Khaled Hosseini comes to Mount

Khaled Hosseini comes to Mount

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Every year, Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture, which is basically a large event in which a famous person comes and speaks to the community. Some examples of speakers who have came in the past would be Gerald R. Ford, Henry Kissinger, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sandra Day O’Connor, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Desmond Tutu and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Yea, and those are only some examples.

Usually we have to wait until the spring to attend the Schooler Lecture, but for some reason this year it took place in the fall. This year’s speaker was Khaled Hosseini, author of Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

I have attended the past four Schooler Lectures as a student (Fareed Zakaria, Greg Mortenson, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Khaled Hosseini) and have enjoyed them all very much. They’re always great because they all have such good things to say and there is always so much variety. I don’t really remember what Zakaria spoke of, give me a break, it has been a while! But I do remember Mortenson speaking about his work as a humanitarian and his acts to bring education to poor countries. And, Tyson was amazing. If you want to read the little article I wrote for our newspaper about his lecture, visit

Well, as you may or may not know from reading my recent posts, I am heavily involved in the radio station at Mount Union. As a part of the station, we get to get “media” privileges.  Every year we attend the media press conference where we get to ask the speakers any questions we like, we attend the event dinner before the lecture which is always VERY fancy and we sit at the media table and of course we sit in the media section at the lecture where we take notes and make some stories for the radio station. The past two years I have produced stories for our newspaper that summarizes the speech.

Attending these press conferences and being a part of the media really inspires me. I couldn’t be more happy with my choice to major in communication and to get involved with all the media outlets on campus. I really have gained so much experience and couldn’t appreciate it anymore.

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Check out my Dynamo article at

Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders

Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders

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Once you’re in college, most people would agree you are too old to trick-or-treat. I disapprove that thought, but none of my friends want to go trick-or-treating anymore so what did I do instead? I helped hand out candy to kids with the wrestling team and the rest of the athletic teams on campus in the Peterson Field House during Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders.

This was the first year this event was held and I’d say it was a success. All of the sports team were dressed in their jerseys, game wear and even singlets, and each team had their own station. The kids couldn’t simply just say trick-or-treat for candy, they had to earn it.

The children could kick a soccer ball, shoot a basketball, hit a baseball, bump a volleyball, swing at a golf ball or complete an obstacle course to get their piece of candy. Every kid there was enthusiastic and stubborn toward getting their candy, nothing was going to stop them! For wrestling, we had an obstacle course where kids had to scoot, hop, run with weights as big as them, army crawl and then hit a giant muscle beast as hard as they can. All of this effort was for a piece of candy.

For a college student, all the work doesn’t sound worth it, but for the kids it is. That was the point of this event, to make kids happy by getting candy from their athletic role models. It really did make me laugh seeing kids in their costumes struggling to hold and run with a weight and getting to hit someone with a ball. It was also interesting seeing my professors and other coaches with their kids. It was a reality check that professors aren’t just professors, they are parents that love to dress their kids in embarrassing costumes and watch them eat candy.

If this event is held again, I am definitely going to do it. I might even dress up to scare the kids just a little. If you’re an athlete and you didn’t help out this year, I recommend doing it next year. It’s nice to get away from all the studying and interact with kids once in awhile.

¡Voy a España! 5 Study Abroad Tips

¡Voy a España! 5 Study Abroad Tips

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It was truly a weird, different and complex feeling I had when I booked my flight to Spain the other day, but nonetheless very exciting. During the spring semester of 2012, I will be traveling to Alicante, Spain to study at the University of Alicante. Alicante is a Mediterranean port city in the southeastern part of Spain, which has a sunny climate, beautiful beaches, tall mountains and rich culture and nightlife. I plan on swimming, surfing, sailing and enjoying the four-mile-long beach of San Juan, which is considered one of the finest in all of Spain.

Taking this opportunity to study overseas will definitely help me broaden my horizons. I anticipate meeting many new people and creating relationships that will last for a long time. I also want to explore a language and culture that I have been studying since middle school. You can only learn so much by practicing speaking and reading about cultural activities. Being able to put all these things into an actual experience will be second to none. Going abroad also will challenge me to travel on a budget and be able to effectively live on my own. I hope to become even more independent as my spring semester progresses in Spain.

Deciding to apply to this program directly reflects and relates to my academic program at Mount Union. I am pursuing majors in business management and Spanish and a minor in environmental science. Almost all of the classes I will be taking in Alicante will transfer to Mount Union and be credited towards my Spanish major. I also hope to take some cultural emersion courses that may be able to cover some of my general education requirements.

The application process was quite a long one, and I am still working on getting all my materials in. Since this can get very stressful I provided 5 essential tips for helping you study abroad.

1. Choose a program that offers what you want. Mount Union partners with USAC, which has many great things to offer, however there are other programs as well. Things to keep in mind are homestays, excursions, field studies, job opportunities, costs and if credits can transfer!

2. Read through everything! It is important to read over all the documents that are sent to you from cover to cover. You don’t want to miss important information and any materials that should have been submitted. Also, make sure your passport is up to date. Mine was not and this really complicated the process!

3. Create lists and be organized. It is very easy to get lost in all the documents you need to turn in. Create a checklist, and make sure you are up to speed with forms and deadlines.

4. Patience is a virtue. Once you apply for the study abroad program, you have to see if you get in. Once you apply for visas and a passport if you don’t already have one, you have to wait. Be aware that all the paperwork for studying abroad takes time, but should all work out in the end.

5. Be open to change. I cannot wait to experience something new, but in an entirely different culture. Take risks, do the unordinary, discover new things.

Here is some other food for thought I would like to share. I don’t worry so much about the destination, I prefer to enjoy the journey and see what we discover together along the way. Also, I figure you can either lead a path of mediocrity and let life decide your path or you can open yourself up to the world and see what happens. I feel that those who take the risk get more out of life. Man, I can’t wait to start exploring Spain, but also to explore the inner country of my own soul.

WRMU: More than just our music

WRMU: More than just our music

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Over the past few months, I’ve noticed myself blogging more and more about WRMU. What can I say? It is the organization I am most involved in and it is the one I chose to put my heart into the most.

When people come to our campus and see we have a radio station, I hear a lot of “How cool!” comments. Heck yea it is cool! How many other schools can you go to where you can have your very own radio show during your freshman year? How many other opportunities will you have to be a live on-air DJ?

As if that isn’t appealing enough, I can say with confidence that WRMU is more than just a radio station.

RECAP: I joined WRMU’s staff as a freshman knowing I wanted to pursue communication. Mind you, I was only a freshman, and here is what I was able to do:

  • conduct interviews regarding the 2008 presidential election
  • be on-air and give listeners up to date voting results during said election
  • create fliers and promotional items to spread the word about the station
  • attend a Cavs came and represent WRMU
  • broadcast live from various events such as Relay For Life
  • and more… (it was a few years ago, of course it is a little blurry!)

So, after a year of participating in various events, I fell in love with the station and applied to be a director — a (paid) work-study job where we work on the internal part of WRMU.

My sophomore year, I was named sponsorship director and I was in charge of finding sponsors for our radio station and its airtime. I learned a lot about sponsorship, but it wasn’t really my strong suit, which is why the next year I applied to be the public relations director.

Since then, I have had many public relations duties that I absolutely love doing. I love finding new ways to promote the station, raise awareness and do other activities on behalf of WRMU.

OK, so now you know that people actually work at the station and have fun doing so… but, is there more? You bet.

As a staff, we LOVE doing things outside of the station. Our directors have our business meetings at restaurants to get out of the office; we do live remotes (broadcasts) at various locations in the community, which often result in us just having fun; we go on trips; we have fun at football games where we broadcast the game; and so much more!

  • A few weeks ago, as a staff, WRMU volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Salem, OH called Alchemy Acres. We spent the day playing with the animals at the shelter, and it inspired us so much that we organized a campaign to raise supplies to donate to Alchemy.
  • We also participate in different campus events where we try to win money and accept donations to donate to our charity, the Alliance Food Pantry.
  • This past weekend, we traveled to Hartville, OH and did a live broadcast from Maize Valley, where they were having a breast cancer awareness weekend. Aside from our broadcast, we were able to enjoy Maize Valley’s activities.
  • For the past three years, my best friend Shannon (who also works at the station) and I went to Stark County Board of Elections and broadcasted each year’s election results live as they came in — we were right next to real media outlets as they were receiving the information with us!
  • Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture every year where famous speakers come to speak to the community. Since the WRMU is media, we are able to not only attend and record the lecture, but we are able to attend the media press conference before the lecture as well as be a part of the fancy dinner beforehand.

These are just some examples of what WRMU does on and off campus. So, next time you think of WRMU and think of music, know that there is so much more than just music!

The Big C

The Big C

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Creative, captivating, caring, colorful, cool, corny, confident- these adjectives may all describe someone who is fighting the fight of his or her life… breast cancer. The most appropriate word to use to describe these individuals, however, is courageous. Courage is found in the simplest of things: a child who stands up to a bully on the playground, a middle-school student who asks a girl to the dance or an 18-year-old going off to live on his or her own for the first time, but courage for these women (and men!) is more than shaking off a few jitters; they are fighting for their life. Courage for them is laughing when they only feel like crying, showing off their beautiful baldhead and moving forward when they’re so tired they could lay in bed for days. This is the true picture of courage.

This past Sunday, Delta Sigma Tau, along with quite a few other organizations from campus, traveled to Canton to participate in The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. It is a 5K walk that is held every year at various locations throughout the country and contributes millions of dollars each year to exactly what its name implies: making strides against breast cancer. On the website, it indicates that in 2010 alone, $60 million dollars was raised by 800,000 walkers. A handful of Mount Union students were a part of this cause last year, but a much larger number of people participated this year.

It was such a moving experience to take part in this event and it is safe to say that everyone who attended and walked will most likely be heading back to walk the 3.1 miles again next fall. Arriving for registration at 9 a.m., we drove into a world of pink. The signs were pink, the banners were pink, all the clothes were pink, the tents were pink… even some dogs were painted pink! We saw babies as young as a month old and women in their 70s. All of us were there from different backgrounds, for different reasons, but striving toward one common cause. Emotions ranged from sadness, joy, grief and triumph but the overarching emotion was definitely hope. Hope for the future, hope for remission, hope of one day finding a cure. Bald women threw their head back and basked in the sun, in the simple glory of life. Whole families walked as a strong front, remembering a loved one who lost her battle. People who had no personal connection to breast cancer, walked to show their support and in their own small way, strive for the cure.

For 75 minutes, a crowd of people walked, shared stories, laughed, cried and even lost themselves in their own thought. For just over an hour, everyone put aside his or her differences and was a supporter, a wave in the larger sea of pink crashing toward the not-too-far-off shore of finding the cure.

Making a Difference!

Making a Difference!

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You want to know what the best part of my day was today? I bet you can’t even guess. It’s not the typical way most college students spend part of their day, however, it should be whenever possible. The suspense is probably killing you, so I’m just going to tell you. The best part of my day today occurred in the two and a half hours I spent volunteering at a local church in Alliance for Feed My Sheep. (And, no I am not talking about REAL LIVE sheep).

Feed My Sheep is the Christian ministry of The New Beginnings House of God Church in Alliance. Through the ministry, meals are served to the community of Alliance every Thursday around dinner time. Approximately 30-40 people come to the church each week for dinner, and another 80 meals are delivered to the homes of people unable to travel to the church including the elderly and disabled individuals throughout the community. Anyone from the community is welcome to come each Thursday to receive food. The food for each meal varies from week to week and comes mostly from the Stark County Food Pantry. Today people were served hot dogs, macaroni salad, chips, drinks and dessert. (I served dessert today!) People also are welcome to take bread with them when they leave.

The co-ed service fraternity of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) at Mount Union has members that help each week prepare and serve the meals to the community members. The members of APO also interact with the community members and get to know some of them that come on a regular basis. APO is the organization with which I helped out through. I find this project rewarding in more ways than one. It allows me to interact with people of the community learning about their day and their experiences, gives me the chance to help others and allows me to make even the slightest difference in the lives of others. In my opinion, it is the best way you could spend part of your day!

The Feed My Sheep Ministry has been helping to feed the Alliance community for a little over six years now. It has impacted the lives of many individuals and will continue to do so on a day-to-day basis for many years to come. The ministry is helping to make a difference!

Get Involved!

Get Involved!

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College may seem a bit scary as it forces you to adjust to a new place (which is basically your home for the next four years), make new relationships with new people and once again find where you fit in.  You are no longer a big senior, at the top of the pyramid.  Once again, you are a freshman at the bottom of the food chain, which is a place many people do not like to be.

College is very different, however, in that aspect.  Other than the amount of credits you have and where you live, the status of your grade level does not mean all that much.  Unlike high school, seniors do not pick on the “little freshmen” or put them in lockers.  In college, everyone (for the most part) gets along.  Everyone has friends from each grade level, and the campus, especially Mount Union’s, is basically one big family.  Take me for example… I am a sophomore, yet I have many friends in each grade level whom I frequently spend time with.

But coming to a new campus and making friends all over again may seem nerve-racking and scary…I know it did for me.

The answer to this situation is simply the most important thing to do when going to college (especially as a freshmen) – get involved!  Getting involved is the best thing to do when starting out at a new school as it proves to be very beneficial to you.  Getting involved allows you to quickly meet many different types of people and make friends.  It presents you with the opportunity to better learn the campus and community and also allows you to better connect with faculty and staff members.  Getting involved keeps you busy and helps to erase boredom.  Additionally, joining different organizations and clubs can open many doors for you in the future.

Mount Union has many different organizations and clubs that you can get involved in on campus.  This ranges from joining a sorority or fraternity to participating in intramurals to joining academic clubs or service organizations.  I can guarantee you that there is at least one organization or club that exists on campus, but most likely more, that will draw your interest and you will find you fit into.  (Trust me, I have found many that I enjoy and fit into!) If there isn’t, believe it or not, you can start your own club!  Check out the list of the different organizations and clubs that currently exist at Mount Union.  See what you like and what you may be interested in joining.  Leave me a comment with any questions regarding the different organizations or clubs that spark your interest.

Just remember, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you GET INVOLVED!

AASHE Conference 2011

AASHE Conference 2011

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This past Sunday, on October 9, I was fortunate to attend the AASHE Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. AASHE, which stands for the Association for Advancement in Sustainability in Higher Education, has a mission to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. The organization does this by providing resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything it does, from governance and operations to education and research. Since I am a member of Mount Union’s Sustainability Management Advisory Committee (SMAC), they were able to cover the costs for me and three other students to go.

The conference on Sunday featured the Student Summit, where there were breakout sessions from many colleges over the nation presenting material and giving advice to other students. One presentation was from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on how it allocated a green fund. A green fund is part of student’s tuition it and goes into a certain account, which is used for sustainable projects. They had some great ideas, and hopefully they are some Mount can implement! One of the guys presenting from this school actually knew people from my hometown of Cedarburg too … what a small world.

Other events that were going on were keynote speakers and an expo at the convention center. The keynote speakers were Bill McKibben, author and founder of, and Majora Carter, founder of The Sustainable South Bronx and MCG consulting. They keynotes focused on climate change, under-served communities and universities. I really enjoyed listening to Bill McKibben speak because I have been following his non-profit for some time. is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis and push for policies that will put the world on track to get to 350 ppm. 350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. The picture to the right of this blog is of Mount Union students with Bill McKibben. Some good books he has written are Eaarth and Deep Economy. I was able to get him sign a copy for me!

“Very few people can ever say that they are in the single most important place they can possibly be, doing the single most important thing they could possibly be doing. That’s YOU, here now.” – Bill McKibben in relation to students and climate change.

There also was an expo where there were many businesses and organizations that featured cutting-edge innovations. Some of these ideas were shared to the many sustainability managers from all over the nation that were present. I was able to talk to some cool companies, and hopefully I can land another internship!

This conference was truly an awesome experience for me since I am so interested in the topics of sustainability, global perspectives and environmental education. We were also able to explore Pittsburgh a little bit and walk around PNC Park and Heinz Field while the game was going on. It was awesome being by the river seeing people tailgating on their boats, and one group was even cooking hot dogs in a canoe! This just goes to show that by getting involved with organizations on campus, many cool opportunities that will present themselves. I sure hope Mount Union can go to the conference next year in Los Angeles.

“Forever Mount”

“Forever Mount”

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Last weekend was one of excitement and craziness here on Mount Union’s campus. It is a weekend that all Purple Raiders and even community members look forward to each year. It is a weekend that can be found marked on the calendars of Mount Union alumni, written in many students, faculty and staff members planners and even scribbled down on a note on the refrigerators of many community members. So you may be wondering what this so called special weekend is… am I right? Well, the weekend I am referring to is Alumni Weekend and Homecoming. This weekend is special all around at Mount Union as there are many fun and exciting events that take place all throughout the weekend for everyone.

The theme this year for the weekend was “Forever Mount.” The weekend kicked off Friday night with the Mr. UMU pageant. This is an annual event attended mostly by students, and in simple terms, is basically a male beauty pageant. Different organizations on campus select one male to represent them in the pageant. At the pageant, the men participate in events similar to that of the Miss America pageant such as a talent portion, a question/answer session, formal wear and Raider gear. The judges were faculty and staff members. The pageant has a humorous tone and is not serious in any way. This year’s winner was senior Josh Jones, who was representing Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity. Additional events that took place on Friday were the Mount Union Board of Trustees meeting and the Department of Theatre’s presentation of the comedy Bus Stop.


Saturday is the day that holds the most events and the most excitement of the weekend. This past Saturday there was an Alumni Brunch in which different alumni were honored, multiple class reunions, the annual Run-A-MUC race, the Homecoming parade and a Raider pep rally as well as tailgating before the annual Homecoming football game. This year at the Homecoming game, the Raider football team beat Marietta with a 62-0 win. During halftime of the game, this year’s Homecoming King Marcus Williams and Queen Kaitlin Petrilli were revealed and crowned. On Saturday, different organizations also held events such as the Alpha Delta Pi sorority silent auction, the Delta Sigma Tau sorority alumni tea and the Sigma Nu fraternity reception honoring Jim Williams.

Compared to Saturday of Alumni Weekend and Homecoming, Sunday is more of a laid back day that in a way wraps up the weekend. Sunday was not too crazy of a day or full of commotion. This year, the Class of 1976 held a breakfast on Sunday and there was an alumni baseball game and cookout.

This weekend is so very special to all Purple Raiders and many look forward to it each year as the campus is crowded with alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members. And when I say crowded, I mean packed! – prayers are said to find a parking spot. Not only do people in the area attend all of these events, but also people come from all over the country just for this weekend. The high population of people that come to campus for this weekend and the distances they travel says a lot about Mount Union. It shows that people are proud to be a Raider and truly enjoyed the time they spent at the University of Mount Union.

Remember what I said about opportunities?!

Remember what I said about opportunities?!

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So in most of my previous blog posts, I have mentioned that “Wow, Mount hooked me up with this internship,” or “Hey, I was on Fox 8 news all because of Mount,” and so on and so forth …

Well, those opportunities did not stop there!!!

This past weekend, Friday afternoon in fact, I checked my email and had a message from one of my favorite professors, Harry Paidas. He told me that they needed someone to do some sideline reporting for the homecoming football game… better yet, it was going to be broadcasted on SPORTS TIME OHIO (STO)!!!

If you have read my posts before, you know how I love sports, Cleveland sports, media, etc. This was right up my alley and SUCH A GREAT OPPORTUNITY!

I called him right away and told him I was more than willing.

So, after going on a nice little shopping spree to find the right outfit (of course), I prepared myself for my STO debut. (Ignoring the couple of times I made it on there over the summer through my Indians job… I made a fool of myself every time!)

Saturday morning started out like any home football game morning. I got some things ready for WRMU and worked the pregame festivities that WRMU puts on every game. As it became closer and closer to game time, I became more and more nervous.

Soon I was in the media van, getting my interview questions ready as well as learning all the quick and easy-to-learn rules for the day. I was given my STO microphone as well as my headset and was off to do my sideline reporting.

My first time on camera I was so nervous! I probably spoke faster than I ever have before, and I would be shocked if someone told me that he or she couldn’t tell I was shaking…

After the first quarter, I interviewed President Dr. Richard Giese, and at halftime I interviewed Anne Graffice (the director of alumni relations and university activities). After the third quarter I interviewed Mount Union’s wrestling coaches, and at the end of the game I interviewed the star of the game, Jasper Collins.

While it was beyond obvious that I was only a beginner, it was so much fun and so very exciting. I would definitely do it again.

I think about it and I would not have this opportunity anywhere else. I owe it all to my professors (especially Harry Paidas, for thinking of me for that opportunity) and the Office of Sports Information here at Mount. If I had never been involved at our TV studio here on campus, where I have conducted several interviews in the past (including one with Pierre Garcon, while he was here during the off season from the Colts), I would have never been presented with this opportunity.