Leaving and Sustaining a Legacy on Mount Union’s Campus

Leaving and Sustaining a Legacy on Mount Union’s Campus

The Conference This past weekend several other sustainability student leaders and I were fortunate enough to present at the Student Leadership Conference, highlighting the importance of getting involved with sustainability on campus. The idea was to give all this valuable information, many of the concepts being ‘behind the scenes’ that students aren’t aware about (ie: … Read more

The Conference

This past weekend several other sustainability student leaders and I were fortunate enough to present at the Student Leadership Conference, highlighting the importance of getting involved with sustainability on campus. The idea was to give all this valuable information, many of the concepts being ‘behind the scenes’ that students aren’t aware about (ie: our greenhouse gas emissions, geothermal heating units, solar arrays), to the student leaders in hope of promoting more initiatives with student groups on campus.

Sustainability at Mount Union Video! Watch here: Work that Lasts: Leaving & Sustaining a Legacy on Mount Union’s Campus

View/Download the presentation in full by clicking HERE!

What We’ve Done

“Assist in the decision making process of socially, financially and environmentally sound opportunities in order to create a sustainable, efficient and healthy atmosphere for students, faculty and staff.” Here are just a few things that our group has most recently achieved…

  • Attended the AASHE 2011 Conference in Pittsburgh, where we met Bill McKibben, founder of aspiring non-profit 350.org.
  • Developed the Eco-Rep manual and program that offers paid positions to student Eco-Reps in almost all residence halls.
  • Coordinated Mount Union’s first ever Game Day Challenge diverting 48% of waste from landfill at a home football game.
  • And much, much more!

Becoming a Signatory Instiution

President Giese committed Mount Union to sustainability by signing the President’s Climate Commitment in 2007.

We are committed to Carbon Neutrality by 2046, including both the operations of our campus and our curriculum.

We submitted a Climate Action Plan as part of Campus Sustainability Plan in May of 2010.

Carbon Reduction Goals relative to 2008

  • 25% by 2015 (3.9% by 2010)
  • 50% by 2025
  • 80% by 2035
  • Neutrality by 2046

How’s our Campus Looking?

Eight-Hand Piano Concert

Eight-Hand Piano Concert

Ya know what I appreciate about Mount Union? All the firsts I’ve had here. I was in my first play here (in high school we only did musicals). I had my first experience with a Mac (we still don’t get along but our relationship is improving). I had my first (and second) opportunity to sing … Read more

pianoYa know what I appreciate about Mount Union? All the firsts I’ve had here.

I was in my first play here (in high school we only did musicals). I had my first experience with a Mac (we still don’t get along but our relationship is improving). I had my first (and second) opportunity to sing with a symphony orchestra.

And now, I’ve seen my first eight-hand piano concert.

It was this Wednesday, February 13 in Presser.

Two piano duos came together to make some really impressive music. Dr. Maira Liliestedt and Janelle Phinney, and Brent Schloneger and Raquel Teare really put on an incredible show.

They opened with a piano arrangement of the overture from Don Giovanni, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t keep my jaw off the floor for the rest of the show.

It was so COOL seeing them perform! There were two grand pianos next to each other, and two people at each one.

I’m still astonished at how fast their fingers can move. And how they all kept in time with each other, and all the talent on that stage!

Pianists never cease to amaze me. I love love loooooove piano.

I say it all the time in my blogs, but I’ll say it again. Most, if not all, of the concerts we put on are free to the public! It’s so easy to see tons of talent and lots of great music.

Here’s a great way to see all the events Mount Union has coming up. Just look for fine arts to see the information on upcoming concerts!

A liberal arts education

A liberal arts education

Recently, the Office of Marketing has been doing this Twitter stunt that I think is pretty cool. Students get to tweet why they love Mount Union with #IheartMount in the message. I definitely love Mount Union, and it was pretty refreshing to see a lot of people’s different reasons for loving it too. I took … Read more

Recently, the Office of Marketing has been doing this Twitter stunt that I think is pretty cool. Students get to tweet why they love Mount Union with #IheartMount in the message.

I definitely love Mount Union, and it was pretty refreshing to see a lot of people’s different reasons for loving it too.

twitter

I took a little bit of thought with mine—mostly because there are a LOT of things I like about Mount. But here’s what I came up with:

“#IheartMount cuz I’ve been able to get involved in a lot of different things, and it feels like people here are genuinely invested in my success.”

First, let’s be clear about one thing. I’m not a fan of using “cuz” if I can help it, but with 140 characters…I digress.

But seriously though. I say it time and time again: I have done EVERYTHING I could have possible wanted to do: theatre, choir, band, art, journalism, photography, design and the list goes on and on!

Now, I’ve been involved in choir ever since it was made available to me in middle school. It’s meant a lot to my development as a musician and a person, and it was one of the things I was looking for in a college. I didn’t want to be in a choral program dedicated only to musicians.

And boy did I hit jackpot with Mount Union. The concert choir has 26 different majors represented. That’s phenomenal! The band hosts way more than music majors, and the theatre auditions are not limited to theatre majors.

Student Senate isn’t limited to political science majors, the Calliope (literary journal) isn’t only for English majors, and you don’t have to major in a science to be involved in science clubs—I’ve gone to every Physics Game Night.

And that’s incredible. THAT is a liberal arts education. Mount Union is more than focusing on your major and professionalism—it’s literally working to strengthen you as a person: your humanity, your heart, your drive. Mount Union is more than carrying a brick of a textbook from room to room and only building the mind.

That’s what I like about Mount Union. That’s why I came here. So I could learn, but also grow.

Valentine’s Day

It’s that special time of year again! The time when girls get sweet chocolates and pretty flowers as a testimony of their significant others love. Personally I like giving my friends and family valentines. Every year my family has a special dinner and we share valentines with eachother. This year I have a bag of … Read more

It’s that special time of year again! The time when girls get sweet chocolates and pretty flowers as a testimony of their significant others love. Personally I like giving my friends and family valentines. Every year my family has a special dinner and we share valentines with eachother. This year I have a bag of Hershey’s Kisses waiting to be distributed accordingly with valentines to my friends! I was so worried earlier this week for how I could possibly get the materials needed to make everyone valentines. Thankfully the Raider Guides are putting on an event tomorrow evening in the lobby for people who want to make cards for someone! DST is also having some sort of fundraiser selling valentines for a few dollars! I never have cash on me though so I probably won’t end up participating this year but I will save up my change this summer for next year!

I’m sure the movie theatre is going to be very busy Thursday. Especially since the amazing Nicholas Sparks movie is coming out! If I had a date that’s where I would want to be taken. My roommate and I were interested in going to see it too but neither of us have a car. There are tons of great places to eat around here so that makes finding a place for you and your date to go easier! If you really want to treat them take them to Texas Roadhouse!

As for me I’ll probably be doing homework and get ice cream at late night as a sweet snack. Lucky for anyone who is my valentine in the upcoming years-I dont like chocolate!

A Look Back at Cecil Shorts’ Amazing Sophomore Season in the NFL

A Look Back at Cecil Shorts’ Amazing Sophomore Season in the NFL

It was a great 2012 season for 2nd year NFL breakout player Cecil Shorts of the University of Mount Union. Cecil ended the regular season with 55 receptions for 979 yards and a team-leading 7 touchdowns, while being picked a Visio Top Value Performer finalist along with Eric Decker, Stevan Ridley, Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson and … Read more




It was a great 2012 season for 2nd year NFL breakout player Cecil Shorts of the University of Mount Union. Cecil ended the regular season with 55 receptions for 979 yards and a team-leading 7 touchdowns, while being picked a Visio Top Value Performer finalist along with Eric Decker, Stevan Ridley, Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson and Alfred Morris.

I visited ESPN’s split stats for the season and found some eye-opening numbers. Right as Cecil became a starter, he increased his total receptions and yards by 40 and nearly 500 respectively, making the most of his opportunity. He also was most productive on first and second downs, accounting for 40 recpetions and 766 yards with 6 of his total 7 touchdowns. By down and length, Cecil was most productive on first down with 10+ yards to go, where he averaged 22 yards per reception. He also excelled when the Jaguars were trailing, catching for 718 yards and 5 total touchdowns, the most memorable an 80 yarder again Indianapolis. Needless to say, Cecil has been quite the deep threat, and should stay in that starting role come 2013.

Being such a deep threat, he was tied for second in the NFL for yards per catch in 2012 with San Diego’s Danario Alexander at 17.8, behind only Tampa Bay’s VIncent Jackson at 19.2, and also ranks second in the NFL with four receptions of 50-plus yards and an 18.9-yard per catch average. That being said, he also was No. 6 on Pro Football Focus’ list of receivers with the worst drop rate. Safe to say and arguing for his side, he was behind Indianapolis receivers Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton with rates of 16.67, a team where Cecil had his highest production totaling in 7 receptions for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Cecil has created some buzz around the league at large as well. NFL analyst Trey Wingo (@wingoz) had this tweet to say about his 67 yard TD catch against the Houston Texans:

Cecil Shorts with a 67 yard TD #allhedoesiscatchridiculouslylongTDs

He has earned many other admirers during his breakout year, and a special one in Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The highly touted NFL coach had some good things to say about Cecil and his breakout year before heading into a game with the Jaguars.

“He’s done a great job; he’s really impressive,” he said on a conference call. “He’s one of the best guys we’ve played against this year. He competes hard — he doesn’t take any plays off and he works hard on every route,” Belichick said. “I think he does everything well. Excellent downfield receiver, he’s got really good quickness off the line of scrimmage against press coverage, he breaks tackles and can take it all the way.”

In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Cecil remains to be humble, despite putting up great numbers in his amazing sophomore season. After continuing to make the most of his opportunities, getting more targets and gaining quarterback trust, he believes he can still improve much, much more.

“As a total wide receiver, I think I have some work to do. I always see myself as needing to improve. Last offseason, this offseason, just improving my total game. I don’t want to focus on just one thing – my hands or – just trying to focus, as a total receiver, just getting better. I think my route-running can improve, especially on some certain routes. You can get cut if you can’t get off the press. I think I did a good job of getting off the press, but you can never be too good at it. So getting off the press is definitely an important thing I think I need to work on. But I’m excited for this upcoming year. Third-year campaign and I think I can do some good things next year.”

I think I speak on behalf of a lot of people, that Raider Nation is looking forward to seeing another tremendous season from Cecil in 2013. He’s making a name for himself, giving opportunity to other Mount Union players who are trying to make it to the league, and he’s going to be one of the league’s best values until the end of the 2013 campaign if he keeps on the same track.

You’ve got to find what you love, don’t settle

You’ve got to find what you love, don’t settle

I received an email the other day from my brother that was quite intriguing, about an article on Steve Jobs’ Bad Career Advice. I was so drawn into this because everyone my age idolizes Steve Jobs, lives by his quotes and have every product Apple has ever manufactured. I am a victim as well. This particularly was a recent … Read more

I received an email the other day from my brother that was quite intriguing, about an article on Steve Jobs’ Bad Career Advice. I was so drawn into this because everyone my age idolizes Steve Jobs, lives by his quotes and have every product Apple has ever manufactured. I am a victim as well.

This particularly was a recent Forbes article he wanted some opinions on, and now I want yours too. He heard about it through one of his LinkedIn Group notifications, and it analyzes something Steve Jobs said at a graduation speech years ago.

Steve Jobs said in his Stanford University graduation speech:

  • “I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”
  • “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Robin Hanson (Overcoming Bias Blog):

  • “Now try to imagine a world where everyone actually tried to follow this advice. And notice that we have an awful lot of things that need doing which are unlikely to be anyone’s dream job. So a few folks would be really happy, but most everyone else wouldn’t stay long on any job, and most stuff would get done pretty badly. Not a pretty scenario…”

Will Wilkinson (Big Think):

  • “As an undergrad I was an art major. Frankly, few of my fellow art majors were talented enough to make a living at it, even after four (or more!) years of training. Sure they loved art, but in the immortal words of Tina Turner, ‘What’s love got to do with it?’ ‘Find what you love and never settle for less’ is an excellent recipe for frustration and poverty. ‘Reconcile yourself to the limits of your talent and temperament and find the most satisfactory compromise between what you love to do and what you need to do to feed your children’ is rather less stirring, but it’s much better advice.”

Where do you stand? Here’s was my take on it.

I can relate to this in two parts, from being enrolled in a social responisbility course and to heavily searching for a post-graduate job.

In class we are reading several books, right now World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, which is full of factoids, problems, solutions and brings decades of research and analysis into play, providing the responses needed to reclaim our future. I leave class with a headache, puzzled, confused, yet motivated at the same time. The reason I bring this up is because what makes people happy or satisfied in their jobs? I believe it’s because they feel what they are doing is worthwhile, meaningful work and making a positive impact.

Going off of the passage “if you haven’t found what you want, don’t settle” simply reconnects you with your long-term goals. I stand in trying to have a long-term vision of what you love and want to do, but touching base with reality and being ‘happy’ that you know you’re on that path. I will not entirely love my future jobs at first, but as long as it’s for an organization that I stand by, is helping me grow personally and I feel is doing the most ‘good,’ I will be happy knowing my future will be better and brighter. Not settling to me is just knowing you are on the right path and not cutting yourself off short.

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Year of the Snake

The Year of the Snake

Happy New Year! Chinese New Year, that is! To be politically correct, and avoid being bombarded with corrections, Happy Lunar New Year. CNY/LNY is a huge holiday for many international students on campus. It marks the beginning of a new lunar calendar year. This year, may the year of the Snake bring prosperity. Here are … Read more

Happy Year of the Snake!

Happy New Year! Chinese New Year, that is!

To be politically correct, and avoid being bombarded with corrections, Happy Lunar New Year. CNY/LNY is a huge holiday for many international students on campus. It marks the beginning of a new lunar calendar year. This year, may the year of the Snake bring prosperity.

Here are some CNY/LNY customs and facts:

1. The celebration lasts for 15 days.

2. Sweeping is a taboo on the eve of the CNY/LNY. It is said to sweep out the good luck for the year.

3. The first words uttered during the new year will determine person’s fortunes for the entire year. So watch what you say!

4. Legend says that Buddha invited all the animals to join him during the new year but only 12 turned up. He then named a year after each of the 12 animals. The lunar calendar has 12 zodiacs. I was born on the year of the Goat.

5. People wear RED to bring prosperity. Dark colors are avoided.

6. Red envelopes with money are handed out from married people to children. The custom varies from place to place, but the red envelopes remain.

This is my third Chinese New Year away from home. I left home to come to Mount Union in January 2011 before the celebrations began and I have not returned for the celebrations since. It seems strange because I have not done much during the new year since I came here. This year, I decided do things my way. Traditionally, my family hosts a series of steamboat (hotpot to some) dinners where many people, family and friends, will come over to eat and catch up. This time around, I hosted my own. With the help of my fellow Malaysians on campus, we managed to pull off a dinner that matched my family dinners. Well, besides the fact that the guest list was totally different. After the dinner, I celebrated and welcomed the new year the same way many college students here celebrate any occasion: Party! I invited a few friends over and it meant a lot to me that I could share the biggest holiday in my culture with friends I have made here at Mount Union.

The celebrations are not over just yet. After all, I did tell you that our new year celebration lasts for 15 days. So, anyone want to celebrate it with me?

Skiing/Snowboarding? Sure!

Skiing/Snowboarding? Sure!

At the beginning of this spring 2013 semester, the Association of International Students (AIS) took some of its members to a nearby ski resort in northeast Ohio to put all that snow we’ve been getting to good use. A total of 16 international students went on this trip. Snow Trails in Mansfield was the destination. … Read more

Some of the AIS members at Snow Trails in Mansfield, OH.

At the beginning of this spring 2013 semester, the Association of International Students (AIS) took some of its members to a nearby ski resort in northeast Ohio to put all that snow we’ve been getting to good use.

A total of 16 international students went on this trip. Snow Trails in Mansfield was the destination.

Some of the students who went on this ski trip were relatively skilled; coming from European nations or from Japan, where snow and skiing is a common thing. Coming from tropical Malaysia, I was a little less prepared.

I think the smartest thing to do for a first-timer at a ski resort is to take up skiing. I decided to be a little less smart and took up snowboarding instead.

It was amazing!

It always looked so easy when you see people doing it in movies. It looked effortless when I watched the Winter X-Games on TV the night before. But let me be the first to admit that Shawn White made me think snowboarding was too easy. That did not help me when I had to do the actual thing. So I fell. I fell once, twice and maybe thirty times. All that in my first hour of snowboarding, mind you.

After about five hours of falling, with some snowboarding, I was aching all around.

This trip was just one of the many things that the AIS does to take the students away from their daily routines and escape into a different world. One of the goals of AIS is to take the international students, as well as any American students who wish to join, out for different activities. We all know the value of a getaway from the stress of school and work.

Benvenuti in Italia, Papà!

Benvenuti in Italia, Papà!

Benvenuti in Italia, Papà! I am so lucky that dad could visit this weekend before heading to Germany for a work trip. While hearing stories from home made me miss my family even more, having him here also cured a lot of my homesickness and I was so excited to share Italy with him. After Italian … Read more

Benvenuti in Italia, Papà! I am so lucky that dad could visit this weekend before heading to Germany for a work trip. While hearing stories from home made me miss my family even more, having him here also cured a lot of my homesickness and I was so excited to share Italy with him.

After Italian class Thursday morning, I pulled up a chair and waited anxiously for any sign of dad in the piazza below my apartment. After finishing homework and still seeing no trace of him, I pulled on my jacket and gloves to go searching. However, before heading out the door I glanced out the window once more and saw him coming around the corner. The man’s a trooper. It was freezing outside, pouring down rain, and he was towing along two roller suitcases on the cobblestone streets, along with his lap top bag thrown over his shoulder (keep in mind one entire suitcase was filled with mac & cheese, ramen noodles, nutter butter cookies, special k bars and tons of my favorite snacks from my family. What can I say? They’re the best.) I was so excited and ran down the stairs of the apartment as quickly as I could to greet him with a “buon giorno!” and a big hug.

The rest of the day I showed him around Viterbo; my apartment, the university campus, some of my favorite shops and a pretty church I had previously visited for art class. I also took him to one of my favorite cafes for his first Italian pastry. Later that night, we went to The Spaghetteria for dinner. There was no menu that night; they just brought out dishes. While this made us a bit nervous as first, I was happy that they brought out two dishes I would have NEVER ordered on my own, yet I loved. The first spaghetti dish had bell peppers, chili and olive oil while the second was a dish with mushroom sauce. I know, I can’t believe I ate it either, but I am so glad that I did! Dad booked a hotel in Viterbo and I got to stay there with him while he visited. Hot showers, heat and free breakfast… of course I had to take him up on that offer.

monster garden

Friday I wanted to take dad for a day trip, so we decided to go to the Monster Park, also called “Basco Sacro,” meaning “Sacred Wood,” in Bomarzo. Since I told dad that I never used the bus system before and I wasn’t sure how it works, he was a bit iffy about going. He assured me many times that he was content staying in Viterbo, but I had confidence that I could figure it out on my own. Whether it was confidence, or believing dad would fix it if I messed up along the way, I’m not sure… but let’s just go with the first one. It ended up being a great trip and the Monster Park was so cool! The artist created these unique sculptures to “confuse the senses” and cause amazement for anyone that entered the woods.

trevi fountain with dad

Saturday morning we woke up super early, grabbed breakfast at the hotel and took off for Rome. Our hotel was literally a minute walk away from the Trevi Fountain, my absolute favorite spot in Rome. I took dad on the tour that I went on my first time in Rome and he got to see the Vatican, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Colosseum. We also went to the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps after dark to see them lit up. I made sure that dad also had his first gelato (as well as a few chocolate pastries throughout the weekend), which he really liked. I am much more confident with the metro system now and we were handling it like pros on Saturday.

coloseum

While dad was bowing at the taxi drivers and saying “gracias,” to everyone when he first arrived (too many business trips to Japan and Mexico), I was extremely proud when he replied “grazie” to the hotel manager after checking out… better late than never right? After our last breakfast together Sunday morning (a chocolate pastry for me, of course), we headed to Termini train station for dad to head to the airport and for me to get back “home.” I was really nervous about finding and taking my first train alone, but it all worked out in the end and I made it back safely in Viterbo!

It was such a great weekend and I don’t even have time to be sad that it’s over because I am going to PARIS this week for Valentine’s Day!!! Au revoir Italy, Bonjour Paris!

Reflection

It has now been one month since I have moved to Italy and I have already seen and learned so much about not only the world, but also about myself. I wanted to look back and reflect on this past month. Highlights: Tossing a coin in the Trevi Fountain Watching the sun set over the … Read more

It has now been one month since I have moved to Italy and I have already seen and learned so much about not only the world, but also about myself. I wanted to look back and reflect on this past month.

Highlights:

  1. Tossing a coin in the Trevi Fountain
  2. Watching the sun set over the beautiful city of Florence (while being serenaded)
  3. My discovery of European chocolate and tiramisu gelato

Hardest part:

  1. Missing my family and friends (this could actually take spots 2 and 3 as well)
  2. The brutal walks and classes outside in the cold
  3. Adjusting to Italian culture; accepting that it’s not “wrong,” it’s just different!

Biggest disappointments:

  1. The extremely thin, burnt Italian pizza
  2. American music playing everywhere in Viterbo
  3. Trying my hardest at speaking Italian in Rome and being replied to in English

What I’m most looking forward to now:

  1. Seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night
  2. Girls’ trip to Sicily
  3. The upcoming winery field trip

After all that has happened in the first month alone, I can’t wait to see what February has in store!

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