Meet your .5 Commencement speakers!

This Saturday, 119 students will finish their Brown careers. The “Midyear Completion Celebration” will honor those we colloquially call “.5ers” with a small ceremony taking place in Sayles. As is tradition for Spring Commencement, two soon-to-be-graduates were chosen to speak at the ceremony. BlogDH caught up with Bee Vang and Adrienne Tran on why they decided to .5 and what they plan on saying to their fellow graduates. You can watch a livestream of the ceremony on December 5 @ 4 p.m. here.

Adrienne Tran (right)

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Concentration: Independent Concentration in Computer Science and Development
Most likely to be found: in the CIT

Bee Vang (left)

Hometown: Twin Cities, MN
Concentration: Independent Concentration in Geopolitical Epistemologies
Most likely to be found in: a Starbucks

Why did you decide to .5? Both of you took three semesters off?

Adrienne: Yeah. I was studying Computer Science, and I felt like there is an element of it I was missing– how computer science could be applied to real world problems. I followed a professor to Australia who was doing work in modeling disaster evacuations and applying computer algorithms to how you could create this optimal plan. So I left because I wanted to do research with him.

Bee: I guess I just wanted real world experiences, and I wasn’t too satisfied at the time with what I was studying. I just needed time away from Brown. I worked for several NGOs, went overseas and did some research. I had a chance to professionally develop myself before going back to Brown, and graduating with a degree that I originally didn’t know what to do with it. That’s sort of why went on leave. I thought I was only going to take one semester, then I decided I would take another year off just to work in New York.

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What to do this week: November 10 – 14

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Tuesday, November 11:

Event: Startups: The pros and cons of chasing your dreams
Time: 6:30 – 7:30p.m.
Location: CIT 368

The Brown CS DUG and iXperience CEO Aaron Fuchs are co-hosting a discussion and interactive workshop on launching a successful startup. Looking to learn about some helpful tools you can use to enter the startup world? RSVP to the event here.

Event: Right2Education: Student Voices from Occupied Palestine
Time: 7:30-9p.m.
Location: List 110

Two students from Birzeit University in Palestine will come speak as a part of the first-ever US Right to Education Tour – a tour in which Palestinian students will spend two weeks touring college campuses across the US to speak about their experiences as students and youth activists. A Q&A will follow the presentation.

Wednesday, November 12:

Event: Celebrate the 250th day of Brown’s 250th: Cans 4 Cupcakes
Time: 11:30a.m.-2p.m.
Location: Main Green

“Cans 4 Cupcakes” is a food drive sponsored by Brown’s 250th Anniversary to benefit the RI Community Food Bank – bring a can of food or non-perishable food item, and receive a cupcake in return! The event will also feature hot cocoa and a photo booth.

Event: Beyond Bias: A Different Approach to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Time: 7p.m.
Location: MacMillan 117

A panel is being held in response to concern about the degree to which the discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are biased polarized. It will feature an Israeli scholar, a Palestinian scholar, and a third scholar who teaches a course on the Arab-Israeli conflict at Brandeis University. 

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