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Instagrams of Faith At Denison

中文 (简体)
By Mark Orten, Director of Religious & Spiritual Life

I asked a diverse group of thoughtful students “How do you practice your faith at Denison?”

Speaking from different perspectives about matters of faith and the practice of it, they offered some really creative “snapshots” of their take on the practice of faith at Denison:

“At Denison, even when you are walking across the campus you just look up at the sky, and all of the beauty of this place… just noticing it; that’s practicing.”

“College is busy, and so people say, ‘I don’t have time for formal practices.’ But you always have time to do something that is part of your faith —even if small. Even if you’re not doing something, that is a choice.”

“Yeah, I get ten instagrams a week from some of my friends. They took time to stop and take a photo! There’s time.”

“Why is it that “prioritizing” is something we understand as an educated community—we talk about it all of the time—but then when it comes to something important like this we don’t do it?”

“Finding a buddy for accountability is helpful.”

“You can’t let others keep you from doing what is important to you.”

“Sometimes it’s just certain rituals: like sitting with friends over coffee every day in Slayter and people-watching. There’s comfort in that. It’s just not the same when certain ones aren’t there. So it’s nice when you just know certain things are going to happen, and you can count on it.’

“Reflection is a way to practice. It helps with self-improvement and self-cultivation. We can learn what we are lacking through journaling, prayer, meditation–some form of reflection– especially where we are not surrounded only by people only of our own faith, as we were back home.”

“Keeping a booklist of inspirational reading is good practice. And strengthening personal practices such as yoga and meditation or prayer.”

“Sometimes just hugging, listening, smiling and simply saying, ‘So how was your day?’ like I saw two really tired college students do at the end of a day. It was really cute. That’s faith right there.”

So there you have it… from thoughtful students who’ve said it best. In summary, according to these snapshots, we need to notice what’s important to us, and find a way to prioritize it, and then make room for it in our schedules. We do best when we get help from others to support us. It’s good to reflect on it regularly, with intentionality. And, of course, be sure to check in with each other now and then!

丹尼森的信仰时刻

Mark R. Orten,宗教中心主任

我向很多来自不同背景的学生寻求一个问题的答案:“在丹尼森你是怎样练习自己的信仰?”

对于这个话题,他们从不同的视角给出了一些非常有创意的答案:

“在丹尼森的校园里行走,即使你只是抬头仰望天空,或是欣赏身边的美丽。。仅仅是去发现美,这就是一种信仰。”

“大学生活很忙碌,所以很多人说‘我没有时间去正式的履行信仰。’但是你总是可以有时间去做一些事情,作为信仰的一部分,即使是很小的事情。哪怕你什么也没有做,那也是一种选择。”

“我收到了来自朋友的10条Instgram,他们停下脚步拍照片并且发给了我。”

“‘优先’是我们作为一个社区都理解的概念,我们总是在谈论它,但当重要的事情出现在生活中的时候,为什么我们却没有做到给予他们优先考虑呢?”

“找到一个有责任心的伙伴是很有益的。

“不要让别人阻止你去做你觉得重要的事情。”

“有些时候信仰像是特定的仪式:就像与朋友坐在一起喝咖啡,看着身边的其他人。朋友不在身边的时候,即使做着同样的事情,也没有舒适的感觉。所以当你知道你可以依赖一些人,一些事的时候,感觉是很美好的。”

“反省是一种很好的练习方式,自我完善和自我培养。我们缺乏记录,祈祷,冥想,这些形式的反省,特别是当我们身边没有人,一个人在家的时候。”

“保持一张启发灵感的书单是很好的练习。瑜伽和冥想也是很好的办法。”

“有些时候只是拥抱,倾听,微笑和简单的说一句‘今天过得如何?’就像我看见两个疲倦的学生在一天快结束的时候互相问候。这是很温暖的时刻。这就是信仰”

有创见的学生们已经给出了最好的答案。我们需要留意哪些事情或者人对于我们是重要的,然后在我们的日程中给予他们优先的安排。别人的支持可以让我们做到最好。花些时间定期的思考这些问题,并与其他人交流对于我们是很有益的!

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Denison Dates

By Catherine Champagne, Coordinator of Alcohol, Drug and Health Education

There are many benefits of living in a small, residential community like Denison. One of the things I appreciate about being on the hill are the many opportunities for close bonds and friendships to develop. When walking across campus, this friendship is visible in the number of students who greet each other with enthusiasm, the groups of friends grabbing a bite in Slayter, and in the subtle acts of kindness observed between students and staff alike. These social ties speak to the character of the Denison community, and also play an important role in shaping students’ overall health and well-being.

As someone who is personally and professionally dedicated to promoting wellness in all forms, I think it’s important to highlight these examples of positive social/relational well-being. What better time of year than on Valentine’s Day? In fact, CSMART (Community Sexual Misconduct Awareness and Response Team) will soon be hosting a panel of faculty/staff to speak about healthy relationships: what do they look like, and what does it take to sustain them? Students, staff, and faculty are welcome to attend the program on February 20, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Higley Hall Auditorium.

Of course, celebrating healthy relationships on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In the spirit of keeping things simple (and cheap!), I did some thinking about ideas for fun, inexpensive dates to be enjoyed with friends or significant others. I asked a few other Denisonians to contribute to this list, and I’m excited to present their recommendations below:

Denison Date Ideas (in no particular order!)

* Warm up at River Road Coffee Shop (Catherine Champagne, Alcohol, Drug, & Health Education). There is nothing more soothing than sharing in conversation over a warm cup of coffee or tea. With fun flavors, homey atmosphere, and plenty of tables for two, River Road is a great location.

* Take a walk at Sugarloaf Park (Molly Thurlow-Collen, Health Services) Only a block away from the corner of Stone Hall is the entrance to Sugarloaf Park. This secluded, delightfully simple trail to the top of this hill provides a shared experience for you and yours. There are even picnic tables at the top to sit and rest while sharing a picnic meal. (Address: 411 West Broadway)

* Attend a Denison Athletic game (Dave Woodyard, Faculty, Religion) One of the joys of an authentic community is the gift of mutual support. Denison athletes desire it, and we have an opportunity to express it at their games – and bring a partner!

* Have a Movie/Pizza Night: (Julie Tucker, Assessment & Research) Walk down the hill to the Granville library and choose a movie from their pretty extensive DVD collection–something funny or action-packed or even a sappy romantic comedy! On your way home, stop by Elms and pick up a pizza to enjoy with your movie!

* Northstar Cafe in Easton: (Steven Profitt, Religious & Spiritual Life) With its lively atmosphere, delicious food, and friendly staff, Northstar is a stellar date locale. It’s also tucked right in the heart of Easton. Feel free after your meal to venture next door to Barnes and Noble, visit the shops and stores in the district, and explore the mall. I personally recommend the key lime truffles in the mall’s candy shop!

* Visit Dawes Arboretum (Cathy Dollard, Faculty, History) A true hidden gem; a great place for a walk! The Japanese Garden / Pond is especially lovely. Located on the east side of Newark.

* Go ice skating (Sara Lee, Faculty, Athletics, Physical Education) In Newark, the Lou and Gib Reese Ice Arena in has open public skating sessions and skate rental. Afterwards, get some hot chocolate at the coffee shop! http://www.newarkicearena.com/public-skate

* A little bit of friendly competition (Brian Collingwood, Career Exploration & Development). Whether it means challenging a date to a game on the racquetball court at The Mitchell Center, or taking on another sport in a nearby location, friendly competition can break the ice, lead to a lot of laughs, and prove to be a fun time!

I hope this list will inspire you to grab a friend and try something new this Valentine’s Day. Here’s to the many great relationships at Denison!

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Advice to First Year Parents

by Kathleen Powell, Director of Career Exploration & Development

By now your sons and daughters are back at college to finish out their first year. During the break you may have heard about their classes, their professors, their clubs and organizations and their dreams for the summer or life after college! For some students, they have no idea what’s out there or what they could pursue after graduation. Others are very firm in their path, some focusing on what they believe they know or have seen; perhaps the pre-law or pre-health tracks. However, if you would ask your son or daughter to detail why they are interested in a particular career field or even more pointedly, why it would be a good fit for them, they might be hard pressed to verbalize an answer.

How do we lift our college students up with career development in mind? What are the steps these students might take to find meaningful work and career success? As the Director of Career Exploration and Development, and a parent, I’ve provided a few resources to assist you in working with your own college student.

Now is a great time for career exploration and focus. Denison offers students, free of charge, an interactive career development software tool called Focus to help them determine their values, interests, and skills.

We also encourage first year students to use the spring semester to investigate internships. We believe internships are a great way to test out a career, gain skills and add value to an organization. One of the many things I value about Denison is the opportunity for first year students to apply for internships through DIP, the Denison Internship Program.

With a good deal of reflection, self-assessment and career exploration, students determine possible career paths that are good matches for their interests and skills.

The next time you speak with your college student, I encourage you to ask them about their summer plans and what resources they are using. If they don’t mention Career Exploration and Development, make a point to send them in our direction. Your support of their career goals resonates more than you might think. Many students look to their parents for career guidance and together, success is sure to follow.

Be Patient! Try and think back to your first year of college or your first time of trying out something new. Understand that college students may change their minds several times in the process about what they might major in, do between summers or after graduation. It’s always good form to give your input while understanding they must figure out their journey themselves to learn. According to the ACT, 16% of college freshmen believe they will change their major. Actually, 65-86% of freshmen actually do change their major and nationally, half of all freshmen with a declared major will change their major at least once before they graduate.

How do you start the conversation around careers, summers, skills and life after college? I’ve shared a few starters with you. It is my hope that if you ask these questions, the conversation will take off. The good news for you, there are no right or wrong answers. A listening ear is all that is required.

• What clubs or organizations have you thought about joining or have joined? What about that organization interests you? What do you think you’ll get out of that involvement? What do you think you’ll add to that club or organization?
If we can get our college student to think beyond just joining an organization, but to think in terms of skills gained, skills provided, imagine how easy it will be for them to articulate their skills and value to an employer or graduate/professional school. The idea here is to have students think intentionally. It’s not about the number of clubs or organizations they join, but about depth and breadth. Less is more and developing leadership and communication skills will go a long way!

• What classes are you doing well in?
Most students do well in classes they like and that provide a manageable challenge. At the end of the day, employers and graduate schools are looking for students who are strong academically. In general, a 3.0 overall G.P.A. will move a student to the “in” consideration. Now, if your son or daughter did not hit this mark after one semester, it is not time to panic. I share this as a point of reference. Still, it’s never too early for students to think about academics.

• What are your summer plans? Have you thought about a summer job or internship?
If they have thought about either a summer job or internship, make sure to ask them to think about putting together a resume. Career Exploration and Development has many resources to assist them in completing a resume and help in finding a summer opportunity or internship. The more your son or daughter uses Career Exploration and Development, the more likely they are to find a rewarding opportunity, not only during their time in college, but after. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, students who used the career center four or more times a semester were more likely to have job offers than those who used it once a semester.

• What careers have you thought about? Do you know where you could go to find out more information?
Don’t be surprised if your son or daughter hasn’t thought about a career or has no idea where to go. People get to their careers by different routes. For first year students, we encourage them to use free resources available through Career Exploration and Development. And, we strongly encourage students to leverage the networking opportunities such as Big Red Roadtrips, First Look Denison and DenisonEverywhere. Your son or daughter receives communication from our office two times per week. We’d be happy to send it to you too! It’s a wonderful way to find out about programs and events taking place within Career Exploration and Development.
Whether this is your first child in college or your third, starting early is key. Four years goes by quickly and having your son or daughter on the right path will only enhance their educational experience. Take it from someone who changed her major a lot, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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Career Conversations: Making the most of them during breaks!

By Kathleen Powell, Director of Career Exploration & Development, and Zach Pavol, Assistant Director of Career Exploration & Development

In the next few weeks, thousands of students will be returning home for their winter break. Students see this as a much needed break from academics. What they might encounter when returning home is a new conversation with their parents and relatives. The age old questions of what are you going to do when you graduate? What are you going to do with your major? What can you do with a liberal arts degree? As parents of college students, we often think about “How can I help my student get an internship or a “good job” when they graduate.” Before you begin talking to your student about these issues during the break, I offer a few ideas for your consideration and conversation.
The break is a wonderful time for students to rest and to reconnect with family and friends. It is also a critical time for conversation around career exploration and development. Each January, students come back to campus and tell us how reinvigorated they are about their careers because of conversations, connections and open dialogue with their parents. Some students come back having secured internships or jobs during that time, while others simply have found some much needed clarity in their quest to discover what they want to do next. It is highly recommend that students, and parents, consider conversations around the following:

1. Explore Career Options
Before ordering at a restaurant, you would likely want to review the menu. Right? Likewise, before heading out to a restaurant, there is discussion around what genre of food is in order. Career exploration is similar in the sense that it is smart to explore many possible careers before making a decision on which to begin pursuing. Leverage websites like What Can I Do With This Major, Occupational Outlook Handbook, and Spotlight on Careers can help your son or daughter gain a foundational understanding of several popular career paths. Have conversations related to career aspirations. Put the same thought and intensity into your career conversations and as you would with any other day-to-day topic.

2. Network
Networking doesn’t need to be a scary. It is simply talking to people, something we do all the time. There are many opportunities during the break for networking to take place. For example, when Uncle Bill or Aunt Betty sits next to your son or daughter at the dinner table and ask about experiences at school and what they want to do after graduation; that is networking. Have your student take full advantage of those conversations and ask family members what they do, how they got into a particular field, what they think about their companies, what they see as growing career paths, and so forth…that is networking! Have your student start with family and expand to others you know, friends of the family, high school friends’ parents. One of the many strengths of Denison is our alumni. They are a great network of professionals who are usually willing to offer career advice and for some, allow students the opportunity to spend a day shadowing them (aka an externship). Denison students can begin tapping into the alumni network using the mentor directory in DenisonEverywhere.com or by searching through the “Find Alumni” feature in LinkedIn.com.
3. Research Employers
Encourage your son or daughter to do their homework. Before applying to any career opportunity, whether summer job, internship or full-time position, it is important to be well informed about the organization and industry. The process can begin with basic online research. In addition to reviewing the companies’ specific websites, we recommend following a company’s official page on LinkedIn and/or liking them on Facebook. Students can also leverage sites like The Muse to get an overview of a company’s culture. Encourage your students to be mindful of the many opportunities available to them.

4. Apply
Employers are increasingly looking to secure interns and full-time hires early because there is tough competition for top talent. Many positions already posted on DULink, LACN and other sites like Internships.com and CareerShift have approaching deadlines. In addition, many graduate schools have deadlines during the next few months. Effectively customizing application materials takes a significant investment in time. Using the break from course work allows students time to focus on developing quality applications. Talk with your son or daughter about their prospects. Discuss the types of positions or programs they are considering.

5. Reflect and Dream
Take full advantage of this time when your student doesn’t have to worry about project deadlines, studying for tests or attending group meetings to reflect on all they’ve accomplished. Think about and discuss what is next in your students’ career preparation. Finding the career path requires a very strong understanding of SELF; this takes significant time and reflection. Have conversations around the knowledge and skills they’ve gained. What are they finding to be their biggest strengths? What experiences have they found most interesting? How have their experiences helped to shape and affirm their values? How can they find a career/industry/organization that aligns with their strengths, interests and values? Allow time to dream about what an ideal life and what career path would make that dream a reality.

By knowing your student’s interests, values, strengths and dreams, you will have a better understanding of their career path, career plan and how your conversations and insights have shaped their world of work. Encourage your student to articulate what they are looking for in a summer experience, what they want to do after graduation. The response, “I don’t know or I’ll take anything” leaves one without a path to help. It’s hard to find “I don’t know” or “I’ll take anything” on job boards or when networking, but just a few specific ideas can open up a realm of possibilities. In Career Exploration and Development at Denison University, one of our goals is to educate and equip students with the tools to be resourceful, motivated and well-informed architects in their career decisions.

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The Perils of Finals

By Crystal Lapidus-Mann, Staff Counselor, and Catherine Champagne, Coordinator of Alcohol, Drug, and Health Education

As final exams loom ever-closer, our thoughts go to our students. Over the next week, we know that students will spend many hours focused on studying, writing, and working tirelessly on final projects. Although these practices are necessary for academic success, the accomplishment of these tasks sometimes happens at the expense of students’ personal health and wellness (“all-nighters,” anyone?).

As staff members of Denison’s Whisler Center for Student Wellness, we have witnessed first-hand the effects of stress on our students. Staff counselors in particular have the honor of being welcomed into our students’ private lives, and are privy to the healthy, and (sometimes) unhealthy ways, in which our students cope with the challenges of college life. As students approach, and then plunge, into final exam week, we know Whisler will see many students encountering physical and emotional distress.

So, what can you do? There’s no magic solution, but you don’t have to brace yourself for inevitable, uncontrollable stress. Simple self-care practices for maintaining personal wellness will help enormously. When you take care of your whole self, you can put your best self forward and have a better chance of accomplishing the things you want to. Love it, like it, or battle it, the body we have is the one and only vehicle we get to move us through life. It is difficult to function when you aren’t getting enough sleep, are feeling anxious, or haven’t eaten well that day. Although it can feel counter-productive to take time from studying to restore one’s self during this busy time of year, even brief moments of self-care can greatly enhance performance.

This finals week, we encourage students to embrace the adage, “Be well, to do well.” Consider these tips as you prepare for finals:

1. Nourish your body and your brain
What you eat matters. Eat a protein-rich breakfast and space small meals throughout the day to sustain energy and stay nourished. While studying, keep healthy snacks nearby, like granola bars, yogurt, fruit, or unsalted popcorn. Finally, hydration is critical, but don’t rely on coffees or caffeine sodas, as too many can make you dehydrated and feel jittery. Water is your best option to stay hydrated.

2. Get some zzzz’s
Although it is tempting to sacrifice sleep when you have a lot to do, this can negatively impact your performance. Quality sleep is necessary for a well-functioning brain– something you definitely need during finals week! Research suggests that sleep improves memory and sharpens attention, improving overall academic performance. Our best advice is to stick to a regular sleep schedule if possible.If a late night becomes unavoidable, try taking a short 20-30 minute nap the next day to boost alertness (longer naps can end up making you feel groggy).

3. Take a break.
Yes – a break! While some students can stay focused for several hours at a time, most cannot. Trying to plow through a 6-hour study session without interruption can actually be counter-productive. As you study, find natural opportunities to pause and restore yourself. Get up and stretch, take a 10 minute walk, call a friend or family member. You’ll come back to your work re-energized.

4. Remember to breathe!
When you’re feeling stressed, you can feel it throughout your body. Your heart pounds, blood pressure increases, and your breathing becomes fast and shallow. To curb these “in the moment” feelings of stress, take a few minutes to focus on breathing deeply. A short breathing exercise can be simple and effective. Try this: (1) Find a comfortable seat and sit up straight, (2) Put one hand on your belly, and your other hand on your chest, (3) Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of three. The hand on your belly should move as you breathe in deeply, while the hand on your chest should not move. (4) Slowly exhale, making a whooshing sound with your mouth. Repeat this exercise until you feel yourself relax.

Self-care prevents mental, emotional and physical burn-out. We hope you find these tips helpful, and are able to try a few this finals week. Remember, Health and Counseling Services at The Whisler Center for Student Wellness are here if you need support during this next week and throughout the year. We wish you the best of luck as the semester comes to a close!

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The Leadership Fellows: Educating their Peers While Gaining Skills for their Own Success

CLIC11

By Julie Tucker, Coordinator of Assessment & Research

Students’ co-curricular involvement at Denison is more than a way to fill their days or meet new people.  While we certainly hope that students’ co-curricular involvement allows them to make friends and enjoy their time on the hill, we intend that these experiences provide students the opportunity to gain and strengthen skill sets that prepare them for their careers and experiences beyond Denison.  One such experience is the position of a Leadership Fellow.  Leadership Fellows are peer educators who assist in the planning of leadership programs (e.g. LeaderShape, DU Lead) and create new leadership-related workshops for campus organizations.

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Open Letter to Men

Open Letter to Men By Erik Farley, Associate Dean & Director of Multicultural Student Affairs

As a man on this campus, I am issuing a call to all Denison men: we must contribute to conversations about relationship violence. I call upon men from all socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities to consciously rid our community of this social ill. And I call upon our members to brainstorm practical ways in which we, as men, could end men’s violence against members of our campus and our communities beyond the Hill.

We know that many cultural traditions and images in the media suggest that a “real” man hides his emotions, views sexual experience as a status symbol, and solves problems with aggression. While these traditional ideas of masculinity are not always negative, it is important that we accept other ideas of masculinity as well. Structured dialogues that inspire the courage to question contemporary notions of masculinity, while simultaneously providing the opportunity to see through others’ perspectives, would help us immeasurably.

Prevention starts early. We need to develop innovative ways to teach young men that we have better ways to express negative emotions than exerting physical dominance over others. Denison should be a leader in such initiatives. Increasingly, college campuses are calling upon men to take an active role in prevention measures.

As an alumnus of the Denison and a member of the general faculty, I asks others to join me in rallying men to the call, and to work diligently to heal our fair college on the hill. Men of substance understand that social justice work in the areas of race, class, gender, ageism, and sexual orientation is critical to ending violence. For that reason, we must approach these issues from a number of perspectives, with the intention of changing the ways relationships are cultivated in our community.

A number of viable strategies have been successful in communities like ours. These include:

• Creating role-model opportunities for young men in our community. Work collaboratively with sports teams, school districts and student organizations. (Resources like the Alford Center for Service Learning and the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center can help us get started.)
• Learning how to articulate accurately our emotions. (Counseling Services and one-on-one meetings with professionals from the Division of Student Development, with faculty advisors and mentors provide ready opportunities.)
• Identifying and working with existing prevention programs. (SHARE Advocates and the Center for Women and Gender Action welcome our involvement.)
• Providing safe venues to discuss what it means to be a man. (Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (and other student organizations), the Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement, and Residential Education all offer related opportunities for discourse and programming.)

Denison has this wealth of resources. We need to use them! I challenge each fraternity chapter, athletic team and student organization to not only host courageous conversations about relationship violence and its effects on our campus community, but also devise action plans to creatively respond to this phenomenon with the assistance of their advisors; I serve as an advisor to such an organization, and I welcome these conversations.

M.C. Isler, my maternal grandfather, used to talk with me for hours about the responsibly of men. One quote has always stuck with me, “Erik, I can show you better than I can tell you.” It’s a start for us to be able to explain why relationship violence is wrong, but real change will happen when we show the campus how it’s done.

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On Being First-Gen…Sort Of

中文 (简体)

By Laurel Kennedy, Vice President for Student Development

There has been lots of attention lately to the unique challenges of being a first-generation college student. One concluded by calling on colleges and universities to ensure that their faculty and staffs include members who were first-generation college students in their day.

Whether I was technically a first-gen college student depends on the definition we’re using. Some institutions identify a student as “first-generation” if neither of their parents attended college, ever. Some look at whether a parent graduated from college. One institution has many different categories—one parent versus two, attended versus graduated, etc.

Parental experience with higher education is considered important because it correlates with academic retention and success. There are lots of reasons: students whose parents also went to college usually have higher incomes, and thus can better afford both the upfront and the hidden costs of college. They attend colleges that suit their interests and needs because their parents could help them choose a school that fits their interests and aptitudes. They experience greater academic success because education was more often hardwired into their home life and because their parents have been through the academic rigors of college and can offer more help—with papers but also with critical decisions, like what to major in.

My story is a little bit complex. My mother graduated from college and provided the early socialization and acculturation about college-going. Still, we weren’t raised expecting to go. My brother, the oldest and the only son, did: he graduated from a state college in Mankato, Minnesota, 75 miles from home. My two sisters, next in line, did not. One went from high school into a secretarial college to become a court reporter, and the other followed her there after a brief stint at a college in Wisconsin.

Those educational paths were largely constructed by my mother, who also engineered a scholarship for me to a private school starting in the 7th grade. My father supported all of this in principle, but was detached from it. So when my mother died in the middle of my 10th grade year… well, let’s just say that my dad was dealing with a lot more than unfamiliarity with colleges and universities. When the time came, I was on my own with applications and financial aid forms. He beseeched me to attend the nearby community college so that I could live at home. When tuition reciprocity enabled me to go to the University of Wisconsin, he was sure that I was all but lost to him. First-gen students sometimes talk about the guilt of “abandoning” their parent. I know about that: I loved my dad.

So, true: I was socialized for college by my mother and by my high school experience, a huge boon when classes began. But she was gone, and socialization doesn’t pay the tuition bill or offer encouragement about a daunting assignment. Most of what I remember about college is panic: juggling jobs to pay my bills, terrified that I might flunk out, often in a state of free-fall, knowing that I was on my own. My father had no conception of what it cost to go to school or of the day-to-day academic challenges that are managed by a college student.

But things were also different then. When I started college in 1976, I attended alongside many first-generation students, as the ranks of higher education broadened in terms of gender, race, and class. And while I shared many of the financial, academic and emotional challenges of first-generation peers, my mother’s influence (the weekly trips to the library, car trips to historical sites, the consistency of encouragement) provided intellectual benefits that I could already recognize, my anxieties notwithstanding.

But my experience unquestionably gives me some affinity with the first-generation students with whom I work now. One of my strongest college memories is from winter break of my sophomore year: I was alone on a gray, snowy day, sitting on the floor with all of my financial aid papers, my tuition bill, my bank statements, and my paycheck stubs fanned out around me. No matter how I rearranged the papers, the numbers on them wouldn’t add up to the amount due for tuition. It was one of those crucible moments, when a person’s values crystallize into resolve. I decided in that moment that if I could figure out a way to pay that tuition bill, the opportunity would not be wasted: I’d work hard, and later I’d get a job, and I’d make it all worthwhile in the end.

I was extremely fortunate that my roommate’s parents did what my father couldn’t: they gave me the money I needed (and were kind enough to call it a loan). And in the end—well, clearly I’ve managed to essentially stay in college forever. But after 25 years of working in higher education, it’s easy to forget how grueling it can be. And my “maybe-I-am, maybe-I’m-not” status allows me to feel deep admiration for first-generation students who have even more at stake than I did and are so determined to persevere.

作为类似第一代大学生。。
劳瑞尔•肯尼迪 学生发展中心副主席

近来第一代大学生(家庭里第一代上大学的学生)面临的挑战吸引了多方注意力。对此话题的讨论得出的结论是提倡学院和大学能够确保聘用第一代大学生成为他们的教员或职员。

用当下的定义,严格来讲我是标准的第一代大学生。一些机构定义一个学生为“第一代”如果其父母从来都没有上过大学。一些机构关注一方家长是否从大学毕业。还有一些机构分不同情况来考虑这个问题——父母一方或父母双方,上过大学或者从大学毕业,等等。

父母的高等教育经历被视为重要,因为它与学生的学术表现以及成功互相关联。这种观念源自很多原因:受过高等教育的父母有更高的收入,所以有能力支付顶尖的学校。这些学生选择了适合自己兴趣和需要的大学因为父母可以协助他们选择适合的学校。他们更加容易取得学术成功因为他们在成长过程中一直接受教育,并且因为父母可以给予学术支持——不仅仅是写论文那么简单,还有关键性的决定,比如选择专业。

我的故事有一些复杂。我的母亲是大学毕业生,并且她与我分享了很多她的大学生活。但是,我们没有抱我会上大学的期望。我的哥哥,家里唯一的儿子,上了大学并从明尼苏达州一所离家75英里的州立学院毕业。我的两个姐姐,没有上大学。一个高中毕业后去了一所培训秘书的职业学校,并成为了一名法庭记者。另一个姐姐在威斯康辛州一所大学短暂的学习之后也从事了同样的工作。

她们的教育经历很大程度收到母亲的影响,我也在7年级的时候去到一所私立学校上高中。我的父亲理论上支持我母亲的决定,但并没有参与到决定中来。所以,当我的母亲在我上10年级的时候去世后,我的父亲需要处理很多他不熟悉的关于大学的事情。我只能靠我自己申请大学以及奖学金。父亲恳求我上附近的社区学院,这样我就可以住在家里。但当我得到了威斯康辛大学提供的学费补助,父亲知道留不住我了。第一代大学生有时会谈论到“抛弃”父母的负罪感,我很理解这种感受:我爱我的父亲。

我的母亲和我的高中学习经历塑造了我对大学的印象,对我大学生活的开始很有帮助。但是她去世了,对大学的憧憬不能交学费或者完成令人气馁的作业。我的大学生活围绕着“恐慌”这个词:尽力应付工作来挣取学费,害怕被开除,通常我处于自由下落的状态,因为我只有一个人面对一切。我的父亲对上大学所需要学费和大学生面临的学术挑战没有任何概念。

但是那时的情况有些不同。1976年我上大学的时候,周围的同学很多都是第一代大学生,鉴于高等教育学府扩大了招生范围,无论是从性别,种族还是阶级角度。我们都面临着经济上,学术上以及情感上的挑战。尽管我有很多焦虑,但是母亲给我的建议(每周去图书馆,参观历史景点,持续的鼓励)对我有诸多帮助。

毫无疑问,我的经历使我现在乐于与第一代大学生交流,也很享受这份与他们互动的工作。我对我的大学最深刻的回忆之一是,大二的寒假,一个灰暗的下雪天,我独自坐在地板上,所有的奖学金表格,学费账单,银行账单,以及支票存根围绕着我。无论我怎么计算,上面的数字都不足够支付学费。那是一个磨练意志的时刻,当一个人的人生观变得明确。那时我对自己说,如果我能够想到办法支付学费,那将是不容浪费和错过的机会,我一定会努力,然后我会找到工作,让一切都值得。

我非常幸运的得到了我室友父母对我经济上的帮助,是我的父亲不能给我的,他们给了我需要的资金(而且友善的称之为一笔贷款)。最终,我成功的从大学毕业了。在25年的高等教育的工作之后,我常常会忘记大学生活是多么折磨人。我的“也许我是,也许我不是”的状态使得我对第一代大学生感到深深的敬佩和赞赏,他们比我冒了更大的险,并且凭借相当的决心坚持到底。

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What positive change looks like.

中文 (简体)

By Laurel Kennedy, Vice President for Student Development

Alcohol abuse is a public health issue that impacts all communities. Denison has worked aggressively to address the problem on our campus, and much of what we are doing is succeeding and could provide a roadmap for other colleges, high schools, and communities.

Our work started from three assumptions. First, Denison has excellent students who can be engaged as problem solvers and community builders. Second, as a leading liberal arts college, we should be on the vanguard of addressing big issues. And third, there are good models that can be adapted to our context.

We adopted the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) “3-in-1” framework, which addresses prevention, education, and enforcement by implementing interventions that target three groups: individuals (including high-risk drinkers), the student population as a whole, and the surrounding community. And last fall, we formed a Task Force to look closely at our student body and campus culture.

Denison has become a very diverse place, especially in the last decade. Our students bring an array of interests, passions, values, beliefs, and life experiences to campus. A growing percentage of our students do not drink, and the vast majority who do are responsible drinkers. With active participation from students, the Task Force implemented an event registration policy. Students must undergo formal training to serve alcohol, provide snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, and manage access to the party. The policy improved relations with Security and empowered hosts to deny underage students access to alcohol.

We engaged the parents of incoming students in an alcohol education initiative, and a survey indicates their broad appreciation for our candor and for providing effective resources.

We also re-examined a policy enacted in Spring 2010 that substituted educational requirements for disciplinary sanctions when students alerted campus authorities to an alcohol-related medical emergency. The policy had one goal: to increase the likelihood that students would seek help when needed. The vast majority of students were cared for at the campus health center. In the unusual circumstances when students’ medical needs exceeded our health center’s resources, they were taken to the hospital.

In the policy’s first year, calls for help more than doubled, but we also found other positive impacts. We learned that education changes behavior: All but a handful of students receiving emergency care learned a life lesson and did not reappear on our radar screen. This change in behavior increased the safety of the campus for all.

One negative outcome was that the increase in calls burdened public resources. This has now been relieved through an arrangement with a commercial EMS provider.

So far, our approach is working. While citations for minor violations remain steady, the number being treated for alcohol-related medical concerns has dropped 25 percent. And virtually all are once again being treated by campus medical staff rather than transported to the hospital.

Following the NIAAA model, our prevention efforts also require us to look beyond campus, Just as we examined how a 2010 campus policy had impacted the local community, we also took stock of how recent changes in the community had impacted the alcohol environment on campus. We were surprised to realize how much the availability of alcohol in town has changed.. There are now fully 13 Granville establishments that sell or serve alcohol, and it is more prominently displayed than ever. In a single location, our students can select from no less than 114 different varieties of vodka.

In other words, student alcohol use has become a big part of our local economy. This means that the associated problems cannot be solved by the college alone. Denison is forming a campus-community alcohol coalition with Village officials, residents, merchants, bar and restaurant owners. We hope to find common ground on alcohol availability, high standards for safe serving, and alternate ways to engage students in the economy.

Denison prides itself on addressing vexing public issues while also preparing our students to be leaders. We are proud of the work done by Denisonians over the last year, and we hope to achieve a similar record of innovation and collaboration with community partners. If it is true that “it takes a village,” we feel fortunate to live in this one, where we share commitments to individual health and community wellbeing.

积极改变应该是什么

萝瑞尔•肯尼迪,副校长

酗酒是影响着每个社区的公共卫生问题。丹尼森不断地在努力解决这一问题。现在得到的结果表明我们的措施是成功的并且能够成为其他大学,高中和社区的蓝本。

我们的工作起始于三个假设条件。第一, 丹尼森的学生都能成为很好的问题解决者和社区建设者。第二,作为一所文理学院,我们应该是解决重大问题的先锋。而第三点,有适应我们环境的良好案例我们可以学习和采用。

我们采用了国家酗酒和酒精中毒研究所(NIAAA)的“三合一”结构——强调预防,教育和对三种群体的强制干扰措施。个体(包括高危酒徒),学生团体和周围的社区。去年秋天,我们成立了特别小组对学校的学生社团和校园文化进行了深入调查。

丹尼森一直就是一个非常多元化的学校,特别是在过去的这10年里。我们的学生为学校社区带来了丰富多样的兴趣爱好,热情与追求,价值观,信仰,以及生活经验。越来越多的学生不再喝酒,并且绝大多数学生都是酒品很好的学生。在学生的积极参与下,学校的特别小组制定了一个活动注册政策。学生必须要通过正式的培训才能够在派对上提供酒,零食和软饮料并且管理参加派对的人和人数。这项政策加强了学生和安全部门的联系,并且让主办人有权利制止没到法定年龄的学生的饮酒行为。

同时,我们也让学生的家长们帮助我们加强学生们对酒精教育的主动性,并且一项调查表明家长们普遍都很欣赏并且感谢我们的坦诚和我们所提供的有效措施和方案。

我们还再次审查了一项2010年春季出台的关于当学生陷入因酒精引起的紧急医疗事故而告知学校有关部门时以相关教育项目代替相应处罚的政策。这项政策的目标在于:增强学生寻求帮助的意愿。绝大多数学生都在学校医护中心的照看下。当非常不寻常的情况发生时,当学校医护中心无法提供相应的救护设备和资源时,学生将直接被送至医院接受治疗。

在这项政策实施的第一年里,我们所接受的寻求帮助的电话翻了两倍多。与此同时,我们还发现了其他良好的影响。我们意识到教育可以改变行为:接受过紧急医疗救护的学生都有所成长,并且仅有极少数的学生仍然出现在我们的“雷达监控”中。这种行为上的改变让整个学校社区的安全程度有很大的提高。

而不好的影响在与更多的求助电话加大了公共资源的负担。不过这一问题在我们雇佣了一个EMS的相关服务公司后完全得到了解决。

到目前为止,我们的途径就是继续努力工作。虽然较小的违规行为的例证并没有减少,但和酒精相关的案例却减少了百分之二十五。并且所有的相关案件都在学校安全部门和医疗部门的掌控下,并没有任何一起严重至需要送达医院接受治疗。

跟随着国家酗酒和酒精中毒研究所(NIAAA)的模型,我们的预防措施还要求我们关心周边社区。当我们在审核2010年学校出台的政策对学校周边社区的影响时,我们也关注着周边社区近期的相关改变对学校社区的影响。我们非常惊奇地发现酒精饮料在格兰维尔镇的供应有很大的改变。现在格兰威尔有13所可以出售酒精饮料的场所并且种类越来越多。光是伏特加,在仅仅一个地方,学生就能买到超过114种。

从另一方面来说,学生对酒类的购买成了本地地区经济的重要部分。这也说明了相关的问题是无法在学校的单独努力下完全解决的。丹尼森正在努力和相关政府人员,居民,经销商,酒吧老板和餐厅业主一起建立一个学校以及社区酒精联合会。我们希望能找到对与酒精供应量上的共同出发点,高品质的安全供应和其他将学生带入本地经济的方案。

丹尼森很自豪于让学生成为解决一些繁杂公共问题的领导者。我们对我们丹尼森人在去年一年内的收获和成就感到自豪,并且我们希望能够在和相关社区合人士的合作中能够取得相同程度的革新和成果。如果“它需要当地所有人的努力”是真的,我们很庆幸我们能在这个社区里,因为我们每个人都分担着个人和社区幸福安乐的责任。

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“Too Much, Too Fast:” Lessons from MA and Students Who’ve Been Through It

Julie Tucker, Coordinator of Assessment & Research

Denison established a Medical Assistance (MA) Policy in Spring 2010.  This policy encourages students to seek help for themselves or others when the consumption of alcohol or other drugs rises to extreme intoxication or other medical emergency.  While anecdotally, we thought that the policy made our campus safer by encouraging students to seek help for self and others, we learned from the data that the policy also has long-term educational benefits to those who use it.

Last Spring, the Office of Student Development launched an assessment project to examine what students who had been referred through our Medical Assistance Policy learned from their experience, if in fact they had learned anything.  Here are some of our findings:

  • Students who are educated through the Medical Assistance Policy are less likely to be involved with another alcohol incident (either through our conduct system or another MA) than students who come through the conduct system.
  • Students educated under the Medical Assistance Policy believe that it has prompted them to consume alcohol more safely (82.1%), increased their knowledge about alcohol and its impacts on self, others, and community (79.3%), and allowed them to be more receptive to alcohol education (69.0%).
  • In their responses, the alcohol incident/emergency most strongly contributed to helping students think about alcohol and their alcohol use and to positive changes in their behavior, while their meeting with the Alcohol, Drug & Health Educator and the assigned education increased their knowledge about alcohol in terms of its effects on the body, utilization of risk-reducing strategies, and BAC.

Students also reported that their experience with the Medical Assistance process helped them understand a variety of other things, illustrated in the figure below.

In their responses, students cited “drinking too much too fast” as the primary factor that contributed to their alcohol-related emergency.  Students who had their medical emergency resolved through the Medical Assistance Policy also shared the most significant takeaway as a result of their experience.  Here are just a few:

 “Eat before you drink, and more regularly.”

 “My experience with medical [assistance] made me understand and realize that my behavior was not appropriate and that it was not physically or mentally healthy for me. My experience has made me more aware of what I am drinking and how much I have had to drink. Ever since my experience, nothing similar has happened.”

 “Denison’s policies are in place to help students, and to a large degree, they do that job extremely well.”

 “I learned how quickly things can get out of hand because of alcohol and the results of binge drinking.”

 “I understood more deeply the need to be more responsible with myself and my actions because of the way that it affects a large number of people around me and the community.”

 “To watch the pace of my drinking, as well as the type of alcohol that I consume.”

Through this assessment project we found that students who go through our Medical Assistance educational program report learning quite a bit.  It gives them a moment to pause and reflect on their own behaviors as they relate to alcohol and also provides them with tools and strategies they can use to keep themselves and others safe in the future.