By My Vo (’17)
Launch (v.): to start or set in motion.
I hadn’t associated the word “launch” with much more than its standard definition before last week. However, after attending the “Launch Talks” on January 19, 2017 for the University’s $1 billion campaign and getting the chance to hear faculty members and administrators from the different colleges discuss what the word “launch” meant to them, I now have an abundance and variety of definitions.
At the event, faculty members took turns going on stage to give 1-minute speeches on what “launch” meant in regards to their college and the college’s goals for students, then took their seats at the panel where they discussed the campaign and its impact on the university as a whole. To these faculty members, to launch means “to embark with courage and optimism on a journey” (Dr. Doug Eikenburg, College of Pharmacy), “to rise as a community nurtured by curiosity and creativity” (Dean Lisa German, Libraries), “to educate our world as we educate ourselves” (Timothy Rosas, College of Education), and “to discover new heights within our own potential” (Sarayu Sundar, Bauer College of Business). To Dr. Badri Roysam of the Cullen College of Engineering, it even means that students are the rocket ships, and the College is “launching Coog rockets” into their successful futures. Student growth, opportunity, and success were all common themes among the speeches and panel discussion.
I’ve had great experiences with my professors and advisors over the years, so it was incredible to hear that the other faculty members around campus are working hard to create the best educational environment for myself and the 43,000 other students. Not only have they created an amazing educational environment for current students, but alumni as well, which I have seen from my time working as an editorial assistant for Donor and Alumni Communications, where I write stories for the Lunar Cougar blog. Working there has definitely given me a new perspective on how the University makes an impact on its students because I am able to see first-hand just how much UH has benefitted so many alumni who credit the University and its resources for preparing them for their careers.
The perspectives shared at the Launch Talks also struck a chord with me personally. When I started school at UH, I had a bit of trouble finding the right path for myself and didn’t know which major to choose. However, after realizing my passion for reading and editing, I chose to switch from majoring in Business to double majoring in English and Print Media Journalism where I am able to read and edit to my heart’s content. The classes and professors have all been amazing and I think choosing to change majors was one of the best choices I could have made for myself.
Now, as a senior, I could not have appreciated more what the University, my professors, and my advisors have done to help me along the way. From organizing events where puppies were brought to school to relieve stress during finals week, to providing workshops and tutoring for students who need extra help, to answering my emails late at night when I had questions, to sitting with me to discuss my plans for the future, the University and its faculty members have prepared me to launch the next phase of my life, where I hope to go to law school to practice environmental law. Student and faculty success are two of the main goals of the “Here, We Go” Campaign, and it is inspiring to see my University making these monumental strides. I may be graduating soon, but I will always proudly say, Go Coogs!
To support students and faculty members at UH, join the campaign for the University of Houston! Find out more at herewego.uh.edu.