National Student Exchange Deadline Approaching!

Broaden your horizons through exchange studies

by Lisa Chrans

Have dreams of studying in Hawaii? Maybe California? Does Puerto Rico or Canada interest you? Take courses in another state or Canada through Texas State’s domestic student exchange program, the National Student Exchange (NSE).

The NSE program gives you the opportunity to earn credit for out-of-state courses. These Bobcats went to Hawaii!

The NSE program gives you the opportunity to earn credit for out-of-state courses. These Bobcats went to Hawaii!

 

NSE allows you to take courses at an out-of-state college or university for one or two semesters and transfer them back toward your Texas State degree — all for IN-STATE TUITION!  You lose no time toward your TXST graduation plan and financial aid does apply. Read some student testimonials for a better sense of what the program can do for you.

The application due date for a Fall 2014 and/or Spring 2015 exchange is Tuesday, February 25.  You may also call 512.245.2259 or e-mail lc19 AT txstate.edu.

Alumni: Distinguished Young Bobcat Award

Recent alumni create award for incoming Bobcats

by Mindy Green

Distinguished Young Bobcat Award logoAndrew Henley and Maggie Worthington graduated from Texas State University only last year, but already they have created a scholarship for one incoming freshman who has made an impact on his/her high school campus and community.

Continue reading

Study Tips: Getting Back on Track in Spring

Ten helpful tips that guarantee a successful spring semester

by Texas State SLAC

Photo of a student getting tutoring help

1. Reconnect with other students.

Seek out students from the previous semester’s classes, organizations, living arrangements and work. Building upon acquaintances can lead you to form study partners and future friendships. Plus, being socially involved gives balance to a stressful life. And don’t hesitate to talk first to those you recognize on campus. It is easier to speak the first time you see someone than the next.

2. Get in touch with professors you enjoyed. 

E-mail or stop by during their office hours to thank them. Let them know specifically what you liked about their classes. This helps them recall you if they write recommendation letters for you later and makes it more likely that they consider you for research positions, internships or other jobs. Also, having a faculty friend can help negotiate academic bureaucracy!

 3. Buy your books before classes start and begin reading them.

Some classes have reading assignments due the first day. Check each course’s TRACS site to see if yours do. Order any books that aren’t available yet. Then find copies of them in the library, and keep up with your reading there. This helps prevent your being overwhelmed by readings you haven’t done yet as tests, projects and papers are given.

4. Make a good first impression.

Getting your books ahead of time and doing any pre-semester homework will also make a good impression on your professors and classmates. If you come in without assigned homework on the first day, you won’t impress anyone. Others naturally take a student who comes prepared from the start more seriously.

 5. Manage your academic time by creating two calendars: one with short- and one with long-term assignments.

Once you get syllabi from your professors, record weekly and semester assignments. Get one wall calendar with all 12 months on it so that you can keep long-term assignments, due dates, registration information, organizational commitments and other important dates in front of you. After this, use a monthly planner and assign each piece of homework to a certain day each week. This will help you visualize and anticipate your workload and plan ahead for weeks when you are balancing weekly assignments with term projects. Also utilize electronic calendars, such as the free Gmail calendar feature. This allows you to color code events by class, amongst other things — another helpful way to picture what you need to do.

6. Make a weekly schedule.

On this put all of your class, work, study times, organizational commitments, meal times, and even breaks. Sticking to this schedule as closely as possible can help bring stability into your life. The “SLAC Daily Schedule” under the Student Learning Assistance Center’s (SLAC) drop-down menu at http://www.txstate.edu/slac/subject-area/study-skills/time-management.html can help you do this.

7. Get your finances in order.

This will not only ensure that you have enough money to finish the semester, but also it will lighten stress as the semester becomes increasingly difficult.

8. Find out where to go for help — now.

In case you need tutoring, physical, or mental health assistance later, find out where those services are on campus. Look at the academic services offered at SLAC by visiting our website at http://www.txstate.edu/slac/. Then, check out SLAC’s list of other campus academic services at http://www.txstate.edu/slac/othersupport.html. On Texas State’s homepage, look under the drop-down menu for Current Students at http://www.txstate.edu/ for information about other services, including medical, financial, and recreational. Finally, look at http://www.counseling.txstate.edu/ for information on obtaining counseling should you need it.

9. Locate healthy outlets for fun and relief from stress.

Joining a student organization related to your interests can help, as can visiting the campus recreational facilities. Look again under Current Students on Texas State’s home page and on other drop-down menus there for hints about where to find these things and what’s new to do at Texas State. Venture off campus, too, to see movies, eat out and find activities that take you beyond the world encompassed by the university!

10. Set goals and make commitments.

Doing this makes you far more likely to achieve what you came to college to learn to do in the first place! Remember to make your goals SMART: specific, measurable, realistic, and time-oriented (with concrete deadlines, some short-, others long-term).

And have a great spring semester!

 

LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial

Community works together to memorialize a famous partnership

by Mindy Green

Computer image of the LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial

At the intersection of LBJ and MLK in San Marcos, a statue by Aaron Hussey commemorates the nation at the crossroads of equality and civil rights.

A new city landmark is about to be unveiled in San Marcos. The LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial,  the end-result of years of collaboration between San Marcos and Texas State University, commemorates the combined efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson to advance the march towards equality. Continue reading

Bobcat Faces: Haydyn Jackson

December grad creatively merges diverse fields of studies

By Mindy Green

Photo of Haydyn Jackson

Jackson’s artwork is inspired by the study of culture and human interaction.

When Haydyn Jackson first enrolled at Texas State, she declared art and design as her major. As she started getting into her upper-level classes, however, she decided to pursue a different field. Jackson found herself drawn to anthropology, and eventually she switched her major. “The idea of studying culture and the way people interact and socialize seems really important,” Jackson says.

After switching majors, art was no longer Jackson’s primary focus. Her professors, however, encouraged her to continue to develop her artistic talents. She credits Ashe Laughlin, senior lecturer in the School of Art and Design for helping her decide to keep art as a minor. “He wouldn’t let me give up on it,” she says.

Dr. Teri Evans-Palmer also played a big role in Jackson’s college career by supporting her and helping her find the connection between anthropology and art. “Haydyn always seemed to want to go beyond learning about techniques and skills to find out more about the artists that produced artifacts left on the earth,” says Evans-Palmer. “What cultural or social phenomenon initiated this type of imagery? What happened in the lives of these cultures, the social context, that initiated this type of work? Her investigations that led her into producing art have such an obvious scientific methodology to the process.”

There is no conflict between Jackson’s two passions. Instead, anthropological studies have given Jackson new sources of inspiration. “Anthropology informs my art,” she says. “My subject matter and ideas all stem from the way I see myself interacting with society and the way I see society interacting with me.”

There are additional benefits: “Anthropology has given me the best skills learning how to listen to people and work cooperatively,” Jackson says. Jackson is using these skills in a variety of art initiatives, such as curating exhibitions, showing her own artwork in galleries and coordinating art walks around town.

After graduation, Jackson plans on seeking a job in an art gallery and eventually continuing her studies in graduate school. One of the greatest lessons she learned at Texas State is also her best advice to others: “Follow what you love to do,” Jackson says, “and everything you need will fall into place.”

Students: Gerardo Antonio Feria

A student from
both sides of the border

IMG_20131108_223146by Reginald Andah

One of Gerardo Antonio Feria’s favorite sayings is “Be the change you want to be in the world.” Taking that advice to heart, Feria came to Texas State, where he is completing a master’s degree in criminal justice — a degree that will help him make the difference he envisions.

“Contributing to making this world a safer place is one of the biggest concerns not only of this country, but everywhere,” says Feria. “I believe my education can give me the specific skills I need to make a positive impact.”

The journey to Texas was a homecoming for the 26-year-old Feria. Born in Houston, he moved with his family at age 2 to Mexico, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in law from the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla in 2009. Feria considered his degree to be just one step along the path to his career goals. “I decided to push forward in my education so I could be considered a high standard candidate. I want to be above average in the job market,” he says.

Searching online for a master’s degree program brought him to Texas State, and a campus visit sealed the deal.

“The first time I saw the San Marcos River, I knew this was the place I wanted to call home,” he recalls.

Moving more than 2,300 miles from his family didn’t deter Feria. His ambition pushes him beyond obstacles. “I like big challenges, so whatever I do, I always make sure to complete it,” he says.

Between classes, studying, volunteering and work, Feria has a schedule that would make most people buckle. He slowed down just long enough for us to ask him a few questions about his Texas State experience.

Q. Why did you choose Texas State?
A. Texas State is a unique university because it is open to cultural diversification. It feels like home to me, not to mention it has an excellent criminal justice program. The professors are so brilliant and at the same time so friendly and humble.

Q. What are your career goals?
A. After graduation, I want to become a U.S. Army officer. I enlisted just a few weeks ago. When I complete my service, I hope to work in U.S. federal law enforcement.

Q. How are the things you’re studying helping you reach your goals?
A. I develop research projects on crime. Statistics can tell me a lot about human behavior, especially deviant behavior. I’m learning how to manage police personnel in order to control crime effectively and efficiently.

Q. What is the best event you attended at Texas State?
A. The School of Criminal Justice graduation in fall 2012, because that is where I’m going to be next year when I graduate. I know I’ll make it because my teachers are willing to help in any way they can and are the friendliest people I have ever met.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not in class?
A. I’m a black belt in Taekwondo and teach Olympic Taekwondo classes in San Marcos and Austin. It is one of the most important parts of my life. I believe that self-defense can improve people’s lives. When dealing with kids, I’m teaching them more than self-defense, discipline or being in good shape; I believe I’m helping to keep them away from things such as drugs, alcohol and crime.

Q. What’s the best advice you received about college? What advice would you give to help students make the most of their college experience?
A. My father told me, “College time is just an instance in your life. Enjoy it, benefit from it and finish it.” If I were to give advice to students just as my father did for me, I would say focus on your goals, have faith, manage your time and never give up. And if you really want to learn, come to Texas State.

Study Tips: Preparing for Finals

Heading for finals: Don’t hit the wall. Climb over it!

by Texas State SLAC

Does this sound like you or someone you know? During exams, do you:

  • go blank
  • become frustrated
  • start thinking “I can’t do this” or “I’m stupid”
  • feel your heart racing or find it difficult to breathe
  • know the answers — after turning in a test
  • score much lower than on homework or papers
Final exams don't need to be a stressful experience. Photo:  timswinson.com

Final exams don’t need to be a stressful experience. Photo: timswinson.com

Many students find their anxiety level heightens toward the semester’s end. Pressures causing this can come from many sources and vary according to your performance in each of your classes. Continue reading