Tuesday, May 29, 2012

E-term Heads to Alaska

All is well with everyone up here in Haines, Alaska. The students, Dr. Jasmine Goodnow, and myself on the Alaska E-Term are completely amazed by the scenery, majestic mountains and seascape that surrounds us. 

We finally arrived on Saturday, May 12 after many hours in the plane then on a ferry. The clouds and rain were obscuring most of the mountains but what we could see gave us a glimpse of what was in store. We set up our camp near the headquarters for the Alaska Mountain Guides (who are providing the tours, instruction and adventures) then toured the historic Fort Seward area. A large portion of the time so far has been spent learning the skills required to be certified in Wilderness First Aid. 

That is all about to change tomorrow. We will be gearing up then heading out for a two days of sea kayaking then backpacking into the base of a glacier for trekking and ice climbing. The rest of the trip when we get back consists of cultural tours, white water rafting and continuing to try a take in the surroundings.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Laboratory Experiments for E-Term!


Before my senior year at Ferrum College, I am taking a three-week Experiential Term (E-Term) course this summer. The Experiential Term I am taking this summer is CHM 405, Advanced Chemistry with Dr. Powell. This E-Term’s curriculum is mostly made up of lots of time in the lab conducting hands-on experiments. Every day, we individually conduct at least one or two experiments.

The first day of class, we each made a different compound; I made hexaamminenickel (II) bromide. It is a coordination compound, which basically involves the formation of a product due to coordinate covalent bonds.
hexaamminenickel (II) bromide
You feel good when a lab goes as planned, but sometimes you have to expect that a lab just might not work. Even when our experiments do not always work right, we do not let that stop us; we learn a lot from both successful and unsuccessful experiments.

Colloidal silver
The other day, each student in my class conducted a different experiment and then presented it to the rest of the class. I made colloidal silver. Colloidal silver is a nanoparticle, which is a really small particle. It was used long ago to stain glass windows in churches.\

My class is learning a lot in this E-Term course! We are working individually as well as consulting with each other to solve problems. I am looking forward to the many other experiments that we’ll see throughout this class.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Greetings from Ferrum College Student Blogger, Maryann!

By Maryann C., Panther Blogger

My name is Maryann and I am a senior at Ferrum College. I am from Sterling, VA, which is not far from Washington D.C. I am working toward a major in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Secondary Education. My short-term goal is to graduate next spring. One of my long-term goals is to find a teaching job after graduation where I can make science fun and exciting for my students.

I found out about Ferrum College at a college fair when I was in high school. I was looking for a small college with a pre-professional science major. At the time, I wanted to become a veterinarian. I also wanted a school where I could play soccer but still have time to do what I wanted to do. I knew that a big school was not for me, so I came to Ferrum.

At first, I had some reservations about coming to Ferrum, but once I came here, I soon grew to love Ferrum! There are a lot of different things I love about Ferrum College. One thing I love about it here is the faculty and staff. Teachers are always trying their best to help students in any way they can. I can name multiple scenarios when a teacher was willing to work with me so I could succeed. The many other faculty and staff who work on campus are also very helpful and friendly.

Ferrum College is a great school and is preparing me for the future each and every semester. The best example I can think of is in my goal of becoming a teacher. I have taken many Education classes here at Ferrum College. Each semester that a student takes an EDU class, 40 hours of internship at a public school are required. Forty hours seems like a lot, and yes it can be difficult, but the benefits are so worth it. Since I have been in the Franklin County Public School system doing internships for three years now, I know that I actually want to be a teacher. Plus, I am gaining experiences that many other teacher education students at other schools are not getting. This will help me to stand out more when I apply for a teaching position.

There are so many different ways to get involved here at Ferrum. I am currently on the women’s soccer team. I have also run for the women’s cross country team in the past. I am president of a club called Sisters Serving Christ. I have also been a part of our Orientation Team, which works with the freshmen on Gateway Weekend. I have also played many of the intramural sports offered during the year, such as basketball, soccer and volleyball. What is so great about Ferrum College is that it’s easy to find clubs that interest you; if there is a club you want to be a part of but that is not already at Ferrum, you can easily make a club.

I have created so many wonderful memories here at Ferrum College, so it’s hard to pick just one to talk about. I can’t wait to see what new memories will be made during my last year here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Off to Belize!


Hey y’all, I’m writing this short blog post as I take a small break from packing. No, I’m not packing to go home for the summer, but instead I’m getting ready to go to Belize! Belize is a country located next to the southern tip of Mexico, on the north eastern coast of Central America – next to the Caribbean Sea. I’m taking the Tropical Rain Forest and Marine Ecology course for my E-term.

Now I’m sure some of y’all are asking what is an E-term? Well an E-term is a class that you have to take before you can graduate from Ferrum; it’s only three weeks long, but you get the opportunity to do something that you normally don’t get to do. I chose the Belize trip because first, I mean, who doesn’t want to go the rain forest and white sandy beaches? And second, we get to do research in the middle of the jungle! How cool is that?

Now I know that this trip is sounding more and more like a vacation, but honestly, we will be working hard with students from Virginia Tech and also Belize University. I really can’t wait to get there! I hope all of y’all are looking forward to summer and graduation and all that comes with the end of the school year. I hope all y’all have a great and safe summer!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ferrum, My Second Home


When I think about Ferrum, I think about the place I have called home for the past four years. Coming in as a freshman in the fall of 2008, I really had no idea what to expect from this community. Many of my friends and family from home would say, “You’re going to Ferrum? That’s in the middle of nowhere!” But once I arrived here, I begged to differ. Ferrum is in the middle of nature’s beauty, surrounded by mountains, trees, lake, animals, and that good “home” feeling. You sure don’t find that kind of beauty just anywhere.

To me, the Ferrum Community means those who have not only lived here all their lives but those who have contributed to the developments of this small town we call home. Ferrum, to me, has always been a place that I could come back to and relax. I knew that I could get my work done here and be able to enjoy the company of my friends without having to be in a big city. Everyone that lives in Ferrum has been so caring and good-hearted. It’s amazing how you can get a smile and a wave from just about anyone you pass by on the road or in a grocery store. The community is built from its residents, students, staff and faculty members, Greek life, organizations, and sports. I took every opportunity that I could to be a part of this community, and I’m definitely going to miss this place once I graduate in May! ☹

Pictured above is the international sorority I’ve been a part of – my sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon! Go Unicorns!
My second family – my girls – the Women’s Lacrosse Team at the NCAA Division III USA South Conference Tournament!
And one last hurrah before I graduate this weekend: the girls on the Women’s Lacrosse team and I made our own video version of “Call Me Maybe.” Go Panthers!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

So Much To Do at Ferrum!

By Darryl, Panther Blogger

I’ve spent the first part of my adult life at Ferrum, and because of this, I’ve experienced so many new things to keep myself entertained.

I’ve come to the realization that I love to fish. Sometimes, I don’t always catch big ones, but it’s not the size of the fish that counts — it’s the fight. I only say this when someone catches something bigger than me. Ferrum is smack dab in the middle of two lakes, Fairy Stone and Smith Mountain. They both have amazing scenery and great people.

If you’re into water sports, this is your place to go to college; you can take sailing and scuba diving classes, and a lot more. Sailing is my weakness: I want to buy a boat and travel down the coast sometime in the near future.

If you’re not into water sports, we are on a mountain. There are many great hiking opportunities; McAfee’s Knob is one of the most photographed trails on the Appalachian Trail, and it’s less than an hour away. There are also countless trails that go around the campus where you can catch views of native wildlife and just get away from your studies for a while.

Most photographed spot on McAfee’s Knob
For those who aren’t outdoors people at all, there’s always Roanoke, Blacksburg, or Martinsville for more adventure. Roanoke is one of the biggest cities around us; it has everything you could possibly think of, including diverse restaurants, multiple malls, and the best part: CHIPOTLE! Chipotle is another one of my weakness, and when Chipotle came to Roanoke, my trips there quickly increased tenfold. Blacksburg is the home of Virginia Tech, so you can always go buy a ticket, round up some friends, and go see a Virginia Tech game. I know there are a lot of NASCAR fans out there; I’m partial to Jimmy Johnson. The NASCAR races at the Martinsville Speedway are always a big event around Ferrum. You have opportunities to volunteer at the race and have a fantastic time.

Ferrum is an awesome college to attend! There are great opportunities to get yourself out there and experience things that you haven’t been able to before. So don’t be shy or timid and experience everything you can because the best years of your life will fly by.