Kaela Thomas, a senior at the University of Oregon, is an active student in the CGO and a tutor at the University of Oregon Teaching and Learning Center (TLC).
Participating in CGO has doubtlessly been one of the most transformative and important aspects of my undergraduate career. From meeting the other members of the pilot-year program, to each and every class since then, to the incorporation of new members, to finally, today, I have not only watched the program transform and improve, but seen those transformations and improvements in myself, too.
The satisfaction of seeing what was once a small and underdeveloped Freshman Interest Group to what is now a thriving, growing and successful program in which members opt to press themselves academically and learn about ethics in the context of speakers as well as conversations and projects with their peers is tantamount to what I feel will be our legacy at the University: an ever-improving, ever-expanding organization that will continue to grant members all that I have appreciated as a member during their undergraduate careers.
As an undergraduate, one is largely permitted to shape one’s own experience. For some, it is an opportunity to develop one’s social life; for others, a time for a focus on academics. While I certainly did not know it at the time I signed up for CGO, this program has challenged me intellectually, given me access to wonderful opportunities, created lifelong friendships and important professional relationships, and given me the tools and desire to seek challenges.
I can never know what my four years at the University of Oregon would have looked like had I not joined the CGO, though I do not hesitate to say that I am happy that I did.
For more information on Kaela Thomas, see: