Endless Opportunities!

Hi all! I hope you are having a lovely week!

I want to take a minute to praise the University of Scranton for all of the amazing real-world experiences it provides for us students. As a Secondary Education and English double-major, I am especially grateful that the teacher-candidacy process allows me to take full advantage of these opportunities! This past Friday, I observed 8th grade English classes for the first time at Valley View Middle School, located approximately fifteen minutes away from campus! The purpose of my observation was to identify different forms of assessment utilized by the teacher. I loved being able to identify different teaching styles and assessment techniques (and of course, I also loved dressing up in my ‘teacher clothes!’  :)) But in all seriousness, the environment was so warm and welcoming, and after only being there for one day, I already have learned so much! It is so cool to get a taste of what being a teacher would actually entail.  I loved every minute of the observation, and cannot wait to return to Valley View MS next week!

Last semester, I observed freshmen and sophomore English classes at Dunmore High School, just one town over from Scranton. At those observations, I was able to note different psychological developments in the students, and learn different teaching styles to accommodate diverse learners. I LOVE that the university throws its education majors into observations right away. Originally, I came to the UofS as an English major, and picked up the Secondary Education component halfway through my freshman year. Those immediate observations really solidified to me that Education was the right route to go down!

The UofS offers so many real-world opportunities to all of its majors – to name a few, we have the Alperin financial center for business majors in Brennan Hall, that simulates a live stock-exchange, as well as the “Business Expo” (which actually happened this past week!) where business majors can talk to corporations about summer internships; science majors are able to participate in cool research projects with their professors (click for more info!); counseling and psychology majors work exciting  internships in their intended field (click the link for general internship info!); nursing students participate in clinicals and can use the Nursing Skills Lab (which is a simulated patient-care area); and occupational therapy and physical therapy students work field hours at internships (and will soon be able to volunteer at the new Rehabilitation Center, a free walk-in clinic to be completed hopefully in the spring of 2015)!

Here are some pictures of the different resources the UofS provides to its students!

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The Alperin Financial Center

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Research Labs in the Loyola Science Center

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The anticipated plan for the new Rehabilitation Center (OT & PT students)

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The Nursing Skills Lab, located in McGurrin Hall

As you can see, the U does so much to offer real-world opportunities to its students! I can honestly say that my experience with educational observations have made me feel better equipped to become a teacher. There are so many options out there to prepare students for life after college – not that we EVER want to leave the UofS, but hey, if we have to go, at least we have bright futures ahead of us!!! :)

Thanks for reading! Feel free to post any comments/questions – I would be more than happy to read and answer them!

Have a fantastic week!

Sarah :)

 

Family Weekend Fun!

Hi all!! This weekend has been CRAZY – but in a good way!! It was Family Weekend, a time for parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends to come visit their UofS student! As a Co-Director of Royal Ambassadors (the admissions tour-guide work-study program), it was my job to staff and work the different events put on for the families!

So after weeks of excel sheets, countless emails, and multiple meetings, Family Weekend was here! The events began on Thursday night, as Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley, authors of “Almost Home” came to speak to UofS students. Freshmen were required to read “Almost Home” as a summer reading assignment, so they could definitely relate to the event! The book contains the remarkable stories of six homeless youths, the atrocities they endured, and how The Covenant House (the largest charity serving homeless and runaway youth in America) saved them, “helping [them] move from homelessness to hope” (“Almost Home” title-quote).

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Here is a picture the wonderful, motivational book!

The authors’ lecture sparked inspiration in all who attended the event. The real-life, heart-wrenching stories they told touched the hearts of ouruniversity students, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to work at that event. The following morning, Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley attended the UofS’s “Community Breakfast,” where I also worked, selling copies of “Almost Home” to students and faculty.  There, the authors reiterated some of the stories they had shared the night before, and after the event, held a book-signing. I was so inspired by what I heard during their speeches, and by what they said to those who bought their books and met them at the book signing, that I decided to buy the book for myself. I have begun to read it, and I am already blown away by the honesty and sincerity entwined in “Almost Home’s” words and pages. I encourage all of you to learn about “Almost Home” by clicking on this link! Additionally, click on this link to learn all about the Covenant House and their volunteer opportunities!

Friday night, families began to arrive! I worked the registration table on the first floor of the DeNaples center all night, and I cannot express how much it warmed my heart to see families reconnect with their UofS student. Seeing all of the hugs, laughter and smiles reinforced the joy and love that I see and feel on campus every day. I love that the U helps us honor our parents through Family Weekend.

There were a few cool events on Friday night: the U hosted “Wine-Tasting 101” and “Bingo-Night!” Then, Saturday was PACKED with events, such as the 5K Royals Run at Nay Aug Park, two Campus Community Tours, the Club, Organizations & Community Fair, Field Hockey and Rugby games, “Scranton’s Got Spirit!,” Family Weekend Mass, Family Weekend Reception, and “Casino Night!” Family Weekend ended on Sunday with Father Rick’s “Everything You Ever Wanted To Ask A Jesuit” info break-out session and one last Campus Community Tour.

One of my favorite events from Family Weekend is Saturday’s “Scranton’s Got Spirit!” From being a cheerleader in high school, I definitely thrive on school spirit! “Scranton’s Got Spirit!” is a pep-rally, where the UofS students take pride in their diverse talents. The event showcases student performance teams, such as the dance team, the cheerleading team, Urban Beats, and A Capella groups such as the Octaves and Royal Harmony. It is such an exciting event! “Scranton’s Got Spirit!” really solidifies Scranton’s positive and upbeat atmosphere!

On Saturday, I personally worked the Campus Community Tour and Registration in the morning, and later worked “Casino Night!” (My parents came to visit between those events :)). “Casino Night!,” put on by USPB (The University of Scranton Programming Board), was an AWESOME event. I had so much fun working it – I even learned how to deal for Black-Jack! (Learning Black-Jack was a big deal to me – seeing as only card games I ever knew how to play were “Go-Fish” and “Crazy 8’s!”  Haha!)

Here are some pictures of me working Casino Night!

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Anyway, as you can see, this weekend was certainly filled with a lot of fun!! I feel so fortunate to have been able to work so many cool events, and experience all that Family Weekend has to offer! For information pertaining to specific Family Weekend events, please click here! Furthermore, please feel free to post any comments/questions, as I would be more than happy to read and answer them!

Have a wonderful week!

Sarah :)

 

Some fun things to do!

Hi everybody!

It has been a busy week here at the University of Scranton! As we complete more classwork, join more clubs, and pick up more volunteer opportunities, it is easy to fall into the initial stress that can come from being involved on campus, as so many UofS students are. The good news is that  The University of Scranton Programming Board (USPB) is here to put on some awesome, stress-free events for UofS students to enjoy!

This past Friday, USPB brought Brett Young, an up and coming musician, to our beautiful campus! Here are some pictures of Brett Young performing last Friday!

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 Me and my friend meeting Brett!

It was so nice to be able to take a break from the craziness of college work to sit back, relax, and listen to some great music! Brett Young performed covers of popular songs (ie. “Hallelujah,” “Begin Again” by Taylor Swift, “Crash My Party” by Luke Bryan , “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice, “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz), as well as originals such as “Define Me” and “Kiss by Kiss.” (Click on those links to listen!)

USPB offers so many opportunities for students to have fun on campus! They run 2-3 events per week, and range anywhere from movie nights on the Dionne Green (last year, they played “The Avengers;” this year, “Now You See Me”), to New York City and Hershey Park trips. Additionally, USPB puts on comedy acts, brings in guest-speakers, and holds its annual “Royal Ball,” which is similar to a homecoming dance. Two weeks ago, the U even took 200 students to go see Maroon 5! These events constantly keep UofS students entertained during the week and on the weekends!

Students can also kick back and have fun in Downtown Scranton! Just a five-minute walk from campus, Downtown Scranton  offers a mall, movie theater, restaurants, cute little shops, Northern Light (a WONDERFUL coffee shop), frozen yogurt, and so much more! Moreover, Downtown Scranton hosts two major annual events: La Festa Italiana, and Parade Day. La Festa – the Italian festival – happens over Labor Day weekend. There, you can eat authentic Italian food, listen to Italian music, and stock up on cannolis, (which is exactly what my roommate and I did this year!) Then, in March, the city puts on Parade Day in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! The entire city turns green for the parade, as UofS students wear their green “Slainte” shirts, and green balloons fill the streets of Scranton! Last year, DeNaples (The UofS dining hall) even dyed itsfood green to celebrate! That being said, UofS students definitely have a lot to look forward to, thanks to the awesome city that we are so fortunate to live in!

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Parade Day (top) & La Festa Italiana (bottom)

Last but not least, I want to mention another cool aspect of living in Scranton! The UofS is affiliated with the COLTS Bus System, meaning that if you show your Scranton Royal ID card (which all students have), you can ride for free! The COLTS Bus can take you anywhere in Lakawanna County. I have used it to go to Target, Walmart, the Dickson City mall, and the IMAX theater. Additionally, I have also used the bus system to observe an English class at Dunmore High School, as a requirement for teacher candidacy (I am a Secondary Education & English double-major.) As you can see, the COLTS Bus is such a convenient resource for students to have!

That is all for this today! Feel free to post your comments/questions, as I would be more than happy to read and answer them!

Have a wonderful week!

Sarah :)

Welcome to my Blog!

Hi all! My name is Sarah Mueller. I am a new blogger this year, so I will first take a minute to introduce myself! A little background info: I am a sophomore Secondary Education and English double-major. I am involved in a lot of cool things on campus, so I will definitely have some great stories to share with you lovely readers as the year goes on!

As a freshman, I dormed in what the UofS calls a “living-learning community.” Essentially, the U offers five of these residential learning programs as additional options to regular freshman dorming. They include: Cura Personalis (which centers on faith, service and justice), Wellness (focusing on finding balance between eight themes: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, occupational, environmental and multicultural), FIRE (which challenges residents to develop their leadership potential), Sustain U (which commits itself to ecological justice, sustainable living, and civic responsibility), and lastly, Celebrating the ARTS (which encourages personal artistic expression, ie. film, photography, drama, music, etc.)

That being said, as a freshman, I lived in the Cura Personalis living-learning community. It was such a fantastic experience for everyone involved in our program, that we decided to write a letter to the Office of Residence Life, asking to continue the program into our sophomore year. Res-Life gave us the go-ahead, and after writing out a Cura Personalis sophomore constitution, holding meetings, and doing a lot of planning, we were all set to live together as sophomores!

I moved into my quad in Condron Hall a little over two weeks ago. I absolutely love the sophomore living experience so far, as my dorm room is beautiful, spacious, and very importantly – air-conditioned! My entire Cura Personalis family lives on our floor in Condron Hall with me, and already the program is flourishing more than ever. We recently elected co-leaders for each pillar of Cura Personalis (faith, service, and justice,) as well as for the Mentor-Mentee program that we run in partnership with the freshman Cura Personalis community. I was chosen to be one of three co-leaders for the Mentor-Mentee program, and I am so incredibly excited! Last Thursday, we held a “Mentor-Mentee Mingle,” so that the freshmen and sophomore Cura Personalis residents could meet one another and pair up as mentors and mentees. The mingle was a great way to welcome the freshmen to Cura Personalis, and kick-start this awesome program!

Another way we welcomed the freshmen was through Fall Move-In. The majority of sophomore Cura Personalis signed up for to volunteer for the event. On freshmen move-in day, myself, sophomore Cura Personalis, and the hundreds of other UofS volunteers basically bombarded the freshmen’s cars, moving all of their suitcases, boxes, refrigerators – you name it – into their dorms! Being a Jesuit school, I think that the freshmen move-in process really exemplifies Ignation values, in being “men and women for others,” as doing this was a nice way to make the freshmen’s transition into college much easier and less stressful!

All in all, it has definitely been a wonderful start to the school year! I hope you all enjoyed my first blog post!

Until next week!

Sarah :D