Monday, April 30, 2012

Greek Life at Ferrum College

By Anna B., Panther Blogger

Boredom is a choice at Ferrum College. Organizations and clubs are rich with a numerous amount of activities for each student. I am currently Student Government Association President; a founder, Vice President, and a sister of the local sorority Zeta Chi Epsilon (ΖΧΕ); a cheerleader; and a member of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE).

There are four sororities and four fraternities on Ferrum College’s campus. I pledged into a local sorority in the fall of 2010. The Greek community at Ferrum College is tight knit, and we are each different in our own ways but one in the same. Greek life does not possess the image everyone perceives. We enjoy having fun with each other as well as enjoying the time and opportunity to help our community. We have a certain amount of community service hours that we have to acquire, and it is a great feeling to know we exceed those amounts.
Leigh Ann & I. Best friends, roommates, ZXE sisters.
Being a part of Zeta Chi Epsilon has not only helped me with my leadership skills but also with networking skills, communication skills, and more. My ΖΧΕ sisters and Theta Chi Epsilon (ΘΧΕ) brothers are my family away from home, and we always have each other’s back. 
ΖΧΕ sisters with ΘΧΕ brothers
Whether it is hanging out one afternoon for a small cookout, getting together on a Friday night, doing community service on a beautiful morning, cheering for each other during an intramural sporting event, or simply studying in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) in the Library, we love spending time together! They truly are a great family to have and to be able to come back and visit after I graduate!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dance, Dance!


When you become a student at Ferrum College, there are a set number of classes that you have to take in order to meet your liberal core requirements. For example, every student must take classes to meet speaking intensive, writing intensive, fine arts, English, Bible-based course, Religion/Philosophy, Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Science, Literature, History, Social Science requirements, and an Activity Course.

In order to meet the requirement for my activity course credit, I took a dance class that was offered at Ferrum. Classes such as team sports, rock-climbing and many others are also offered as options to fill this requirement. Dance is available for any Ferrum student to participate in, even if they have never danced previously. The class is held one night a week for about two hours, so it does not have a huge impact on a student’s schedule. The class requires that the students participate in a dance recital that occurs at the end of the semester. Each student will be in a large group dance with all of the other students in their class that the teacher choreographs.

Students will also make small group dances in which they choose their song and choreograph the entire dance. My group chose to do a dance to “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” by Panic! At The Disco. Our dance included doing the Jive, a backflip stunt, and even the famous Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Being in the dance recital was a great experience, and I recommend that anyone who is interested in dance or who wants to have a lot of fun to take the class.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



I love the Theatre Arts department at Ferrum!

I have met some awesome and talented people. The department also has great professors, such as Wayne Bowman and Sue Spataro. I have had the majority of my classes with them, and they have taught me so many awesome things!

I played Elizabeth in our Frankenstein performance

The plays and concerts we put on show just how hard we work. This year, I was involved with Frankenstein, Seussical The Musical, Collegiates Choir, and Handbells. They have been so much fun, and we all did a fantastic job with every performance.

I was a bird girl in The Seussical

Watch a video slideshow from our Seussical performance:

I just love the theatre and music here! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Adventures in Spain!


Thanks to my Ferrum Spanish professor, Dr. Suppes, I applied and got accepted into Spanish program at the University of Alicante. When I studied abroad in Spain for a month this past summer, I had many adventures and the time of my life! As I said in one of my previous posts, I went with the Center of Cross-Cultural Studies and was able to meet other study-abroad students from different colleges and universities. Below are some more photos I took while in Spain.

This is a picture of me and classmates in our Gastronomy Class! 

We were able to go a restaurant in Alicante and learn to cook typical dishes from Spain. I learned how to make “Tortilla de Patata.” I’m sure you all know what a tortilla is! Well, this dish is made up of potatoes, onions, and eggs. It’s delicious. Then there is “Paella,” which is a rise-based dish; you can make Paella with meat, chicken, or fish. “Tapas” are finger foods. It’s a slice of bread with chicken, beef, pork, vegetables or pretty much anything you want on it.

Me, slicing some tomatoes…I am quite the chef!

The real Chef cooking Paella! YUM!

Benidorm, Spain – one of the many towns I visited in Spain.
It’s in the province of Alicante and has AMAZING Beaches. It was, by far, my favorite!

Me in front of the Cathedral in Valencia: it was absolutely beautiful. 
Valencia was rich in culture!

Photo of my friends and I on the public bus that we had to take each day to go to the university. It was our last day of classes, and we thankfully had the bus all to ourselves! Bittersweet day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Project "Butterfly" Underway

In February 2012 Ferrum College signed an agreement to implement an Ellucian (formerly Datatel+SGHE) product named Colleague, which is an enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) product.

A CRM product uses a database to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes. In Ferrum's case this means admissions, financial aid, finance, HR, advancement, registration, and student services will transition to one database and one system — thereby reducing costs and resources to maintain the College's many databases that are currently fragmented and out-dated.

We in human resources are delighted to be implementing Ellucian's product at Ferrum College! We recently visited Vikki Ingram, director of human resources for Bridgewater College, to see first-hand what Ellucian means for that HR department. What we saw confirmed for us that this Ellucian implementation will be well worth the effort. We were amazed at the efficiency with which everyday HR, payroll, and benefits processes were performed and the ease of access Ellucian allows employees to their own information. We came away eager to have our new Ellucian system up and running to make our employees’ HR experiences easier, less confusing, and more user-friendly. We believe you’ll come to see Ellucian as a very valuable tool, as we believe it will be for us in HR.
—MA Whisenant, director of human resources

I am excited about the Ellucian conversion because it will finally allow us to completely integrate all our information management at Ferrum. The IT staff have done a wonderful job of meeting our needs by doing programming and developing the i-Assistant interface, but our current database technology simply doesn’t meet our needs any more. The conversion will be a LOT of work for staff around campus, but from what I have seen the Colleague component of Ellucian will be a powerful one-stop shop for all the ways in which we work with applicants, students, and alumni at Ferrum. 
  — Dr. Jason Powell, dean, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Module leaders named the project "Butterfly" —  a substantial project, scheduled to take 20 months to complete.  
Click to see larger image

Module leaders meet every Thursday from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Members include:
  • Betsy Smith
  • Bryan Hantman 
  • Delia Heck 
  • Diana Yates (also core team member)
  • Felicia Woods 
  • Gilda Woods (also core team member)
  • Heather Hollandsworth (also core team member)
  • Jason A. Jones (also core team member)
  • Jason Powell
  • Jolene D. Hamm (also core team member)
  • Kathi Renick (also core team member)
  • Lawrence Chernick 
  • MA Whisenant (also core team member)
  • Shawn P. Shirley (also core team member)
  • Timothy Belcher 
  • Vicky A. Robertson (also core team member)
  • Virginia Jones 
  • Yvonne Walker (also core team member)

The "core team" meets every Thursday from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon.

Ferrum SIFE Team Wins Again: 23rd Year!


Need a resume-builder? Students in Free Enterprise is the perfect solution for community service, resume-building, finding internships and possibly a job offer. SIFE was introduced to Ferrum College 23 years ago by Dr. Demetri Tsanacas. He has traveled with his SIFE team to the Regional Competition for 23 years and has won consecutively since the very beginning.

2011-2012 SIFE Speaking Team at the competition
This year, I had the privilege of being a member on the speaking team along with 7 other students from the Business Department at Ferrum College. We traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to speak about the projects that we administered over the past year. We had 25 minutes to speak and five minutes for questions. With six of us presenting and two of us running the PowerPoint, our presentation raised the bar for competing teams.

Pictured here are some selected students of the SIFE team who traveled to Charlotte with our speaking team.

Me holding the regional trophy
We won our 23rd trophy as the USA Regional Competition Champions, and we will travel to Kansas City, Missouri from May 22nd – May 24th to compete in the USA National Exposition!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Swimmers, Take Your Mark...


Swimming has been in my life since I can remember. I have been on 5 different teams throughout my lifetime and never did I think we, as a first-year team, were going to be able to accomplish what we accomplished. Thanks to swimming here at Ferrum, I have already had enough great experiences to carry a bucket full of memories.

Our team consisted of five other girls besides me: Katie, who was our only senior on our team and took part of Kappa Alpha Sigma; Kara, a junior who was able to divide her time between swimming, soccer and school; Morgan, a sophomore who also plays softball for Ferrum and is part of Theta Gamma Omega; Lauren, a.k.a “Little Lauren,” is part of Kappa Alpha and is a first-year club swimmer who improved so much throughout the season; and Erin, who may be the sweetest, nicest girl I have ever met. These girls made my experience on the team so much more worth it, and once again, I’d like to take the opportunity to say “GREAT JOB LADIES!”
 Me with two of my teammates
We were able to accomplish much more than just beating our opponents but also improving our times and making new friends. This season consisted of nine meets: three away and the rest home, as well as a training trip. For our training trip, we were down in Florida for a week where we got to practice with bigger, stronger teams. This might be my favorite memory because we did get to go as a team and leave Virginia. Besides that, it was a great way to bond and get to meet my teammates better. All this wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing coach, Lindsay DeLaRosby, who has been both our coach and our friend.
International Hall of Fame Pool in Florida
Practicing 6 days a week and having morning practices can get crazy with trying to manage school work and getting other activities done. Being a student athlete here at Ferrum was not as bad as I thought it would be; no one said it was going to be easy, but thanks to all the help the school offers – from PAL tutors to instructors’ office hours where you can get individual help – I was able to make it onto the Dean’s List. The secret to not overwhelming yourself with stressing out over homework is starting on it when an assignment is first assigned and not doing it the night before it’s due.

If you decide to come to Ferrum, I really do recommend you try out for a team or participate in intramurals. It adds so much more to your college experience and the student body is great at coming out to support.
Night out in Florida with my teammates
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!


Friday, April 13, 2012

See you out there!


Hey y’all!

During my first year here at Ferrum so far, I have been involved in many things as y’all know, but two of the biggest things for me are the Ferrum Rec Club and also Ferrum Outdoors. The Rec Club is one of many clubs on campus; we do a lot of fun outdoor activities, like night paddles, night zip lines, hikes, climbing trips, camping, and much more. It has been so much fun for me because it has given me the opportunity to do some things that I may not ever get to do outside of college. The Rec Club is always doing something: on any given day, you can find our members playing a round of disc golf or heading out on a hike. This club is really spontaneous unlike other clubs that carefully plan out what they are going to; the Rec Club is more like when someone wants to do something, we do it. Not to say that we don’t have organization—we do—we just want to have fun and introduce people to things that they may not normally get to do.

Ferrum Outdoors is a program here on campus that goes on some amazing trips and gives you opportunities to get out and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds the Ferrum campus. One of the first times I did anything with Ferrum Outdoors was at the beginning of last semester when they had a night zip, which is when we go up to the high ropes course at night. Now I know that seems a bit crazy and almost unsafe, but trust me, it’s really not. The Ferrum Outdoors staff makes sure everything is safe before they put anyone on the course. You’re up 30 feet in the air going through the course, and then at the end of the course you have a 350-foot zip-line! Sounds crazy maybe, but it’s worth it. It’s so much fun!

Daytime zip trip
Another thing that has kept me coming back for more and more is the fact that I learn something new every time, and the staff and people in the clubs are willing to explain things if you don’t understand how to do something. I love spending time with everyone that is involved in the outdoor programs.

Well, I guess that is about it for now. If y’all have any questions about the outdoor programs here at Ferrum, please let me know. Hope y’all have a good one!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How Does This Apply to Real Life?


Throughout school, many of us ask ourselves how our classes apply to the daily lives we have, or even how the things being taught will be used in our future. I was one of those students last year until I started to see the opportunities that became available to me with my knowledge and desire to learn. I am majoring in Pre-Professional Sciences, and the science classes are just one of many topics which have a lot of information that must be retained. Pushing myself through grueling hours of homework and study sessions to pass exams, I have had both ups and downs with the sciences, and I almost changed my mind about what I really wanted to do. As quick as I began to question my abilities, I was asked to do several outside things that showed I was in this for the long haul.

I was asked to join the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine, which is a week-long, interactive, conference-style meeting where interested students from several areas come together for the common interest. It allowed us to learn in a classroom environment, attend several meetings and medical school tours. It was at this point that I understood my true passion for the science field and the amount of knowledge one must have to pursue their dreams in the field. As I returned to school this year, I came full force and ready to learn about everything and anything I could. My next opportunity was when I was offered several positions to shadow doctors in Fredericksburg, as well as attend a second Forum that was held outside of the United States.
Slide with a fixed part of a mammal’s trachea (windpipe)
Science classes can simply be applied to almost everything that has evolved in and around the Earth. I have been able to apply my knowledge through other situations, like helping family and friends with health concerns, studying different diseases in microbiology, as well as explaining things like why we breathe from anatomy to friends. With all of the random things I know about the body, I’m sure some of my family and friends think that I may be a little crazy, but with this knowledge I gain from school, I will go further in life. It is kind of crazy how the sciences can lead to numerous opportunities and learning experiences, but there is a way that every class taken can be connected to real life.
Agar tubes to identify unknown bacteria growth

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Adjusting To Life At College


Graduating from high school and deciding to attend college is a huge change in a young person’s life. Making new friends is an essential part of the college student lifestyle. The Criminal Justice Program here at Ferrum College helped me to make many new friends that have the same major or minor as I do.

When you are a freshman at Ferrum, you are required to take a class called Gateway Seminar. This is basically your “welcome to college class.” You meet your classmates from your Gateway class on the first weekend that you arrive at Ferrum. These students are typically those who have the same area of study as you do. For example, my Gateway class was filled with mostly Criminal Justice majors, and I also had a Criminal Justice professor for my teacher. This teacher was, and still is, my advisor to whom I go to when I need help deciding which classes to take or making other decisions that college students are frequently faced with. The friends that I made in Gateway have remained my friends throughout my college career so far. I have had many other classes with them due to the fact that we all need most of the same classes to get our degrees. Meeting these other students on your first weekend here helps you adjust more easily to your other classes when they begin because you will already know some of the other students who are in them.

Clubs also give you an outlet in which to help you make friends and adjust to college.

During the last weekend in March, some friends and I from Ferrum’s Criminal Justice Club had a great time working at the NASCAR race at the Martinsville Speedway, located about 33 miles south of Ferrum College.

The Criminal Justice Club helped me meet many upperclassmen from my major who gave me advice about certain classes and teachers. It is very useful to get advice from those who have already been in the position you are in and have learned from their mistakes. They can help you to not make the same bad decision that they made.

Being part of the Criminal Justice Club also helped me to become closer with the other members because we spend a lot of time together working on projects or other activities, along with attending conventions. Conventions also allow you to make new friends from all over the country while also gaining valuable knowledge in your field of study. Pictured on the right are my friends Ben and Ashley, and I in Graceland at a criminal justice convention.
Becoming involved in clubs and activities that are related to your major are great opportunities that Ferrum College offers its students. My advice to all the incoming new students is to become involved in as many clubs and organizations as possible during your years here at Ferrum. You will meet a lot of new friends and open doors to many opportunities.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Studied Abroad in Alicante, Spain!

By Vanessa T., Panther Blogger

This past summer, I was able to study abroad in Spain for a month. I got accepted into the Spanish program at the University of Alicante. My Spanish professor at Ferrum, Dr. Patricia Suppes, encouraged me to go because she saw this as a great experience for me. I went with the Center of Cross-Cultural Studies and was able to meet students from different colleges and universities as small as Lyon College and as big as the University of Florida. I studied Selected Topic Spanish 450 at the university. I was in an advanced class with students from China, Japan, France, Russia and Canada. I had the time of my life there and would recommend anyone to study abroad if they have a chance! Below are just a few photos I took while in Spain.

This billboard was one of the first things I saw when I arrived to Alicante, Spain. It was in the middle of the city and it was huge!

It says “Love me, like I love you – Alicante.” I was so excited to arrive and start my summer adventure!

This is a picture of me at the Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante.

You’re able to see the entire city of Alicante and its beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean Sea!

Las Hogueras de San Juan (“the bonfires of San Juan”) is a time for festivity in Alicante – it is the most important cultural festival in Alicante. Artists from each town create giant sculptures so that their town can win. This is a photo of one that was in the center of Alicante. The Hogueras Festival goes on for a week. Streets are closed and so are the schools and universities. My friends and I didn’t attend school so that we could enjoy the festivities! Yay! Schools closed!!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Greek Brother Science Nut!


As a senior, I’m almost done with my undergraduate career, and I’m about to start the next phase in my life. But before I’m able to get my degree, my last hurdle, besides Organic Chemistry (see video clip below), is Senior Seminar.

Senior Seminar is a requirement for most of the science degrees that you have to complete before you can get your well-deserved degree. This class is extremely interesting because you focus on a topic of your choice; normally, it’s related to something you want to do in the future, and you research the topic to expand your knowledge in the field. This research doesn’t have to be your own study, but it can be.

I chose to conduct my own research with the help of almost all of my professors. I chose to research “The Effects of Ant Deterrent Factors Created by Photorhabdus Luminescens on Flesh Flies.” The title could use a little work, but it’s just about the effects of bacteria on flies. I’m in the end stages of my research, and if all goes well, I will have the opportunity to go to Argentina to present my research to a council of renowned scientists and get published. It’s the nerd in me that gets excited about science, but I’m okay with that.

Here is picture of me in class with a separatory funnel. We were making banana oil, which smells exactly like bananas and is the warning alarm pheromone for honey bees.

Check out my awesome video clip from a demonstration by Dr. Johnson that the chemistry department holds every semester!

Even though I’m kind of a science nut, I live a very active social life. Not everything has to be about school work; I’m a part of multiple organizations – some academic and others not so much. I’m a brother of Pi Kappa Alpha and I’m also a Delta Phi Epsilon sweetheart. These are just two of the great Greek organizations on campus.

All the Greek organizations are about bettering the community and having stronger, lasting relationships with the people in their organization. They are a great thing to be a part of and have made my Ferrum College experience just that much more memorable.
Alpha Class Delta Phi Epsilon sweethearts

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ferrum’s Honor Program

By Grant W., Panther Blogger

The Boone Honors Program here at Ferrum College offers many different opportunities that enhance the learning process on campus and gives students amazing experiences. The program is by invitation only and has many perks. One of the most beneficial things that the program offers is the Boone Honors Scholarship, which is awarded to students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 

Roberts Hall
Another important perk that was just recently incorporated on campus is the reserving of most of Roberts Hall for honors students as an academically-focused residence hall that promotes good study habits and community. The program also hosts different events, classes and programs that honor students get to enjoy for free while exercising and extending their minds to a higher level.

President Braaten and her husband with us at Cirque Du Soleil
Besides taking regular outings together each semester, the program also offers a trip for any honors student to attend, free of charge. Some past programs have included going to different plays, musical events, and historical landmarks. This past weekend, we went on a trip to see Cirque Du Soleil. Before each trip, we all go out to eat at different places in the area while we get to fellowship with friends. Some of the more exciting restaurants we have been to include Chinese and Indian restaurants.

The Honors Program is not all fun and play though; each student is required to take specialty courses and enrich their academic success with some extra work. This may seem like a daunting task since most students just try to graduate in four years; however, Dr. Lana Whited, the program director, along with any other professors pride themselves in working with their students to excel and succeed.

The program is a very well-constructed enrichment to any student’s academic career and will offer you many different experiences. The program has brought me many different exciting experiences along with providing me with tight bonds with professors and fellow students.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Studying Business at Ferrum


To be a college student and have your own business is stressful but DEFINITELY a learning experience! I started my own photography business as a hobby when I was 16 years old, and it grew into more than I could ever imagine. I thought that in order to help learn how to run my business more effectively, I should major in Business Management rather than photography, and it was a great decision.

Dr. Basu, one of my professors
My professors all know that I have my own business; they check up on my pictures and how I’m doing quite often. I came to Ferrum as a transfer from Virginia Western Community College, so I took all my general education classes before I got to Ferrum. This allowed me to stay focused on my Business courses for the past two years. I am able to apply all the knowledge I have from my experience with the education I am getting on a daily basis in class. To be an example of everything my professors are teaching has made my experience so much easier.

The business department offers classes such as Business Finance, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Marketing, Accounting, etc. and offers a variety of different professors and students from all over the world. I have the honor to have two professors from two different countries outside of the United States, one from Greece and one from India, and I have also had the privilege to study with students from China and Ireland. It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete or an exchange student – if you want to understand and enjoy learning about business, then it is the best path to follow!

Beckham Hall
Over the past two years, I have grown to know my professors and my fellow business students, and we all can agree that everyone cares for one another! Our main academic building for business classes is Beckham Hall, and by the time we reached the half-way point of our senior year, we realize that we’ve grown quite fond of that brick building in the center of campus. Like I said in my previous blog, the professors here at Ferrum College care very much about your studies and participation – just as much as you do, if not more. They care about you being in class and making good grades because they want you to succeed.