Global Graduate, Cassandra Meador, 2020 - Center for Global Engagement

Global Graduate, Cassandra Meador, 2020

The Global Graduates award is the premier award upon for students who represent The University of Tulsa as a global citizens. This select group of graduating undergraduate students are distinguished for excelling academically, contributing to the TU campus community, and partaking in unique experiences abroad. This will be a multi-part series featuring all of our 2020 Global Graduates.

Major: Double Major in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies

Hometown: Tulsa

TU Activities and Leadership: Senior Resident Assistant Lottie Jane 2019-2020, SAVE Secretary 2019-2020, Research Assistant TRAPT lab 2017-2020, Bystander Intervention Peer Trainer 2017-2020.

Study Abroad Experiences:
Ghana, Accra
Global Health and Society, June, 2017; St. Croix, Virgin Islands Roots of Hamilton, May, 2018; Outreach and Research Intern, (Summer Internship Abroad) Casa Esperanza, Santiago, Chile; June-July 2018; Reykjavik, Iceland Feminist Futures II, January-April 2019; Amsterdam, The Netherlands Feminist Futures III, January-April 2020 (this trip was canceled but we still studied the country and met with officials and experts from the region)

Post Graduation Plans:
I will be taking a gap year serving in the Tulsa Non-Profit Sector, followed by applications to further education as a qualitative researcher

Who influenced you to study abroad?:
The first person to influence me to study abroad was one of my peer mentors – she encouraged me to go with Dr. Joanne Davis on her trip to Ghana and promised a life-changing experience would follow. My trip to Ghana opened up my eyes to a whole new world of learning and contributing to a global community. Not only did that trip connect me with the crucial resources and networks I needed to gain experience in research for my major, but it shifted how I saw and positioned myself and my role in serving both local and global communities in a path towards more sustainable futures. After that, I couldn’t get enough of studying abroad and took the chance to expand my global studies whenever I could.

What was your favorite part out of all of your experiences?:
My favorite part of these experiences was the chance to deeply connect with the communities that welcomed us. Whether it was engaging with political leaders about progress and fallbacks in equality, learning from our guide how to cook a traditional dish, casual discussions with my host family about emerging movements, or sitting on the front porch enjoying the breeze while we listened to a community member tell stories about her ancestors, these connections, again and again, changed me and shifted how I see the world. I’ll forever treasure those communities and my time with them.

How has your global education influenced your future career/goals/ post grad life:
My global education at TU has greatly contributed to my skills as both a leader, an employee and a future researcher. Thanks to my studies abroad, I understand the importance of culture and regional, economic, and political factors in shaping both individual and community’s experiences, meaning that I tackle problems with attentiveness to a bigger picture, and have experiences in researching, articulating, and working within those factors to better solve global and regional issues. Most importantly, I have experienced the power of individual stories, and that in telling the stories of people in the margins or who might otherwise be overlooked, we discover crucial themes, patterns, and systems that fundamentally shape who we are and what it means to be human. This is why I’m passionate about qualitative research and how I plan to take my global experiences with me in my future education and career.

Last remarks: Finally, I am so incredibly grateful to TU for providing these experiences – to the teachers and mentors that guided me along the way, to the CGE staff that made it all possible, and to the students who went with me and made the experience one I can never forget. Thanks to TU’s commitment to global learning I am the globally conscious and service and community-oriented leader I am today, and I hope to take all I’ve learned and share it wherever I go next.