At a gathering of the newest cohort of CGO Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research Fellows and Koch Scholars, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett challenged students to do three things as they participated in the academic programs sponsored by the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University: embrace questions and friendly debate, be inclusive, and reach out to others.
“You are having an incredible experience, and now you have a responsibility to reach out to others, be inclusive, and reach out to people who may have a different view,” said Cockett. “Through the skills you’re learning here, you can be comfortable having a friendly dialogue with them, which will ultimately make the world a better place.”
As President Cockett spoke to the group of more than 40 students gathered at the USU President’s residence, she shared her thoughts about the programs and of the university’s objective in supporting them.
“I had the chance to be involved in the creation of both the Center for Growth and Opportunity and the Koch Scholars program,” said Cockett. “From the beginning, [the objective for] these programs was to bring together a diverse group of students who wanted to learn more about economic theory and how that can influence society, countries, politics, etc. etc.”
“Actually, what we were creating was an opportunity for bold dialogue.”
What makes the programs so meaningful, Cockett noted, are the diverse viewpoints and shared experiences of both the students involved in the programs, and the professors and leaders who run them.
In addition, three students, Jonathan Haws, Vidalia Freeman, and Jake Meyer, who each participate in one of the programs available to students, spoke about their experiences.
“I have had so many chances to expand my horizons and try new things that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” said Freeman. “Opportunity really is at the center of the CGO’s student programs.”