The TEXT Program Featured on ESPNU

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

SEC: Stories of Success features TEXT Program
ESPNU profiles oral history project Tibetans in Exile Today

Watch the ESPNU video here:


The University of Arkansas TEXT Program in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences was featured on ESPNUs SEC: Stories of Success on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Tibetans in Exile Today, known as the TEXT Program, gives University of Arkansas students the opportunity to spend three weeks gathering oral histories from elderly Tibetans. The students live in Tibetan refugee settlements in India as they capture stories that would otherwise be lost.

There are so many inventive programs all over campus that change our students lives in profound ways, said Robin Roberts, dean of Fulbright College. The TEXT Program is an extraordinary example of service learning, and were very proud that its home is in Fulbright College.

Co-Directors Professor Sidney Burris and Geshe Dorjee train the students in Tibetan culture and oral history before each trip while the students design and conduct the interviews, process the footage, create interview transcripts and archive the materials.

The TEXT Program has surpassed even my own originaland very highexpectations if only because of the lasting impact that it has had on our students, Burris said. After living with the Tibetan people in India, and recording their stories, many of the students re-envision their careers, and all of them are profoundly affected by what they witness: a nonviolent people whose lives in exile are based on compassion and altruism.

The TEXT Program went to India in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Each trip is limited to 15 students, and future trips will be taken in the summer of odd-numbered years. Footage of the interviews, student testimonials and other information about the TEXT Program may be found at

Megan Garner, a student who participated in the 2008 and 2009 trips said, The TEXT Program changed my world-view. At a time when I had no idea what I was going to do after I graduated, I was given a huge gift by the TEXT Program: clarity and purpose.

On May 11, 2011, the Dalai Lama visited the university in response to invitations from the TEXT Programs directors. In a note following his visit, the Dalai Lama expressed that the students will have a better understanding of the impact of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of nonviolence and compassion on the lives of the Tibetan people throughout he ages and wished the program all success.

Simply put: the trip changes lives, and for that Im profoundly grateful, Burris said.

The first broadcast of SEC: Stories of Success episode on the TEXT Program aired on Wednesday. ESPNU may be seen on channels 605 and 1605 (HD) on AT&T U-verse, channels 730 and 853 (HD) on Comcast Cable, channels 244 and 2244 (HD) on Cox Cable and channel 208 on Direct TV. Check your local listings for subsequent broadcasts of the episode.

ESPNU is owned by ESPN and focuses on college sports. The channel also highlights academic programs as part of their coverage to give a complete picture of the schools featured on their broadcasts.