Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Final presentations enable students to flex their voices

Farrah Tyler ’23 (left) speaks to expanding NCAA athletic scholarships alongside her classmate, Esteban Nakashima '23, during their recent “Red talk”—a University of Redlands version of a TED talk.

On December 3, students who were enrolled in the first-year seminar Finding Your Voice in America: The College Student’s Guide to Power delivered a number of “Red talks”—a University of Redlands version of a TED talk.

“I created this course so that students could know that they have a place in this world,” says Professor Alesha Knox, “and that it is tough to be someone living in America trying to navigate college and trying to figure out where they want to go. This is my second year teaching the course, and it has been an honor to watch students grow over the course of a semester.”

During the event, 15 students gave succinct speeches that focused on a variety of topics, from leadership and vulnerability to identifying domestic violence and mental health issues. The talks encouraged audience members to examine their own stances on each topic and consider alternative opinions. Here are some highlights.

Serena Gertner ’23 on domestic and relationship violence: “Relationship violence can take many forms—it can be emotional, physical, financial, or sexual, and can affect people for the rest of their lives by damaging self-esteem and the way people see themselves.”

Jane Matilla ’23 on the debate to defund Planned Parenthood: “To me, moving forward in the reproductive healthcare debate comes down to compassion and education. The conversations about reproductive health need to be less taboo, and comprehensive sex education needs to be taught in all states.”

Shilah Mossinger ’23 on mental illness in today’s youth: “Many children feel as though they have nowhere to go when they experience a mental health crisis. This is because schools don’t provide the proper resources for students, especially when it comes to the low ratio of counselors to students.”

Trinity Plascencia ’23 on the benefits of becoming the captain of her high school color guard team: “Professionalism is the best version of yourself that you put forth to show others what it is that you can do and what you are truly capable of. To me, being professional and being a leader are both one and the same.”

Savannah Reeve ’23 on the importance of maintaining mental health: “It’s very hard to take care of someone else when we haven’t taken care of ourselves.”

Farrah Tyler ’23 on expanding NCAA athletic scholarships: “Division III athletes should be treated and represented the same as those at Division I and II schools because they are at their respective universities for the same purpose—they were recruited to play there and want to pursue higher levels of education and competition.”

Xavina Walbert ’23 on the future of San Bernardino County: “Let’s volunteer when we can. Let’s participate in local government, such as city council meetings and elections. Let’s change the narrative for ourselves and others—let’s start thinking positively and optimistically about San Bernardino County.”

Learn more about the University of Redlands’ first-year seminar experience and programs of study in the College of Arts and Sciences.