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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Inspiring speakers in the spotlight

Dustin+Kemp+works+as+the+capstone+program+assistant+for+LAUNCH+at+Texas+A%26amp%3BM.
Photo by Photo by Abby Collida

Dustin Kemp works as the capstone program assistant for LAUNCH at Texas A&M.

Students, faculty and interested members of the Bryan-College Station community gathered in Rudder Theatre Complex for the TEDxTAMU presentation, centered around the theme of meliorism — the philosophy that the world can be improved through concentrated human effort.
One of the speakers, Regina Rowley, said she actively believes in this philosophy and through her own nonprofit, I Am Priceless, seeks to help individuals out of unhealthy patterns such as abuse and addiction by helping them to believe in their own self-worth.
“What I have been learning is the importance of the thoughts and feelings and how those habits directly impact the life I live,” Rowley said.
Rowley herself is a survivor of abuse and assault, and she aims to help others make a similar journey in their own lives through meditation, reflection and, most importantly, creating a support system fall back on.
Shayla Rivera, Class of 1983, had her own take on meliorism. Rivera, whose family moved to America from Puerto Rico when she was a child, said the difficulties of making the move greatly strengthened her work ethic and prepared her for the abrupt and difficult changes she faced in her adult life, such as going from an aerospace engineer to a stand up comedian.
“Pain is necessary, but suffering is optional,” Rivera said. “You have to ask yourself how are you choosing to see your life and how are you choosing to see your world.”
According to Rivera, the best way to truly make a difference in the world is to first change your own mindset and use your imagination to find your purpose.
“Imagine on purpose, imagine for yourself, imagine for other people, imagine for the world,” Rivera said.
Andre Thomas, visualization lecturer, chose to discuss education in his lecture, focusing on drawbacks of the current public education systems and the vast potential of video game-based learning.
“Students are willing to play games to get better, and will achieve mastery in a subject … and for many students these traditional methods of learning are doing nothing but a disservice,” Thomas said.
According to Thomas, game-based learning not only helped to increase understanding, but some students enjoyed learning subjects they had traditionally not excelled at. Thomas cited a case study on elementary age students in Italy, which found a 20 percent increase in comprehension and an entire letter grade improvement from previous semesters with the addition of a game-based supplement.
Thomas provided details about two classes with game-based curriculum which will soon be offered for one-hour credits at Texas A&M.
“We are [now] allowing students to earn college credit in four weeks … courses in art history and calculus will soon be offered,” Thomas said. “These classes only highlight the potential of game-based learning, which can help students learn the material better in four weeks than they would in a 12-week course.”
Howard Partridge discussed how meliorism directly relates to the importance of community, and despite all of the good the internet brings through our phones and other devices, they often get in the way of creating meaningful relationships with others.
“We have a problem today, and that is an engagement problem,” Patridge said. “We’re engaged digitally more than ever before, but we need true community.”
Partridge said an individual’s sense of community is often directly tied into one’s sense of belonging. Speaking from his experiences working with a small merchant services company, Patridge said creating this sense of community in work environments to promote and share a common vision will in turn lead to greater success in the long run.
“When the culture is always about the next transaction or the next sale it can be a good business, but today it is a phenomenal business because they learned that if they can help their team members reach their goals and dreams that everything can change and they will have this culture of community,” Partridge said.

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