad. Our 2017 Global Graduates have all made notable accomplishments in their time at The University of Tulsa and seized a vast array of the different opportunities offered by our institution.
Valerie El Houssine
Major: Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a certificate in Finance
Hometown: Longchamps, Belgium
Why TU: Athletic and academic reputation
Campus involvement: Former student athlete, member of Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society, Graduate Assistant at the Athletic Department
Scholarships & awards: Athletic scholarship during undergraduate studies, Outstanding Marketing Graduate, Female Scholar Athlete of the Year for the University of Tulsa in 2015, received the Capital One Academic All-American Third Team Award in fall 2014
Locations of experiences abroad: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Vienna, Austria
What you’re most thankful for about your study abroad experience: Intercultural experience and experience with getting to learn in another country
A person at TU who influenced you: Professor Michael Troilo, from the first class I took with him to my last, he has shown me that cultures are an important aspect of life as well as in business and he has truly transmitted his passion for the subject of international business and world economy to me.
How you felt your experiences abroad impacted your future: It helps you adapt to change and be open to new challenges and opportunities. Then, once you’ve been exposed to this international mindset and experience, you’ll only want more of it.
Plans after TU: In the process of getting a job and then going back to Belgium!
Major: Speech Pathology
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Why TU: I came to TU because I was immediately drawn to the tight-knit community and small size of classes. When I visited, I got a positive impression of the dynamic balance between academic rigor and campus/community involvement.
Campus involvement: Reformed University Fellow, Orientation Leader, University Ambassador, Kappa Alpha Theta
Scholarships & awards: Academic Scholarship, endorsed scholarships, Dean’s Honor Roll, Global Graduate Scholar
Locations of experience abroad: Gaborone, Botswana
What you’re most thankful for about your study abroad experience: I am most thankful for the authentic experience I was able to acquire while being abroad in Botswana. The cultural differences and healthcare differences I was able to be a part of and observe have deeply impacted me and my once-narrow worldview.
A person at TU who influenced you: I have been deeply, formidably influence by one of my speech-pathology professors, Dr. Cadogan. She has a unique balance between being a great, efficient instructor and making classroom experience enjoyable. I have learned a great deal about language disorders through two of her upper level classes, and she has invested in me in more ways outside of the classroom. For many other reasons, I am grateful for the ways that she has poured into me.
How you felt your experiences abroad impacted your future: My study abroad experience has largely shaped my perspective of the world. It has redirected my narrow global views of other countries to a wider, more varied understanding of different cultures. It has been a humbling experience to know that my assumptions of third-world and developing countries have been changed.
Plans after TU: I plan to serve Reformed University Fellowship, my college ministry that I have been involved in, for the next two years. I will be on staff of the ministry at the University of California in Irvine.
Major: Art History & Art Management, Certificate in Advertising, Minor in Spanish
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Why TU: The ability to study as much as I do, the prestige of the professors and academics, opportunities to study abroad, and the beautiful campus!
Campus involvement: Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, TU Global Scholars
Scholarships & awards: TU School of Art Alexandre Hogue Outstanding Senior (2017), Alpha Rho Tau Art Scholarship (2015), TURC grant (2015), AT&T Hacemos Scholarship (2015), Betty Hinderliter Stevenson Scholarship for Art (2013-2017), TU Heritage Award (2013-2017), Kenny Goss Art Scholarship (Goss-Michael Foundation)(2013)
Locations of experience abroad: Berlin and Hamburg, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Barcelona, Spain
What you’re most thankful for about your study abroad experience: I am thankful for many things about studying abroad. I had a wonderful experience studying at ELISAVA: Barcelona School of Design & Engineering with students from around the world and incredibly talented and creative professors. I am thankful for the Herder Editorial team when I interned as a graphic designer and given the opportunity to produce book covers that were published internationally. Lastly, I am thankful for my program and faculty, my host family, and the new friends guided me and showed me the beautiful city of Barcelona.
A person at TU who influenced you: Dr. Kirsten Olds, Assistant Professor of Art History has influenced me to create meaningful dialogue through art and discourse and to have an open-mind. Dr. Olds has been my mentor and support through all my endeavors at TU and I am constantly inspired by her dedication to her work, the university, and her students. I would also like to thank Teresa Valero, Dr. Maria Maurer, and Professor Holly Mannucci for being great mentors during my time at TU.
How you felt your experiences abroad impacted your future: Studying abroad has given me increased insight on the possibilities and opportunities around the world. I have made life-long connections and friendships with incredible people: the same people who truly care about their work and the well-being of future generations and professionals.
Plans after TU: I am currently exploring options about graduate school for the upcoming years.
Major: Speech-Language Pathology; Minor in Sociology
Hometown: Houston, TX
Why TU: I decided to come to TU because of the incredible sense of community that I felt when I visited. The amount of sincere kindness shown me and interest in my future success from admissions, professors, and students was unparalleled compared to other universities I applied to.
Campus involvement: Assistant Orientation Director and three year Orientation Leader, Executive Director of Diversity and Multiculturalism for Student Association, Vice-President of University Ambassadors and three year University Ambassador, Senior Advisor and two year Vice-President of the Association of Black Collegians, President of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Capella Chamber Singers, Peer Advisor and Exchange Student Coordinator at the Center for Global Education, and three year Reading Partner at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School
Scholarships & awards: University of Tulsa Academic Scholarship, Burt Holmes Diversity Scholar, University of Tulsa Heritage Award, Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda Memorial Scholarship (International Studies Abroad), Lesley Hyche-Turay Scholarship from the Tulsa Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and a University of Tulsa Music Scholarship. University of Tulsa Omicron Delta Kappa Top Ten Freshmen Award, Jess Chouteau Top Ten Outstanding Senior Award, and Presidential and Dean’s Honor Lists
Locations of experience abroad: Sevilla, Spain
What you’re most thankful for about your study abroad experience: I am most thankful to the study abroad advisors and Center for Global Education for making my study abroad experience a reality. They directed me to resources, counseled me when I had anxiety, encouraged me to apply for scholarships, and made the process very smooth and clear. All of this helped to make my mom and family more comfortable with me going abroad, and they supported me to go abroad even when I doubted myself.
A person at TU who influenced you: Kedrica Taylor, a TU alum, was a huge influence on my time on campus. She mentored me, showed me what organizations would be great to get involved in, and was a role model of how to be a driven, resilient, and successful black student leader on campus and in the community.
How you felt your experiences abroad impacted your future: My time abroad opened my world view more than I ever thought it could have. While abroad, I took a sociology class called “A World of Protests” where we studied social movements from around the world since 2011. It was a really challenging class but it helped me learn to analyze at a higher level of thought the plethora of reasons why social movements begin and exist. This helped me to grow even better as an advocate for marginalized groups which I plan on doing in the future. I also stayed with a host mom where I learned Spanish and tried many new foods, pushing me out of my comfort zone to grow and try new experiences.
Plans after TU: I am attending graduate school here at the University of Tulsa to pursue my Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. I have also accept a graduate assistant position with the Office of New Student Services & Programs.
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Why TU: Cross country and track programs, strong mechanical engineering program, and competitive scholarships
Campus involvement: Captain of cross country and track, Treasurer for SENEA (Sustainable Engineering for Needy & Emerging Areas), research projects on solar energy and water conservation
Scholarships & awards: Presidential Scholarship, American Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Postgraduate Leadership Award, Rhodes Scholarship
Locations of experience abroad: Berlin, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Ingolstadt, Germany
What you’re most thankful for about your study abroad experience: The close friends I made while abroad that I’ve been able to stay in touch with and the opportunity to witness how Germans consider the environment in their economic decisions
A person at TU who influenced you: Dr. Todd Otanicar, my research mentor, for showing me the ropes of research and clean energy
How you felt your experiences abroad impacted your future: I’m now confident I could have a career in another country and I have a unique, foreign perspective on American politics that’s helped me understand better why things are the way they are.
Plans after TU: PhD in energy storage at University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar
Major: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Hometown: Springfield, MO
Why TU: Tulsa isn’t too far from my hometown and I really liked the friendly, close-knit community that encompasses TU.
Campus involvement: IEEE, Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Eta Sigma, Tau Beta Pi, TU Global Scholars
Scholarships & awards: IB Diploma Scholarship, 2017 Ralph L. Langenheim Award in Electrical & Computer Engineering, 2015 NanoJapan Fellow
Locations of experiences abroad: Berlin, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Sendai and Sapporo, Japan
What you’re most thankful for about your study abroad experience: The lifelong friendships that I’ve forged with people from around the globe
A person at TU who influenced you: Dr. Cheryl Matherly, the former Vice Provost of Global Education, really helped push me to do NanoJapan. I loved my first summer in Japan and knew that I wanted to continue doing something similar. Dr. Matherly was the one who informed me about the new partnership between TU and Hokkaido University after NanoJapan, which led to my second summer in Japan.
How your experiences abroad impacted your future: My experiences abroad have definitely broadened my global perspective. I still work on my Japanese to this day and hope to live there again for an extended period of time. I have my eyes on perhaps teaching English in Japan through the JET Programme.
Plans after TU: Masters of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering at either University of Southern California or Carnegie Mellon University
Hometown: Coppell, TX
Why TU: The campus and professors really leaped out at me
Campus Involvement: University Ambassadors, Orientation Leaders, Kappa Alpha Order, and GeoClub
Scholarships & awards: McMahon scholarship, Jess Choteau Outstanding Senior, Tulsa Geological Society’s Outstanding Geoscience Student for 2016
Locations of experiences abroad: Natal, Brazil; Rio de Janiero, Brazil
What you’re most thankful for about your study abroad experience: I’m extremely thankful for the kindness and generosity the people of Brazil showed me and the other students who joined our group. Their hospitality had no limits. I also miss the Acai and views of the beaches dearly.
A person at TU who influenced you: Dr. Tapp and all the other Geoscience Department professors have set a high bar for all of their students. They want us each to succeed in our own way while challenging us to become the best scientists we possible can be for our planet’s future. Dr. Tapp specifically incorporates a vast background of multiple different disciplines – everything from computer programing to rigorous mathematics – to present the clearest and most detailed understanding of science I’ve ever seen.
How you felt your experiences abroad impacted your future: It made me realize how much bigger the world is. Too often people talk about how technology is making distances shorter, but there are still many areas out there that I had no idea existed.
Plans after TU: Graduate school