To celebrate the 20th year of our university, we have prepared a set of four questions to ask faculty and administrative personnel who have been with us since the beginning, and to our first students. They all tell "the story of 20 years" from their own perspectives.
Going in alphabetical order, this week's interviewee for "The Story of 20 Years" is Evrim Uysal.
Evrim Uysal has been a member of Sabancı University since January 4, 1999. She has been an Instructor in the Sabancı University School of Languages for 21 years.
Evrim Uysal’s answers to our four questions are below.
What was your initial memory / impression of when you met Sabancı University for the first time?
E.U: The first thing I remember is the Angel Building, or Minerva Han.
I had always called Minerva Han (Karaköy Contact Office) the Angel Building because I had seen it from the window of a bus for the first time when I was a student, and the angel figures on its balconies, its overall architecture, the tiles on its façade, its side streets and neighboring buildings had left an impression on me. But of course I had never been inside the magnificent building, and my interview being there meant that I could actually walk into my beloved Angel Building and discover it from the inside.
Then there was rain and the ceremony everyone had been waiting for: It had rained during the opening ceremony of the campus, but we were all smiling nevertheless and helping each other out to have the best possible ceremony.
Sealing envelopes together: We had the first mock ELAE (English Language Assessment Exam) in a large Sabancı Center meeting room. It was a mock exam because it was our first meeting with the actual target audience where we collected data to do a host of data analyses later on. We had to find volunteer high school students for this. Letters of invitation were being sent out to students from various schools. The entire team was lined up in a room, managers and all, to seal and box the envelopes to be taken to the postal service. We worked until late.
The opportunity to listen to and get to know each other while working was a great luxury. Wednesday Meetings were unforgettable to me: Every Wednesday, people would make presentations on the ground floor of Minerva Han. We continued the practice on campus for a while. It evolved over time, but still continues to this day. I have always loved these sessions because they brought scientific, artistic, academic subjects to life and made them accessible to everyone.
What are the differences between yourself 20 years ago and yourself today, and how did Sabancı University contribute to that change?
E.U: 20 years ago, I was able to enjoy time like people living in small cities can. Now, I am compelled to prioritize. I have discovered, and continue to discover, what I was able to do and how strong I was in many areas.
It is important to me that people I work with are at a level that will develop me professionally as well as personally. It is a great vibe to share the space with young people and learn from them.
What comes into your mind when you think of Sabancı University in 20 years? What are your dreams for Sabancı University for the next 20 years? What about yourself?
E.U: My dream for the university is it becoming an organic entity shaped and guided by our graduates. This is also what comes to my mind when I think of the university, and that is exciting. One of my first students had written me a note when I began teaching on the campus. It was a precious and delightful moment that had affirmed my choice of this job. I believe education will be a lot different in 20 years. Considering our present situation, it is not too difficult to predict that it will be a more online, technological education environment.
My dream about myself is to have more time to spend with things and people I love, and make more time, in good health and spirit, for reading and traveling.
Where and how would you be now if your paths hadn't crossed with Sabancı University?
E.U: I would be working in my alma mater or an institution of similar caliber. For instance, I could be training new teachers in the Boğaziçi University Faculty of Education. I was aspiring to go abroad on a scholarship at the time, when life brought me to our campus. And I'm glad it did: it is an immense pleasure to be teaching bright young people on a campus dotted with my favorite: the Judas tree.