Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Fulbright Experience

José Gutiérrez at Philpott Lake near Ferrum.

By José Gutiérrez

Hi. I am José Gutiérrez. I am from Chetumal, Mexico. I am the fourth Fulbright Spanish Teaching Assistant (TA) in Ferrum. As part of the Fulbright program, around 400 teachers from all over the world come to the United States every year to teach their language as TAs. I hold a bachelor’s degree in English language and a master’s in Education, and I taught English in my hometown for two years before I came to the United States.

This exchange program was not only a great opportunity to refine my teaching skills but also to broaden my knowledge of American culture and customs. Precisely, the first-hand experiences I had last semester helped me to learn more about the culture. Thanks to television, movies and music, I had an idea of how big cities look like but I didn’t know much about the countryside. Last semester I attended some folk festivals in cities and towns like Salem, Martinsville and Greensboro, and I enjoyed the music, food, exhibitions, and crafts of the region, especially bluegrass music. I loved it! It was a semester full of first-time experiences: college football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the fall, and lately the snow. And the cold, well, I am still working on that.

I also celebrated Día de Muertos and enjoyed the altars that students made as part of a contest. It was nice to see altars outside of my country. I have also encountered many Spanish speakers in Virginia and some neighbor states. It has not been really difficult to get authentic food from my region in Mexico, and I get to see how people have mixed their Latin American culture to the American one. Overall, this experience has made me appreciate more my culture.

Students at the Tertulia.
Last semester, I taught two sections of Spanish 101 and ran speaking workshops called “Tertulias”. Moreover, I took courses on American studies. This semester I will have more assistance duties and continue working on the “Tertulias”. I hope to have a great semester and to enjoy both the Spanish assistantship and the courses I will take.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Health and Human Performance Internship: Ferrum College Football

By Anthony Konieczka

January 22, 2017: This week was a long week for me. It started out with my regular duties for the internship like recruiting and helping with the weight room for the fitness aspect of coaching. I also got the chance to meet with Ferrum’s Athletic Director Abe Naff as he prepared me for the importance of the trip I was about to take to Nashville, TN, as a Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for Ferrum College and the USA South Athletic Conference.

(L-R) Ferrum College seniors Anthony Konieczka and Jessica Turner attended the 2017 NCAA National Convention in Nashville. Also pictured are William Peace students Breanna Cary  and Tanner Brown.

Division III SAAC members with the Nashville Special Olympics.
The time I spent in Nashville for the NCAA National Convention showed me the world that coaches and AD’s live in. It gave me a glance at the broad world that is collegiate sports and how everything gets done. I always thought that we play with these guidelines just because that’s how the coach felt, but it is so much more than that. I got to sit and listen to legislation, and give my opinion on it as a part of the SAAC, that would allow a D3 coach recruit D1 and D2 graduate prospects which could have impacted the collegiate atmosphere. I gave my opinion on the new recommendations for football practice and official times and ways we can practice that were put out by the Sports Science Institute. I argued against and for different policies and proposals. I was able to attend a sexual violence prevention within collegiate sports forum, which gave me insight on how to approach this problem if I were to ever face it as a coach.

Anthony Konieczka with Rich, a participant
of the Special Olympics of Nashville. 
The best part of the trip was the experience of a lifetime, being able to participate in and help coach the Special Olympics event for the Division III conventions partnership with Unified Sports Experience, the Nashville Special Olympics. It was the best opportunity I have ever had to give back within the world of athletics. I have been able to help build houses for the needy, collect canned goods, collect pennies for a purpose, read to kids, but to see the brightest smiles that beamed from the faces of these individuals was something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was such a huge impact that I will be pushing for an event with the Roanoke Special Olympics every semester.

I also got to network, I picked up names, numbers, and emails for Athletics directors, Faculty Athletic Representatives, Coaches, NCAA presidents, and even the NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. This networking will hopefully land me a job somewhere. I was tasked with bringing back information and ideas for improvement for our school. I have accomplished that and will be meeting with our SAAC and AD’s to see where we can take this thing.

I truly enjoyed my time in Nashville meeting other SAAC members and being a part of this highly important convention.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tyler Seal: Ferrum College Senior and First-generation Cattleman

An Interview by Tyler Van Allen

For Tyler Seal, easy days don’t come often, especially when he is taking 18 credit hours during his senior year. However, four years ago a degree from Ferrum College seemed like an afterthought for him. A year after leaving school, Tyler knew he had to find a way to become successful. He had a conversation with a co-worker about cattle and it sounded like a great way to make an income. Tyler knew he needed to learn the ins and outs of the cattle business. “I ended up checking the Madison County Livestock Market and knew this is what I needed to do,” he said.

By the time he was 18, Tyler had nine head of cattle (six heifers, three steers) and then acquired an additional two heifers by the time he was 20. After a year away from school, Tyler knew he needed to get back to school.  He decided to use his earnings from selling cattle to help further his education. Without his time in the cattle business, Tyler’s educational future would not be where it’s at today.


“I chose cattle for the money purposes at first, and I am now fully invested in the cattle business. Anyone who is a farmer knows that you will sometimes put more into farming than you get out of it and some years it is very profitable. Farming is a passion. It’s not something you can enjoy one day and not the next. If you do that you will not get the moral aspect or the money satisfaction.”


“As of right now I have six cows and one bull. I recently sold six calves ranging from 350-425 pounds. I reduce my herd each fall. That is because of hay prices and it is also a way of grossing more profit each year."


“I hope to be able have multiple farms and continue to grow my herd each year, producing the best beef I can.”


“I will definitely continue to farm. I do not intend on stopping because I have become very involved in the cattle business and have invested a lot of time and money. Secondly, I’m a first generation farmer and I have had to accomplish everything on my own. It has been one of my greatest accomplishments."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Health and Human Performance Internship: The Last Chapter

By Haley Overstreet

Seniors lacrosse players Julianne Bove, Brianne Sugatan, Haley Overstreet, and Meghin Martin. Kim Black photograph.
For the first time in my life, I picked up a lacrosse stick and a ball in the spring before my final semester of college and I instantly fell in love with the sport. If it was not for Coach Karen Harvey dedicating her time and effort into teaching me the sport outside of scheduled practices, I would have not been nearly as successful as I was for having only played one season. Fortunately, I was not only able to be one of her players, I was also able to intern under her this semester. I feel as if coaching is such an overlooked career and after spending numerous hours doing work that wasn’t field related, I have developed a newfound appreciation for all coaches. Growing up playing sports I always assumed coaches showed up for practices and games and ideally were only paid to yell at their players and win games. Boy, was I wrong. You will never actually understand and realize what a job entails until you’re placed in it. Stepping on the field and facilitating practices is roughly forty percent of the job, the other sixty percent is considerably a stress-headache and discipline, office work and recruiting.

Through my internship, I was able to see how the recruiting process works, from a coach's perspective not a player's this time; create a strenuous strength and conditioning plan for the offseason; and complete several "behind the scenes" tasks. Although, I have always known I wanted to become a coach at some point, this experience has prepared me as well as increased my desire to influence young athletes on and off the field. Now that my playing days are over and my college experience has come to an end, the next chapter of my life will be dedicated to teaching the game, aiding in the development of respectable well-rounded women, and keeping the passion for the sport alive within my players. I can only hope that one day my future players can look back at the short-lived time they were able to play, and say that I made a positive impact in their lives, just as I can say about Coach Karen Harvey and all the coaches who I was fortunate enough to ever play for. Each and every one of them has influenced my life in some way and helped me become the person I am today and for that I am grateful.

Monday, December 5, 2016

CommUnity Event 2016: Diversity Quiz Show

By Michael Gauldin

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, students from the Recreation 341 class held a CommUnity-theme event in the form of a Diversity Quiz Show in the Panthers Den. The Recreation 341 students chose to do the quiz to show the diversity throughout the Ferrum College family as well as diversity worldwide. The quiz show consisted of five rounds of diversity based questions through the Kahoot.it website. The quiz show was designed to draw on the competitive side of the participating students in order to keep their attention with the main goal of providing knowledge about both common and uncommon diversity-related facts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Health and Human Performance Internship: A New Road

By Takeshia Hairston '16

I remember when I was a little girl back in elementary school, I always wanted to play teacher. When I started high school, my passion started to change because I was always into sports and that led to me to pursue a career as an athletic trainer or a physical therapist. Being that it is my last semester, I decided to do my internship with Dr. Christopher Harnish. The reason why I decided to become his intern is because he has experience with personal training and he knows what it takes to fulfill the requirements behind the degree of Exercise and Sports Studies.

In this internship, I get to help out with the data he is collecting from the women’s soccer and volleyball teams, assisting in both of the night classes that deal with labs, and practicing running VO2 max and body fat testing. By practicing both of these tests, the Health and Human Performance department will soon be offering free tests to students, faculty, and staff. I am thrilled that I have the experience being able to help with testing process. One thing that I learned from Dr. Harnish from being in his classes is that doing things hands on and doing them more than once helps out a lot. After all, practice makes perfect.

In my opinion, this is a challenging internship, but it is one that will prepare me for an actual on job in a field that I am excited about doing. This experience has made me want to have a teaching degree as a background and being able to help my students like Dr. Harnish is helping me.