GRADx looks to inspire undergraduates

Hannah Fitz

The first ever GRADx – Ideas in Action, was hosted in Milam Hall on Thursday, February 22, for a night of engaging conversations, motivational speeches and to explore the lives of graduate students.

GRADx is an event that showcases the successes and struggles that graduate students have faced and allows for them to have a platform to tell their stories about how they got to where they are today.

This event was put together by Matthew Tradewell and Andres Lazaro Lopez of the Graduate School along with Adrien Gallo and Kristen FInch from Inspiration Dissemination.

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Matthew Tradewell, a graduate teaching assistant for Student success believes that they achieved their goal for GRADx. They wanted to be less focused on their research and more on what inspired them to do that research.

“I think the biggest goal for us was to look at the life of a graduate student outside of academia and really explore their journeys, their passions and what inspired them to go into graduate school and the work that they do,” Tradewell said.

Andres Lazaro-Lopez, the graduate research assistant for Student success said that add that, the event tried to show the full package of what a graduate student’s life looks like.

“The amount of life work and energy and struggle and victories and challenges that go into the graduate process and how that it’s shaped by our past. So, our goal was to show a broad range of that,” Lazaro-Lopez said.

Terese Jones, one of the six presenters, believes that GRADx could also help to motivate undergraduate students to pursue graduate school.

“One of the mental challenges to overcoming the process of deciding on whether to enroll in graduate school is whether or not you think you can do it. So, to sit in a room and hear people come up there and say, ‘my journey was flawed,’ I think that if I was an undergraduate, that would be encouraging to me,” Jones said.

When first brought the idea of GRADx, Adrian Gallo, one of the hosts of Inspiration Dissemination, a radio station on campus, thought that GRADx was just to disseminate inspiration. He soon learned that this was a lot more than that.

Gallo had previously had a few of these students on Inspiration Dissemination and comments on how they hadn’t shared these stories on the radio station, “Things about them that had a lot more of a powerful impact and I think as the show evolves and we continued meeting with our speakers, I think for me it became more about bringing the personality and the struggles of everyday people,” Gallo explained.

Kristen FInch, the other host of Inspiration Dissemination believes that this year’s success is a great starting point.

“If we have the same success or even more than this year, it would exceed expectations,” Finch adds.

Everything from GRADx was recorded and will be made into a podcast. This podcast will air on Inspiration Dissemination on April 29, 2018 at 6 pm.

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