Finding treasures in Alliance

Finding treasures in Alliance

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I feel like a lot of people that go to Mount think negatively about the city that we live in, Alliance.  The city is pretty small and there isn’t a huge shopping mall here.  We have a mall called “Carnation Mall” that has about seven stores inside of it.  We have very few chain restaurants (and no coffee shops).  However, I think that also makes the city very interesting.  It definitely gives the city character and makes this college town different than a lot of others.  I mean, obviously it’d be fun if we had huge shopping areas and tons of fancy dinner options, but I think it leaves us to explore the smaller places more.

There are so many cute little family-owned places in Alliance, and I have made it my mission to check out a majority of these before I graduate in December.  For a class project last semester, we all had to go to a small business and do a presentation on how we would help the company in from a public relations perspective.  I got assigned a small Italian restaurant called Anthony’s.  It really is adorable and it is located on Main Street.  They have really good food (try the sweet potato fries!!).

On Tuesday, the directors of WRMU had our monthly dinner at a place called Andrea’s Garden.  Ohhhh my goodness is this place is sweet.  It is on Union Avenue just right down the street from campus and it is all organic food.  I had heard of the restaurant before but never tried it because … well, I’m not sure why. I guess I just assumed all of the food would be tofu.  Complete misconception.  Organic does not mean vegetarian or vegan.  It simply means that all of their food products are made without chemicals and preservatives.  They have sandwiches, salads, amazing smoothies, teas and so much more.

I had a chicken fajita, which was delicious. It came with a side of sea salt chips and I also had a strawberry banana smoothie. YUUM!  The food all seems healthy (even if it really isn’t) and it’s not too pricy, so I want to tell everyone to check it out! On the dessert menu they had “Dominique’s Chocolate Chunk Cookie (and not one calorie!!).”  And I know I’m very gullible, but I was like, “hey, this is an organic restaurant. And they do make pop without calories so maybe it’s possible??”

Even our station manager was intrigued, so he asked the server and she said that it is just a joke with the owner of the restaurant and of courrrssseee there are calories in it, and lots of them!  So, my dreams were crushed because that would have made my life to know that there were cookies without calories :]

But all in all, Andrea’s Garden was delightful and you should check it out if you’re in the area.  Try the other little places around here too.  There’s Chive’s, Jalisco, Alliance Family Restaurant, Anthony’s, Burger Hut, Blue Fig, Tailgater’s and a bunch more!  Happy exploring!! :]

-Shannon

 

Thankful for…homework?!

Thankful for…homework?!

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Yes, you did just read that I am thankful for homework … before you think I’m crazy, let me explain.

The past two semesters have been loaded with work … (maybe not so thankful for that part, sorry professors!). HOWEVER, the assignments that I have been given have actually been great.

While I might not agree with that last statement at first, I come to realize that the assignments we get in school are pretty interesting.

For instance, last semester in my marketing class, we were assigned a huge project where we chose a business to team up with the Inspi(RED) campaign. We had to research a company and I chose Chipotle! We found all these creative ways to team up with RED and do fun promotions. My group got t-shirts made of a red foil wrapped burrito, and we learned new ways to promote our idea. I’m really interested in social media so I focused most of our project on just that. I was able to learn all about Chipotle and get graded on it… (be honest – who is craving a burrito now?)

In my advanced public relations class, we were assigned real clients from the surrounding area and we had to work with them on projects that they assigned to us. My group was given two projects that, at the time, seemed overwhelming (heck, they still kind of do) but they really taught us so much.

The first project was to create a video on Alliance and show it at a convention type event being held on the campus in April. There is so much more to creating a video than just filming – we toured Alliance, saw places we’ve never knew existed, met awesome people who are trying to turn Alliance into the hot spot it once was and also met inspirational people who are dedicating their lives to help the people of Alliance. After taking the tours and learning all we have so far, I really have a new level of respect for the city.

The second project we were assigned was to help a family in Alliance that wants to start up a Carnation business. We met with our client and she had all these goals for her company, including the making of a website, which we are going to be helping her with. We were able to pick out the name for her company, design their logo and got the website and social media up and running – basically help the company blast off!

In one of my sport business classes, we are making sponsorship proposals for a  professional team in Colorado (I chose the Rockies!) and then picking a potential sponsor for the team and creating a plan to go along with it.  We get to be as creative as we want while creating promotional events for our team. Remember my marketing project with Chipotle? Since I’ve learned so much about that company, I’ve decided to use Chipotle as my potential sponsor, and it’s a huge plus that they’re based in Denver. I am really looking forward to completing this project because I’ll learn so much more about both companies and I can use it in my portfolio! (Ok, if you weren’t craving a burrito before, are you now?!)

So, sure, it may seem like an overwhelming amount of work but it isn’t. Would you rather be sitting in class taking notes and listening to lectures? The projects I’ve worked on in school (and those were only a few examples) have taught me so much about the real world and have made me excited to start working someday!

-samantha

Women have come a long way

Women have come a long way

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As I mentioned before, I am the news director at the radio station on campus, WRMU.  I actually applied for a different position my sophomore year and ending up getting news director because the directors at that time said they thought I would fit the position.  When I started out, I really didn’t have too much of an idea what I’d be doing so I kind of did my own thing.  I started interviewing people who I thought the campus and the community of Alliance would enjoy hearing from.  I’ve covered local events as well and attend the elections each year at the Stark County Board of Elections to report back with live results as they come in.

Last semester, I was driving down State Street (which is the main street in Alliance) and I saw all these women, men and children standing along the road holding signs and yelling something. I didn’t know what was going on but I was pretty sure that they were protesting something.  I always have my recorder on me (for reasons like this) and I decided to stop and interview one of the women.  I was directed to the “leader.”  She told me that they were a group protesting abortion.  It is something that they do every year on that date, and on that specific date, there are also people from all over the country doing the same thing.

I immediately took the audio to the radio station, put a story together and put it on-air for our listeners to understand what was going on in our city.  We actually received an e-mail from a listener about this story who said she didn’t agree with the protesters, but she was glad we did a story so people could see both sides of the argument.

This past week, I attended an event called the “Women’s History Month Dessert.”  Since March is Women’s History Month, the school decided to kick it off by having women in power positions from the city come in to speak with our female students.  Any student was welcome to attend and we all had roundtable discussions.  The keynote speaker was Janet Weir Creighton who is the former mayor of Canton.  She is currently working as a commissioner in Stark County and she spent one year working in the White House alongside President Bush.  She was so fascinating to talk to.  I loved hearing her stories about being in the White House and the other things that she has experienced being in politics for so many years.

Another person I talked to was Phyllis Phillips, who is the ONLY woman on the Alliance City Council right now.  She talked to me about what her duties are as a councilwoman as well as other stories about her life.  She attended Malone College (now Malone University) and she told me that when she went there women and men students had all separate classes.  She said that the times were even staggered so the females and males would never pass each other walking around campus to get to their classes.  I cannot imagine being in school today and having to be completely separated based on what sex you are. It makes me realize truly how far women have come over the years.

I also spoke with Victoria Wood at this event.  She is the executive director of the Alliance and Minerva Red Cross.  She talked to me about what type of person you have to be in order to work at the Red Cross and what she does on a daily basis.  She had interesting stories as well because she is also retired from the military.  I talked to her about what it was like to be in the military as a woman and if she felt that she was treated different because she was a female.  She said there are definitely differences but that they say they are changing things (or trying to) today.

I put some of these stories together already.  They take a long time to sift through all of the interviews to find out exactly what information I’d like to use.  So far, I have two done on Janet Weir Creighton.  If you’d like to listen to her whole speech, which is really interesting and about 15 minutes, that is on the WRMU part of the Mount Union website.  My two stories about Creighton are there as well.  Also, feel free to check out any of my other podcasts that are listed there.

http://www.mountunion.edu/2011-podcasts

I’m sure there will be plenty more news opportunities and stories to come.  Stay tuned!

-Shannon