Thursday, March 28, 2013

Academic Studies at Ferrum

by Chang S., Panther Blogger

I want to briefly talk about my perspectives in terms of academic studies at Ferrum.

Though Ferrum is a smaller school, there is still a lot you can do with your academic research and studies. As a matter of fact, we have some pretty awesome programs here. In particular, I would say that the business department is one of the best among all. First of all, the business program was one of the original programs offered when Ferrum College was formed, and it is still one of the best programs here at Ferrum. Professors in the business department are well-experienced in their teaching. Moreover, year after year, the professors accumulate the critical and valuable case projects used during class sessions, thus making their teaching unique and effective. For instance, Dr. Angel uses a number of real-life circumstances in day-to-day businesses, which are pretty accurate and helpful. Plus, in order to keep us up-to-date with current events, she also frequently asks for our opinions about hot topics and issues from either the political world or in the business field. I believe all of these efforts great contribute to preparing us for a future career.

Additionally, I would say that Ferrum always has sufficient assistance for personal study. In my opinion, this is the best part of studying here. Our library may not be as extravagant as others, but our library resources are excellent and sufficient for our research purposes. Downstairs from the library, we also have our ARC (Academic Resource Center), which offers group study sessions and PAL (Peer Assistant Learner) tutor sessions. These are among the most helpful ways to get students involved with their studies since we discuss our learning experiences with the tutors or fellow schoolmates. Plus, the free coffee in the ARC helps us stay awake when preparing for tests!

Being a tutor myself, I have been working with Math 100 and Math 111 students. It has been a great time for me to teach the students who come prepared with their problems. I especially enjoy the feeling when I see these students have their questions solved. Although there is not usually a large number of students who come by to ask for help, those who do come always get the help they need. From time to time, I have wondered why more students don't take advantage of getting extra assistance, but in the end, it is our own choice to make for our studies.

Personally, I have kept my 4.0 GPA since I was a freshman -- not because the grade itself gives me some kind of honor or sense of pride, but mostly because I am responsible for reaching the goals I have set for myself by doing the things that I am capable of.  And I believe every single person can achieve his/her goals by doing everything they are capable of. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All In a Day's Work

by Blake S., Panther Blogger

As a biology student, the weeks can easily become very long due to the large amounts of required classwork, lab work, and homework. However, there are a few ways to avoid becoming consumed by a busy and hectic schedule. One of the ways that I cope with my work is to keep a detailed planner of assignment due dates, scheduled meetings, and small tasks that need to be performed throughout the day. As I complete each of these, I cross them off of my planner, and take a small break to refresh my mind before jumping into another task.

Time management also plays a large role in being successful throughout a college career. Determining how much time is required to complete assignments (and how much time is allotted) can make a week's work much easier and less stressful. It is also important to set aside time throughout the day to take breaks and rest. During this time, your mind is allowed to process the large amounts of information that it has just encountered, and it will be more prepared for the next study or homework session.

My textbooks for this semester - spring 2013
Throughout a college career, you become aware of your limits and learn just how important it is to have some personal time. For me, I prefer to work steadily throughout the weekdays, and then participate in activities over the weekend to get away from the dorm and classwork.  Thankfully, Ferrum College provides many different ways for students to have some fun without draining the wallet. The monthly free movie, bowling, and bingo nights are great ways to take some breaks and have a good time.

Fly fishing trip
Also, the Ferrum Outdoors program here at Ferrum College allows students to participate in activities such as caving, mountain biking, and sailing for a great price!  A few of the Ferrum Outdoors activities that I have participated in are canoeing, kayaking, and fly fishing. These were day-long trips in which I was able to make new friends and do something I loved. Spending some time at the YMCA on campus is another great way to get your mind off of classwork and get in a good workout at the same time.

It's great that Ferrum College provides different ways for students to get away from all of the hustle and bustle that we deal with throughout the week. Being a college student is a job in itself, but if you participate in some of the offered activities, your time here at Ferrum can be much more enjoyable.

- Blake

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jazz Band at Ferrum

by Maryann C., Panther Blogger

I thought that I would take some time to write about one of the classes I am taking this semester:  jazz band!  Even though Ferrum College is not known for its music classes, the department still has a great group of teachers who make taking music classes an enjoyable experience for students. Since I am only involved with the jazz band, that is what I am going to focus on. However, I have heard many of the other performing music groups in the past and they are all great groups to get involved with as well.

In the jazz band, I play the alto saxophone. I played all through middle and high school and even during my first semester here at Ferrum College.  Then my major classes and other activities got in the way. Since this is my last semester, I have a bit more time for fun activities like jazz band. I am having a great time working with our director, Dr. Burnett, and the rest of the ensemble. We are a small group, but I think it's better that way. Dr. Burnett gets to know each of us as an instrumentalist, and we get to know each other's musical tendencies as well.  I think because we are a smaller group, we are able to match and blend better as a band.

We are playing a variety of music in this class, and it's great. We are playing some classical/concert band types of music, and we are also playing jazz and funk music. We have even started working on the theme from "Family Guy".  I am having a great time playing all different types of music, and it seems like the rest of the group is enjoying it as well. I think the most exciting part of this class is that we sound good - and I am not just saying that. As a whole, this jazz band sounds great. We have a concert in the Panther's Den on April 12th, so you should come out and hear for yourself!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hello from New Panther Blogger, Blake!

by Blake S., Panther Blogger

Hello, everyone!  My name is Blake, and I am a transfer student here at Ferrum College. I am majoring in Biology and double-minoring in Chemistry and Forensic Science. I would like to first introduce myself by telling you about how and why I decided to attend Ferrum College.

I was born and raised in Bristol, Virginia, where I graduated from John S. Battle High School. Upon my graduation, I knew that I wanted to attend college but was not sure where I wanted to go. Having already completed a year of dual enrollment classes, my final decision was to attend my local community college, Virginia Highlands Community College, and obtain my Associate Degree in Science.

A few months before graduating from Virginia Highlands, I knew it was time for me to begin searching for a four-year college that I could attend to obtain a bachelor's degree. I started my search with the Community College's transfer agreement list. This was a list of local colleges that Virginia Highlands had collaborated with to provide special benefits for graduating students who wanted to transfer to a 4-year college.  A few of these benefits included not having to pay a college application fee, having all of the obtained college credits transferred, and receiving a small scholarship.

Performing microbiological independent research at Ferrum
Ferrum College, alongside many other colleges and universities, was on the transfer agreement list. The reason that Ferrum College sparked my interest is because it was a small college, it was away from home, and it had a great biology program. There were also a number of opportunities present at Ferrum that were not available at other colleges.

The inaugural class of the Freshman
Scholar's Program.
At this point in my life, I was positive that biology was what I wanted to study. I thoroughly enjoyed both the biology and chemistry classes that I had taken thus far, and I wanted to further my education in these two areas. I was also ready for the experiences of living away from home and having to support myself while studying at the same time. There were many other colleges that could have fulfilled these two requirements I needed, however, Ferrum College, more so than any of the other colleges on the transfer agreement list, promoted numerous programs and resume-building opportunities. A few of these that struck my interest included the Freshman Scholar's Program, the E-Term experience, and being able to perform undergraduate independent research.  Ferrum College also promoted their fraternities and sororities on campus, numerous clubs, and the Ferrum Outdoors Program.

Desperately wanting to be able to branch out and participate in new experiences, I knew that Ferrum College was the place where I wanted to be. After attending a single Panther Preview (open house) and meeting a few of the professors and students, I made the final decision that Ferrum College would be my home for the next two years. This was a huge future-determining decision that I made, and I have yet to regret a single moment of it.

The top of McAfee's Knob near Roanoke after a day of hiking
I strongly encourage prospective students to explore the Ferrum College website, and browse the numerous opportunities available here. Also, attend an open house event and visit the college campus to speak with a few of the professors and students. This is the best way to figure out if Ferrum is the right college for you. If you have any questions about the opportunities and programs offered here at Ferrum, do not hesitate to ask.

- Blake

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


by Delana S., Panther Blogger

This past week was been an interesting one. I was honored at the Women's Leadership Conference for my leadership, was accepted to be in Phi Alpha Theta, and have the opportunity to apply for an internship in Washington D.C.  To have all of these opportunities means a lot to me because I have the chance to show who I am and also create a future for myself that I am actively choosing and taking part in.

Phi Alpha Theta is the international honor society in history, and you have to be invited to join. For me, this is really big because it is starting to show how involved I am with my studies and how that is making a difference in my life. I am very excited about this!

I am also excited for the internship that I am applying for because by participating in that program, I would be able to work within my major and meet experts in the field. It would give me a good glimpse into many different fields of study that I am interested in and allow me to network with future employers.

Other than that, the only things that take up a lot of my time are finishing my degree plan, which is my plan for graduating on time, and doing homework for all of my classes. Things seem to be getting more promising for the upcoming weeks, so I can't wait to see what is in store for me.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hello from a New Panther Blogger!

by Delana S., Panther Blogger

Hi!  My name is Delana, and I am from Virginia Beach.  I am currently a first semester Junior, but this is my sophomore year at Ferrum College.  I am double-majoring in International Studies and Spanish. I also minor in History, Journalism, and am obtaining my Global Perspectives Certificate.  I am involved with multiple clubs and organizations here on campus, and it may seem like a lot, but I do have free time every day to hang out with my friends. I am a very optimistic individual who loves traveling and going with the flow of the day. When it comes to goals...I have a lot of them, but they do change daily based off of the direction that I see my life going in.

When I was first looking at different colleges, I decided that I wanted to attend Ohio State, George Mason, or Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  I had never heard of Ferrum College before, but that changed when they called me and talked to me about the school. By this time, I had started to receive some of my letters from the three schools and didn't want to apply to Ferrum, but I decided I would see how I felt after I visited the campus.  To my surprise, I fell in love.  I love the fact that the campus is small because I really get to meet new people and what makes it funny is the fact that I still meet new people every day!  I love how beautiful the sunsets are in the fall, how the leaves change color, and the festivals that take place. To me, Ferrum is another home, which makes me love being here even more each day.

Another big reason why I love this school is the fact that I have the opportunity to do everything that I want to do and all my teachers know who each of their students are and how they think.  I know for a fact that everything that I am doing now would not be easy to do at a bigger school, so why not make the most of what I have here?  I would recommend this school to anyone because Ferrum is a close-knit community and you all feel like a family no matter who you are talking to. Plus, everyone looks out for each other and will help you out when you need it the most.

I would have to say that coming here was one of the best decisions that I made regarding my future because with everything that I am doing at Ferrum, my chances of getting an internship in a field of my study are very high. Plus, my professors, as well as other staff members that I know, are helping me as well. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I am ready for it all.