Meet Ziyad Sultan, Our WUD Distinguished Lecture Series Director!
Year in school: Senior
How long have you been a member of WUD/Hoofers?
"DLS was the first org I found at the fall org fair my freshman year - I had previously seen the Lawrence Krauss lecture with DLS while I was in high school and remembered the DLS logo. Ever since, I've been attending the weekly meetings as a member, in addition to spending two years as the Associate Director of Collaborations."
Why did you join WUD/Hoofers?
"When I heard more about DLS, I loved the idea that I could both enjoy the lectures, even though I didn't necessarily know who the speakers were, and meet the people who we invite! Through DLS, I was exposed to other WUD committees and all of their great programming."
What do you do in your role with WUD/Hoofers?
"I am the director of WUD Distinguished Lecture Series and I am fully in charge of organizing our lectures this year. This means that I directly communicate with the speakers we invite to campus, the agencies who represent the speakers, my committee of 10-15 students, my leadership team, my advisor and other staff around the Union, and different faculty members, departments, and organizations on the UW Madison campus.
It can be a lot of work to organize some of our events, but seeing a lecture develop all the way from its initial suggestion to our committee, to seeing people excitedly discussing after the talk is over is so rewarding."
What is one of your favorite experiences from your time at WUD/Hoofers?
"I have really enjoyed meeting our speakers and getting to know them while they're in town, and I know that my members value those experiences as well. For example, while somewhat traumatic, having Bassem Youssef heckle me from stage during his talk is something that I can laugh about now and will never forget."
Why is WUD/Hoofers special to you?
"In addition to all of the stories I have from getting to meet our speakers, WUD is special to me because it has given me insight into professional experiences that otherwise wouldn't have be available to me. WUD has also helped me feel at home on this campus and I've met many of my good friends through being involved at the Union."
If there was one thing you could make sure everyone knew about WUD/Hoofers, what would it be?
"As I understand it, not many students around the country have the same autonomy and means to organize the (free) events that we put on with WUD! If speakers aren't your thing, maybe music, film, sailing, or any number of the other WUD/Hoofers committees might be!"