I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I had a great one! This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the third biennial Stamps Scholars National Convention (#SSNC15), an opportunity for Stamps Scholars across the nation to come together, and, among other goals, foster connection, community, and collaboration toward overcoming the great challenges of today and tomorrow.
We left bright and early Thursday morning. Our group contained our advisor along with ten of USC’s 15 Stamps Scholars. After a long (long) day of travel, we arrived in Atlanta! We pretty much just hung out Thursday evening, checked-in, and grabbed dinner near our hotel. The flight and the time difference made us pretty tired so we went to bed pretty early.
— Juliana Porter (@juliana_porter) April 10, 2015
Friday started with breakfast and opening ceremonies. During the opening ceremonies we heard from speakers including Roe Stamps, and the mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed. Afterward, we separated by “thread.” My thread was called Engineering, Technology, Innovation, and Invention. Our thread got to hear a lecture by Georgia Tech electrical engineering professor John Cressler about the critical importance of transistors. After lunch, we divided into small groups for a case analysis on the Stamps Foundation. Then we headed to McCamish Pavilion, Georgia Tech’s basketball arena, and heard student TED Talks. We had dinner from popular Atlanta food trucks and then we got to wander around an expo featuring projects by other Stamps Scholars. After dinner and the expo, we were welcomed by Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson. We heard from Tom Foreman, CNN correspondent, as he interviewed our benefactors, Penny and Roe Stamps, about their successes, failures, and their advice for students. Finally, we ended the evening with a Stamps Scholar talent show.
On Saturday, we started the day with breakfast before meeting back up with other students from our thread. My thread visited the Georgia Tech Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB), and heard from Director Bob Guldberg. Dr. Guldberg’s told us about the institute, and also about his research related to musculoskeletal growth and development, functional regeneration following traumatic injury, and degenerative diseases, including skeletal fragility and arthritis. Next, we had lunch on the club level of the Bobby Dodd Football Stadium, which was awesome. (Side note: two years ago the convention was held at the University of Michigan. We got to eat lunch on the club level of the Big House, which was possibly even more awesome.) During lunch, we got to hear from several student innovators about their start-ups, and received some additional career insights from Roe Stamps.
Saturday afternoon was one of the coolest parts of the conference. We got off-campus for a bit and got a chance to see some popular destinations in Atlanta. While some students when to the Coca-Cola Headquarters or to CNN, I got to see the College Football Hall of Fame. It was absolutely amazing: USC was everywhere! I took tons of pictures, especially anytime I saw a certain familiar red-and-gold logo.
Later, we wrapped up Saturday with a formal, delicious dinner back at McCamish Pavilion, and heard a keynote speech by renowned football coach, speaker, and author, Bill Curry. Afterward, we enjoyed an evening soiree with fellow scholars, complete with music, games, and a popular casino night. Sunday morning was a conference wrap-up. We had a lovely breakfast, and enjoyed reflections by Penny and Roe Stamps, the thread leaders, and the case analysis leaders. After a few other reflection activities, we got to hear from Bill George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of four best-selling books, and is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic. Our group headed off to the airport, where we waited for our flight back to LA.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend!
Until next week,