Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Last Blog Before Returning to Ireland!

by Chris L., Panther Blogger

Hey, everyone!  What's the craic?

So, this is my last blog post as I will be returning home on Friday. I am so excited to go home to see all my friends and family.

My year at Ferrum College went so quickly, it's a shame I can't stay for another year. This semester particularly went extremely fast mainly due to all the snowy days we had. I am enjoying the weather we are currently getting, however, I am looking forward to the good old Irish rain when I get home.

All the international students got bored one day, so we decided to have a water balloon fight. This was very fun as it was a hot day and the water cooled us down.

Recently, two international students and I wrote a report about how to improve the international student experience when they are studying at Ferrum. We wrote this report so that faculty members could become aware of ways to improve the student experience for the next international students. The main area for improvement we found from our report was to have international students to live with American students so that we get more opportunities to hang out with Americans and form stronger friendships with them. So, next semester, it has been suggested that international students will live with Americans, and I think this will make the whole experience a lot better!

This past Saturday, I was very grateful that Dr. Basu offered to take me and three other international students out for the day. He took us on a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway so we could see the view and then go to Roanoke to eat some Indian food. It was great to get off campus for awhile and I appreciate all that Dr. Basu has done during the past year for us and I would just like to say thanks to him!

Thanks to everyone for making my year at Ferrum College a pleasant one. Who knows, maybe in the future, I will be able to come back to visit.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Break Time!

by Blake S., Panther Blogger

My sisters and I at the South Holston Lake Dam
One of my most favorite parts about being a college student is being able to go home and see my family over breaks. Although it is a great experience to move away from home to attend college and gain some skills associated with responsibility, it is always nice to get to travel home and see the ones that you love. For me, I always look forward to going home and spending time with my sisters.

View from the top of the South Holston Lake Dam

Every week before a break begins, my sisters and I plan out the activities that we want to do.  Our recent Easter break was a blast, and my sisters and I did a number of different things. These included going hiking on a park trial, going to the movies, and driving to the South Holston Dam in Tennessee to spend the evening. Although it was a short break, it was worth every moment, and I will remember every moment because of how enjoyable it was!

As graduation approaches, I get more and more excited for the time that I will be able to spend with my family on a daily basis, rather than seeing them only once a month. However, I am also starting to wonder what it will be like when I move away from my friends and the professors that I have become close with over the past two years. I can easily say that I will be sad to leave Ferrum College and all of the memories that I have made here, but I am also thrilled for the new ones that I will be making when I move back home.

Our family pet, Levi (A.K.A. Tinkey Winkey),
sleeping in one of my hats.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Opportunities and Hard Work Pay Off!

by Paige R., Panther Blogger 

Over the past week and a half, I’ve been honored to receive recognition for my academic and extracurricular endeavors at Ferrum College. At the beginning of last week, I received the Minds-in-Medicine pin, a Lions mug, and Lions Branch Club certificate.

On Friday at Ferrum’s Academic Awards Ceremony, I received the award for Outstanding Student in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as well as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

With Dr. Goff for the Minds-n-Medicine Club Award
With Dr. Braaten for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award

With Dr. Braaten for the NSM Award
At the SGA Awards Banquet earlier this week, the Minds-N-Medicine Club (a club in which I’ve served as president for the past school year) was awarded Club of the Year for 2013-2014.  Yesterday, I learned that an article I co-wrote with a Ferrum professor was listed as one of the top articles for the journal in 2013!

Thank you to my wonderful professors, the faculty and staff, my friends, and my family who made all of this possible. It becomes clearer to me every day that I picked the best school possible to call home for three years. The opportunities I’ve had at Ferrum College would not have been possible at another institution. Thank you so much to everyone who has made my time at Ferrum superb! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Accepted Into the Master's Program at Virginia Tech!

by Brittany G., Panther Blogger

The last blog that I posted was about attending an Entomology Conference in Williamsburg, VA.  I had also stated that I was in contact with the Entomology Department about their master's program at Virginia Tech.  Well, the more work that you put into your school, the better the outcomes!

I have officially been offered the position to complete a field research program in Winchester this summer, as well as the following summer, where I will be researching grape root borer.  Between the summer research sessions, I will be going to Virginia Tech to complete a fully-paid master's program!  This just proves that dedication and going outside of just what it offered in classes and clubs on campus can do for your future.  Widen the views of where you want to go and where you can go, then consider everything possible.

As many professors in the science department can agree, I had planned - until May 2013 - that I wanted to continue my education at a graduate medical school, but I was offered a job through Ferrum and everything changed.  It wasn't easy, but I had to teach myself several things about what was involved in entomology and have since then accomplished more goals than I thought was possible in the matter of a year.  If the chance is there, take your smart brains off campus and teach the world because you never know who will be able to offer you something in the future!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Art Department at Ferrum

by Dannica B., Panther Blogger

Working in the Art Department has been a pleasure.  I've only had one class in the art studio so far, but it has been a great experience.  The art studio is located in the bottom of the chapel.  There are numerous classrooms available in the studio that provide many materials in order to help students succeed in different art classes. 

This semester, I have worked in the main art classroom, which is mainly used for simple art.  I have done many art projects this semester; we've had a project due at least every two weeks and sometimes every week.  The first project we ever did was a graphing project. Two other students and I made a Nike sneaker out of string and pins on a larger scale. It's difficult to explain, but here is a picture of it.

The "Nike Shoe Scaling Project"
View of my Picasso project
We have studied so many artists, and we have attempted to create some of their work.  From Picasso to Andy Warhol, from using construction paper to pastels, working in the art department has been so exhilarating!  It has really opened up my eyes and has made me a better artist.  I have learned so many different ways of creating artwork and making my artwork significantly better thanks to the wonderful art instructors we have at Ferrum College.

This is one of my favorite pictures
because it shows how much time and
hard work is put into art.  This is only
HALF of the colored pencil shavings
left over from my Picasso project!

Conference Opportunities

by Brittany G., Panther Blogger

As I am continuing my work through the science department on entomology research, I was given the opportunity to be a part of an Entomology Regional Meeting in Williamsburg, VA.  This was a chance to be included in four days of meetings, lectures, Ph.D. and Masters research presentations, games, food, and hundreds of other people studying and researching the same things I have been working with this past year. Most of those who read this may automatically think:  Geek!  Well, there is no such thing as a Geek status when it has given me the chance to be within a community that is interested in learning the techniques and results that others in the same field have been studying.

I had the pleasure of sitting through the Masters and Ph.D. presentations which provided me the chance to ask questions and connect to other students who are conducting their research and still attending class.  I met several students from the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Rutgers, and Virginia Tech.  After their talks, I went to an arthropod lecture where I connected with several professors from other schools about how we can understand these creatures in our world.  These lectures had one thing in common:  they want to figure out why some insects are the way they are and how to control pests when many do not like them in their homes or around the plants.

After all of the major sessions were done and there was some down time, there was plenty of food offered, as well as fun and games.  This is where many of my personal sit-down meetings with professors and other students happened. I met one student from Pennsylvania and he was interested in veterinarian sciences, but he ended up studying entomology through his school.  This just proves that along with myself, many students change their minds about jobs or graduate programs even as late as their very last year in college!  The best part of this weekend meeting was gaining these connections with other schools and professors.

Before I left the conference, I walked away having met several more people and I have kept in touch with many since then. The professors who were there were very knowledgeable and so friendly that they would literally walk up to you and start a conversation to learn everyone's interests in that type of field.  I am proud to say that I have met a lovely crew at Virginia Tech and have been in contact with them to continue my education through their Master's Program in Entomology. So before anyone turns down an opportunity, at least try it once!  I had no idea this would be the outcome of such a conference, and I have gained so much experience by talking to other entomologists in the field.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Class Trip to the Rescue Mission

by Rachel W., Panther Blogger

I am Social Work 330 - Human Behavior class. We have been diligently working on a class trip all semester and finally all the hard work paid off!

As stated on its website, the Rescue Mission in Roanoke, Virginia is "a Christ-centered, grassroots organization offering programs to help people physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. The programs are holistic and involve elements of personal responsibility, self-determination and an internal transformation of values and vision resulting in a restoration of self-respect.  The homeless, the hungry, the sick, the addicted, the abused, and the hopeless have all found a warm welcome at the Rescue Mission. Men, women, and children have found a safe place and compassionate friends in their darkest moments."

The Rescue Mission has been open since 1942 and for more than 62 years, it has served this homeless population in many ways.  The Rescue Mission is open 24/7, and yes, that includes Christmas!

Sculpture outside of the women & children's building
Leslie Holden giving tips to the
guests at the Rescue Mission.
So a few weeks ago, my class traveled to Roanoke to work with some of the folks at the Rescue Mission who are considered "chronically homeless," meaning they have been homeless for at least two years.  My classmates and I ran two workshops for about 35 of the guests at the Rescue Mission. For the first workshop, we went over resumes. We updated some resumes for some of the people and started new ones for others. After the resume portion, we started a mock interview process.  I got to interview two awesome guys and give them pointers on how to answer questions, what questions an employer should not be asking, and other important information that could be beneficial to getting a job!

After both workshops, we were given a tour of the Rescue Mission where we got the chance to see the men's building, the women and children's building, the free clinic, the thrift store, and the cafeteria!  After our tour, we had the chance to sit down and have lunch with some of the guests and employees of the Rescue Mission.

A room inside the Rescue Mission. Each guest is
provided with a quilt that was donated by local
church groups. The quilts are given so the bed
has more of a home-y feel!

An art piece called "The Path," made by a guest
of the Rescue Mission

It was a very rewarding experience, and I hope to return to the Rescue Mission to volunteer in the future!

Fun at the Zoo!

by Blake S., Panther Blogger

As a full-time college student, it can sometimes become difficult to arrange your schedule to make sure that you are providing yourself with plenty of free time to have some fun and get away from the stress that is associated with college coursework.  However, one of the greatest things about some of the courses here at Ferrum College is that they actually incorporate fun trips into their course requirements.

An example of one of these trips that I have recently participated in is touring the Carilion hospital in Roanoke, Virginia as a member of the anatomy and physiology class.  Throughout this tour, students are exposed to the many labs that are used in the hospital, such as the echocardiography lab, microbiology lab, and cardiac catheterization lab.  This is a great learning experience for students and allowed us to explore the numerous opportunities associated with the medical field.  However, perhaps one of the more intriguing field trips that I have participated in during my time here at Ferrum is a trip to the Zoo!

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital
(picture from

Just last week, I was given the opportunity to travel alongside the Ferrum College zoology class to the North Carolina Zoo.  I've got to say that it was, without a doubt, some of the most fun that I have had as a Ferrum College student.  While at the zoo, we were allowed to take a self-guided tour around the park and travel to all of the different exhibits.  One of my favorite exhibits was that of the aviary, in which there were numerous exotic and beautiful species of birds!  The chimpanzees and baboons were also pretty funny to watch, and the bears (my favorite animal) were astonishing!

This was a great opportunity to not only get away from campus and have some fun, but to also gain greater knowledge about the topic of zoology and get some insight from the workers at the zoo.  While there, we spoke to a number of different workers who provided us with advice regarding applying for work positions in the field of zoology after graduation.  Each of the individuals that we spoke to mentioned that they were able to obtain their jobs with just a bachelor's degree and plenty of work experience; as a college student about to graduate, this was a pretty promising thing to hear.

Overall, this was a great opportunity that I am very glad I was able to partake in, and I hope that many others will take advantage of this same chance to learn and grow as a student and individual.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Fun!

by Anneleisse A., Guest Blogger

Who says that there isn't anything to do in Ferrum, Virginia?  This semester has been a busy, crazy...and did I say busy semester?  But who says that when in college, you should only study and not take time off from the books?  Well let me tell you how I have spent my free time lately!

Every spring, we have a big concert and it follows a genre rotation.  This year was R&B or Hip-Hop, and guess who was our big performer!?  JUICY J!!  That's right - we had Juicy J come perform at our YMCA on campus.  The event was a huge success with about 800 people, which made it a SOLD OUT event.  I had the opportunity to volunteer to help out with the concert, and as a member of Event Staff, I had the responsibility of making sure people followed rules so that everyone could enjoy the concert to the fullest.  Although I would have loved to brag about meeting him, I didn't...but he did take a selfie with my phone while on stage which I found pretty cool.  Take a look for yourself...

Besides having a concert every spring, we have plenty of events that go on during this time.  Last weekend, we had Panthers Against Cancer.  This event went from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., and there were a variety of things to do during the 12 hours of the event, such as Zumba, karaoke, and games.  The purpose of the event was to raise awareness and raise money for cancer.  Besides having this event, the Criminal Justice Club hosted a chalk run on the same day. 

So although school is a priority, you should always try to make time for some personal fun when possible.  Take time off and do something that doesn't involve classwork unless that's what makes you happy.  It's not every weekend that Ferrum will have big events like these, but there are always other options, whether it's taking an hour out of your day to walk campus, do some yoga at the Y, or simply get in a quick workout.

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Attending an Aging Conference

by Rachel W., Panther Blogger

Early one recent Wednesday morning, three professors, a fellow Social Work major, and I climbed into a van to make a three and a half hour trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.  We made this trip in order to attend the "Aging Conference" at North Carolina State University!

The conference itself was extremely educational!  It not only reestablished my desire to work with the aging population, but it also opened up my mind to graduate school.  Ferrum College is providing me with all the tools I need to succeed in not only my undergraduate degree but also to move forward and earn a master's in social work further down the road.
We even stopped at Red Robbin for dinner and
enjoyed an onion ring tower!
During this trip, I got some one-on-one time with my amazing professors who gave me advice on graduate school, internships, and the social work field in general.  It is so rewarding to go to a small school where I can have these kinds of experiences with my professors who truly know my story.

Also on this trip, I got to spend time with another social work major, Taylor.  Taylor and I have a lot of the same interests.  We both want to work with the older population and really love the degree we are earning.  Another great aspect of being in the Social Work Program at Ferrum College is that the program has a very tight knit group of students. We are all willing to help each other with things both academically and personally.  Taylor is going through a lot of the same things as I am as far as planning the future (including graduate school, next semester's classes, and planning internships), and it is so nice to have someone who can relate and understand!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Being Back at Ferrum

by Delana S., Panther Blogger

Since returning from D.C., I have had to readjust myself to Ferrum and being back in a slower-paced environment.  It is refreshing, but at the same time increasingly hard because I have been on the go for so long that my body really just got used to it.  I am so glad to be back home.  I missed all of my friends and my professors here.

Still, this semester is very busy for me because I have to make some decisions regarding next year and what I want to do when I graduate.  So far, I have come to the conclusion that I want to go to graduate school and be a Foreign Service officer.  I had the opportunity to meet a few people who could tell me what I needed to do to start the application process and what it includes, but I'm not sure where I'm going to end up.  Things have been looking pretty bright for me and my future, but it is hard when you want to do everything!

One thing that I truly love about this semester is that I really get to work on public relations for the Student Government Association.  I was elected with the cabinet, but they really didn't need me in the fall, so I get to do a lot now and I love it!  Ferrum College's Student Government Association now has a Twitter account and will soon have an Instagram and a Tumblr account.  These are my "pet projects" because with technology becoming more prominent in careers, it is good to start building a network and reaching out to others on social media.  I also get to work on other creative projects and have fun with them.

Besides that, I am also getting involved with the Ferrum Leadership Fellows again. Despite being absent from Ferrum's campus last semester, being in D.C. helped me to work on my leadership skills and also further develop my communication skills that will help me be a good and effective leader.  The best part of having a good relationship with the company is that they allowed me to come back and help with a big event, and I was able to see many of the people who I had previously met.  It was an amazing experience and I am glad that I had the opportunity to work with them all once again. I love being a leader and taking on leadership roles because it is always a fulfilling adventure.

One thing that I thought that I wouldn't be able to do within my four years at Ferrum is study abroad, but I went to D.C. last semester and now I am going to be heading off to Alicante, Spain for the upcoming fall semester!  It seems that I am doing a lot, but with my second major being Spanish, it is a good opportunity for me to be immersed in the culture and become fluent.  I am very excited because I have never been to this part of Spain - on the coast.  I have traveled to Spain multiple times, but this will be new. I will be living with a host family, attending the university, and learning about the people and the culture.  Many people can't believe I am leaving again, but I have to take advantage of every opportunity I can before I graduate.  I am excited for this new adventure!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Getting My CPR Certification

by Paige R., Panther Blogger

On March 20th, fellow Minds-N-Medicine Club member Brittany and I attended the Western Piedmont Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) CPR training course in Martinsville.  Brittany and I are both registered MRC volunteers, so we were able to take the class free of charge.  During this course, we learned the proper methods for CPR on adults, children, and infants.  We also practiced the Heimlich maneuver.

I was so surprised at how sore I was the next day!  The manikins are made in a way that makes it very difficult to give compressions in a manner that is acceptable to receive certification.  In the picture, you can see a green light on the shoulder of the manikin.  This light indicates that the compressions I was giving were satisfactory.

As much as I hope that I never have to give CPR, I'm very glad that I do now have this certification and knowledge!  At Ferrum, it is very common for students to have opportunities like this to go out into the community to do volunteer work, to take a special course, or to work more closely in an area they are interested in.