Tag Archives: Texas State University

Study Tips: Summer Session Survival

The Upside of Summer Session

by SLAC

Check out SLAC for tutoring in a wide variety of subjects.

Check out SLAC for tutoring in a wide variety of subjects.

Ah, summer school! Parking is closer and traffic is lighter. You can turn left without a car bearing down on you or a bicyclist whizzing past. The river and its banks are less crowded. You can park on Town Square! You can walk on campus without dodging skateboards. Classrooms seem bigger. You don’t trip over backpacks as you squeeze between desks, and if professors don’t mind, you can prop up your flip-flops.

There’s only one problem: If you don’t get textbooks and syllabi early so that you can read any material your instructors might have assigned for the first day, you could saunter into a lecture unprepared. When possible, get your first week of reading done before classes even begin. Expect papers each week (or two), tests on Mondays, and homework every night, because you have only four and a half weeks to cover 13–14 weeks of course material.

But intensity has its benefits. You’ll be working with focused students broader in age range and experiences; some will be returning professionals honing skills or redirecting careers. As a result, in-class discussion can be more interesting and study groups can draw from the variety of students’ experiences, so use each other’s strengths. Also, motivated students in small classes can make your professors even more involved and accessible.

Of course, campus study and recreation resources are still available: The Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC), the Writing Center, Math Lab and many other tutoring labs will be open during the summer sessions. In addition, the Alkek Library, LBJ Student Student Center and Rec Center are not only open, but they probably are far less crowded than during the fall and spring semesters.

Summer school equals work but it’s also a great introduction or a refreshing return to one of college’s best experiences!

 

Exploring Majors: Agriculture

What’s it like to be an agriculture major? Dorothy Bell tells us.

By Brittnie Curtis

Being an outstanding student takes focus and motivation.

Being an outstanding student takes focus and motivation.

Q: What fueled your interest to major in animal science?
A.
I grew up with a golden retriever that was the same age as me. When I was younger, I started volunteering with animals at the rescue organizations that you often see outside of pet stores. I’ve loved animals my entire life and have always wanted to help them.

Q: Why did you decide to attend Texas State?
A.
One of the reasons is that it’s close to home, and it’s a growing school. Another reason is that I want to go the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences after I graduate, and a lot of the curriculum for the animal science major at Texas State is tailored to what A&M wants.

What were you unsure about when you first arrived at Texas State?
A.
College in general really scared me. I thought I was going to fail. I was nervous about taking notes because you never take notes in high school; you just sit there and listen. It’s weird coming from high school where you have four to seven classes a day, then going to college where you have two or three classes a day and it’s not the same every day. I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up and would be overwhelmed. One of the best pieces of advice I got was from an orientation leader – treat your school like your job. You have eight hours every day and you should spend that on school and the rest of the time you can do whatever you want.

Q: What would you tell high school seniors who have the same fears?
A.
Try your hardest, but also have fun. The summer before college I was so scared to leave all of my friends. Then the semester starts and you have to embrace it; just take everything as it comes. Think about your future and what kind of grades you want to make. It’s really important to have a good study space – a spot that means all business. You can’t goof off in the spot that you’re studying in. I guess time management is one of the biggest things that you have to learn to do.

Q: What was your daily schedule like?
A.
My first semester I had a few 8 a.m. classes, and I never missed a class. While in class I would take notes and try to understand everything. I’d go back to my dorm and if I didn’t understand something, I would read about it in the textbook. That way when it came time for testing and we got our reviews, I would be prepared.

Q: What would you tell prospective students about the department of agriculture?
A.
All of the people are friendly and have the biggest hearts. They really care about the Earth and how you can use it in positive ways, like agribusiness. It’s a way of using the Earth’s resources to further your business without being detrimental to the environment.

Q: Were you involved in any extra-curricular activities?
A.
I was involved in the pre-vet society. It’s all pre-vet students who need good grades for veterinarian school, so it’s like a support group. Whenever we’d go to the meetings, they were always informational. They give you tips on what you need to prepare to go to vet school. They also told us about the GRE test that we would need to take to get into vet school. Even as a freshman, it was nice to get a chance to see what was ahead.

Q: What are your goals as you continue on your college education?
A.
I want to make a lot of connections and friends that are more like me and can relate. I want to be confident in myself, and I want to know what I want to do, even if it isn’t being a vet; I just want to love what I do. I also want to try to make the Dean’s List most semesters.

Q: You won the Outstanding Freshman Student award from the Department of Agriculture. What advice would you give incoming freshman who are striving to do the same?
A.
It’s all about motivation. You need to be motivated to reach your goals. When your professors tell you what they think you should do to get a good grade, do it. Also, don’t be afraid to go to office hours because that’s their time dedicated to help you. At the same time, don’t just kill yourself with all academics. Try to have fun, go to the river and experience San Marcos and even Austin. Get the college experience, but stay focused, because you only have four years to build yourself up. Either you or your parents are paying for your education, so you should strive to make the best out of it.

Rising Stars – SioTeX™ Team

Texas State team advances to ACS GCI Business Plan Competition

SioTeX has a 1-in-5 chance of taking top honors! Show this green company your support.

by Brittnie Curtis and Mary-Love Bigony

Four Texas State graduate students and one recent Ph.D graduate left Houston in April with a $125,000 prize from the Texas HALO Fund. When they arrived back in San Marcos, they were ready to build their business.

The prize came from the SioTeX™ team’s participation in the Rice Business Plan Competition, the first time a Texas State University team had competed in the prestigious event, which attracts graduate students from around the world.

The competition allowed its participants a unique lesson in the importance of teamwork. “I was interested in starting a company based on my Ph.D. work and participating in the Rice Business Plan Competition,” says Dr. Haoran Chen, the first graduate of Texas States Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) doctorial program. “But I realized that an individual effort was far from sufficient. All kinds of things needed to be done quickly and in high quality.”

Chen talked to Dr. Gary Beall, associate director of the MSEC program, who quickly assembled a team:

  • Dr. Haoran Chen
  • Marcus Goss, MSEC doctoral student
  • Ash Kotwal, MSEC doctoral student
  • Cesar Rivera, master’s student in Texas State’s communication design program
  • Lisa Taylor, M.B.A. student in the McCoy College of Business Administration

For Lisa Taylor, the support of Texas State faculty members was a key component to the group’s success. “The Texas State Faculty has been so dedicated and helpful to our team during this process. Each of our department’s professors, deans and directors committed so much of their time, knowledge and expertise,” she says. “Dr. Beall recognized the benefits of constructing a team of students with varying expertise, and acted as our lead advisor. None of this would be possible without him.”

SioTeX™ will produce and distribute Eco-Sil™, an environmentally friendly alternative to fumed silica. It’s manufactured from rice hulls and is a renewable source. Target markets include paint, fiberglass-reinforced plastic and tires. These markets currently account for $1.5 billion in sales annually.

SioTeX™ will soon compete as a finalist in the 2014 ACS GCI Green Chemistry and Engineering Business Plan Competition. The competition will take place at the American Chemical Society GCI meeting in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 18. This business plan competition is dedicated to green chemistry and engineering and focuses on sustainability-oriented entrepreneurship. The competition allows the general public to vote for best technology. Donations and voting will be accepted through June 13. The votes will count towards the individual overall score for each competitor and the funds raised will be awarded to the grand prize winner of the competition.

Support your fellow Bobcats! Make a contribution of $5 or more and use your votes to support SioTeX. Go, Cats, go!

 

Student Life: The Job Hunt

Bobcats find job-search assistance through Career Services

By Brittnie Curtis

Finding a job is easier with the help of Career Services.

Finding a job is easier with the help of Career Services.

The spring semester is finally over. Some students will be soaking up the sun this summer at Sewell Park, but others may want to find a job. Now is a good time to do that. With students graduating, traveling and going home, many employers need to hire new staff to fill newly empty positions.

To help with your job search, take advantage of the resources available at Career Services. Among the services you’ll find there are résumé review, career counselors and advisors, and Jobs4Cats, a real-time list that allows students and alumni to create an on-line profile. Having a Jobs4Cats profile gives you easy access to on- and off-campus jobs and internships around the world.

“Our goal is to assist students with any part of their job-search process,” says Allison Birk, career advisor and liaison to the College of Fine Arts and Communications. “That could be sophomore or juniors looking for internships, seniors preparing their first full-time position or alumni considering transitioning to a new position.”

How do you maximize your chances of getting called for an interview? Birk suggests having someone review your résumé before sending it out to potential employers. You can schedule an appointment with her or any other of the career advisors and counselors at 512.245.2645, or you use the online 48-hour résumé critique site.

Birk also recommends paying close attention to the details listed in the job description. “Review job requirements and applications instructions because each may be different. Always include your summer class schedule when applying to jobs for scheduling purposes.”

Career Services is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. during the summer. Make an appointment by calling 512,245,2645.

With all of this information, you should be ready to start your job hunt. Good luck, Bobcats!

Student Life: Down on the Farm

Preparing for Spring

by Emily Arnold

Well, nobody said it would be glamorous! Emily Arnold learns about the best ways to fertilize crops.

Well, nobody said it would be glamorous! Emily Arnold learns about the best way to fertilize crops.

The Freeman Ranch staff gave us permission to collect horse manure from the horse pen at the ranch. Horse manure is the best kind of manure for composting because of the animals’ digestive tract as well as their diet. They are by definition “hind-gut fermenters,” which means the absorption of nutrients from their food doesn’t begin until the end of the digestive tract. This makes their waste higher in nutrient content. Also, the horses at the ranch are fed entirely pesticide- and herbicide-free grass.

Once we collected the horse manure, we put some aside in a compost pile, and we applied some directly to rows that are currently empty. Because of the high nutrient content, we went in with rakes and manually tried to break it down and mix it into the soil. If we were to try and plant directly into the manure without letting it sit, the plants could get burned from high levels of nitrogen and die. We have been watering the rows with the manure in it to speed up the break down, and hopefully when we go to plant in week or so, the soil will be more fertile and give our plants some extra nutrition.

Students: Megan Holmes

Open to Opportunities: Grad student finds reward in her passion

by Megan Holmes

Photo of Megan Holmes

By expressing her opinions and taking a chance, Megan got an opportunity to expand her network and gather new insights. Well done!

I’m a Bobcat for life! I earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in forensic psychology here at Texas State and I’m currently completing my master’s in agricultural education. My soul’s drive is to make an impact in the lives of high school students through agriculture.

One of the things I love most about Texas State are the dedicated professors.  The professors here have a genuine interest in my personal success. Continue reading

Exploring Majors: Dance

What’s it like to be a dance major?
Lauren Dorsett tells us.

by Mindy Green

Photo of Lauren Dorsett Q. When did you first know you wanted to study dance?
A. I started dancing when I was three and it’s always been my passion. When I was in high school, I helped teach at a studio. I realized I love to perform but I love to teach dance even more. So it was in high school when I said this is what I have to do for the rest of my life. I want to teach people to enjoy what I love.

Q. Were there other majors that you considered at any point? If so, why did you finally settle upon dance?
A. I’ve always wanted to help people; I didn’t put much consideration into anything other than teaching and now I’m going into dance education. There really wasn’t any other major I could see myself doing.

Q. How did you first learn about Texas State’s program?
A. I went online and typed in “dance programs in Texas” and Texas State popped up. Tuition here is decent and we have a program that lets you choose from four different degree plans: Dance education, performance & choreography and dance studies. Dance education is split in two, either single teaching or double teaching certification. I chose double teaching certification because I felt it would be more useful for what I wanted to do.

Q. What is your minor? Why did you choose that?
A. I’m minoring in Business Administration because I hope to someday open up my own dance studio.

Q. What made you decide to come to Texas State?
A. When I came to visit the campus, I really fell in love with the beauty of it. I felt like this could be a place I could call home.

Q. Did you have to audition? If so, what was that like?
A. We don’t have an audition process for dance education but there is an audition for the performance & choreography plan.

Q. What’s a typical day like for you at Texas State?
A. I’m doing what I love all day, so that’s great, but it’s very busy. Being a dance major means a lot of our classes are only one credit hour so we have full days taking technique classes, having our regular history classes on top of education classes, dealing with teaching, and then at night we have rehearsals if we’re in a company. They’re full days, but they’re enjoyable.

Q. Where are most of your dance classes? What is that building like?
A. Most of them are in Jowers. We have a close-knit community but we have only two studios and they’re really nice. We have great teachers and great faculty. Coming to Texas State and being taught by the faculty here has really helped me to see dance in a new way. Now I see dance more as an art form. Now I see the actual beauty of the art.

Q. What performance opportunities have you been given?
A. My first two years here, I was in Orchesis Dance Company and through that we had a performance every year. Now I’m in Merge Dance Company and this year we’ve had a lot of performance opportunities. There were two in the fall, one coming up this week, one in two more weeks and one at the end of the year. We get to perform a lot so it’s really nice.

Q. What do you want to do after you graduate?
A. If I can, I would love to perform some more. I hope to be picked up by a company or have some kind of opportunity to travel and perform. If not, I would definitely love to jump straight into teaching, whether in a public or private school system, and then eventually have my own studio.

Q. How has the program helped you achieve your goals?
A. It has definitely helped me to increase my ability as a dancer but I also feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to approach teaching students who may have had dance experience and also students who have not. This department is really big on kinesiology and whole body awareness — like what is the right position for every movement.

Q. What are your thoughts on the new Performing Arts Center?
A. It is beautiful and we’re really excited to be the first dancers to perform there. I definitely feel like this is an exciting time for the arts because we’re finally getting more recognition here at Texas State.

Q. What’s your advice to anyone who is considering being a dance major at Texas State?
A. To definitely do it! It’s been a wonderful experience for me. My best advice would be to do as much as you can while you’re here. This is the time for us to increase our technique and perform as much as we can.

 

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

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.”