Author Archives: Alyssa Greenwell

About Alyssa Greenwell

My name is Alyssa Greenwell and I am from Canton, Ohio. I am a sophomore here at the University of Mount Union majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience. I am involved in many clubs and organizations on campus as well as volunteer work in the community. I love helping others and strive to make a difference in their lives.

Breakfast for Bruce

Breakfast for Bruce

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Today I took part in something great and truly extraordinary; something that touched hearts. Today, I felt like I made a difference and I know many people who shared in my experience would say the same thing.

As many of you know, most likely from my previous blogs, I am a sister of the wonderful and amazing Delta Sigma Tau sorority. Today we held Breakfast for Bruce. This event was a benefit breakfast in memory of one of our sister’s father who passed away from cancer not too long ago. The breakfast took place this afternoon from 3 – 6 p.m. at a church next to campus. The breakfast included pancakes, sausage, bacon and hash browns. We had many themed raffle baskets at the benefit including Pampered Chef, sports and movies. Hundreds of raffle tickets were sold.  The purpose of the breakfast was to remember our sister’s father and raise money for her family. It is amazing to see how much support we received from the Mount Union campus for this event. Many students bought tickets and came out for the event as well as faculty and staff members, community members and even some families of students. In addition, campus organizations even supported this event through monetary donations or devotion of time at the event. The outcome of the breakfast was wonderful and exceeded our expectations!

It truly is remarkable to see what can happen when a campus can come together to support a cause. I, along with the Delta Sigma Tau sorority, would like to thank everyone for supporting our event and helping to make a difference. Thank you!

Makin’ Some Extra Cash

Makin’ Some Extra Cash

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It appears as if college students always seem to lack one thing – money. Students always tend to use the phrase “I’m just a poor college student.” So much money is spent on tuition, textbooks, food and groceries each semester. Even though all this money is spent, it is often times hard to hold down a steady job due to a heavy academic load and busy schedule.

At Mount Union though, this is not the case. On campus, there are so many ways and opportunities to make a few bucks and even gain just a little more than that in the process. Mount Union offers many on-campus employment opportunities, which vary from working in an administrative office and working in the MAAC to being a science laboratory assistant and being an academic tutor in a class. There are even opportunities to earn money working closely with freshmen and the incoming freshmen class. At Mount Union, you can be employed or take part in work study at just about any place on campus.

Holding a job on campus, however, does not just allow you to make a few extra dollars and offset your college tuition though. It provides so much more. It allows you to get involved and put yourself out there. It gives you the chance to meet new friends and form relationships with people you would not have had the opportunity to without the job. It presents the ability to get to know others. A campus job also helps you to better adapt to campus life and become more familiar with the campus itself including where things are located, who to go to for certain issues and where the best hang out spots are.

Just take me for example. I currently hold a job in Beeghly Hall in the Office of the President. I began working there last year during the second semester of my freshmen year. Not only have I been given many unique opportunities and experiences through this job, but also I have met and formed relationships with many extraordinary people. It truly has been an amazing experience that I would not trade for anything.

So when going to college don’t let the aspect of money wear you down. There are always ways to earn a few extra bucks on campus and gain just a little more than that along the way!

There’s a New Food Love in Town!

There’s a New Food Love in Town!

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I can tell you that two simple words sum up this entire post: Panera Bread. If you have not heard of Panera Bread then you must not be living in the real world as it is one of the best food places ever. Panera Bread is an obsessive love of mine. The food is delicious times infinity, and it is one of my favorite places to eat! When I first heard the talk that Alliance was getting a Panera Bread, I thought it was crazy-talk. I did not believe it as many rumors had been circulating for months about what new food places were being built in the near future in Alliance. The talk, however, continued for weeks on end with the same story, and I finally realized that it was true. Alliance, Ohio was finally getting a Panera Bread! This was one of the greatest moments of the year! I was ecstatic and could not wait for it to open since one of my favorite places to eat would now just be a few minutes down the road from campus.

Now many months later, the Panera Bread in Alliance has finally opened and is ready for business. I know that I will be a frequent customer for the duration of my time spent here at Mount Union. If you are not sure where it is located it can be found between the recently-opened Chipotle and Giant Eagle on West State Street. If you have not eaten there before, definitely check it out and give it a chance. It is a quick, easy place to grab any meal of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack. There are many different foods on the menu, almost anyone can find something enjoyable that will crave his or her hunger!

It’s a New Year

It’s a New Year

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So it’s 2012 now! The beginning of a new year. The beginning of many other new things. A new semester with new classes and new professors. New events and campus activities. New experiences and opportunities that will come around. New relationships and connections that will be made.

A new year presents many chances for change and endless possibilities. It is, in a way, a chance to start over. Do something different. Make improvements on what was unfavorable from 2011. As 2012 begins, the chance is given to start fresh and better you. It’s the time to make changes in your life. This year is yours and you can choose to do anything with it. Make a goal to do better academically. Spend more time studying. Do volunteer work. Study abroad. Join a new club/organization on campus. Reach an athletic goal. 2012 is a blank canvas that needs filled and it needs some color. So what are you going to do this year?

Top 10 Holiday Movies

Top 10 Holiday Movies

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As the Christmas season rolls in, there is one defining part that many people look forward to – Christmas movies! People cannot wait until they can finally watch their all-time favorite holiday films, which they have had stored away for 11 months. The television channel ABC Family begins showing Christmas movies around the middle of November in their annual “Countdown to 25 days of Christmas” program and then continues the movies in their yearly special “25 days of Christmas,” which begins on December 1. Many other channels begin scheduling holiday movies into their daily programming as well. These holiday movies also are taken off of the shelves and out of the cabinets at many homes and put into DVD players in order to really get people into the Christmas spirit. These movies make Christmas seem real and that the holiday is coming soon. For myself especially, I begin watching Christmas movies around Thanksgiving and don’t stop until after the December 25. I love Christmas movies and find much enjoyment through their viewing!

Now, there are hundreds of Christmas movies with each one possessing its own unique plot and message. Holiday movies range from the holiday classics to newly-produced movies and to ones that spread holiday cheer to others that promote believing in the holiday itself. So what movies make your list of Top 10 Holiday Favorites?

Here is my list of favorites:

1. Holiday Classics (such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Miser Brothers Christmas, The Year Without a Santa Claus) – I love all of the holiday classic films!
2. The Polar Express
3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (both the cartoon and Jim Carrey’s version)
5. Miracle on 34th Street
6. The Santa Clause (of the Tim Allen trilogy, the first is by far my favorite, however they all are great!)
7. Elf
8. A Charlie Brown Christmas
9. Three Days
10. A Christmas Carol

If you haven’t seen some of these movies, I recommend watching them. They will truly lift your holiday spirit and really put you in the Christmas mood. If you have other favorites that did not make my list, leave me a comment and share them with me!

What Christmas Is All About

What Christmas Is All About

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As the Christmas season rolls in and the countdown to the holiday’s final arrival is slimming, it’s important to take a step back and realize just what this holiday is about. Over the years, and especially now in today’s world, the holiday of Christmas has become more about material things … getting gifts, after gifts, after gifts and fulfilling almost every want on your Christmas list that has been building since August. It seems that this holiday is about buying and ultimately, spending money. The media has made Christmas into a holiday that revolves around materialistic wants and wishes. People spend hours shopping for the perfect gift for each individual on their list and spend way more money than is needed. People then receive gifts that are more of a want than a necessity and are things that will be worn every now and then or played with once or twice, never to be touched again. But in reality, this newly-made materialistic holiday is not what Christmas is about.

Christmas, yes is a holiday of giving, but not in the way that the media presents. The type of giving it entails is the giving of time and help to others, focusing more on helping others than you and spreading kindness. Christmas is about helping those less fortunate and less well off in order to provide them with a better holiday season. Many people in the Alliance community and even around the world cannot afford to have an extravagant Christmas, as some cannot even afford food or daily necessities needed to survive. Some cannot afford more than a few presents if any for Christmas. So during the holiday season, it’s important to give to these people rather than giving all to yourself, as they need things more than you do. It’s important to help make everyone have a wonderful Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas should never be forgotten and it definitely is not here at the University of Mount Union as many organizations on campus are doing their part this holiday season.

For example, my sorority, Delta Sigma Tau, supports the Alliance for Children and Families as one of its philanthropies. The Alliance for Children and Families is an organization that is committed to helping children, individuals and families lead lives of stability, self-sufficiency and enhancement. ACF provides a shelter for the homeless and assists in helping people obtain housing that may have trouble doing so. This Christmas season, we are conducting a toy drive and raising money in hopes of providing a better Christmas for the children and families that live at the shelter. Many children at the shelter do not know Christmas like you and I do. The children at this shelter receive items such as shampoo, conditioner and other daily necessities as their Christmas presents, and they are ecstatic! They are full of joy and happiness by just receiving these items as presents. They have no idea what it is like to actually receive a toy or some type of play item as a present. Our goal as a sorority is to give the children a much better Christmas and provide them with the feeling of what it’s like to receive a fun present. They deserve to experience a wonderful Christmas.

Additionally, the Mount Union Honors Program and Honors Council spent time making Christmas cards for geriatric patients. Many patients at local hospitals and nursing homes do not receive holiday cards or even visits from family members during the holiday season, so receiving a card wishing them a warm and wonderful holiday shows that someone cares. It shows that someone is thinking of them somewhere. These cards brighten the holiday season for the patients and bring a smile to their faces that may not have been present in a long time.

Both of these examples spread the true meaning of Christmas. So I challenge you to sacrifice a few hours of holiday gift shopping and involve yourself in some activity such as these, as these are the types of activities that everyone should try to take part in this holiday season. And you do not even have to do something this big. You can do something on a much smaller scale such as simply baking holiday cookies for an elderly neighbor or volunteering to wrap gifts at a local mall. You can even pick up a gift for someone who needs it most while out doing your holiday shopping or just wishing someone a “happy holidays.” If more people took part in activities such as these this holiday season, no matter how big or small, imagine how many people would experience a better Christmas, how many more smiles would exist and how much better of a place this world would be to live in.

The video that goes along with this blog is just another way to help someone out and it truly displays the true meaning of Christmas. I know you will enjoy it, so please watch it!

I hope you find some way that you can spread the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season.

“Christmas-itis”

“Christmas-itis”

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The first day of December for the year 2011 has finally arrived. Many people look forward to this day each year as it officially marks the first day of the holiday season, the holiday being Christmas of course! On the first day of December, or the first week of December at least, many Christmas trees are cut down and bought, decorations go up and lights are hung around the outside of many homes. Christmas music is finally played repeatedly on the radio and Christmas movies are played each night on many channels, especially ABC Family, which even has its own Christmas movie event called the 25 Days of Christmas. People begin to spend more time shopping and buying the gifts wanted by family members as well as baking festive cookies and desserts, all in preparation for upcoming holiday parties. The first day of December is the beginning of the Christmas festivities and the start of a wonderful month full of holiday cheer and giving!

The first day of December, however, for many college students across America is somewhat different. One the first day of December, 12/1/2011, college students begin counting down the days until the semester is over. It’s one day closer to the day in which they can return home for a long, extended Christmas break full of relaxation, fun and family time with, most importantly, no school work. On the first day of December, the common disease of “Christmas-itis” finally kicks in. Students no longer want to do school work, although these last few weeks is crunch time stuffed with presentations, due dates for important papers and final exams with these ending weeks being some of the most important weeks of the semester. At this point in the semester, college students have much desire to return home as some have only been home once this semester, which was most likely for Thanksgiving a little over a week ago. This very common disease of “Christmas-itis” can be trouble for students as it creates the temptation to procrastinate school work and do something else more exciting in its place.

So how do you tackle “Christmas-itis” and prevent it? Well first off, it’s inevitably unpreventable as almost all students love Christmas and the holiday season. So it happens to be one of those things you just take it as it comes and deal with it! But there are several steps, which can be used to help calm “Christmas-itis” and not allow it to overcome the last few important weeks of the semester. First off, staying organized and having a study game plan is very important. Be sure to be aware of all upcoming assignment due dates, exam schedules and any homework that needs to be done. Allot time to complete all of these assignments and to study. Make a list to help you and be sure to check it twice each day (just like Santa!!). Secondly, invite the Christmas holiday in. Decorate your dorm room, listen to Christmas music and watch a holiday movie. Ignoring the holiday feelings can only increase the effects of “Christmas-itis.” Thirdly, be sure to leave some room for fun or alone time each day to break up all the school work that is due. Have a snow ball fight, go ice skating or see a newly- released movie. Lastly stay focused, as home and Christmas are only a few weeks away!

Remember to Always Give Thanks

Remember to Always Give Thanks

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The Thanksgiving holiday is one that many people look forward to as it is a day in which you are able to see family members that you may not have seen in a while, watch some exciting displays of football and, of course, a day where you can eat as much as you want and not be judged by others. What many people don’t realize or tend to forget is that the Thanksgiving holiday is about much more than just that. I mean think of the word Thanksgiving itself … it contains two meaningful words – thanks and giving. And, that’s exactly what Thanksgiving is about. It’s about giving thanks and simply appreciating what you have.

Often enough, people get so caught up in their everyday lives that they take things for granted, forgetting to acknowledge and appreciate what they do have. People ask for more and more, especially as the Christmas season rolls in, instead of being grateful for what they do have. Many people in today’s world are less fortunate and well off. Many cannot even afford three meals a day or daily necessities such as clothes or toothpaste. Therefore, it’s important to stop and give thanks for what you do have not only on this wonderful holiday but everyday. So what are you thankful for?

Well, I’m thankful for many things. First off, I am thankful for my family as I would not be where I am or who I am today without them. They are my entire world and support system. Secondly, I am thankful for my amazing friends. They truly are the best that anyone could ever ask for. They are there for me no matter what and make my life meaningful, and they are the true meaning of friendship! Thirdly, I am thankful for the wonderful relationships I have made here at Mount Union and for the unique opportunities I have been given. Mount Union has opened many doors for me and presented me with many experiences that I know have and will change my life. Lastly, I am thankful to be alive and be where I am today.

So what did you give thanks for this Thanksgivng?

A Simple Way to Save 3 Lives

A Simple Way to Save 3 Lives

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Have you ever wanted to save a life? Help someone? Make a difference? Well, all three of these ambitions can be accomplished in one quick, easy action. Can you guess what this action may be? You probably have no idea, as people do not realize the effects of this common action. Well, it just so happens that this action is the simple act of donating blood.

Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. To be exact, according to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone has a need for blood. The only source of that blood is from a volunteer donor, a person like you and I who makes the choice to donate. Currently, in the United States only three out of every 100 people donate blood. Did you know though that one pint of blood, which is the amount given during most blood donations, can save up to three lives? I can guarantee that many people did not know that.

The process to donate blood is not a difficult one by any means and is not a long process, as it takes about an hour and 15 minutes to donate overall. When you arrive to the blood drive, you are given paperwork and a bit of information to read. You then proceed to have your vitals checked (pulse rate, temperature and blood pressure) and answer a series of questions. The questions are simple yes/no questions, which help to determine if you are able to donate blood because there are certain requirements to donate and certain aspects that prohibit donations. The iron level in your blood also is tested. Next, you move to the actual donation portion. After the donation is complete, you move to the refreshment table to refuel your body. As you can see, the process is pretty simple.

So have you ever donated blood? Hopefully, the answer to that question is yes. I have been donating blood ever since I reached the minimum age requirement of 16 years old. I couldn’t wait to donate blood because I knew that my blood was making a difference. The first time I gave blood was a little nerve-racking, however now the process is like a simple 1-2-3 to me. This past Tuesday, the American Red Cross held a blood drive on the University of Mount Union’s campus in the Mount Union Theatre. I, of course, donated my pint of blood and saved three lives. Might I add, I even received a Chipotle gift card!

Donating blood presents an easy way to help others and provides a good feeling after. So the next time a blood drives comes your way and you are presented with the opportunity to give, DO IT! If not for the purpose of saving three lives, then at least for the purpose of receiving a Chipotle gift card!

Click here to read more facts about blood from the American Red Cross.

Families Don’t Always Share The Same Genes

Families Don’t Always Share The Same Genes

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At Mount Union, the word family is a defying characteristic. When you think of the word family you often think of your mom or dad, an aunt or uncle, basically someone who is related to you genetically. However, the word family can represent a group of people who are in no way connected genetically. They didn’t come from the same town, same high school or even the same state. The word family simply connects the group of people through the strong bonds formed between each person and the valuable relationship they all share. The term family applies to the Mount Union campus in many ways as the campus as a whole is one big family made up of many intertwining families. These intertwining families possess their own special characteristics, which make them unique and set them apart from the others. Some examples of intertwining families are Greek life, residence life, student-led organizations and each grade level themselves. One intertwining family that is especially important to me is the Delta Sigma Tau sorority family, which is apart of the Greek life family.

As you probably know from my biography, I am an active sister in the Delta Sigma Tau sorority. To me, my sorority is my family – my home away from home. This past week in the sorority was “I” week, also known as initiation week, in which many new ladies became sisters of the sorority. Just as the Delta Sigma Tau family is a sub-family of the Greek life family, there are also sub-families in the Delta Sigma Tau sorority. The families in Delta Sigma Tau are made up of active sisters taking a new little each fall during initiation. Last Thursday, during “I” week, one of these new babies joined my family by becoming my little. A little is somewhat like a child or little sister. Taking a little is a process that many sisters in sororities and brothers in fraternities take part in at least once during the time they spend as active members. As I am only a sophomore, this was the first little that I have taken. My little is Alyssa Betro, a freshman at Mount Union.

Becoming a big is something special that cannot be fully understood until taking part in the process. It comes with many new responsibilities, experiences and opportunities. It gives you the chance to help someone and guide him or her through the college years. It gives you the chance to always be there for someone and make him or her know that he or she is never alone. It gives you the chance to create an unbreakable bond with someone based on love and friendship. It gives you the chance to make a difference. Becoming a big is truly a wonderful experience that I would not trade for the world.