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Archive | November, 2011

The Future for College Graduates

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Reita Silvis

The Situation

Many young people go to college for a higher education in hopes it will ensure a job in an area they enjoy. For recent graduates, however, it is not easy and their futures are uncertain in this generation of joblessness.

According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, there are only six college majors with  zero percent unemployment, but many students choose to go into other areas, some with high unemployment rates, making the reality of a poor economy all the more detrimental to their job search.

Look here for an interactive ranking of college degrees. Also, for a list of the best and worst-paying majors, read this.


Factors for Success

There are several factors that contribute to the success a college graduate may gain from their degree. These include the type of degree, the major, the number of people graduating from the same field and the school.

“Grad school is the only option for me,” sophomore Ashley Woodburn said. “Sure, it’ll cost a ton of money, but I can’t get into the medical field with just a Biology degree.”

Because Woodburn is pursuing a career as a Physician’s Assistant, the type of degree she has now affects the success of her finding a job in that area in the future.


Handling Debt

Because today’s typical graduate with a bachelor’s degree incurs $25,000 of debt in student loans, it is vital they find a job that can help them pay it back. Patty Hladio, the director of financial aid at Slippery Rock University, thinks that students should learn financial literacy early on so that they can make better decisions. She also warns students about how they spend their money in relationships.

“Another financial trap that students get into has to do with their relationships,” Hladio said. “It could be your best friend who never has money in their pocket and you’re always fronting them for the coffee, and they never pay you back. And a young person doesn’t know how to deal with that, whether it’s a friend or a boyfriend or a family member.”

For other ways to manage student loan debt, go here.


Tuition Issue

On average, college students pay $60,000 for a four-year degree. That is why they must take out so much money in student loans. Because a 13-15 credit hour workload is now the normal pace for students, it may take more than four years to complete a bachelor’s degree, adding to the high costs. This makes the tuition fees around the world even more painful for American students to see.

“Even though there will be changes in the curriculum, the faculty is willing to work with students to keep them on track so that they can graduate in four years,” Dr. Shanadi a Communication professor at Mount Union said. “That is why we are cutting out or rearranging courses and working with students so they can get all of their requirements in to graduate on time.”

This could make entering into the Real World more difficult for college graduates today than it was in the past. With masses of debt and little income to hold their own, young people are making poor financial choices that cripple their later adult lives.


Going Back Home

“Eighteen to 34-year-olds are getting strangled by their unrealistic expectations,” Kwantlen Polytechnic University professor Robert Ironside says. “This generation has grown up watching parents use credit extremely liberally. The result is a culture of debt which people feel entitled to spend.”

Due to such a financial predicament and few jobs to solve it, 85 percent of college seniors last year reported they planned to move back in with their parents, an increase from the 67 percent that went back home in 2006.

But this is not to say that the Boomerang Generation is lazy. They are either going to institutions close to home to earn their master’s degree or looking for work to start building their savings and a career.

“There’s almost an expectation that kids will move back home, there is no stigma attached,” managing director or founder of Twentysomething, David Morrison said. “The thought now is to move home for 6-12 months but in reality those young adults will be home for a year and a half or longer. Even if they have jobs, they are living at home.”

Jeff Looker, a sophomore Communication major, says his parents made a deal with him, allowing him to  move back in with them for a year while he looks for a job in the radio industry.

“I won’t take advantage of this,” Looker says. “Because I want to be a DJ as soon as I possibly can and I want to get a place of my own before that year is up.”


Gov. Effects

The government is a major factor for most workers, but the effects of its decisions hit young people the hardest. With all of the budget cuts, tax increases and changes in fiscal policy and policy benefits, it is no wonder businesses feel such uncertainty about their financial futures. They do not want to hire- especially “young and inexperienced” people during this time of economic hardship.


Successful Portfolios

That is why young graduates must distinguish themselves from the rest by using social media in their job search and strong portfolios to gain employer attention. Using social media to its limits can expand one’s professional network to help them get to the jobs and even positions they want. By creating a portfolio that shows great experience, versatility and willingness to work hard, young graduates can make a lasting impression on their potential employers and increase their chances of getting a job sooner.



If all else fails and there are truly no jobs available in the area that pertain to the training and years of education graduates undergo, settling for a job andmoving away or even going out of state are always options, though not the most desirable. In this economy, there is no room to be choosy.

For more information on these issues, go to my blog:


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Social Media as a Career Tool

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Hannah Shaffer

Social Media Benefits

“Like” this, tweet that; as social media continues to grow, it is time to alter your perspective and start using these sites to your advantage. Networking, learning about your field of study, developing a professional online persona and discovering job opportunities through social media will benefit your professional career greatly.

“The genie is out the bottle – social media in some form is here to stay,” said Communications Professor Harry Paidas. It is time to begin using social media as a career tool to succeed.

Social media plays a huge role in college students’ lives. According to the blog Social Media in Higher Education, 94% of first year college students use social networking sites and 18-24 year olds use Twitter the most out of every age group. However, it is important to keep in mind that students are not the only ones using social media.

Employers have now turned to social media sites for hiring and networking. Numerous companies use sites to complete background checks and pre-interview screenings on potential employees. These sites include:

  1. Twitter
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Facebook
  4. Google

It is vital that everything posted on students’ social media accounts is appropriate and something to be proud of. Do not be naïve; all posts, tweets, updates and pictures will be seen by employers.

“As soon as your resume comes across a desk, you’re Googled. What do you want people to see when they get a snapshot of you? Know what you’re posting online,” said Dominic Litten, social media and online professional.

Many employers make the decision not to hire an applicant after they see how they are represented online. This is why it is so important to develop a professional online persona.

So what is and is not suitable to post online? Instead of using social media solely for entertainment, transform your social media use and think like true professionals.

Tweet and post valuable and interesting information. Share others’ work as well by passing along respectable articles, tips and updates dealing with your field of study. Posting about your area of interest displays professionalism.

It is also crucial to be yourself and express your individuality.

“I am a firm believer in showing your personality through being professional,” said Samantha Severo, senior and public relations student.

“Mind you, being too personal is wrong… but I think it is great when people show their sense of humor, their hobbies, etc… Whether it be an interesting article, a YouTube clip, a cool website… [students] just [have to] be interesting,” she said.

While many others are jumping on the social media bandwagon to grab employers’ attention, it is necessary to make sure that your social media accounts stand out.

It is important to post clear statuses and tweets without grammar errors. Do not use “wtz up” instead of “what’s up?” or “4” instead of “four.” Your writing skills and abilities are shown through what is posted on your accounts.

While LinkedIn is a more professional site that allows students to upload resumes and post references, Twitter and Facebook are often used more for networking and connecting with professionals. However, companies use all three of these sites to post job openings and internship opportunities.

“Social outlets are the first place people post their jobs,” said Alexa Marinos, PR professional and account executive at thunder::tech.

Students can stay ahead of the game by following or “liking” companies that interest them. This automatically gives students an advantage over any other applicant that is not connected with the company. What are the benefits of following or “liking” companies of interest?

  • Keeping up with company policies and rules
  • Finding out about company events
  • Seeing how the company promotes their business
  • Companies recognize when students “like” their page or follow them
  • Standing out among other potential candidates

“I have made some important contacts, got internship and job offers, etc. just through the people I’ve met on Twitter alone,” said Severo.

“I think it is so great that there are people out there that are willing to help, and it is so easy to find them on Twitter,” she said.

If used the correctly and appropriately, social media sites can benefit students greatly. Students can form connections that will be extremely important further down the road, discover great opportunities and display their professionalism, personality and skills.

“My best advice is be careful,” Paidas said. “Like most things, the social media can be an ally when used properly or a detriment when used cavalierly.”


High School to College

It is time to stop using Facebook just to “creep” on upperclassmen, post pictures from the killer party last Friday night or chat with the cutie from psychology. You may have used Facebook or Twitter for these reasons in high school, but you now have to think about your future career.

Students will benefit greatly from transforming their online personas. Delete immature posts or pictures and rebuild your accounts with pictures, updates or tweets that you are proud of and show professionalism.

“Remember that everything online happens in the open and is permanent so try to play to your strengths and always put your best foot forward,” said Andrew Turnbull, blogger for Experience Matters.


How Companies Use Social Media

Employers have now turned to social media sites for hiring. Countless companies search applicants’ names on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

“More and more companies are recognizing the value of social media in building their employer brand in the minds of college students,” according to 5 Tips for Recruiting College Students.

These companies are using social media to complete background checks or to see if the person they met in the interview is represented the same online.

“Very often, potential employers make decisions not to pursue a candidate further after getting an impression online,” stated a link that Susan P. Joyce, @JobHuntOrg, tweeted. This is why it is so important to develop a professional online persona.


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Surviving your roommate

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Josh West


There comes a time in life when students graduate high school and go off to college. Throughout this major life change, living on campus can sometimes be mandatory. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of being able to go to the same school as their friends and they have to find a roommate to live with in the school dorms or even apartments or housing throughout the area. Getting a roommate can be a challenge but the biggest challenge is being able to survive living with another person that is a complete stranger to you, as you are to them.

“It was a tough transition, but after about the first month I became very close to my roommate,” said junior Nick Elliot.

In my blog I really enjoyed hitting on the key factors that are involved in making a healthy lifestyle out of living with a roommate. A major key that I hit on was the respect aspect of living with a roommate. Giving one another respect is a must in being able to get along and survive while having a roommate. Not only do roommates bring about change but roommates can also bring out repetition, seeing or doing the same things day in and day out. Some students go off to college and decide to room with one of their very good friends. At first, this sounds like a great idea, but after a while, you may be regretting your decision. Seeing each other day after day and doing the same routines can get overwhelming. At times little things such as leaving the television on late at night or being too loud when the other is trying to sleep can get obnoxious.  This is completely normal, just make sure to be able to talk to each other and work out what is going on without trying to kill each other.

“I used to get mad at my roommate for little things and then I realized that it’s not worth fighting about things when we seem to always come to an agreement in the end,” said Junior Steve Mitch.

Problems will occur along the way with anyone who tries to live with a roommate, and being able to work through difficult situations is what is going to help with getting through the transition of living with a roommate. There’s always a way to work out problems with roommates. Working to understand each other can be the key to surviving living with a roommate.

Best Friends

Problem: Living with a roommate that you have been best friends with for a period of time. Getting annoyed with your best friend from being around them too much.

Solution: You are at college, you need to get out, meet people, and if you can’t do that, than just be able to work out disagreements with each other and settle things in a respectable fashion.


The golden Rule

“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”

This quote is one of the best quotes for roommates. When you treat one another with respect there will be less problems which leads to less arguments. If you don’t enjoy arguing, I’m sure your roommate doesn’t either. Live a happy life and have your roommate do the same. It’s always better to treat others with respect because what goes around comes around. If you are always treating your roommate with respect, you won’t have to worry about your roommate treating you poorly. If this doesn’t seem to be working, try and sit down and explain how you are feeling and this should help solve your problems.

More Roommate Tips

Problem: Roommates can sometimes treat each other poorly.

Solution: If you treat your roommate how you would like to be treated, more than likely, you will both be happy in the long run.


On the edge, occasionally

“My roommate says, “Im going to take a shower and shave, does anyone need to use the bathroom?” It’s like some weird quiz where he reveals the answer first.”

Problem: Roommates get annoyed very easily.

Solution: Understand that you are two totally different people, sometimes people aren’t meaning to come off the way they may sound.

Quotes about roommates


Just ask!

It’s not fun to live with a complete stranger. When you understand who you are living with and understand how they think and their views, it makes life much easier for you, and your roommate. Whether your roommate is a homebody or a busybody, if you know them and they know you, its easier for one another to understand each others views. It’s easier to get along when you can predict things that may happen. If your roommate stays up late and you like to get to sleep early, there is always going to be a way to work out an agreement.

Some tips!

1. Ask them to be a little quiet when you are sleeping. (Without being rude)

2. Let them know when you want to go to sleep.

3. Politely ask them to turn the T.V. volume down.

Can you think of any others?
College prep

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Struggles of a College Athlete

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Josh Roberts

My Story

The problems and daily challenges that college athletes face these days are constantly putting more and more pressure and stressing on them. This added stress and tension from playing an NCAA sport on top of studying and trying to be involved on campus can be too much for some.

Stress for college athletes comes from many outlets. Such as the struggles of getting enough sleep in addition to finding time for studying, eating healthy, and working around class schedules and practice times. Student Tanner Lawrence said in an interview “the hardest part of competing in collegiate athletics was finding a balance between social life, academics and the responsibilities concerning the sport.” Not to mention the stress that comes from the sport itself. These stress factors include injuries, coaches and even traveling with the team.

Many student athletes do not get enough sleep; Academics by itself are a stressful load on the body as well as the brain. When mixed with the needs for muscle repair and functionality then inflammation and therefore damage is increased. The body needs more sleep to repair under these stressful conditions. These add up over time and degrade/ breakdown the mind and body which results in decreased muscle response, focus, and overall performance in and out of the classroom.

Diet is another top priority that is sometimes overlooked by athletes; however it is essential top athletes. Proteins to rebuild broken down and weakened muscles as well as carbohydrates and calories to burn for energy. According to Winning Nutrition for Athletes, the ideal diet should contain 45 percent to 55 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 25 percent to 35 percent of calories from fat, and the remaining 10 percent to 15 percent from protein. This means eating a variety of foods on a daily basis from all of the food groups including grains, meat and beans, fruits and vegetables, dairy and oils. This will allow athletes to reach peak performance.

Coaches can sometimes be a close friend and help you with studies, or offer useful advice. But sometimes coaches don’t seem fair, or are tough on an athlete. Either way dealing with coaches can sometime add to an athlete’s everyday stress. One recent example of coaching problems affecting a team is the problems at Penn State with Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky. How the athletes at Penn must feel about losing their coaches, or how disappointed they are in what they did?

When interviewed about what the hardest part about being a student athlete Head Wrestling Coach Mark Haywald answered “Balancing the expectations of himself and those of sports and academics.” Also Haywald was quoted from a coach’s point of view that “I want my athletes to have high standards for themselves”


Academics vs. Athletics

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sets regulations aimed at keeping athletes eligible. However, in the end, it is the student’s responsibility to remain in good standing on and off the field. The NCAA has a GPA minimum of 2.1 for eligibility.



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Slater Lecture photos

Posted on 19 November 2011 by Katie Proch

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Raider Relief

Posted on 16 November 2011 by Zak Suhar

Members of Raider Relief, a philanthropic UMU student organization, have launched Bottle School Blitz; a ten-day community and campus-wide fundraising effort. The project will benefit Hug it Forward, a not-for-profit organization with an innovative approach to improving the educational infrastructure of developing nations.

Currently, Hug It Forward is focused on empowering communities in Guatemala to build “bottle schools” using discarded plastic bottles and non-biodegradable trash. The organization has a dozen bottle schools completed or in progress and several more in the planning stages.

According to Zak Suhar, the project leader for Bottle School Blitz, Hug It Forward was the perfect partner for this semester’s Raider Relief effort. “Our goal is to raise enough money to build a bottle school for a community which currently has no school at all,” says Suhar. “And the environmental benefits of doing this with what would otherwise be considered trash made the challenge almost irresistible,” he continued.

The project consists of two phases, the first of which (the community blitz) will take place on Saturday, Nov. 19. On that day, teams of student volunteers will staff tables set up outside of more than a dozen high-traffic retail locations throughout Alliance, asking shoppers for donations to support the project’s cause.

The second phase will be campus based. Empty plastic beverage bottles will be issued to hundreds of students before they head home for Thanksgiving break. Each student will be challenged to fill his or her bottle with spare change from home and return to campus with a coin-filled bottle. Students, faculty and community members are encouraged to lend a hand and help be the change Raider Relief envisions to see in the world!

Those wishing to support the effort may indicate their interest by calling 262-247-6396 or by emailing

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UK royal laws changing but has America come far?

Posted on 16 November 2011 by Shannon Brys

Hearing about what is happening overseas in the 16 Commonwealth nations has made me optimistic and hopeful for the future for women in the United States.  Clearly, women in the United States have come a long way.

Yes, we gained the right to vote. Yes, we are allowed the opportunity for a higher education.  Women are even in charge of some of the biggest companies and organizations in the country. But are women really treated as equals to men?

At the Commonwealth summit in Perth, Australia, in late October the leaders of the Commonwealth nations discussed a few alterations to the current laws.  They made some changes including the rule that said, “An elder daughter should be placed behind a younger son in the line of succession.”

Now the law will allow the first born child of the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge to be next in line for the throne, regardless of the sex of the child.

I am so glad that this law has been changed and it makes me think about the mindset of most Americans.  I feel like most people have such a stereotype of women holding a powerful position like being President of the United States.  They say “women are too emotional” and other ignorant things.

I think that men are just as emotional but they choose to show it in a different way or bottle it up all together.  They may not always cry in front of people, but they do tend to show anger and aggression more often.  There are plenty of women out there that are strong-willed, confident and tough.

According to the New York Times, in 2006 men only made up 42 percent of the nation’s college students.  Along with that statistic, women also tend to achieve higher GPAs than men. In the same article the NYT stated that in the spring of 2006 at Harvard, 55 percent of the women graduated with honors while barely half the men did the same.

I firmly believe that men and women should be treated equally.  In the Commonwealth nations now, men and women have an equal chance of being head of state.  Whoever has the better qualifications, in this case, whoever is born first, will rule.

In the United States, if men and women have the same qualifications, they should obtain the same careers.  If they hold the same position at a company, they should be receiving the same salary.  Whoever has the better qualifications, man or woman, should hold a higher position.

Another change that was made in the Commonwealth nations was that they are going to throw out the current law that says monarchs cannot marry a Roman Catholic.  It is nice to see opportunities becoming available to more people.

Australian prime minister, Julia Gilliard, told The Guardian newspaper, “To our modern minds, these seem like simple and very rational changes. That there would no longer be a discrimination against women in the way in which the line of succession works, and that we would not continue the religious prohibition against marriage to a Catholic, these things seem straightforward.”

“But just because they seem straightforward,” she continued,  “to our modern minds doesn’t mean that we should underestimate their historical significance, changing as they will for all time the way in which the monarchy works and changing its history. I’m very glad this moment in history has been made in Perth.”

I hope that one day in my lifetime, I will see a woman serve as the President of the United States.  Men do a fine job, but women could do it just as well.

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The FUNdamentals of Reading

Posted on 16 November 2011 by Stephanie Porten

Ever finish reading an awesome book and have no one to recommend it to? Ever written a story or a poem and been too afraid to share?  Join English Society!

According to its President, Josh Rea, “English Society is a place where readers and writers can come together.” A place to discuss and be creative about any aspect of English, the organization is small but mighty and more importantly, growing.

English Society plays host to a variety of events.  Most well-known are the annual speakers that come to campus. Typically these speakers have been Mount Union alumni and have all been involved and excelled in English in their post-graduate career. These lectures promote awareness about opportunities within not only English and writing, but the Humanities in general.

Josh also commented that the organization isn’t exclusive to English majors either; all majors are welcome.

Currently, English Society is beginning to host discussions debating one of the most infuriating (especially for avid readers) topics: Which is better—the book or the movie? Why? Potential book to movie discussions include “Harry Potter,” “Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy,” “Water for Elephants,” and the “Chronicles of Narnia.”

At the moment, the group is in the process of developing campus-wide writing workshops. These workshops aren’t solely geared towards experienced writers either. Ever wanted to write a haiku or a short story? English Society events are open to students of all experience levels. Don’t be afraid to come and learn something new!

English Society meets every other Wednesday in KHIC 003 at 9 o’clock, the soonest meeting being tonight, the 16th.

Comments, questions, or suggestions for book to movie discussions can be sent or

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Election Results

Posted on 16 November 2011 by Archil Pashalishvili

Julie Jakmides, a sophomore University of Mount Union student, won one of the three council-at-large seats during the elections held Tuesday, Nov. 8.

“I was completely overwhelmed … I had been feeling pretty good about my odds, but politics can be very unpredictable sometimes. To lead the ticket by a margin of nearly 100 votes was an absolutely phenomenal feeling,” said Jakmides.

Jakmides attributes much of her success to her constant presence in the community. On many Friday nights during the summer she enjoyed the Downtown Concert Series at the Caboose and most Saturdays she visited the Alliance Farmer’s Market to enjoy what the local farmers had to offer. She also interned for Judge Robert G. Lavery in the Alliance Municipal Court and maintained a part-time job at her uncle’s restaurant Heggy’s during the campaign.

“Visibility was a huge factor, and I wanted the voters to be able to put a face to a name when they walked into the voting booth on Election Day,” adds Jakmides. “I am so thankful that the people of the City of Alliance are willing to put their trust in me, and it has intensified my desire to work hard to make Alliance a better place to live, work and do business.”

Alliance city residents also elected a new mayor on Tuesday. Republican Alan Andreani beat Democrat Steve Okay to succeed Toni Middleton, a fellow Republican, who was not seeking re-election. Andreani has served as one of the city’s thee councilmen at-large since 2004.

A former superintendent of the Marlington Local School District, Andreani has taught a variety of courses at the University of Mount Union as a part-time instructor in the Department of Education.

Ohio garnered national attention for ballot issues this election cycle.

The Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected the controversial law limiting collective bargaining rights and banning strikes that was enacted by the GOP-dominated state legislature and championed by Gov. John Kasich. The law was defeated 61 percent to 39 percent, according to the official results.

But the Republicans called attention to another ballot measure that passed, Issue 3, as proof that it wasn’t all bad news for them. Voters approved a state constitutional amendment to “preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage.” The measure, widely seen as a rebuke of the individual mandate of the President Obama’s health-care law, was passed by an almost 2-to-1 margin.

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Choir hits the right notes

Posted on 16 November 2011 by Megan Smith

With three different directors in the last three years, it’s easy to say that the Mount Union choirs have undergone some changes.

The most recent change, however, came in the hiring of Dr. Grant Cook, who was recently named the Director of Choral Activities here on campus. Hailing from Heidelberg University, Cook earned a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from then-named Heidelberg College. H also has a master of music degree in choral conducting and a doctor of philosophy degree in historical musicology-ethnomusicology from Kent State.

“We (Mount Union) are very excited to welcome Grant to the Mount Union community,” said Dean Draves in a quote on Mount’s website. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from the collegiate level …. I am certain he will be an invaluable asset to the institution.”

Cook is directing two choirs this year, the Concert Choir as well as the Women’s Chorus. In addition to teaching, he is also preparing the choirs for an upcoming Christmas festival that will take place on Dec. 9 and 11.

Having taken Heidelberg’s concert choir on 13 different tours, Cook will keep the tradition going here by leading Mount Union’s own concert choir on a tour in Washington, D.C. from May 6-12.

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