The semester is coming to a close; my last in-class meeting is today and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone! Congratulations to any graduating Master’s or Doctoral students, and know that you are always welcome back at Warner! If you’re a current or former student staying in Rochester this summer, here are some events scheduled for the coming months that involve good music, food, and fun!
- The Lilac Festival (May 6th – May 15th): Free admission allows you to explore the beauty of Highland Park, which is right near the University of Rochester! Enjoy live music from Roc performers, food trucks, wine tastings, craft stands, or even sign up for the 5k or 10k if you are feeling ambitious!
- Park Ave Fest (August 6th – August 7th): The entire stretch of Rochester’s Park Avenue will be lined with local vendors and artists for the weekend. Sample desserts with local flare, check out award-winning pieces of art and clothing, and network with graphic designers, all located in one area!
- Highland Bowl Series (July 8th): Take a seat in our town’s own amphitheater and witness concerts from well-known bands like Los Lobos. Whatever your musical taste, there is something for everyone at a reasonable ticket price!
- Food Truck Rodeo (May 25th – October 26th): The famed Rochester Public Market will host food truck rodeos Wednesday nights throughout the summer, and will feature local bands while attendees enjoy food from trucks like Le Petit Poutine, Cheesed and Confused, Wraps on Wheels, and more!
- Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (June 24th – June 2nd): Headliners this year include Grace Potter and Erykah Badu, and you can also choose from 93 free shows offered near the Eastman School of Music. Grab coffee from Java’s and head to a jam session with friends.
- The Seneca Park Zoo (open 10 am – 4 pm): Rochester’s zoo has three main sections: visit with mammals, birds, and reptiles/amphibians. Learn about what you can do to contribute to their extensive conservation efforts around the world.
- Fairport Canal Days (June 3rd – June 5th): This weekend event has five stages for live music, a festival-wide chicken barbecue, and numerous wine and chocolate tastings. There are even special events for kids!
- Sci-Fi Summer Weekend at the Strong Museum (July 9th- July 10th): Check out a brand new exhibit at our very own Museum of Play entitled “Rockets, Robots, and Ray Guns.” Strong is for people of all ages, so explore the Toy Hall of Fame, the Wegmans Super Kids Market, and a whole section on American comic book heroes while you’re there.
Is there an event you think should be added to this list? Email me at email@example.com to let me know! Meliora and get excited for the summer of 2016!
Hello, readers, and congratulations on making it to the homestretch of the spring semester! As a reminder, registration for summer and fall courses has opened- meet with your advisor to figure out your program of study and register here if you have not done so already.
Why have I been on a hiatus from blogging, you ask? Well, I have just returned from a conference at UC Berkeley in California. I was lucky enough to be selected from an amazing pool of undergraduate and graduate students to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University for the second year in a row. CGI U is an annual meeting that culminates in professional panels, working sessions, and office hours in which students can engage with prolific figures in fields like environmentalism, public health, technological innovation, women’s rights, and more. We are all encouraged to connect with fellow students and work across socio-cultural contexts to come up with potential solutions to the world’s problems and receive feedback from people like Conan O’Brien, Maysoon Zayid, Sal Khan, and Bill and Chelsea Clinton. After a whirlwind weekend of interacting with such an influential group, here are some tips for what to do at a conference like CGI U:
- Get out of your comfort zone. When I attended CGI U last year, I was a bit nervous to branch out on my own and network with total strangers; I mostly stuck with the group from my undergraduate institution. This year, however, I came with the mentality that all of the students in attendance would support each other’s commitments to action as well as general views on equality. Everyone was there because they want to incite change, so that meant we were all connected on some level. I reached out to several other students from all over the world, and exchanged information so that we may connect in the future; I highly suggest doing the same at any sort of conference.
- A conference is what you make of it. If you’re considering skipping a certain part of a conference because it does not seem applicable to your interests or abilities, think again. You could very well get some inspiration out of it. I am not particularly oriented with math or science in general, but was I going to miss speaking with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman simply because I am unfamiliar with her field? Of course not! Never doubt your ability to connect with someone on several levels, you could find a potential partnership where you did not think one could develop at all.
- Follow through. Telling someone that you’ll contact them should not be an empty promise; rather, if you’re keen on working together, make time after the conference to email or call them. For instance, by chance I met a student from New York City who used to live in Rochester (right by campus, in fact!) who is interested in learning more about our work with East High School at Warner. Imagine if she were able to obtain a position there in the future; I would love to be the “broker” bridging the gap between people who are interested in affecting positive change. All it takes is one email!
- Budget your time wisely. CGI U is intensely busy, so I printed out multiple copies of the conference agenda and made time for meals and breaks to catch up with those from my undergraduate school, as well as those of whom I had met at last year’s event. It is important to learn as much as you can, but also to take some time to reflect on your experiences and enjoy yourself!
- Do your research. I hadn’t heard of some of the speakers prior to attending this year’s conference, so I took the time to look up some of their work. Maysoon Zayid, for instance, ended up being my favorite presenter. She is one of America’s first Muslim women comedians and also has cerebral palsy. I watched some of her material prior to seeing her speak and had all sorts of questions that I was able to ask her. She even wants to connect with me in the future, so I was glad that I had some initial information about her work to allow me to see what a valuable asset and mentor she could be.
Overall, if you’re attending a conference for the first time, enjoy yourself! Be prepared to network in a genuine way; that is, connect with people on both interpersonal and professional levels. Meliora!
It’s hard to believe that this semester is almost over! For me and a fair amount of my fellow Warner students, that means it’s group project season! Here are some tips regarding making the most of our limited time as graduate students and articulating your points effectively in a presentation as a group:
- Compare schedules and exchange contact information as soon as you receive the assignment. Planning ahead is key, so get a group message thread going if possible, and figure out some dates to work in advance. Flesh out meeting times first; you can be somewhat flexible, but it helps to have somewhat of an outline in mind. Come together fairly often to discuss project progress.
- Choose your duties for the presentation carefully, and take everyone’s preferences into consideration. Were you a math major during your undergraduate career? Maybe you’d do well working with quantitative data. Do you have good communication skills? Take a stab at interviewing participants. Ensure that group members’ responsibilities are clearly laid out and that everyone has due dates for certain parts of the project.
- Set up a Google Doc or other shareable form of online communication. For one of my projects this semester, we have a Google Doc simply for brainstorming, and one for an actual presentation handout. It is helpful to have all of your ideas in one place so that everyone has a chance to edit them equally. Whenever one of us makes an edit, we text or email the group to let them know exactly what we added! Additionally, having these documents makes any required reflections that go along with the project easier to compose because it is easier to access what everyone contributed.
- Check BlackBoard frequently for updates and sample presentations. Our course website BlackBoard is often utilized by professors to list syllabus changes and information regarding best practices when it comes to specific parts of a project. Make sure all group members are privy to this information and remind one another of additions to the course’s section.
- Help each other! We all have multiple responsibilities: some of us work full time in addition to taking classes, some have families to take care of, and some are working at several part-time positions. Whatever the unique circumstances are of your group, make sure you establish a safe and open space for members to share concerns and needs. Find ways to communicate that works for everyone, consult with your professor if you need extra clarification, and meet off campus if necessary. Being flexible will allow your group to be more cohesive, and therefore have a more effective presentation!
You’ve already read about how I found my current internship at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and since we’re halfway through the semester, I thought I’d offer an update. Here are some projects I have been working on, as well as what I’ve learned on the job.
- I have discovered a new found love for event planning! As someone who has always enjoyed organizing and making lists, it was only natural that I transition into logistical work at the higher education level. At my internship, I have been involved with planning career fairs, conference trips, and guest events. It is neat to be the main point of contact despite just having started there. I am enjoying the happy medium between having such responsibilities and also feeling comfortable enough to ask questions if necessary.
- Listen then respond. It is important to take the time to listen and then proceed with questions after critical thinking. I have had the opportunity to sit in on several staff meetings, and am developing opinions on best practices after listening to my supervisors voice concerns and strategies. For instance, while attending a meeting focused around revamping and cleaning out one of our databases, I took copious notes on how the coordinator of the cleanup initiative presented the steps that needed to be taken. Following the presentation, I was happy to see the balance of power in the time left for questions. Everyone was treated as an equal, and that made me more comfortable to share my opinions.
- You can do more, you can always do more! Some days will be faster-paced than others, and some will be slower. I am an office-wide intern, so my duties vary depending on which projects need my attention. I have learned to prioritize. It is also important to take initiative when I have finished certain tasks– there is always more that can be done and room for improvement. So, if you’re having a particularly slow day on the job, don’t be afraid to ask about what else you can help with! When I helped with the career fair, I had my duties specifically laid out for me, hour by hour. But in the days following, I made sure to check in with my supervisors quite frequently to see what I could assist with, and there was always something to be done.
- Confidentiality is key. In the internship journal that is required of me, I write about some specific experiences and sometimes ask my professor for advice, but keeping students’ names and more personal data inside the office is crucial to building trust and rapport with my coworkers and the students who I work with. I have run into situations where I know some of the students who come in for meetings personally, and I am learning about making ethical decisions that coincide with the values I hold as well as the institution’s.
- Relate what you learn in class. For instance, in my career counseling course, we are learning about personality types and work environments, and have determined what qualities we seek out in a professional space. Since that is in the back of my mind, I use that lens when I’m working to categorize my work environment, as well as the different styles of the coordinators around me. It is really fascinating to analyze the diverse perspectives that are brought to the table!
I hope you have found this list interesting and informative. As always, if you have any feedback or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meliora!
No matter your current or prospective program at Warner, chances are you’re keeping up with educational issues in the news. Whether that means subscribing to emails from websites like Inside Higher Ed or reading posts from blogs like that of the Association of American Educators, it is important to know that you can get directly involved with educational advocacy by joining a professional association. Here are some tips to keep in mind when researching which ones might be the best fit for you as a graduate student and emerging professional.
- Events hosted by these associations allow for professional development and networking. For instance, attending a conference put on by NASPA, the association for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, members can learn about bridging gaps between different types of learners, health and wellness initiatives on campus, addressing gender-based issues and hostile environments, and much more, from a multitude of experts.
- These organizations offer scholarships and awards within their respective fields. Are you a mental health counseling student? The American Mental Health Counselors Association offers general scholarship funding to local and state chapters, as well as individual awards for public and community service at the graduate and professional level.
- Those who join can receive benefits in accordance with their level of membership. The previously mentioned AAE offers members some legal protection, insurance, classroom grants, and access to surveys that give data directly to Congress.
- You have a chance to propose programs and research. NASPA, for example, publishes journals with peer-reviewed research, and offers members a chance to inform student affairs professionals via several media outlets.
- These associations can help you find a career! Most organizations’ websites partner with job placement tools that advertise local and nation-wide positions as soon as they become available. Additionally, the networking members engage in at conferences allows for connections to be made, references to be attained, and resumes to be exchanged.
In short, do not be discouraged by your professional level as a student- what better time to start reaching out to potential employers, colleagues, and friends than now?