Class of '10
Nicole Frangione, a recent graduate of The University of Tulsa’s communication and advertising programs, has discovered that a senior project can turn into a very big deal, indeed. “I Am Tulsa, Too,” a series of black and white portrait photographs of ordinary Tulsans, accompanied by short interviews with each subject, first came into existence in booklet form and downtown art exhibition, as Nicole’s contribution to the Fall 2009 senior project fair. The fair is the culmination of a semester’s work by TU communication students, who chose a communication-themed project to work on, with the guidance of Dr. Joli Jensen, a senior project advisor (in Nicole’s case, Dr. John Coward), and classmates in the Communication 4893 capstone course. Recently the project has become a public art exhibition at the Tulsa International Airport. Nicole says that the inspiration for the project grew out of her feelings for the city: “I grew up in Tulsa, and in some ways, I have always felt that being in this city, having the experiences with people that I have had, has shaped me into the person that I am.” She credits the senior project class with helping her push forward with the idea and making it a success, noting that the course helped her organize her thoughts, and gave her an opportunity to explore an area of interest that I would never have been able to do otherwise. The class “pushed me to do something that I loved instead of something that I had to do,” she now says. Dr. Jensen adds that Nicole herself needs to be given a good deal of credit for making the exhibition happen.
Seniors are generally encouraged to do something with their projects that will make a difference in the world. In Nicole’s case, this meant giving a voice to ordinary residents of Tulsa, people who might otherwise be overlooked by the local media: “Dr. Jensen told us that to impact the world we had to challenge what we knew. Thinking about what you can contribute to a community changes both the way that you participate in it, but also, how the community embraces you.” In general, Nicole says, her experience at TU has changed the way she sees the world. “While many colleges teach you to question what it “common knowledge,” TU has led me into opportunities that might never had arisen without asking the questions that no one else thought of.” .