Uconnect Parents and Family Association Newsletter - September 2012

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September 2012   

U and the President

President GieseWelcome to the 2012-2013 Academic Year at the University of Mount Union. Whether you are new to the Parents and Family Association or are an already involved parent of a returning student, we thank you for entrusting us with your students’ futures. I assure you that their success is our top priority as we strive to provide each and every one of them with an experience that is exceptional and rewarding.

At Mount Union, it is our mission to prepare our students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work and responsible citizenship. We do so by offering solid academic preparation, valuable hands-on experience and an appreciation of the benefits of a global perspective. These are all necessary tools that allow our students and graduates to remain competitive in a fast-paced world. Simply put, your student will be primed for success in the 21st century. Our approach truly combines the close-knit community associated with a small college and the opportunity and variety of a larger university, all in a friendly and safe environment that features a robust curriculum, charming campus and remarkable facilities.

It is, without a doubt, an educational experience with outstanding results. Among our 16,000 alumni are individuals who are making an impact throughout our nation and around the world, both professionally and through service to their communities and beyond. They are living proof that a Mount Union education prepares students for a rewarding future, a hallmark of the educational experience that we provide that is truly enduring. In fact, our recent graduates have experienced outstanding accomplishments as well. Each year, we survey our previous graduating class, and among members of the Class of 2011, 97% of survey respondents had secured employment in their major field of study or graduate school placement in the college or university of their choice.

As president of this fine institution, I can think of nothing more rewarding than witnessing our students’ transformations into productive, energetic and compassionate contributors to the world. For Sandy and me, it is truly a pleasure to work hand in hand with you in encouraging your students to reach their full potential and become even more exceptional. We are delighted to have you as members of the Mount Union family, and we hope to see you on campus soon!

U and the Parents and Family Association

When you and your student chose the University of Mount Union, your entire family became part of the Mount Union community. Over the years we’ve seen increased participation from parents so we’re seeking to find new ways to connect and keep you as a parent 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 to attend alumni events near the University and around the country. Check the alumni website for a listing of all upcoming events.

Looking to volunteer?
One opportunity for parents to volunteer is to join the Mount Union Women organization! Mount Union Women was founded in 1933 to support the education of women. Any female graduate or friend of the University may be a member. The organization has active chapters in Alliance and Canton/Massillon which 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 Office of Alumni Relations and University Activities at indicating your interest.

Family Day 2012
Join us at Mount Union for a full day of fun!

The mission of Family Day at the University of Mount Union is to provide students and their families an opportunity to reconnect during the fall semester. This year, we have a day full of fun events planned for both Mount Union students and their family members on Saturday, September 29! A full schedule of events and further information about event registration for Family Day is available on the Family Day webpage, so be sure to check it out!

If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact Kate Carnell, director of student involvement and leadership, at 330-823-2885 or

Upcoming Events

As members of the Parents and Family Association, you are invited to all types of events!


U and our Students

Students’ Major dilemma
So your student is off to college but is not sure of a major. The Office of Students in Academic Transition Programs, located in the Hoover-Price Campus Center, can help them go from undecided to finding that perfect fit. Perhaps they already know what they want to study. National data suggests that 75% of students who enter college with a major will change that major at some point. 

Most students choose their majors based on external factors such as an admiration for someone in that field, TV shows or other social media influences. A personal, caring approach is utilized to help students think critically about their work/life preferences and develop a plan to reach career goals. Through career assessments and interest inventories, we further gauge their personal values and empower them to select a major that will help them navigate the career path. If your student has already started down the path toward a major and is seeking reassurance or feels the need or desire to change, this process is also effective and enlightening. Whether the result is the first declaration, or a change in major,it is a celebration of a successful step toward lifelong fulfillment.  

Students who are interested in these services should contact the Center for Student Success at (330) 823-8685 or stop by the Hoover-Price Campus Center, Room 113.

Counseling Services
Counseling Services provides students with an opportunity to explore their concerns and problems with a professional counselor in a confidential setting. University Counselors provide short-term counseling (1-5 sessions) for moderate to typical problems faced by University of Mount Union undergraduate and graduate students during the academic calendar year. The college years are times of accelerated growth, significant changes and considerable stress. For more information, visit the website.

Ways to Show Support for your College-aged Child

  • Show interest in your child’s life. Call and/or email often and visit during Family Day.
  • Support your child’s choices even if you may not agree with them. As long as aspirations are reasonable, you can help.
  • Encourage participation in sports, intramurals or other activities unless they interfere with academics
  • Share in your child’s excitement about learning, rather than dwelling only on grades.
  • Trust your child to take responsibility for his or her actions. If a mistake is made, let your child learn from it and move on. 
  • Report on happenings in your community so they feel connected to home.
  • Accept that college is a time of change and experimentation. Maintain your sense of humor and remember you were young once too.
  • Remind your child to practice safety on and off campus. 
  • Say “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” often. Also use phrases such as “Great job” and “I knew you could do it” when your child does something positive.
  • Remember that your opinion does mean a lot. Know when to offer it and when to just listen attentively without being judgmental.

International Students and Study Abroad
Mount Union will welcome approximately 35 new international students to campus in the fall of 2012. Our total international enrollment will be 77 students representing 18 countries. Study abroad participation has increased significantly as 63 students studied abroad in 15 countries during 2011-12. The study abroad application deadline is September 28 for Spring 2013. Please contact Dawn Adams by email at or by phone at (330) 823-7493 at the Center for Global Education for additional information.

Student Financial Services
Does your student have a balance for the fall semester? If so, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services. We will review your student’s file to ensure all of the necessary forms have been submitted.

  • Parents of graduating seniors – your student can check the balance of their federal loans online at They can find their loan servicer and aggregate loan limits. This information is helpful as they prepare to graduate and begin repaying their loans.
  • Please contact us with your questions at 1-877-543-9185, fax (330) 829-2814 or by email at We are located in the Gartner Welcome Center.
  • You can apply for your 2013-2014 FAFSA online at as early as January 2013.

Greek Life
The fall is an exciting time on campus for a variety of different activities. As students arrive on campus they are energized and ready to see friends, jump into academics and pick up the drill of college life. There are a variety of ways in which a student can get involved in campus life, and one of those is to consider joining a fraternity or sorority.

The University of Mount Union offers students the opportunity to be involved in what is commonly referred to as “Greek Life” in order to enhance their educational experience. To this end, fraternities and sororities have long been part of student life at Mount Union, dating back to 1882. Membership in a Greek-letter organization provides opportunities for leadership development, strengthens organizational capabilities, encourages scholastic achievement and promotes personal growth and development through involvement in community service throughout Alliance and the greater Stark County area.

When a student chooses to join a fraternity or sorority, it is an exciting and significant step in her or his life. This important decision requires the support and understanding of parents and other family members. The fraternity or sorority experience teaches numerous unique life lessons, develops a number of various skills and provides life-long connections with chapter members across the country.

To learn more about these benefits or about the process of joining (called “recruitment”), be sure to visit the University’s website, or contact the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at (330) 823-2885 or

Fraternity and sorority participants are some of the most active and involved students on campus; many of whom are members of the Dean’s List each semester. A host of students involved in fraternity or sorority credit their Greek-life experience for assisting them in time management, academic attainment and organizational development. Just ask some of our top leaders…


  • Stephanie Novak, Sport Business Major from Strongsville, OH
    A four-year member of the cheerleading squad, Stephanie has maintained a Dean’s List grade point average for five of her six semesters at Mount Union. In addition to being president of the Panhellenic Council, Stephanie recently finished a summer internship with the national Junior PGA tournament in Dallas, Texas!

  • Greg Koman from Euclid, OH
    After finishing his first year as a student at Mount Union, Greg became actively involved in his fraternity’s philanthropy, Flying Horse Farms, a summer camp for terminally ill children, as a counselor. Greg even represented his fraternity at their national convention this summer, where the chapter earned the distinction of being the #2 chapter in the nation!

  • Alexa Farmerie, Early Childhood and Intervention Specialist Major(s) from Greensburg, PA
    This summer, Alexa took on the challenge of serving as an orientation leader! Some of you may have met her while she helped first year students learn the ins and outs of life at Mount Union. In addition, Alexa completed a prestigious internship with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, where she worked with young children as they attended school there each day. Alexa’s experience prepares her for a classroom of her own in just one year!

  • Tyler Anderson, Political Science Major from Avon, OH
    As president of the College Republicans on campus, Tyler has had unique opportunities throughout the summer to stretch his political muscles. Not only did he have the chance to meet the Governor of Ohio through volunteering at Buckeye Girls State, but he also completed an internship with US Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH). When he’s not out campaigning, you can find Tyler in class or working in the Office of Student Accessibility Services, assisting students across campus!

U and Mount Union

The Mount Union Fund: What it Means to You and Your Student
Whether you’re new to the Mount Union family or you’ve been with us for a while now, we hope you have noticed the strong support your student finds on every corner of campus. From on-site academic support and career counseling services to engaged faculty advisors and to our fabulous Health Center staff, Mount Union students are surrounded by a network designed to help them succeed. What you may not be aware of, however, is the vast foundation of support that exists outside of our campus walls.

Each year, more than 3,000 alumni, parents and friends of Mount Union impact your student’s college experience through gifts to The Mount Union Fund. Every dollar of support helps to keep our institution strong, and ensures that students can reach their full potential. The tremendous spirit of generosity and Pride of Purple we feel from these folks – including many parents just like you – are the backbones that support Mount Union students in the classroom, through financial aid and scholarships, in co-curricular and student leadership activities and in technology advances that keep them competitive in today’s fast-paced world.

As parents, you know a thing or two about supporting young people, and we hope you’ll be gratified to know that so many members of the extended Mount Union family are working in tandem with you to help your student succeed. It truly does take a village!

As we begin a new academic year, The Mount Union Fund would be grateful to call you a partner in our mission to provide students with a truly exceptional college experience. To make a gift, or to learn more about the impact of The Mount Union Fund, please visit our website.

Magazine and The Dynamo

The Mount Union Magazine and student newspaper, the 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 magazine and the Dynamo.

Parent to Parent Beat

Dear Parents,

We are delighted to welcome you to the University of Mount Union Parents and Family Association! As graduates of the University and proud parents of a senior student, we can knowingly reflect that four years pass very quickly. Fall is a beautiful time to visit such a gorgeous campus. Spend Homecoming and Parent's Day with your child. Bring them food and other comforts from home. (They will be forever grateful!) Make every trip to campus meaningful by attending a variety of campus events, meeting your child's friends and taking them out to lunch for conversation and connection. The more that you experience the essence of Mount Union, the more you will grow to appreciate that your child has chosen a very special university with wonderful students, administration, faculty, and staff. Again, Welcome! We wish you the best as you create your family's chapter in the Mount Union story. May it be one that provides memories and connections for a lifetime.

Jim (’80) and Laurie (’82) Switzer

Gifts to Go

Mount Union’s food service provider, AVI Fresh, now offers “Gifts to Go”. They are available for parents and the campus community to send to someone on campus. Gifts range from a giant cookie to say hi, a birthday cake to offer well wishes and more. Click the link to view the gifts available and send a greeting to your student!

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