Global Graduate, Kate Leahy, 2019

The Global Graduates award is the premier award upon for students who represent The University of Tulsa as a “Global Force for Good”. 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 four-part series featuring all four 2019 Global Graduates.

Major: Media Studies, emphasizing in PR and Advertising
Minor: Speech-Language Pathology

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

TU Activities and Leadership: Orientation Leader, JumpStart TU in Panama Leader, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator and Peer Advisor at the Center for Global Education, Department of Strategic Marketing and Communications Intern, University Ambassador, Future Alumni Council (vice president), Order of Omega Greek Honors Society, Delta Gamma Fraternity, PR and Communications Club, TU Communication Sciences and Disorders (vice president), Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society, Top Ten Freshman

Study Abroad Experiences: Cape Town, South Africa (LeadAbroad, Summer 2016); National University of Ireland Galway: Galway, Ireland (IFSA-Butler, Spring 2017) JumpStart TU Leader in Panama (Summer 2018)

Post-graduation plans: I will be working for Delta Gamma Fraternity as a Collegiate Development Consultant and then looking to complete a master’s degree (probably in Higher Education).

Who influenced you to study abroad?
My elementary school art teacher had pictures from around the world covering her walls, and I saw her smile as large as could be, exotic animals, and scenery I didn’t know existed. This is my first memory of international travel. In high school my parents encouraged me to go on a two-week summer trip to Italy and France with a few classmates and teachers, and from then on I knew travel would be in my college career and continue to inspire me. I visited study abroad offices on college visits, but I never imagined my first college study abroad experience would be in South Africa, and I owe that to my best friend Quinn.

What was your favorite part of your experiences?
My favorite part in South Africa was spending a week in Sir Lowry’s Pass helping create an after-school care program. The kids we met were so happy and loved dancing and playing soccer, and the moms that take care of so many kids at a time really watch out for their family and community. They even welcomed us into their households for an evening!

My favorite part of studying abroad in Galway, Ireland was getting to be there for an entire semester. I got involved in the Baking Society, made regular plans with my neighbors to get coffee, spent long nights with my best friends and their Irish roommate Conor, and explored the city centre and the coffee shops all weekend long. I also fell in love with rain, especially when there would be a rainbow.

The incredible experience of JumpStart TU as a new student program is an amazing investment. The opportunities of meeting new people, seeing a diverse culture, understanding the history of the Panama Canal, hearing from the locals, and creating a strategic plan about a Non-Governmental Organization in Panama, wow. I would have loved this experience as a senior in high school transitioning into college and I am so grateful I got to spend time with the June JumpStart Class of 2022 last summer!

What have you enjoyed most about being a PA?
Being a Peer Advisor these last three years has been an amazing experience. I’ve gotten to see students study in Cape Town and Galway, like I did, and then I’ve gotten to see friends study in Khon Kaen, Thailand, Auckland, New Zealand, and Vienna, Austria and be able to live through their entirely unique semesters and compare our similarities and differences.

Last remarks?
I cannot believe I will be leaving the Center for Global Education in May and I will miss these people and those I run into every day. I am so thankful for my international experiences and I know that this is just the beginning. The world is such a huge place, use it to go find yourself!