ProfTalk celebrates positivity week

Ian Buchanan was one of the student speakers who presented at this week's ProfTalk on positivity on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Buchanan is a senior radio, television and film and writing arts major. -Staff Photo/Anthony Medina.

The latest ProfTalk aimed to keep the good vibes flowing as part of Positivity Week at Rowan University.

Students gathered in room 144 of the Chamberlin Student Center on Tuesday, Feb. 9, to discuss what they view as positive, and what they turn to when faced with stressful situations. The event was hosted by Leadership Rowan, which presents ProfTalks as a way to publicly inform people on relevant issues.

The night consisted of testimonies from students on how they overcame obstacles in their personal lives through different coping mechanisms. Suggestions for sources of positivity ranged from which books to read to everyday quotes.

Heather Naumovitz, a junior biochemistry major, shared how she turns to faith when faced with difficult situations. She presented her handwritten testimony to the crowd when she spoke about her connection to God and how bible quotes she holds close to her empower her every day.

“We tend to sometimes silver line, rather than give empathy,” Naumovitz said during her segment. “I think it’s important to be quick to listen and slow to speak. This kind of talk really fosters an environment of listening and understanding and appreciating people’s ideas and stepping outside of your perspective.”

Other presenters dove into their personal accomplishments and how they didn’t let what was bothering them during a hard time stand in their way of achieving happiness. A common theme in all the speeches was to encourage people to accept reality for what it is, and not try to mask unhappiness.

A different twist on positivity came from junior Danielle Ryer, a psychology major who also does stand-up comedy. She spoke on how her past experiences contribute to her comedy routine, and how she makes her own happiness through that, rather than looking for it.

“I think talks like this are important so you can spread positivity through philosophy,” Ryer said. “It’s OK to feel your emotions, and that’s still a form of positivity.”

Interaction between peers was emphasized during the event. In one exercise, people were asked to introduce themselves to the person next to them and speak to them about both a current negative and a current positive situation in their life.

“I think it’s so enlightening to hear other people’s perspectives,” said Ashley Nichols, a Leadership Rowan mentor and sophomore English major. “We have a general theme of the night, but we are very broad in the formatting of it; we just say [to] give a 10-minute speech so people can take that in a million different ways. Seeing the diversity and what people put in their talks is a great takeaway.”

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