Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hello from New Panther Blogger Jessa!

by Jessa K., Panther Blogger

Hi!  My name is Jessa.  I am from a small town in southwestern Virginia named Cana. It is very similar to the Ferrum Community. I am an English major with a minor in Spanish, and I am a sophomore at Ferrum College.  I intend to get my doctorate degree and teach college-level literature.

I heard about Ferrum during my sophomore year of high school because my best friend was looking at colleges and had fallen in love with Ferrum. As I drew closer to my senior year, I too began to receive information from Ferrum College. I found out that I qualified for the Boone Honors academic scholarship.  I actually applied to Ferrum as my back-up school in case my two first-choice schools did not work out, and they didn't.  However, I tell people all the time that Ferrum is my blessing in disguise.  While it was not my first choice, it has become my home. I love walking down the sidewalk and being able to say hello to all of my professors!  I was able to do literary research as a freshman and participate in two conferences with my findings. I find myself calling Ferrum home more and more.  There is honestly no place in this world where I would rather be receiving my education.

I am very involved on the Ferrum campus.  I am the founder and president of the Ferrum College Lions Branch Club. It is a service-based organization that focuses on health. I am also the secretary of the Spanish Club. This club is also a community service organization with a focus on the Hispanic community.  I am a member of the Boone Honors Program. I am also an Admissions Ambassador for the Ferrum College Admission's Office.  Being so involved in the Ferrum College community has allowed me to fully enjoy my college career so far!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sailing with Ferrum Outdoors!

by Chris L., Panther Blogger

Hey everyone!

On the 28th of September, I went sailing with Ferrum Outdoors!

It was a brilliant day and was a real hands-on experience as we had to sail the boat ourselves.  We got to try out two different boats, which was interesting as both boats handled differently.  You don't need to have any experience to do this - I hadn't a clue what I was doing and had never done anything like it before! 

One thing I could not understand was why only a couple of us went sailing as it only cost us each $10, and that included lunch!  Back in Ireland, to do something like that would have cost me a lot more than $10 -- more in the $60-80 range.  I would highly recommend you to go on the next sailing day that Ferrum Outdoors has planned.  It's a chance to try something new!

The Beginning of the End

by Blake S., Panther Blogger

It is almost impossible to believe that my senior year at Ferrum has finally arrived!  Although I transferred into Ferrum College as a junior and I knew that my time here would be limited to a total of only two years, it seems like I have been a part of the Ferrum College family for a very long time. Within the year that I have spent here so far, I have learned such a great amount of knowledge and have been granted so many opportunities that I still find it hard to believe!

Thus far in my final fall semester as an undergraduate, I have taken on two new duties alongside being a student. These include being a resident assistant and an organic chemistry tutor.  These are excellent opportunities that will aid me in the development of my resume and graduate school applications while also providing me with a unique experience and a nice paycheck!

Getting ready for the Homecoming game!
Picking out some Halloween costumes!
The classes this semester have been a new challenge in themselves, now being higher level courses.  However, no matter how tough the classes become, I am always able to manage time to sit back, relax, and enjoy time with friends.  A few of the activities that I have participated in lately have included going to the homecoming football game, participating in the Ferrum College centennial activities, and traveling to Roanoke to enjoy time away from campus.

It is an exciting time in my life to know that I am almost about to complete this very challenging and crucial stage in my life.  I am anxiously awaiting the day on which I will be able to walk across the stage and receive that piece of paper that encompasses all of the accomplishments that I have achieved since I have been here at Ferrum College.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Greeks Helping Others!

by Victoria B., Panther Blogger

Hello, all!

I am President of the local sorority Theta Gamma Omega, also known as OGO.  During September and the beginning of October, we held a campus-wide coat and teddy bear drive. We collected these items in order to donate them to the Rescue Mission located in Roanoke.  We collected coats of all sizes for the adults and children who use the services that the Rescue Mission provides.

OGO also teamed up with the local fraternity Mu Sigma Chi, or MEX, to take the items to be dropped off.  Upon dropping off our items that were donated, our two groups also volunteered at the Rescue Mission for their lunch shift.  We were involved in making hundreds of sandwiches for the needy and even helped serve in the cafeteria lines.  Both groups helped to clean dishes, prepare food, and help the Rescue Mission in many ways. It was very a humbling and beneficial experience for everyone involved.

Greeks and other groups on campus try to be involved in community service projects such as this as often as possible.  OGO and other Greeks try to be living examples of Ferrum's motto "Not Self, But Others."  Becoming part of a Greek organization on campus helped me to become more active both on campus and in the community as a whole. This is just one of the many benefits that becoming involved in this organization has done for me. For anyone who is interested in helping others, being involved in the community, and having fun at the same time, I strongly suggest "Going Greek!"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ferrum!!

by Laken P., Panther Blogger

Homecoming is always one of the most magical times of the year, but this year happened to be extra special. Not only was it Homecoming weekend last weekend, but it was also Ferrum College's big Centennial celebration!  Not many students get to say that they went to a school as it turned 100 years old, so this Homecoming was made to be one that will always be a special part of Ferrum's history.  When looking back at the history of Ferrum, it is easy to see what great progress and advancement a century has brought along.  From a small Junior College founded in 1913 to the beautiful and close-knit family that is Ferrum College today, the school has seen a large change in academics, enrollment, athletics, and student life outside the classroom. 

The spirit of Ferrum's growth and the promise of the future inspired this Homecoming celebration to be one that I will never forget. Panther Pride definitely rang true in every heart across campus as alumni, family, and friends all joined to not only watch the Black Hats on the field, but also celebrate a place that holds a large part of their heart.

The activities on campus included a parade and fireworks, cookouts and a large tailgate, concerts, poster-decorating, dedications and initiations, dress-up days, the crowning of the Homecoming Court, and of course every Panther's favorite occasion:  a Ferrum win!

Friday night kicked off the celebration with a BBQ dinner and a parade.  All of the clubs and student organizations took place in the parade, along with distinguished alumni and outside community groups. All of the student organizations had the opportunity to design and create a banner to enter into the contest, and each of the banners were carried in the parade to display all of the designs.  Once the parade was complete, there were several concerts ranging from local cover bands to a hip hop violinist. After the concerts, the night concluded with a big fireworks show over the lake!

Day two of the Centennial Celebration brought the Homecoming game.  The morning started with the Panther Tracks 5k run to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. After the run, the tailgate began in Bassett Field. Food, family, and fun were the center of the tailgate as many students, sports, and clubs gathered to prepare to cheer on the Black Hats. There were also several alumni games hosted by various sports teams. At 12:30 p.m., a time capsule was sealed and buried to be opened at Ferrum's Sesquicentennial at the Homecoming Game in 2063.  The capsule included a photograph of current students, faculty, and staff, a donated National Championship Football ring, and several other items that hold a special place in the heart of the Ferrum family.  After the ceremonies ended, it was time for the real center of the weekend to begin - Ferrum football!  The Panthers pulled out a win in an exciting finish to beat the Pride of Greensboro, 31 - 21!

It was such an experience to see so many past Panthers gathered in once place to cheer on the current students and athletes in celebration of the Centennial.  I had the honor of meeting the Sports Hall of Fame inductees and the members of the National Championship football teams, all of whom still say that they will always call Ferrum home. The memories of this weekend have been in the making for 100 years, and it was definitely an indescribable experience to be able to cheer on the sidelines of such a meaningful game!  I will never forget the importance, remembrance, and celebration of this weekend as I think of all the Panthers before me and look forward to those who will come after.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Freshman Scholars Was a Blast!

(Samantha was one of the two students who worked on the Buried Body Remains and Decomposition Rates project with faculty mentor Dr. David Nicholson during the 2nd annual Freshman Scholars Program in summer 2013.)

by Samantha "Girl Sam," Freshman Scholar and Guest Blogger

My time in the Freshman Scholars Program was a blast!  To be honest, I had expected it to be all business and not as much fun, but it was the complete opposite.  We did have a lot of work to do, but there was plenty of time to do things for fun. For example, we made midnight runs to Cook-Out or watched reruns of the show "Friends." I had such a good time with the professors and the other scholars and was really able to get to know each of them. The stuff that I enjoyed the most from the experience were the people, my research project, and the ropes course.

The research project that I worked on was with Dr. Nicholson on the rate of decomposition on a 12-pound pig. The funniest thing was that my partner's name was also Sam!  We had a Samuel and a Samantha, but everyone just called us "Girl Sam" and "Boy Sam."  Along with the pig, Dr. Nicholson also found a completely decomposed deer skeleton!  We spent time collecting the parts from that skeleton and putting the bones together, which was a fun challenge. Along with the deer, watching the pig decompose was definitely a cool thing to see. Overall, I loved working with Sam and Dr. Nicholson because it was a relaxed environment and the project was about a very interesting topic.

Another thing that I experienced during this program was the high ropes course. Now, I had done a ropes course before, but it was a lot easier than the one we went to. At the ropes course the scholars went to, there were 5 obstacles to get across - each very different. I'm not afraid of heights, but it was nerve-racking for many reasons.  First, it had been a few years since I had done a ropes course. Second, I had never done a ropes course quite like that before. Finally, I have horrible balance. However, it was better because I had an awesome partner - Alicia.  She's super athletic and she would go before me and show me techniques I could try to make it easier.   Then she'd show me how to get up onto the tiny platforms with her.  We were also the first people to go up, and normally, I'm not the type to do anything first. At the end, I felt like I accomplished something awesome, and as a reward, I got to do the zip line!

The best thing about the program was the people I met. I got along great with my roommate during the program, Jessica, and I also met my roommate for my freshman year, Hannah.  I also made new friends, such as Megan and my research partner, Sam.  I never expected to be comfortable so quickly with a group of people.  If anything, I was afraid of not having people to hang out with and being alone, but I loved it!  Before the fall semester started, I already knew the people who I'd be hanging out with the majority of my time at college.  I loved the professors during the program too. All of the Freshman Scholars professors are awesome, especially Dr. Nicholson and Dr. Goff.  They would eat lunch with us, talk to us equally, and joke around with us during activities or during our classes. I am very glad I decided to apply for the Freshman Scholars Program because I felt very prepared as far as already knowing people when I came back, already talking to some of my professors, and getting used to the campus and college life.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Beginning of a New Family at Ferrum College

by Tori, Freshman Scholar and Guest Blogger

On Sunday, August 4th, 2013, I spent a two and a half hour car ride gripping my steering wheel way too tightly.  At the end of that car ride, I would be moving into a dorm with people I'd never met before and living with them for two weeks as a Freshman Scholar. I was terrified.  I spent quite some time thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong. Making new friends makes me anxious, and being judged by other people scares me. At some point in the drive, probably about ten minutes from Ferrum's campus, I told myself that I was just going to relax and let come what may.  I don't think I ever could have guessed the greeting I got.

I was welcomed into my dorm by an incredibly nice group of staff members. Other freshmen were in and out of the dorm, looking just as nervous as I was (which made me feel like I wasn't alone at all). By the end of the first night, I had already learned the names and personalities of most of the people I was going to be around. Within the next two days, I found myself in a group of friends who helped me through my anxiety.  I forgot about how people would perceive me, and instead spent my time having the most fun I could possibly have had during those two weeks. I laughed so hard I cried, I spent hours in stores for no reason other than to run around in the toy section, and I even shared a friend's birthday at a local restaurant.

Not only that, but the professors involved in the Freshman Scholars Program were all ready to help any way they could. Knowing that I am welcome in a professor's office any time I need them makes me feel like there isn't a huge gap between staff and students. And really, that's a quality I've seen throughout the campus so far.  We're a family here.  And I, for one, couldn't have picked a better group of people to spend the next four years with.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Fun Experience with the Freshman Scholars Program!

(Alison worked on the Population Structure of Pond Turtles and Relation to Urbanization project with faculty mentor Dr. Todd Fredericksen during the 2nd annual Freshman Scholars Program in summer 2013.)

by Alison, Freshman Scholar and Guest Blogger

For two weeks this summer, I spent all of my time with a group of twelve other scholars along with a group called FOCUS.  As an incoming freshman to college, I was nervous but quickly made a group of close friends who I know will help me succeed for the next four years. I was also intimidated because the reason that we had all come to the program was because we excelled at something. Whether it was math, science, psychology, or any other field, we were chosen over the other applicants for a reason and I didn't want to let anyone down or have my professor regret choosing me. It was definitely some of the hardest work I've ever done before, but it was also some of the most rewarding. I worked with Dr. Fredericksen to study the effects of urbanization on pond turtles, as well as how their environment in and around the pond affected the turtle population. We looked at the sex and age ratios, and we found that the pond with more nutrients had more turtles.

One of my favorite parts of the Freshman Scholars Program was that we earned college credit before even starting our fall semester!  Another favorite part of the two-week program was making connections and having awesome field trips and activities that we did together. While working on our individual projects, we also had time for a welcome picnic, a chance to visit a nationally-acclaimed zoo, and complete the low and high ropes course. We also had multiple game nights, a movie night, an optional worship service on Sunday morning, and a nature walk on the trail behind Dyer Hall.

We each gave a presentation after the first week to share information about our projects with everyone else in the program. It was really cool to see how everyone was doing and to get feedback on our own projects. After the two weeks were up, we presented our final posters to our friends and family. The bonds I made with everyone during the program will last forever and by the end of the two weeks, I couldn't wait to return to campus to hang out with all of these people during the regular school year.  I am even rooming with one of the girls I met in the program!  Having been a part of this program will help me socially and academically, which (as I've learned) are equally important and are directly related to your success at college.  I've also learned that your peers aren't just your classmates who are your own age; your professors are also your peers.  I'm glad that the professors I've met so far on campus are all really nice and are willing to talk to you and go the extra mile to help you with anything you need.  Enjoy the photos!