Campus Explores What Motivates Us

Jessica Sykes ’16, Associate Managing Editor

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Four speakers came together to share their motivations and personal narratives in Rector on Saturday, April 13 for OCTi: Our Community Their Ideas. The speakers were Maximilian Weylandt ’13, Professor of Biology Kirsten Guss, Priscilla Colon ’13, and Tyce Herrman, sustainability projects coordinator for the Center for Sustainability Education.

J.J. Luceno ’13 came up with the idea for this event during her sophomore year as she noticed the presence of TED talks.

“All we are is a constellation of stories and experiences of our lives and to me, the most powerful thing we can be is a storyteller,” she said. “OCTi was born out of the desire to cast away our academic, social and political costumes for a little bit and just talk about what makes us tick, what makes us get up in the morning and what motivates us to chase after what we love.”

Luceno saw the event as an experiment and wondered how the speakers would interpret the prompt, “what motivates your Do?”

“To put it simply, we wanted to be two things: an enzyme and a catalyst,” she said. “We wanted to break down the ‘shields,’ as speaker Professor Guss described them at OCTi, that people use to hide their vulnerabilities and personal stories. We also wanted to act as a catalyst to engage in honest reflection and discussion about our community.”

With the help of Alexander Torelli ’16, Lucana created the TED talk inspired event.

At the event, Weylandt, who is from Namibia, spoke of his generation as making a nation from scratch. Weylandt was born the same year Namibia received independence, so he referred to his generation as the “born free generation.”

“I’m as old as my country. We’re very intertwined with our histories,” he said.

Guss said her big “dos” are to stretch, challenge, balance, and have fun. She shared many of the activities that relate to her dos, such as running, browsing the website