Recap: 2019 Campus Events

We’re on a mission to spark conversations about optimism at universities statewide.

In 2019, the Texas Optimism Project launched more campus events, and built upon the relationships at universities from year one. Partnering again with departments and alumni groups, the events brought themes of optimism tailored to each campus. Below is a recap of all events from 2019.

Texas Christian University: Optimism After College

Featured Speaker: Alex Snodgrass | Founder, The Defined Dish

Alex Snodgrass, TCU alumna and founder of the massively popular blog, The Defined Dish, hosts an honest discussion about life after college, pursuing your passion, and using optimism to navigate “the real world.” The conversation was moderated by Chris Powers. After the talk we caught up with some of the students to ask how they see optimism playing a role in the futures. See the video below.

Baylor University: Integrity & Leadership in Business

Featured Speaker: Sherron Watkins | Enron Whistleblower

Sherron Watkins, former Vice President of Enron Corporation, better known as the Enron whistleblower, hosted a conversation about optimism and its role in business, integrity, and leadership. As a woman in leadership at Enron at a time in our culture when standing up to power was more ‘frowned’ upon, her story touches on themes of being resilient, trusting yourself, and keeping focus on positive outcomes when all the cards seem stacked against you.

University of Texas at Austin: One Stop Optimism

The Texas Optimism Project partnered with the Texas Exes at the Orange & White Welcome event that kicks off the fall semester. At the event, freshmen were given optimism-inspired swag and a customized “Optimism Reading,” telling them what kind of optimist they were. There was also a video booth that asked students to envision their future, with optimism in mind. See their responses in the video below.

University of Houston: Cheers to Building Communities in Business!

Featured Speaker: Brock Wagner | Founder, Saint Arnold Brewing

The Texas Optimism Project partnered with the Center for Student Involvement for a practical conversation about optimism and building community through entrepreneurship with Brock Wagner, founder and brewer of Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

When Brock Wagner founded Saint Arnold in 1994, there was no craft beer community. Die-hard enthusiasts often focused their passion on home brewing, and the now-ubiquitous Texas craft beer culture was years away from taking off.Since then, Saint Arnold has helped pioneer the $4.5 billion industry, building awareness and community from the ground up. And while it’s a fun job, “it is not a panacea,” says Wagner. Having a strong business plan, key values, and commitment to plain hard work is critical to success. “No amount of optimism will make up for that.”