Evan Meaney, associate professor in the School of Visual Art and Design, gave the first monthly TCoop Talk hosted by the University Libraries' Outreach Committee on Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the Thomas Cooper Library.
The purpose of TCoop Talks is to help students and faculty to actively engage with dynamic members on USC’s campus, which is part of the library's reprogramming initiatives.
Kathy Dowell, communications associate for the university libraries, said the project will help the library to better utilize the Scholar's Commons space in Thomas Cooper.
Meaney, who received the 2018 Mungo Undergraduate Teaching in Excellence Award, has expertise in internet art, new media design and video game development.
His TCoop Talk’s theme was “makeMistake: a short primer on what can happen when you fail.” In this talk, Meaney started out describing some of the films and games he designed that would eventually lead him to design virtual reality games relating to the theme of the reversibility of death.
Meaney also addressed his experiences that stem from wanting to create films like Star Wars to designing virtual reality games. He also emphasized the importance of taking risks and learning from failure.
Wren Trevino, a first-year marine science student, said she attended this talk because she happened to be sitting in the library and thought it would be interesting. She described how Meaney's reaction to entropy, the world's decline into chaos, inspired her.
“Whenever I think about entropy, I get stuck in it,” Trevino said. “It makes me think, why even try, but he actually does things with it and it makes him do things instead of just sit in fear.”
Sydney Zarsadias, a second-year public health student, attended the talk to learn more for her public speaking class.
“It definitely added a lot of new perspectives," Zarsadias said. "I don't usually think about this kind of stuff, I guess. It was definitely a lot of new information."
The University Libraries’ Outreach Committee plans to continue hosting events like TCoop Talks, hoping to give more students like Zarsadias chances to interact with faculty and to take advantage of university resources.