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
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
Melissa’s Decision to Stay in Huntsville
Written by Melissa Lee
Growing up in the Huntsville area and having both parents who are alumni from the university, I have been very familiar with the campus starting at an early age. With both of my parents being alumni, they definitely had a huge impact on my choice to attend UAH. They both shared their positive experiences of when they were here studying mechanical and electrical engineering. During my senior year of high school, I considered attending UAHuntsville as well as other universities that were not as close to home. I ultimately made my decision to attend this university because of its prestigious engineering program and the many internship opportunities that were entailed since I wanted to pursue a career in mechanical engineering.
I can honestly say that I have not regretted my choice to attend college close to home since!
Being a sophomore here at UAHuntsville, these past two years have opened up many opportunities for me to get hands on experience with my major while building relationships with the teachers and students here. The program has given me the technical knowledge as well as people skills to help me succeed in my field of study. Even in my introductory engineering classes, I have been given opportunities to get hands on experience working in the machine shop on group projects and even giving presentations to my lab group and professors. These past three years as an engineering student has definitely been a challenge but I am really excited that my hard work led me to be nominated for Tau Beta Pi, a prestigious engineering honor society. Just remember that hard work and building good relationships with your professors pays off!
Meet Dr. Regina Hyatt, Dean of Students
By Dr. Regina Hyatt, Dean of Students
I started working in Student Affairs because I had a great experience as an undergraduate student at my college. I was super involved and my advisor suggested that I pursue a graduate degree in College Student Personnel instead of going to law school. I took his advice and now 17 years later, am excited to serve as the Dean of Students at UAHuntsville. October is Careers in Student Affairs Month so thought I would start sharing some of the unique things that make student affairs work so interesting.
1- Every student has a story, something that makes him/her unique and I get to hear those stories. I’m a better person for it as it gives me perspective outside of my own experience.
2- Balloons: I gave a tutorial during Week of Welcome to our WOW Leaders on how to make a balloon bouquet. I told them it’s a life skill we all need to have!
3- Student organizations that do really cool stuff. Where else would you be able to watch the Space Hardware Club launch a REAL experiment on a balloon or witness 1000 students gather to play video games with each other? Or concrete canoes attempt to make it across the campus pond?
4- All the pizza you would ever want to eat! Definitely the preferred food group for college students so if you work in Student Affairs, you better like pizza because chances are, you’ll be eating it at least 2 x a week. It just so happens that I do like pizza (and the never ending supply of candy that seems to be available on all of our desks).
5- Ah-ha moments: those times when you see the light click on, when a student really gets it and realizes that the decisions they are making are important.
6- Feeling like I make a difference: It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, it feels great. Whether it’s helping a student navigate a problem, or opening a window of opportunity for a student, working in Student Affairs means that I get to impact students’ lives in a very personal and meaningful way.
I love working with students and hope that their experiences here at UAHuntsville will lead them to futures that are fulfilling both personally and professionally. I have the best job in the world!
(You can follow Dean Hyatt on Twitter @UAHStudentsDean)
Advice for Pre-Health Professionals
Deciding a future career is a choice one does not take lightheartedly. To make my decision easier, I gained broad experiences, tried classes in several different disciplines, applied for and accepted internships, and reflected on my experiences. If, after reflection, you feel you would be happy as a doctor, optometrist, dentist, or any other health professional, seek experiences shadowing those professionals, and volunteer in those areas.
Shadowing and volunteering will not only help make decisions, but are required for admission into most health professional schools. Shadowing is a great way to gain perspective while observing a specific profession. To start shadowing, ask a professional who you have met before and works in an area you are interested in pursuing. I shadowed dentists, endodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons and periodontists.
Volunteering is also beneficial. Become an active member in an organization and donate your time; the personal rewards you receive are worth the effort. I volunteered by interpreting for Spanish speaking patients with Cahaba Valley Healthcare in Birmingham and with the Salvation Army in Huntsville.
Studying for classes and entrance exams are critical. Your academic success is a reflection of your dedication to become a health professional. Classes for admission into professional school help prepare you for entrance exams. However, practice is the key to success and studying months in advance give you an advantage when taking entrance exams.
You have the power to shape your future. Gain from your experiences and follow the path leading to happiness. If you are intrigued about the possibilities of being a doctor, veterinarian, or dentist, then start working towards your goal and be dedicated to your success.
Pre-Health Student at UAHuntsville
So Much Studying to Do and So Little Time!
With midterms, extracurricular activities, social life and anything life throws your way, finding time to study is hard. Here are a few tips for studying on a time crunch.
1. Flash Cards! They are much easier to carry than a notebook/book. Make them during class (as you take notes) or do them right after. You can study in the car, between classes, or while your waiting on a friend.
2. Make a Schedule! You can buy an agenda or create a time sheet on Excel. This helps to visualize the day and week ahead. Do an hour by hour sheet for each day of the week. Designate hours for 15 minute intervals for studying a certain subject. I have chemistry 9:05-10am then math 10:20-11:15, I designate that 20 minutes to studing math or chemistry.
3. Prioritize! Learning to prioritize in college is critical to your success. Sometimes you will have a test and a homework assignment due on the same day. If the test is going to be hard, then you spend more time studying then doing homework. If you are involved in extra-curriclular activities (which I strongly suggest you do!) some projects may be fun or have deadlines coming up, but no matter what, school comes first. I have to remind myself that I can’t do everything and my tests come before my project deadlines. Also remember that having a social life is important, but it’s ok to to tell your friends you have to study instead of hanging out.
5 Tips for High School Seniors
There are many tips I give high school seniors and high-schoolers in general, but the main 5 are:
1. When choosing a University don’t be afraid to go far away or go close to home. The best place for you to go could be just around the corner or on the other side of the country. I came to Huntsville from Ohio and I’m very glad I did. My best friend is from Huntsville and I’m loving it here.
2. Start looking and applying early. It sucks, but scholarships and grants are handed out early. Plus you may get a bunch of free stuff for applying early!
3. Keep your grades up! You may think “I’m a senior, it doesn’t matter, I don’t need to learn anything here anymore, or what’s the point”. College is about learning inside and outside the classroom. You may not realize it now, but what you learn in high school becomes handy in college.
4. It’s ok if you don’t have a major picked out! You have plenty of time. It may take you an extra year or two, but it’s worth it when you do find something you love. Just go take classes in different areas. Most of the time you will find that you really like a subject or you really hate it. Then if you find that you are at the wrong university, it’s ok to transfer universities once you figure it out. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life my first year, but when I finally figured it out I transferred to UAHuntsville and I’m glad I did!
5. Do what will make you happy! You may have friends or family telling you what they think is best, but in the end it is you that has to make the decision and live with it. They might be upset for a while, but in time they’ll realize it’s for the best. College/adult life is about making your own decisions (good or bad), experiencing the consequences, and (hopefully) learning from them. My family will talk to me and give advice , but will not tell me what to do because they know I have to make it on my own. It will be frustrating at times, but you will be a better, more independent person for it.
I hope this helps you and your college experience!
My friends (Amy and Angela) on a weather balloon recovery mission. My hair is a mess, but was an interesting trip!