IE Interns Speak at Spring 2011 Commencement
May 24, 2011
Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Grad interns Justin Jefferson and Timi Komonibo were among a small handful of graduating seniors invited to speak at the spring 2011 UT Commencement. Jefferson received his degree in human biology and will attend medical school. Komonibo received her degree in political communication and ethnic studies; she has been accepted into the Teach for America corps.
In his speech Jefferson reflects on the fact that, like so many IE students, he is the first in his family to attend college-a graduate and scientist from a tier-one research university. Komonibo echoes the IE mission of "empowering students to discover their life's true passion and design their education to match it."
"We are proud of what Justin and Timi have achieved," said IE Director Rick Cherwitz. "They embody the IE core value of citizen-scholarship, demonstrating how knowledge acquired at a public research university can be leveraged for social good."
TEXT OF JUSTIN JEFFERSON'S SPEECH:
"We have all experienced good and bad times here at the university. Like the great Frederick Douglass once said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." I am sure that we can all relate to this in some way in our academic careers. That is-sometimes it is hard to appreciate the fruits of our labor without the labor. Today is a day to reflect on the decisions, the people, and all the events that led us to this moment. Let us not forget where we started, by embracing the struggles that molded us into finer students. Yes, I remember! My grandparents and parents who worked hard so that I could have a chance at success, the teachers who inspired me to attend college, and my younger siblings who motivated me to prove that getting here is not unattainable. Here I stand as the first in my family to attend college, a graduate and scientist of a tier-one research institute. We need to pass on our wisdom to future generations by reciprocating what this university has given onto us. This will allow future longhorns to broaden human understanding for the good of society. So, I want to challenge all of you to change the world and when you do set it ablaze with a burnt orange flame that resonates with the pride and passion that you have for one of the best universities in the world! Hook 'em!"
TEXT OF TIMI KOMONIBO'S SPEECH:
"Before graduating from a tier one institution, one must demonstrate mastery of certain concepts. Natural Sciences give us an appreciation for the complexity of human life; Fine Arts captures the beauty of self-expression; and Social Work fulfills the need for human understanding. Regardless of what your major is, there is one essential prerequisite for all graduating students: one piece of knowledge that we must all possess is knowledge of self. Knowledge of self means you are honest about your weaknesses and humble about your strengths. When you know thyself, you become selfless as you acknowledge your privilege and work to eliminate inequality for others. Knowledge of self is the key to happiness, success and fulfillment. The journey to self-discovery is a lifelong endeavor. Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. As you leave these forty acres this evening and perhaps for the rest of your life, I challenge you to Know Thyself and Hook 'em.