At inaugural Tide Talks, students discuss microfinance, confidence

Mark Hammontree

Last night, the Ferguson Theater hosted the first edition of Tide Talks, a new student-run program that showcases student achievement with a goal of connecting, enriching and motivating students at The University of Alabama.

Tide Talks I exhibited the stories of four UA students from various departments with the goal of exploring and promoting the ideas of students around campus. The program will resemble the format of the highly popular “TED Talks” – speaking and presentation events filmed and accessible via the Internet.

“It sort of evolved out of TED Talks, and we knew there were a lot of great ideas around campus, but only a few were being highlighted,” David Phelps, president of Tide Talks, said. “We wanted this to be an opportunity to bring people together from across the entire spectrum of campus. That’s why we chose these speakers. They each bring a different interest to the table.”

The four students each gave a 10-15 minute presentation, followed by a discussion question for the audience to chat about between speeches.

The first speaker, David Bailey, a senior majoring in finance and management, has years of experience in finance and investment; his presentation dealt with microfinance and the policies of empires and the warning signs of collapse.

Jereme Wilroy, a graduate student in physical therapy, spoke about his personal journey in adapting to physical disability and his work in designing exercise routines for people with disabilities.

Jessica White, a senior pre-medical student, talked about the issues with studying and understanding pain and how we perceive it.

Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, a senior majoring in theater, spoke about the necessity of having confidence in the field of performance and acting, and how the key is understanding the subjective nature of creating change and being revolutionary.

The talks each seemed to promote the idea of personal achievement through dedication, perspective and motivation.

“I think a lot of what I’m musing on right now is the idea of self-analysis,” Nicky Bolus, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering who attended the event, said. “It may not have been their intent, but the discussion questions seem to have the common theme of how you perceive things.”

According to Phelps, this initial event is hopefully just the beginning of a conversation that could see positive change on campus, or, as Fitzpatrick said, the opportunity to be revolutionary.

“I think they asked me to do it because they found me to have an interesting perspective on being revolutionary, and I thank them for the opportunity,” Fitzpatrick said. “But it doesn’t matter what you do. It can be revolutionary as long it’s changing someone. I think that’s really what Tide Talks is all about.”

Editor’s Note: Tide Talks videos are produced by The Crimson White.

Leading in today’s Crimson White:

New musical sees world premiere in Moody Music Building

National Council of Negro Women mentors local youth

Spotify offers students variety of music