by Ryan Kneseck
Thursday, March 22 was definitely an insightful day for the LEAP Ambassadors. After visiting with former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for an hour and a half, and discussing literature with novelist Stephen Harrigan, the Ambassadors attended the 2018 version of “Let’s Talk,” an event designed to raise funds for the University’s excellent Elliot T. Bowers Honors College.
To maximize our coverage of the tables and to broaden our experiences, we set (mostly) at separate tables, allowing us to share experiences in our after-action meeting. So, Professor Yawn and Stephanie sat with artist Dan Dunn; Ryan Knesek, Christina Perez, Chase Kennemer, and Beatriz Martinez sat with novelist Stephen Harrigan; Bianca Saldierna and Kaitlyn Tyra sat with Dr. (and Texas Representative) Tom Oliverson; Sawyer Massie sat with Dr. Christopher Maynard (our Associate Provost and an expert on the Cold War); Makayla Mason and Karla Rosales sat with Nadav Morag (an expert on Homeland Security); and Ryan Brim sat with Benjamin Park (who discussed the phenomenon of “Hamilton”).
But before the actual program began, renowned speed painter and Sam Houston Alumni, Dan Dunn gave a presentation to the audience.
As burgeoning art fans, it was a treat for us, and his skill at creating intriguing art rapidly is something to behold, as this video attests:
His talent wowed the audience, and his performance showcased humor and ingenuity.
In the meantime, between the painting and before the auction which occurred at the end, students were given the opportunity to converse with successful Alumni and professors. Topics were given free range and each personality at the table contributed something new to the conversation. To break the ice, we discussed several topics relating to our generational gap. Our earliest memory of a historical event, ranging from the Cuban Missile Crisis to 9/1, and sparked discussion about what made it so impactful on lives and how it impacted the world. Along with the discussion of historic events, we discussed our favorite authors along with movies, and how those works have adapted over the years. The LEAP Ambassadors were able to talk more with Stephan Harrigan about his experiences working with Robert Duvall and other experiences that revolved around Texas history, gaining a little more insight on what they do as writers.
As the event wrapped up, we were able to catch a few of the special guests before they left; getting in some last-minute questions, opinions, and laughs. We appreciate all those who were able to bring this together including Sam Houston’s very own Ms. Woodward, who was gracious enough to sponsor our table. We also had a chance to meet Dan Dunn…
…and speak with him about his craft…
…and pose with him in front of his newly-created art!
LEAP had an excellent time at the Honors College event and look forward to our next event: Mock City Council!