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Alumnus touts benefits of liberal arts

On April 8, 2014

Students, faculty and staff got to hear from Utah State alumnus Todd Jorgensen on Friday about what one can do with a liberal arts education.

Jorgensen is the team periodontist for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and operates his own dental practice. He was at USU to speak about some of the common misconceptions of having a liberal arts degree and what those who have one can do with it.

“Having a liberal arts degree allows students a basis for continual learning,” Jorgensen said. “It gives students the opportunity to take a variety of classes.”

Jorgensen said a person with a liberal arts degree will work an average of 15 to 20 jobs in their lifetime. He gave tips on how people with this degree can get a job and keep it longer.

“One of the biggest things is you have to have a unique skill set that employers can utilize,” Jorgensen said. “It’s also very important that people can recognize opportunities out there and prepare for them.”

Justin Miller, a sophomore majoring in political science, said it was amazing to have somebody like Jorgensen come and speak at USU.

“I thought he was very charismatic throughout his whole talk,” Miller said. “Most of the things he talked about I found to be very informative and interesting.”

Matthew Anderson, USU/SA senator for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said to have somebody of this importance come and speak at USU is a big boost for both CHaSS and the university itself.

“We were very privileged to have Dr. Jorgensen come and speak,” Anderson said. “He really had a lot of experiences to share with students. He again demonstrated why a liberal arts degree is a worthwhile endeavor.”

During his talk, Jorgensen talked about four main advantages to having a liberal arts degree: It allows for more personalized learning; students are less likely to fall through the cracks; high admission rates to graduate and professional schools; and to have great opportunities to stand out.

“Being able to draw on one’s own education is much more practical and precious,” Jorgensen said.

With the completion of CHaSS Week, which highlights the departments in the college, Anderson said the talk is one of the many things that makes the college unique.

“I think it is the diversity of our majors that makes CHaSS unique,” Anderson said. “We have a wide variety of departments that offer a wide range of subjects.”

Being a political science major himself, Miller said the talk has helped him solidify his major and career path.

“A lot of the information that was given today was contrary to what I believed,” Miller said. “It makes me a lot more confident in my decision to get involved in international relations.”

In addition to talking about the career advantages of having a liberal arts degree, Jorgensen also talked about the ways it can help in life as well.

“Having a liberal arts degree can help teach you to have strength of mind, which can help throughout your life,” Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen said it may tough to find a job at first, but it’s important to not let the small things in life derail somebody.

“The world today is a lot different than it was 20 years ago,” Jorgensen said. “Life moves very fast, so it’s important to take advantage and to be grateful for what we have.”

Before the end of his talk, Jorgensen gave one last quote.

“College is something you complete, but life is something you experience,” Jorgensen said.
Twitter: @ConnorSports

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