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Uconnect Parents and Family Association Newsletter - November 2012

parents and family

November 2012

Mission Statement: Providing an environment for parents and families who are involved, engaged and committed to the life and mission of the University of Mount Union and the success of all students.

U and the President

GieseAt the University of Mount Union, it is our priority to make a difference in the lives of our students as we contribute to the creation of future leaders and, ultimately, a better world.  This is our purpose for all we do, and it drives our efforts as we work diligently to create a curriculum, an environment, a campus and an overall student experience that is truly exceptional and engaging for our students. 

We truly care about fulfilling our students’ wants and needs, and in our effort to meet their expectations, we survey them on a regular basis to discover what is working and what needs more work.  No campus is perfect, but overall we have learned that our students are very satisfied with their Mount Union experiences. 

In our most recently survey effort, our students clearly articulated that they enjoy life on campus.  They feel welcomed at Mount Union and have a sense of belonging.  They also indicated that campus is well-maintained as well as safe and secure.  In addition, they shared that communication efforts keep them well informed and that they appreciate the variety of intramurals we offer.

An outstanding campus environment is an excellent attribute to have, but our students recognize that learning is the priority at Mount Union.  In addition to experiencing intellectual growth, they also value the content offered in their major courses as well as the resources and services of our Library.

Students also indicated that they appreciate our supportive atmosphere.  They are assisted by faculty members who are available outside of the classroom as well as our caring and helpful staff.  In addition, academic advisors are impacting them as well, making themselves available and being knowledgeable about major requirements. 

Finally, the survey results indicated that students consider our campus technology to be innovative.  We are providing them online access to the services they need and offering adequate and accessible computer labs.

So, what does it all mean?  In the end, our challenging academic programs, active and safe campus, accessible faculty, caring administrators and innovative technology can only add up to one thing…student success.  We are truly helping our students to reach their goals by meeting their needs.  We are making a difference in their lives and creating the leaders of tomorrow.  I can imagine no greater calling.

Thank you, parents, for placing your students’ futures in our very capable hands, for recognizing our worth and considering Mount Union a great investment.  I think these survey results clearly articulate that we are just that.

Sincerely,

Dr. Richard F. Giese
President

U and the Parent & Family Association

When you and your student chose the University of Mount Union, your entire family became a part of the Mount Union community. Over the years, we’ve seen increased participation from parents and we’re seeking to find new ways to connect with you and keep you updated about what’s going on at Mount Union.

The Uconnect email newsletter for parents is sent in September, November, February and April of each academic year. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend alumni events. Please check the alumni website for a list of all upcoming events.

Looking to volunteer?
One opportunity for parents to volunteer is to join Mount Union Women. This organization was founded in 1933 to support the education of women. Any female graduate or friend of the University may be a member. Mount Union Women has active chapters in Alliance and Canton/Massillon that host programs throughout the year to raise money for scholarships. Numerous scholarships are awarded each year to deserving female students at Mount Union. Contact the Alumni Office at alumni@mountuion.edu to find out more.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion
This past October, Mount Union had the pleasure of featuring one of our very own parents, Maria Avila (mother of Charles) demonstrating Mexico’s culture through music and dance. Maria, who is from Los Angeles, California was joined by her daughter, Jessica. Maria performed the ballet folklorico “Raices” while Jessica served as a mariachi singer for a performance in Presser Hall. It was a fun evening for all who attended and a great opportunity for our community to experience Mexico’s culture. Thank you Maria and Jessica! This event was sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Spring 2013 Schooler Lecture
The Schooler Lecture Series was established in 1988 with grant funding from the Schooler Family Foundation. The Foundation's philanthropy has enabled the University to provide a dramatically enhanced opportunity for young men and women studying at Mount Union and for the residents in the greater Alliance area to experience the breadth and depth of American culture. Past Schooler lecturers have included the late former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, the late astronomer Carl Sagan, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, late former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, news magazine host Hugh Downs, the late news commentator David Brinkley, former hostage Terry Anderson, Schindler’s List author Thomas Keneally and the late holocaust survivor Leopold Page, Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, Rabbi Laureate Harold Kushner, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, environmental conservationist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., former president of Poland Lech Walesa, Mount Everest explorer Dr. Beck Weathers, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, media specialists Cokie and Steven Roberts, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, world-renowned marine biologist Dr. Robert Ballard, moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press Tim Russert, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and political analysts James Carville and Mary Matalin.

We are excited to announce that this years’ speaker is Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, New Jersey. Booker will speak on “How to Change the World with Your Bare Hands” at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 in the Timken Gymnasium. Go to www.mountunion.edu/the-schooler-lecture to read more about Mayor Booker. Watch our website in January to learn how to get your free tickets to this event.

U and our Students

University Store
The next time you're on campus, please be sure to stop by The University Store in the Hoover-Price Campus Center to check out the latest in Mount Union gifts and apparel for your holiday gift shopping. Among the many items available for purchase in the University Store are a Dell Inspirion 13z or 15R. If you are interested in a tablet, they also offer a Velocity Cruz 10" or a Dell 10". In addition, the store offers an in-store rental program for textbooks. Textbook sales for the spring semester will begin on December 17. A 10% discount on textbook purchases made from December 17 through January 13 will be offered. (Ebooks, Course Packs and Rental textbooks are excluded from this discount). For more information or to shop online, go to www.mountunion.edu/universitystore.


Student Financial Services
Zak SuharFALL SEMESTER REMINDERS
December 11 is the last day for our office to process loans to help with a fall semester balance.

FAFSA REMINDERS
Can you believe 2013 is just around the corner? You can file the 2013-2014 FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov beginning in January. Financial aid awards will be available online beginning May 2013.

OFF CAMPUS or COMMUTING (for Juniors and Seniors)
In collaboration with the Office of Residence Life, students who wish to love off campus for the upcoming year are required to meet with a financial aid staff member. The purpose is to determine if any of the student’s need-based financial aid will be reduced due to moving off campus. We will use the 2013-2014 FAFSA results to calculate the estimate so it will be important for you to file early so we can provide the most accurate information assisting you in making an informed decision about whether to live on or off campus for the upcoming year.

GRADUATION REMINDERS
If your son or daughter borrowed a Stafford loan during their undergraduate education, they will be asked to complete EXIT COUNSELING online at www.nslds.ed.gov. We will send email reminders one month prior to graduation. www.nslds.ed.gov is a great place to track all federal loans. Total amount borrowed and companies servicing their loans is also available on this website.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS FOR FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID
Federal regulations require the University of Mount Union to establish satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards for federal financial aid recipients. We will review the following three areas annually: cumulative grade point average (GPA), completion rate and maximum time frame. This only impacts federal funds such as Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Loans (Stafford and Parent PLUS Loan) as well as financial aid from the state of Ohio. Details of the policy can be found online in the Undergraduate Catalog on page 10. You can also contact our office with questions.

OFFICE INFORMATION
The Office of Student Financial Services is located in the lower level of the Gartner Welcome Center. You can reach  us at finaid@mountunion.edu or call 1-877-543-9185.

Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement

This past summer, the Regula Center helped fund three students attending the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Students were selected based on faculty recommendations and personal applications.  Katie Proch, a junior majoring in international comparative politics and international studies, Greg Djordjevic, a senior philosophy major and Elizabeth Haavisto, a junior majoring in international comparative politics and international studies were chosen to attend.

Katie attended the Democratic National Convention and served as a runner working for CNN.  She said that “the days were long between work and taking part in the Convention at night, but the memories were more than worth the lack of sleep.”

Greg also attended the Democratic National Convention and felt that it was the experience of a lifetime. Greg worked with the Joint Press Office monitoring news websites and social media in order to draft press releases.  Greg had the pleasure of meeting Joe Scarborough, Anderson Cooper and Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts, among others. 

Elizabeth attended the Republican National Convention and had the opportunity to work for the Ohio Republican Party. She attended Senator Rob Portman’s and Governor Kasich’s receptions, interviewed Herman Cain and obtained delegate credentials to observe Condoleezza Rice, Susanna Martinez and Paul Ryan’s addresses to the convention.

All three students felt that their experience was absolutely an experience of a lifetime. They made many friends and memories that will last forever. 

The Regula Center provides many opportunities for community service throughout the year. On Saturday, November 17 the Center will be collecting donations in order to prepare and serve a community-wide Thanksgiving meal at the Salvation Army. Their goal is to serve 500 meals. Donations and volunteers are needed.

Friday, November 19 will be the “light up Downtown Alliance” event. The lighting of the community tree will take place along with activities for children and musical entertainment. For more information on these events or to volunteer, please contact Abby Honaker at honakeal@mountunion.edu or call (330) 829-8168.

Raider Relief and The Regula Center Hosted Lemonpalooza With United Way

Raider Relief (a student-driven group at the University dedicated to humanitarianism and helping those in need with passion, love, and good deeds) and the Regula Center teamed up with United Way of Stark County to host Lemonpalooza, a community-wide lemonade sale on October 6 to benefit United Way. Alliance United Way agencies, including the YMCA, YWCA, SPARK, Interfaith Child Development Center, and the Domestic Violence Shelter, receive more funding from United Way than any other city in Stark County. Unfortunately, Alliance has the smallest number of annual donors to the nonprofit organization. The goal of Lemonpalooza was to raise funds for United Way of Stark County while promoting awareness of their presence in Alliance. The proceeds will be dispersed to United Way agencies throughout Stark County. During the event, lemonade stands were set up in front of various businesses along State Street in Alliance. Shifts of student volunteers from Mount Union sold lemonade for $1 per glass. At the end of the day, $1,580.27 was raised for United Way.

Vist www.mountunion.edu/the-regula-center-for-public-service to read more about the Regula Center.

Mount Union Nursing Program Approved
The University of Mount Union recently received word that a nursing program, which will begin in August 2013, has officially been approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing, the Ohio Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission. 

Midterm Exams
Midterm exam time is fast approaching and is a stressful time for most students. For many students, midterm exam time comes as a wake-up call. The beginning of the semester has progressed smoothly, or so it seems, and then suddenly your student realizes how much there still is to do on that paper or project, or how many chapters are yet unread, or how much material must be memorized for an exam. Although some students may have had large midterm or final exams in high school, for some students this may be a new experience. This may be one of the first big college reality checks for your student. College parents may feel helpless as their college student begins to worry or even panic over exams. This is one of those college moments where your student needs to figure out how he or she will cope. However, there are a few things that parents can do to help students through this stressful time.

  • Recognize that your student is tired and stressed right now. This may not be the best time for lengthy chats about everyday life. Understand that he is preoccupied by what he needs to get done.
  • Use your best listening skills. Your student may need to vent. He may need to complain about the amount of work, the unfairness of the professors, the difficulty of the material or the assignments. Provide an ear and let him know that you understand.
  • Understand that he may not want to talk about it. Your student may see no point in telling you about every exam or paper or project that he has to do. He may just want to get it done.
  • Remind your student that this is part of the rhythm of the academic year. He will get through these few days or weeks and then things will level off again. Other students are probably feeling the same stress.
  • Remind your student to think about his health. Unfortunately, midterm exams often come at about the same time in the semester when students are hit by colds, viruses, flu and general exhaustion. Remind him to take care of his health and get help if he needs it.
  • Help your student keep midterms in perspective. It may be a generous portion of his semester grade in a course, but it is just one piece of the class. He is not likely to fail a class based on one exam. If he has been doing his work all semester, he will probably do well on the exam. Don’t let him panic and lose perspective on the importance of the exam or paper. Even if he has not been doing well, this course is only half over. He can use this as a good time to decide what needs to be changed to be successful in the second half of the semester.
  • Don’t micromanage. It’s okay to suggest a few study skill techniques that may be helpful – time management, study groups, using the library rather than studying in the dorm, getting a tutor, but then let your student decide how he will get through this time and what he will, or will not, do. He needs to learn this lesson on his own, and if whatever he chooses doesn’t work, then he will be that much wiser next time.
  • Help your student have realistic expectations. If your student is a first-year student, and this is the first time that he has faced a major college exam, he may not do as well as he hopes. Remind him that this is a first experience. He should be prepared for a grade that may be lower than he hoped. It will be a learning experience, and like anything else, dealing with midterms may take practice. Many students receive grades during their first semester that are lower than they are used to receiving in high school. This is a new level of study and he may need to learn new ways of approaching it.
  • Encourage your student not to panic. Even if he feels overwhelmed right now, he needs to take a breath (figuratively and literally) and recognize that he can do something to take control. If he is far behind, he may not be able to accomplish everything, but he can do something. Some students feel so overwhelmed that they panic and do nothing. Anything that he does, even if small steps, will help.
  • This is an excellent time to send a care package from home and/or send a “cheer up” card for his mailbox. It’s the next best thing to an “I know you can do it” hug.

Study Abroad
Are your students thinking about studying abroad for Summer and Fall 2013?  Applications will be due in early February and March. For more information on study abroad program options, please contact Dawn Adams at the Center for Global Education, by email adamsda@mountunion.edu or by phone 330-823-7493.

U and Mount Union

The Mount Union Fund: Raider Relations Representatives Smile while they Dial!

By day, they are regular college students attending class, studying for exams and spending time with friends. But by night, they become a vital ingredient in Mount Union’s continued success. They are our 2012 Raider Relations Representatives, and their work on behalf of The Mount Union Fund is ensuring adequate scholarships, financial aid, updated technology and much more for students now and into the future!

Maybe you’ve already received a telephone call this year, or maybe you will soon. When you do, we hope you’ll take a moment out of your busy day to talk with these students about their motivations for giving back to Mount Union in this way and about the opportunities they’re able to take advantage of on campus due to the generosity of alumni, parents and friends of the institution. They represent some of Mount Union’s best and brightest and, like many students here, a Mount Union education would have been beyond their reach without the aid of The Mount Union Fund. Senior Joey Forchione, a Raider Relations Student Supervisor, sums it up by saying, “I wouldn’t be able to attend this University without The Mount Union Fund so I wanted to find a way to help and give back as much as possible. I believe in it.”

While Raider Relations Representatives share the importance of giving back and they also offer invitations to events, share campus news, and reconnect alumni, parents and friends who have not been able to visit campus recently. They love sharing what they’re up to here on campus, and they also enjoy hearing YOUR Mount Union stories! According to freshman Raider Relations Representative Presley Mays, “I joined the team with hopes of getting to know alumni and supporters and to do something that would truly make an impact on our school, but I never imagined that it would be such an influential part of my life. I love hearing about what campus was once like and how much it is improving. This job really builds connections with people that will make a lasting impact. We are all one big family and that’s what makes these conversations so special."

Raider Relations Representatives are budding scientists and entrepreneurs, cheerleaders and basketball players, poets and musicians, and have over one hundred combined hours of community service through their various student organizations. In short, we have an amazing young team of Purple Raiders here who are working hard to ensure that your student and many others can continue to enjoy the best possible Mount Union experience. We hope you’ll answer their call, get to know them, and do what you can to support their important mission. Thank you!

Magazine and Dynamo

The Alumni Magazine and student newspaper, Dynamo, are wonderful ways for parents to stay connected with what is happening on-campus.  Visit the website to read the latest issue of the Alumni magazine and The Dynamo.

Important Dates

November 20 - Thanksgiving recess begins at 11 p.m.
November 26 - Classes resume
December 7 - Last day of classes
December 10-14 - Final exam period
December 14 – Semester ends at 11 p.m.
January 14 – Spring Semester starts
March 9 – Spring recess begins
March 18 – Classes resume
May 11 - Commencement

Upcoming Events

November 8 – Heffern Lecture
November 15 – Laurie Kolenbrander Scholarship Auction
November 29 – Chicago Alumni Event
December 7- 8 – Mount Union Choir Christmas Festival

View the website alumni.mountunion.edu or call the Office of Alumni Relations and University Activities at (330) 823-2030 for more information and to RSVP for all upcoming events.

Athletic Events

Go RAIDERS!
Check the athletic website for team previews and sport schedules. We invite you to come back to campus to cheer on your favorite team.

Parent to Parent Beat 

My husband attended Mount Union College in the 80’s. He played football, baseball and was an ATO. Oh, the stories he told. Those four years were the best years. When it was time for my oldest son to start his college search, Jim made sure we started with Mount Union. From the moment we stepped on campus for our visit I knew that this would be where my son would end up.

Looking back, I would have to say it was the PEOPLE that made this university stand out from all the rest of the schools we visited. As a parent, the one thing I wanted was for him to feel Mount Union was like home. This feeling started with my son’s preview and orientation guide, continued to his freshman RD, onto the soccer and baseball coaches, teachers, the many staff and fellow students. They were the people who made him feel comfortable and made Mount his HOME. A year later my daughter transferred to Mount Union and quickly became part of the Mount Union family. I was lucky to be able to come to campus often to watch various sporting events. On those visits, it is when I began to see the Mount Union community at work. I met the PEOPLE who took a personal interest in my children and I began to realize that it wasn’t necessarily unique to a particular person at Mount Union; it was the culture of the University. The PEOPLE made the difference in the students’ lives and the Mount Union community proved that daily. Midway thru our college experience, I decided I wanted to try and be a part of this culture that Mount Union fostered. I volunteered as a Preview Parent Guide, sharing my Mount Union parent experiences with the hope that I, too would be a part of this community and be able to comfort an apprehensive parent.

While at Mount Union, my children were educated not only through books, but through life experiences, challenges and opportunities they encountered in the many classrooms, teams and organizations they were a part of. In 2006 and 2007 my children walked on to the Mount Union campus as students, unsure of themselves and their future and by 2011 I had watched both of my children graduate, leaving campus as mature, confident and responsible adults. They both look back at their time at Mount Union fondly and come back as often as possible. Oh, the stories they tell. Those were the best years. Our family is one of the many families that make up the Mount Union community. We have three alumni and one “parent” alumni who still today feel very much a part of the Mount Union Family.

Sue and Jim (’83) Bondra

Gifts to Go

AVI is offering to take some of the stress out of your Thanksgiving baking. Holiday breads and desserts prepared by AVI’s very own baker are available for purchase for your Thanksgiving holiday meal. Place your order by November 15 and pick up your order on Tuesday, November 20 or Wednesday, November 21.