Student Speak their Mind at the Pop-Up Talk

Pop Up Talk

SEG Wavelets and AAPG Wildcatters, once again, pushed the envelope on traditional activities.  They jointly organized an event where students spoke freely about their life experience as a student in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
Elita de Abreu opened the talk by welcoming the guests. She introduced the first three speakers, including including the invited speake Wanderson Ferreirar. Wanderson Ferreira, a current exchange student from the University of Sao Paulo – Brazil, shared with the audience the difference between studying at his university in Brazil and at the University of Houston.  He was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some of the world renowned professors at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.  Joan Marie Blanco brought an interesting view on how she thought life was as simple as getting from point A to B.  However, her idealistic perspective was changed when she faced detours, challenges and closed doors on her journey from A to B. Azie Aziz unearthed the less spoken reality of gender identity biases in the oil and gas industry.  She shared her experience and fear of being discriminated against at the workplace.  She also pointed out the facts and statistics of the reported discrimination towards LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) individuals in the energy industry.
For the second block of talks, Zohreh Souri continued the momentum of the diversity topic by revealing her painful experience of difficulty in getting an interview at a student recruiting event because of her descent.    She was born in the USA but her parents came from Iran.  Alex Cheney broke the diversity topic with his story of how he changed his career as a pilot/instructor after 8 years to become a geology student.  He came to the realization that a career in aviation is no longer a very lucrative one so he chose to make a career change to become a geologist.  He ended his talk asking us to do something that makes us happy because life is short.  Li Chang was the last speaker and he shared his personal experience in Haiti, where he did some seismic surveys after the damage caused by an earthquake of more than 7 points in order to understand the origin of the earthquake.  He showed the video of how the locals were helping University of Houston students recording seismic activities. 
The event received a positive response from the faculty members and students, evidenced by the number of attendance.  This was the first of many events that SEG Wavelets is promoting at the University of Houston and they hope that it becomes tradition and part of the Wavelets’ a culture when the next leadership takes over.
 By Azie Aziz on behalf of SEG Wavelets and AAPG Wildcatters.