“The main purpose of ROSS TALK is to give people a platform to teach and inspire one another to explore an interest they may never have known they had,” says Tam, who presented his idea to the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) and had it approved by the Student Government Association (SGA). The club, whose fees are at no cost to members and meets weekly, also allows members to hone their public speaking skills and overcome their fears of talking in front of a crowd.
Just like TED Talks, ROSS TALK feature topics that speakers feel passionately about. Recent examples include a lecture about sled dogs and the behavioral difference between wolves and dogs; the story of a student’s life growing up in the military; and research on sea turtles. “I am loving the diversity of all of these speeches and I hope that the enthusiasm of my classmates continues to grow,” says Tam. “It’s incredible to see the students here become such great educators, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.”
According to the club’s Facebook® page, ROSS TALK has 67 members and is growing. There are also two faculty advisors, Ms. Lesley Broadbelt and Dr. Luis Cruz-Martinez. The meetings take place in the student union or upper/lower auditoriums and accommodate members’ needs and availability. To make the speeches more accessible, the talks are also recorded and posted to a YouTube channel so that no one has to miss hearing a classmate speak about a topic of interest.
In addition to offering speeches, the club provides workshops in public speaking and PowerPoint® presentations as well as client-doctor simulations that allow students to practice their communication skills.
For more information, e-mail RUSVM SCAVMA Vice President: firstname.lastname@example.org.