Honors Think Tanks

A group of Honors students at the U are working to educate their peers about the dangers of oversharing online.

Isabelle Ghabash, a junior in architectural studies, is one of those students. As part of the Honors Think Tanks course, Ghabash and her classmates started a blog to help disseminate information about the importance of keeping information private.

“We wanted to show how to use your Internet presence for good and how to avoid the pitfalls of over-sharing online,” she says.

Even though the group had fun planning and executing the long-term project, they learned many important things, including the real world practice of project management, public relations and how to present your material to a broader audience.

“The representation of yourself or your business is largely online, and you want to know how to represent yourself and keep business safe,” she says.

Tianna Tu, a junior in political science and international studies, is hoping to run for public office someday, and she recognizes the importance of government transparency. Working with the Salt Lake Tribune, the group administered a poll to find out how the public feels about our government’s transparency practices.

“The Sutherland Institute did research on which counties and governments were transparent with its citizens,” Tu says. “Utah averaged a D grade.”

Not satisfied with that score, Tu and her classmates partnered with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, the Sutherland Institute, the League of Utah Women Voters and the Utah Foundation for Open Government among others to create a list of best practices for government. The project, called the Utah Transparency Project, kicked off in spring 2012 with endorsements from Mayor Becker and others, symbolizing bipartisan support for the initiative.

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