Get Involved: Student Alabama Education Association
Written by: Candace Rose
If you’re interested in volunteering and bettering the lives of local children, the Student Alabama Education Association might be the club for you!
The UAH chapter of SAEA began as a pre-professional campus organization for education majors looking to connect to their state to make a difference. Now, the SAEA opens its arms to students of every major and seeks to reach out to local children to expose them to new learning experiences. As the organization grows under the leadership of Dr. Monica Dillihunt and President Jessica Gore, more opportunities arise to make a difference in the lives of children in the Huntsville area.
According to the UAH SAEA website, “The organization’s purpose is to make pre-service teachers more aware of their role, issues, and problems in education.” Essentially, the organization provides a space for education students to meet others and partner up with interested parties to commit to community outreach. Some past projects include painting murals at University Place Elementary, Auburn’s Outreach to Teach program, and Camp Autism Smiles attendance.
Currently, the SAEA has several events planned for this semester such as a Praxis Workshop, a School Supply Drive, and Midterm and Final Exam Study Sessions for UAH students of any major. More events are in the works, and the SAEA hopes to see you in meeting soon!
Members will be updated about volunteer opportunities and meeting via e-mail communication. If you are interested in joining, please e-mail email@example.com with your name and any questions you may have. Membership to the SAEA amounts to $35 and an online application which can be found at http://www.myaea.org/be-active/join-aea-today/
Transferring, Transitions, and Something Else That Starts With ‘T’
Written By: Sydney Johnson
I am a transfer student coming from a larger university. However, having been in and around Huntsville since my birth in the city, I knew that the transition would be more than just a change in scenery. The campus has a smaller population than I am accustomed to, and the number of liberal arts majors seemed to be a small number of said population. At first, the thought of entering into a smaller, closer-knit community from the 30,000+ students of my previous institution seemed endearing; then, as the spring semester came to a close and I tied up all of the loose ends, I began to dread the move.
I thought that I was going to fall into the next semester hopelessly disappointed, that the liberal arts program would not be good enough, that I would have terrible suitemates, etc. My first initial reasons for transferring were personal/non-academic, and said reasons fell through near the end of the transferring process. The dread grew to a blasé attitude towards the situation entirely. I was signed up for New Student Orientation, though I frustratingly thought that I should not have to attend such a thing, as my adviser had already registered me for my fall courses. Orientation began at 8 in the morning—a ghastly hour for someone who prefers the night to day. I was cranky. I forgot my glasses at home, but made the hour and a half drive from my home town anyway. From the faces of the transfer students surrounding me in the UC, they seemed to share my sentiments (and possibly my road rage from the morning commuters on the interstate). I decided to get my Charger card while I waited, and was greeted nicely by the (seemingly) morning people who took my frizzy picture.
I joined the other transfer students back in the seating area, and we waited. We made small talk about the construction of the new Charger Union (and how awesome the result of said construction will be); then started the video, which introduced us to all of the orientation leaders. Upbeat pop music accompanied the introductions, which included orientation leaders in hilarious scenarios, some including horse masks and banana suits. The sour faces of the transfer students softened and laughter replaced the complaints about traffic; the orientation leaders emerged from behind a make-shift curtain and hurled free shirts (always a good way to get a college student excited) and introduced themselves, thus bringing August 12th’s orientation into swing. We were split into liberal arts and science, engineering, nursing, and other factions which I cannot remember as I write; the coffee has yet to kick in.
The leaders, who were exceptionally nice and had marvelous senses of humor, took us into Salmon Library to make sure we had our various passwords and identification numbers/items set up. We watched two leaders organize and schedule their classes, had some laughs at how much they wanted to take yoga but could not, and waited for the other groups to finish up their technical advising. We had warmed up to everyone enough that we could talk to them about the programs we were interested in, what we intend to study, where we call home. After this, we went back to the under-construction area of the UC for lunch, or better yet, for the glorious macaroni which kept disappearing (I got a microscopic scoop). I met another transfer student who ate lunch with me, and we had a good time comparing schools and driving distances.
Unfortunately, I had to leave orientation shortly after lunch. The energy-efficient vehicle I had taken to Huntsville was borrowed from my family, and it was needed. Fortunately, I had already been registered, financial advising had already taken place weeks before, and I had my shiny new ID. I checked out, though I was asked to stay for the Charger Breakout Sessions, where I could have gotten a better feel for student life and the Veterans Network, as well as the panel discussion about planning a career. To those that could stay, I’m sure you had an invaluable experience. I do plan to make up for my premature departure, especially in regards to becoming more involved on campus than I was at my previous university. This blog=step one! I also plan to check in on the other campus publications, learn if there is an on-campus literary journal, and am hoping to audition for the chamber choir (though my vocal cords are a bit rusty at the moment). It also helps that I have some great suitemates in the comparatively luxurious Charger Village.
Transitioning from anything to anywhere is never completely easy and stress-free, but being surrounded with bright, flat-out nice people definitely helps. To everyone involved in helping the transfer students, to everyone involved in helping with move-in day in the dorms, and to everyone in the university in general, thank you. From my experience, I believe it is safe to say that this year is going to be one full of all things good. I can finally say that I look forward to it.
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Being An Orientation Leader: The Whole Truth
Written by: Candace Rose
I applied to become an Orientation Leader (OL) at the end of my Freshman Year. No one was more surprised than me when I was hired! It was the first job I’d ever had, and I felt a mixture of terror and excitement over what the summer would hold. I wondered who I would be working with, but mostly if I would be making a difference in the lives of incoming students.
After two weeks of training, I knew the rest of the Orientation staff pretty well. If you’re looking for a college family, this might be the weirdest one you’ll ever meet. Orientation Leaders need to connect to a variety of students, so a variety of personalities are hired for the job. It’s truly fantastic that despite our differences we all work well together!
Once you’ve become a part of the family, it’s time for the real work to begin. One of the highly overlooked aspects of the OL job is the preparation that goes into each session. Stuffing hundreds of bags for both students and parents, making balloon bundles until your fingers feel numb, and waking up extra early to move signs across campus are just parts of the job. When students and friends come to me to ask me what being an Orientation Leader is really like, I always remind them that though it’s amazing and fun and life changing, it’s still a job. If you do decide to travel down the path to becoming an OL, please remember that it’s not all fun and games, though a majority of the time you will be laughing.
Finally, we come to the actual Orientation Sessions. You know what it’s like from the student perspective, but it’s rather different from the OL side. You take on the role of friend, educator, and sometimes even counselor. Beginning the transition from high school to college, or from one college to another, can be a real struggle. As an OL, you must lead students forward into a future that seems filled with uncertainty. You must be patient with their questions and empathetic to their fears while maintaining a friendly smile and making time for all of your students. Sometimes you will want to cry for them, but mostly you will laugh with them and build a real relationship with them.
At the end of the day, it’s the best job you’ll ever have. Even though you only got 2-4 hours of sleep the night before, you know that you changed lives that day. It’s a job you’ll want to do again and again, and when the summer ends you know that you’ll be applying the next year. More than that, you’ve made amazing friends with people you wouldn’t believe you would be friends with just months before and broken down every fear about college and public speaking you’ve ever had.
I applied for the job again at the end of my Sophomore Year, and that was one of the best decisions I ever made. No one was more surprised than me when I got it, but I was ready for another summer full of terror and excitement.
PASS Program: A PASS Leader’s Prospective
Written by Jonathon
In spring 2012 I began working with the Student Success Center (SSC) as a Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) leader for Chemistry 101. Over the last three semesters I have fallen in love with any and all forms of peer education. I am somewhat of a hybrid student of peer education. For the past year I have consistently taught two chemistry labs each semester for the chemistry department along with tutoring and PASS through the SSC. I could almost wager that there isn’t a freshman or sophomore student in the chemistry/biology department that I wouldn’t recognize because of all the exposure I have had with these students. For me, PASS was the catalyst that taught me to love helping students.
Prior to becoming a PASS leader, my first exposure to the program was during Orientation and my first day as a UAH student. I had a PASS leader in my calculus A class. While I can only say that I went to him a few times; the PASS sessions that I attended were helpful beyond the scope of the course. Being able to interact with an upperclassman that truly had your academic success in mind was incredibly helpful. I became a PASS leader a year later; wanting to be able to help students the same way that he had helped so many. This theme is constant among many PASS leaders; many have been inspired to help once they have been helped themselves. To me, PASS seems to be a giant pay-it-forward resource that spans from one generation of PASS leaders to another.
PASS truly gives me an interesting outlook on what students in a course feel about the material, the instructor, and the college in general. PASS leaders act as somewhat of a liaison for the students to the instructor. Being able to get a group sampling of how the class is feeling about the material and bring it back to the instructors really makes for a live feedback loop that professors have been able to use to tailor lessons to a specific group of students. The best part about PASS, as cliché as it may be, is the look on a student’s face when he/she tells you that they aced the test they were so worried about in the sessions prior. Regardless of how crazy of a week I may be having with my own difficult courses, hearing how I was able to make a difference even in one student’s academic career really makes me more driven to keep pushing forward to make every PASS session count.
To learn more about PASS, please visit: http://www.uah.edu/ssc/programs/pass-program
Week of Welcome – August 16th!
Written by: Kacey Schaum, Assistant Director for Student Life
- Our 2013 WOW Leaders!
From the moment you arrive on campus on August 16th you will feel an energy in the air. That energy is what we call Charger Spirit. There is something special about move-in day and the kick-off of our Week of Welcome. You are going to be welcomed by the friendly faces of returning students, faculty, and staff. Among those faces are going to be your 2013 Week of Welcome Leaders. Forewarning, you may hear them shout “WOW!!!” obnoxiously loud at you with hopes that you will get excited about the first nine days of the semester.
Throughout summer orientation, we have been showing you a video from last year’s Week of Welcome. (You can watch the video HERE). This video depicts what you will experience during WOW. After you watch this video, we hope that you notice a few key things that comprise our Charger Family and Week of Welcome: wear your blue and white (we promise you will receive a few new t-shirts during the week to help you out), attend events, make new friends, put a smile on your face (especially when the camera is around), and HAVE FUN!
Each year our Week of Welcome offers traditional events and events hosted by student organizations, campus offices, and departments. This year we have 102 events for you to choose from, and we hope that you attempt to participate in as many as you can! Our traditional events include: Taste of Huntsville, Casino Night, PlayFair, Charger Luau, Foam Party, Block Party, Blue Crew’s Minute to Win It, University Convocation, President’s Picnic, Laugh Your ACE Off, High 5 Friday, Helping Hands for Huntsville, and Charger Spirit Night. Prizes and give-a-ways will be given out at these specific events, so you do not want to miss out!
We hope that by the end of WOW you are familiar with campus, have plenty of Charger swag, have made new friends, experienced the first Fried Chicken Wednesday of the semester, and ultimately that you are proud to be a UAH Charger.
Click HERE to view the complete WOW schedule! You can also keep up to date through social media by liking us on Facebook at Week of Welcome at UAHuntsville and following us on Twitter @UAHWOW. Finally, please download our Guidebook app on your smartphone, so that you can build your schedule and have reminders sent to your phone about events!
We look forward to seeing you on August 16th and welcome to the Charger Family!
Written by: Michael Henry
UAH is consistently dedicated to helping students do the best they can during their time in college, no matter where they are in their collegiate career. This fall, the Housing Office and Leadership Office are joining together to introduce a new program designed to transition first year students and to quickly get them plugged in on campus.
LEAP (Leadership Education & Advising Program) involves first year students who are interested in getting involved in UAH (mentees) and pairing them up with students that are currently involved on campus (peer mentors). They all get to know each other before they are paired up based on aspects from personality types to similar interests. From there, the peer mentor helps their mentee become comfortable with all aspects of UAH by participating in campus events, helping them with school questions, and regularly checking in to make sure the new student is adjusting well to college.
I think this is an awesome opportunity for new students to quickly become familiar with UAH. All first year students now have the opportunity to directly connect to an experienced Charger who can “show them the ropes.” Looking back at my first year, I would have loved to have a program like this to provide support and guidance along the way. Now, I get the opportunity to help other students get involved in UAH and help their transition to college go smoothly. It’s going to be an awesome program for me to be involved with this upcoming fall!
Want more information on how to become involved in LEAP or other leadership activities on campus? Click HERE!
A New Student’s Perspective of Orientation
Written by: Cory Miller
To be honest, at first college seemed like a huge and complicated thing. As an incoming freshman for this fall, I wasn’t sure how to make out a class schedule, finish paying for classes, what classes would be like, or what activities I would be doing on campus. Going to New Student Orientation at UAH helped me answer these questions and much more.
My overall experience at UAH’s New Student Orientation was great! From the moment I stepped into the University Center I knew things would be wonderful. The “opening ceremony” was fun and set Orientation off to a great start. It was easy to tell that the Orientation Leaders and staff were excited to be there helping. They were able to answer every question that was raised, whether it was about student life, classes, tests, studying, or just where things were located.
While at UAH, I was also able to spend time with other future students who are going into the same fields of study that I am. This experience was great since I was able to meet some of the students I will be on campus with in the fall. It allowed me to begin making friendly connections with people and helped me become more excited about college and the fun I will have.
Another exciting part of orientation was spending the night on campus. The residence halls themselves were fairly nice and the experience of spending a night there was enjoyable. Since all of the residence hall suites have single rooms, there was a good sense of privacy, while still being able to socialize with suite mates.
In addition to the fun aspects of orientation, it had practical applications as well. Our Academic Advisors were able to help us choose classes quickly and efficiently. Other aspects of Orientation gave us some of the basics as to on-campus rules. They gave us study tips for success (spoiler: self-testing is the best way to prepare for college tests) and tips to stay on track in classes. All in all, I left feeling very prepared for my next few years of college.
UAH’s New Student Orientation was a great event. It has helped answer my questions for what I’ll be doing the next 4 years. It was both insightful and a great experience!
Perspectives of Orientation: From the Eyes of Old and New Students
What’s ahead? Who will I meet? Will I enjoy college? So many questions to answer as I prepared for college, yet there were still questions I didn’t even know to ask. It was like trying to see through a brick wall. I couldn’t tell what was on the other side until I walked around it.
These were the thoughts that ran through my head as I prepared to attend MY New Student Orientation two years ago. I didn’t know what to expect. I had forgotten how I felt at that time until I recently volunteered at one of the Organization Fairs during Orientation. I was in awe watching everyone and seeing all of the freshman… like a blast to the past. Quite a beautiful picture, seeing students experiencing college for the very first time.
One of my younger sisters ranks among the incoming freshman this year. She had her New Student Orientation sometime mid-June. I think she was fairly nervous, as well as excited and shy. I made sure to help her beforehand and explained all she would be doing once she arrived. I sat down with her and and helped her determine how to find classes in banner, plan out a class schedule, and look up professors. Also, she learned that students are given access codes by college advisors to officially register for classes. Needless to say she was the first of her group at Orientation to finish signing up for classes! I wish I had that advantage when I was at my Orientation (I bet tons of other students do as well)! Of course there is more mystery in figuring it out on your own.
I never expected to actually go with her to Orientation, but I was willing and available if she needed me to. She ended up attending with our mom, but I was asked to join her for the afternoon sessions. They both agreed she may get more out of it with me for the remainder of the day. I could help with situations where she didn’t know anyone such as eating in the cafeteria, mingling at the ice cream social, seeing the Mind Reader, etc. So I gladly joined her.
We ate, with friends we had both never met before, then snatched seats and grabbed popcorn to see the mentalist! Let me just say this about seeing Joshua Seth… Everyone’s mind by the end = BLOWN! Amazing.
Afterwards, my sister and I went up to her room and talked about the day and what it will be like riding together as commuters to college. We also went through the materials she picked up at the Organizational Fair to see what organizations she thought she may want to be a part of here at UAH. Eventually I had to leave her, but hopefully I helped her orientation to be less scary than mine.
Keep calm and Charge ON!
Hello Future Chargers! New Student Orientation is eagerly awaiting your arrival! We hope you are ready to transition to Charger Nation by attending one of our many orientation sessions this summer. What is Orientation you ask? Well, it’s only the best thing since sliced bread! But no really -it’s one of the first memories you will make in your collegiate experience. Make it count!
At Orientation you will:
Meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss academic expectations and register for classes
Get your Charger Card (Student ID)
Discover tools to enable your academic success at UAHuntsville
Explore opportunities to get involved on-campus
Arrange for on-campus Housing
Learn about the campus and traditions
Meet and socialize with current and new students
And much more!
One of the first things you will learn about New Student Orientation is that we have a group of 20 AMAZING Student Leaders called Orientation Leaders (OLs). These students will not only serve as your mentors and guides for your orientation, but also your source of entertainment. We want to make sure you are getting connected with other students and campus. Be prepared to speak-up, dance, and have fun! Our OLs have been doing a lot of prepping and preparing for your arrival! From training – to conferences- to stuffing over 1,000 bags! See the pictures below for a sneak peek!
Another great thing about Orientation is the connections to campus you will make. You will take part in several UAH traditions including- Learning the Fight song, signing the UAH Monument, & having your picture made with Charger Blue. Did we forget to tell you about all the UAH gear you will get? Your first UAH book bag, t-shirt, sunglasses, cup and more! Excited yet?!
Lastly, and most importantly– you are entering a university that is rich in diversity, abounds with opportunity and is a place of personal and global discovery. You will get all the help you need and more from our wonderful faculty and staff to help you succeed academically on our campus.
So are you ready to join the Charger Nation?! Visit uah.edu/orientation for more information and to register. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get connected early! UAH Orientation is on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram. We also have our own app! Download the FREE app Guidebook and search “UAH Orientation” for our interactive guide to Orientation.
See you soon! With Charger Pride!
Jenny Russell, Assistant Director of New Student Orientation and Family Programs
Study Tips for Finals
I have always had a hard time with studying. When I was home-schooled, my mom even had me take courses to learn different approaches to studying. When I first came to UAH, I was surprised when I spoke to other students and learned that many still did not know how to study.
Since I have learned a few methods and tips that assist with studying, I would like to put a few things out there for fellow students:
- Try Studyblue.com – Studyblue.com has flashcards for quizzing yourself. I have found that it really helps to organize the information visually by using flash cards. It also has a really cool interface!
- Acting it out – Walking in a pattern, pacing the room, dancing, reciting aloud and using a series of different movements that will remind you of a definition, etc. Each thing you need to memorize gets its own pattern.
- Coming up with obscure similarities – For example, I have always remembered that the definition for “value” on an art final I had to take once is “the difference between light and dark.” I can remember this because I imagined Darth Vader jogging on the sidewalk outside of Spragins Hall. Though some may find this definition an easy thing to memorize, I have a more difficult time because I have bad memory. Making visual references has proven to help me a lot.
- Music – Some people can concentrate while listening to music, others cannot. For me, I have found that it is best to listen to music while organizing notes, but not while memorizing.
- Stress management – Do one thing at a time! Multitasking while studying never works. It is easiest to remember things when you are studying if you have full concentration. Set aside 3-4 hours at LEAST and commit to studying for that long. You should do this preferably two days before your test, then the day before, and, if possible, even the day of your test.
- Review your notes – Re-read the notes you took, re-write or highlight the most important points, and put sticky notes marking different sections that you are reviewing.
- Whiteboards – Whiteboards help a lot in diagramming things and organizing topics precisely and clearly within your mind.
Breathe! Knowing your material will definitely make you feel more confident. Studying thoroughly makes you feel so excited! Today, I was feeling so confident for my exam that I was skipping down the halls (of my house) before my Art History test. I felt sooo completely ready. I feel like it is a major accomplishment for me!
Good luck on your finals!