CRS Graduate Student Spotlight: Tómas O’Rourke G’23

Tómas O’Rourke is a first-year communication and rhetorical studies (CRS) graduate student from Luján, Argentina. Prior to CRS, O’Rourke studied at the National University of Luján (Universidad Nacional de Luján) and studied history.

O’Rourke’s undergraduate experiences enabled him to gain the necessary research skills that the CRS graduate program demands its students to possess. Within his studies, O’Rourke was trained to work with artifacts of various mediums and learned the skills to properly analyze their resonance.

“At the National University of Luján (Universidad Nacional de Luján), we were taught how to write academic papers and how to navigate through professional sources,” he says. “The program was extremely vigorous, but it was excellent training that provided me with a lot of skills.”

In addition, O’Rourke will serve as a teaching assistant for CRS 181: Concepts & Perspectives in Communication Studies. As a teaching assistant, O’Rourke looks forward to growing as an individual and improving his communication skills.

“When I was studying history, I served as a teaching assistant, and I believe that it has given me a lot of experience speaking in front of a large audience and being responsible for educating people,” he says. “I remember being nervous in front of my first class, and when I look back, I can see how much I have grown since then.”

The field of history inspired O’Rourke to pursue the field of communications because of the flawed narration that is often associated with many historical stories and figures. Analyzing the narration aspect of history has encouraged O’Rourke to focus on the performative aspect and how the significance of these narratives do not carry over to the principles of present society.

“It is very hard to see what is happening right now,” he says. “But if we take a step back and analyze what occurred 50 to 100 years ago, we will be able to see a greater picture of what occurred. Taking the things that we learned can be useful to the present, as these lessons will be able to educate us about our wrongs and better the understanding of society. And then, we can ask ourselves, ‘If something happened in the past so many times, then what makes today any different? Why are we letting these things occur?'”

During his first year, O’Rourke is excited to be a part of the CRS graduate program. Throughout the majority of his life, he studied in Argentina and was only exposed to experiences within his community. He looks forward to seeing how studying in a new environment impacts his identity and his understanding of communication.

“I am going to learn a lot,” he says. “I am going to be in places that I have never thought I would be in, and I am fortunate that I will be meeting people who I would never have been able to meet before. I will grow a lot with these changes and experiences that I will be exposed to.”

–This article was written by the CRS student news team. Contact the team at .