Tag: Commencement

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Shared Reflections With a Graduating Senior

What has kept me here almost forty years is not the buildings but the traditions, the faculty, staff, administrative, and trustee friendships–and the students. I asked one of my graduating senior research assistants to stop by and to spontaneously share some of her Carroll reflections. I promised to be well-behaved—i.e. no funny hats and unusually quiet:)

She laughed. She knows me well.

Arianna will be leaving me for graduate study at Marquette University in the Fall.

We recorded this from my MacBook Pro using the Capto screen casting software.

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Can my old brain be (re)trained?

There are buildings on campus whose cornerstone bears a date before my birth. My father-in-law walked in some of these very buildings in 1936. Voorhees Hall was a women’s dorm when Walt walked this campus.

So many memories. Some converge; some change. Some researchers argue that memories change every time that they are retrieved.

With age comes my increased interest in the inevitable aging process. At one time or another I have written over 80 blog pieces (or drafts) about relationships between aging and memory.

Here are a few: (Clicking on all the links in each and viewing their contents might be a valuable brain fitness exercise!):)

  1. Thanks for the memories!
  2. I’m not sure that you will remember me but…
  3. Brain fitness training (Part 1)
  4. Brain fitness training (Part 2)

After consulting with my four student research assistants, I’ve decided to focus my Fall semester research seminar on the topic of “brain fitness”—fact and fad.  I am particularly intrigued by the promises of the program “BrainHQ.” Time to don my skeptical thinking cap:

 

Carroll ReflectionsCommencement

In My Role as Professor I Wear Many Hats…

In my role as professor I wear many hats: teacher, researcher, mentor, coach. Sometimes, I confess, things can get kind of silly in Dr. David’s Neighborhood particularly around the Ides of March.

March Madness of campus life is in full bloom. Midterms; academic advising; students learning the outcomes of interviews. I asked two of my senior undergraduate research assistants to share their thoughts about interviews they recently had. Both of these talented students were accepted into graduate school for next year. I asked them to share with me how they had prepared for their interviews, what they experienced, and advice they would give to others. Here are their reflections on the interview process they experienced. Clearly I’ll need to change my ways before I job hunt–and perhaps don a different hat!

Alison: 

Preparing for an interview:

  • Dress to impress: It goes without saying that when you look your best, you feel your best. With that being said however, always wear something that you feel comfortable and confident in. If you are not comfortable with the clothing you are wearing, you will be constantly adjusting your clothing or distracted from the itchy sensation of your top. Always dress your best, but wear clothing that lets your personality shine and that does not distract you from your interview.
  • Keep going: As human beings we often make mistakes, it is part of our human nature. When interviewing, do not become distraught or overly concerned about stumbling over words, about saying the “right” word, or about forgetting to explain a detail about your qualifications. The beauty of life is that it keeps moving. Learn from your mistakes, but realize that graduate schools know that we are all human, and they watch how we pick ourselves up and continue on.
  • Prepare a question: To show engagement, graduate schools are looking for students who ask questions. Questions can be as simple as how many students are admitted into the program or as complex as asking about the curriculum of the school. In all situations, always have a question prepared to show interest and preparedness for the graduate program.
  • Engage students and faculty: Some graduate schools hold group interview days for all possible candidates to attend. While students want to make a good impression on the faculty, the graduate school is also looking at how well you interact and connect with other students. Because most graduate programs accept a small group of students, it is important that those students work well together and encourage one another during their studies. So, while it is important to engage faculty, make sure you are also interacting with other candidates.

Arianna:

As a senior in college planning to go on to graduate school, I have been preparing for interviews for many months now. Unfortunately, I have found that the best way to prepare for an interview is to experience an interview. Luckily, at Carroll University we have Career Services, so I was able to do a mock interview before my actual interview. Some students even do two or three mock interviews. This helped me more than words can express. The woman who worked with me made sure my responses sounded polished yet genuine, and she taught me interview techniques that I would not have known otherwise such as tying my answers back to the school. Despite having this practice, I was still nervous. But remember that nerves are good! They show you that you truly care, and they give you a little extra push to do better. Beyond this, I also made sure to do my research. Make sure you know the program and the school you are interviewing with. Lastly, have questions! I cannot stress that enough. I was told to make sure I had questions to ask, and I wrote all of my questions down beforehand and brought them with me in a pad folio. Interviewers notice this.

All of this preparation was beneficial to me, yes. Many of the basic questions “why this school?” “tell me about you” were asked. However, make sure to do more research on your program and common questions for your program. This is something I wish I had practiced more. Another thing I wish that I had remembered was that they brought me there for a reason.  Clearly they liked something about my application. So, when you are at an interview, remember to be yourself and prove to them you belong there. Throughout my group interview, I forgot to remind myself of this, and I started to compare myself to the other individuals interviewing with me. As hard as it is, DO NOT DO THAT. You will only psych yourself out and only hurt yourself. Also, dress well. If you do not own a suit and tie, buy one. If you do not own dress pants and a blazer, buy one. That is money well spent. Lastly, breathe. Again, they brought you there for a reason, so just breathe and do your best.

I am starting to hear bagpipes in my dreams. I shall miss these two students as they move on. Thank you A. and A. for putting up with my clowning around with you in Dr. David’s Neighborhood! You have taught me far more than you can imagine and I look forward to following your career trajectory.

 

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And So It Begins….

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I usually arrive on campus to an empty parking lot. Today was no exception despite the road construction, school buses, and famous Waukesha trains.

The construction workers are already hard at work completing the new science building. New students adorned in their new tee shirts are exploring the campus making sure that they can find their classrooms.

An early morning phone call to ITS is quite successful both in resolving some traditional first of semester computer issues and in renewing some friendships. Daniel will be starting his 20th year here. Chris is a Carroll graduate. Both exemplify the authenticity in my belief that Carroll Cares.

Much mundane to accomplish today before the Cubs game. I hope to get a lot of serious writing done this year, but that block of time will not be available today.

Several of my student assistants have threatened promised to stop by. As I’ve written many times I’ve been blessed across the years with over 50 superb student assistants. It is fun and rewarding learning together. They keep me young(er). Tomorrow, rain or shine, I’ll answer the call of the bagpiper as the new freshman class is introduced to the Carroll academic world.

Thanks to all you alumni for sharing via LinkedIn and Facebook your responses to my earlier blog posts of this year. It’s nice knowing that I have a reader or two:)

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15 Minutes in My Digital Life As a Professor

Cap and Gown

I’ve been so busy lately that yesterday I almost didn’t have time to change out of my academic regalia before beginning my PSY205 Statistics and Experimental Design course. Thanks to Jenny Percy for capturing this “precious moment”.

My social media day usually begins at 5:30 a.m. with a quick look at my Carroll email, my Twitter feed, my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. If I see an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Education worth sharing, I pass it on to  Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook followers. My restricted “Twitter feed” often appears on the left of the window of applications I am using like this WordPress software.

Here is what I mean (courtesy of my Snagit capturing software and Screencast.com).

Click me: 

Twitter primarily serves me as a personal professional development tool. Facebook is a rich source for my staying in touch with alumni (NO, Kim and Ryan, I DO NOT WANT a party in 2019). LinkedIn has proven to be a wonderful way to reconnect and stay connected to Alumni —So great reconnecting with you recently, Dave Verban!—, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Schneider Consulting Clients.

Time to meet with my colleague and FB “friend” Peggy Kasimatis.

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Curious David

Behind the Scenes: Vibrancy and Change on Campus

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The sound of the bagpiper at Opening Convocation has almost settled. I’m proctoring the 2nd of two two-hours exams I am giving today—and reflecting as I begin teaching year number 38 at Carroll.

I first got into the habit of awakening at 5:30 am. and being on campus by 7:00 a.m. when I was Faculty and Assembly President.  The sun-rise colored, dewy campus is beautiful in the early morning and bustling with activity. The football team is often practicing. The physical plant staff are inspecting their hard work before heading to the Campus Center for some much needed and deserved coffee and heading home after an eight hour shift. In those earlier days of my Carroll experiences, I got to know many of our physical plant staff personally and friendships developed that continue today (Thank you Dennis W. and your Dad, “Ott”). I had a number of their children as students (thanks for sending Heather my way—and yes, you have reason to be proud that she graduated summa cum laude).  I  learned much from them about the challenges they faced in making the campus a welcoming, safe, environment conducive to working and learning. They play an especially vital role right now polishing the campus in anticipation of our imminent Home Coming weekend.

Of course, there are others on campus already. If I so wanted I could text John G. or many other colleagues to join me for a quick coffee and conversation—either now or later in the day. Some of my staff friends are already working in their offices.  Some are no longer here, having retired after more than 25 years of service. I miss Jean Olsen’s red car parked by Voorhees.

A stream of student nurses (identifiable by their uniforms) passes me as I walk up the hill from the theater building where I must park my car because of the new science building construction. Construction cranes tower above Rankin Hall and where Maxon Hall used to be. Hours ago the construction workers restarted their work from the day before. A chorus of their hammering accompanies me as I climb up the stairs to my office.

I send an email invitation to the daughter of one of my former students suggesting that she stop by and say hello. I promised her Mom (Kit V.) at an Admissions’ Day event that I would be an unobtrusive guardian angel for her daughter if she was attended Carroll. I give my research assistants (I am again blessed with talented youth) some unsupervised tasks to do for me and head off to my morning classes.

So much positive activity goes on “behind the scenes” and keeps me here. I have been afforded numerous on and off-campus and virtual interactions with Board of Trustee Members. Thank you trustees and former trustees Charmaine P., Cathy D., John R. and Jim S. for enlarging my perspectives about this institution which you love. I appreciate your support across the years that we have worked together. Thank you, PE MacAllister for your recent guidance about when I should retire.

Regular interactions with former and present students continue to enrich and inspire me. Michelle B. informs me that she just started a five-year position as an oral examiner for the ABPP neuropsychology boards and that she will soon start a position as a national advocacy liaison on behalf of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. She will be starting the APA Women in psychology leadership training program in DC next month.

Current student Davis E. stops by to share an idea for an honor’s thesis for his English Communication major He modestly shares that he had recently published a Milwaukee Journal “article“. We make an appointment for him to teach me what he knows about EverNote. Once he has taught this Old Dog, I’ll probably add it to my list of learning technology tools I use.

Current student Kevin S. stops by to drop off a thank you letter for my Uncle James Stover for funding his summer research (which was recently recognized as best in its class). These two world-wise military veteran students enrich the campus and my life through their unique perspectives. Uncle Jim is so pleased by the return on his investment in Kevin that he decides to invest again, this time targeting deserving freshmen and sophomores. Fortunately we have many needy and deserving students who meet our criteria.

Thanks to all members of my extended Carroll Community for sharing, caring and daring to preserve the integrity of the institution while being aware of where there might be a need to change.


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Looking Backwards, Looking Forward

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DO I HAVE A DEAL  DECAL FOR YOU! I just discovered several hundred decals that I must have obtained from our Alumni Office (when it was called that) when my students and I used to do surveys of Carroll COLLEGE alumni.  I consider these priceless memorabilia but I am willing to give them to any former Carroll student who wants one and is willing to share with me one “Carroll Moment”—a brief reflection (positive or negative) on this blog and who also will send to me a snail mail address (send it to my Carroll email address) so that I can in turn send you a decal! I’d love hearing from you. Send me a photo from your Carroll days, and I’ll send you two decals. Offer good until I run out.

Here are some “facts” about Carroll today.

Hope that you can share with me a Carroll Moment. Keep those Facebook, Twitter, and Linkin messages coming. It is fun to stay in touch!

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David, Ralph, and Virginia

David, Ralph, and Virginia

 

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Musings about Carroll College

 

 

 

 

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Carroll Moments…

Tonight I’ll finish reading Meg Wolitzer’s novel The Interestings. I teased my student assistants recently that I’d love to follow the trajectory of their lives over the next thirty years as Meg Wolitzer does her characters.In some ways I have been able to do that for past students, by comparing where they are now (as conveyed to me by Facebook, Linkedin, and campus visits) with the information I have kept in their advising folders—photos, letters, occasionally even a paper they wrote. Recently I was reunited with a former student (selfie available upon request) whose daughter might well be enrolling this year and might even be assigned to work with me. So many memories triggered by the Carroll chimes, familiar places, and familiar faces. Do feel free to share your Carroll Moments with me…

Below are some photos from a number of years ago. Precious Carroll moments which evoke a number of stories about you!

 

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Reminiscing (Part 2) While Proctoring The Muse’s First Exam for PSY205

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Amy and David---Photo stored on Google Drive

Amy and David

 

 

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Musings While Giving an 8:00 a.m. Saturday Morning Final Exam on the 37th Anniversary of My Carroll Job Interview…

The Newf

It was a foggy 5:30 a.m. morning when I let the Newf out for her morning “duties.” One of many good reasons for driving carefully to Carroll this Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. I surely would NOT like to hit another deer—nor would Santa or my car.

Deer Me

I can still see fog outside my Rankin classroom. Thirty-seven years ago I was in this very building giving a sample lecture illustrating how I teach as part of my two-day job interview to become a faculty member at then-called Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I still have a copy of that presentation—and I remain at my first and only job for better or for worse. So much has changed—buildings, enrollment, technology, the institution’s name, the organizational structure.  I feel obligated to protect traditions and overriding institutional historical values, but there are fewer and fewer here that remember them. So many of my former mentoring faculty and staff friends have moved on through retirement or from life. I miss their wisdom but try to preserve their gifts to Carroll.

Ghosts of Christmas's Past

And here I sit proctoring an 8:00 a.m.Saturday morning final exam covering “Statistics and Experimental Design” taken by students several of whose relatives (aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters) were former students or advisees of mine. An_Outline_of_Basic__Cover_for_Kindle

There are times when they look and behave very young and I recognize that I am 65-years old. Many other times Assistantsthey keep me young with their energy, willingness to learn, and playfulness. I feel that way especially in the present of my student research assistants—four of whom are graduating this year.

It has been a rough semester. I continue to find challenging teaching three consecutive seventy-minute courses in a row with 10 minute breaks even when two of the courses are the same. And this year I am co-chairing the Planning and Budget Committee (with a delightful colleague and poet BJ Best).

It has been the Dickens of a task: The Wurst of Times and the Best of Times. Younger colleagues like BJ, though, and the fewer and fewer remaining colleagues from my past reinforce my willingness to remain here and make a difference before departing.

Best of Times, the Wurst of Times

The chimes just sounded. 10:00 a.m. Eight students remaining. Very good students among which several, should they wish, might join Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood as student research assistants.

Carroll’s 2014-2015 theme is “Time.” I just finished reading David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks. Time to start grading so that I can finishing reading The Book of Strange New Things.