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Lounging with the CEO’s Career Mentors While Writing Resumes and Cover Letters

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Every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m., the Career Education Office’s two Career Mentors transform the couches by the laptop kiosk on the third floor of the Athenaeum into a dedicated work space for students to come work on specific career-minded tasks. Called the Resume and Cover Letter Lounge, it is run almost exclusively by the CEO’s own Career Mentors: Elizabeth Tran, ‘19 and Alex Steitz, ‘21.

Tran explained to me that this Lounge space has been in the works since last fall, when the CEO (formerly the Career Development Office) organized student focus groups asking questions such as “What are you coming to the office looking for, and what suggestions do you have for improving the office?” Tran continued by mentioning that lots of students requested an “approachable” space outside the standard 9-5 work day where they could workshop their resumes and cover letters. This formed the basis of the Lounge as a weekly space.

By starting the Lounge at 6 p.m., Tran hopes that students who have classes all day and have limited time to designate for career searching can come get suggestions on their resumes and cover letters at a time that works for them.

Steitz echoed this idea, emphasizing that “[s]tudents can bring drafts of their resumes and cover letters. If they don’t have a draft and want to start from scratch, that’s okay! It’s helpful if they can bring a laptop.”

Jenn Leard, the Associate Director of Career Advising & Student Engagement in the CEO, also added that “the Lounge provides a low-key space for students to create, workshop, and get real-time feedback on their resume and cover letter materials. The Lounge also, as we have heard from multiple students who have already attended, provides accountability and support.”

When asked about his goal for the Lounge, Steitz replied, “My goal is for students to have stronger resumes and cover letters after coming to the Lounge. More importantly, we’re working to teach students skills, build their confidence, and give them a greater understanding of what makes an effective resume/cover letter. I want to prepare students to continue to strengthen their applications in the future when we aren’t there.”

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Photo credit: goucher.edu

Part of this, Tran suggested, could involve expanding the types of writing that the Lounge will focus on in the future. This gets a little bit tricky, Tran points out, because they don’t want to create overlap between what what the Career Mentors do and what Career Counselors at the CEO do. Steitz enforced this idea by emphasizing that “[w]e can’t help with personal statements. Students who need help with that can make appointments in Goucher Recruit to meet with a Career Counselor.” Tran also mentioned that if a student comes to the Lounge looking for help with finding an internship or any other CEO-related question, the Career Mentors are more than happy to give them resources or point them towards a specific Career Counselor.

Steitz ended by saying, “So many students express being terrified of applying for jobs, internships, and graduate school. If that’s you, it’s okay! It can be scary! But hopefully we can make it less scary by showing you that you’re not alone in those feelings and we can give you tools to overcome that. No one is born knowing this stuff; it takes time, so don’t feel bad if the process seems daunting and unfamiliar. We’re excited to help you learn!”

Want to stay involved with the CEO or the HUB (which includes the Offices of International Studies and Community-Based Learning)? Tran suggested checking out any of the following events:

  • Tuesday: Tea Time from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday: Coffee Chats from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Open Studios from 2-4 p.m.

 

See you there!

Hidden Places on Campus

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We all have places around campus that we enjoy to hide out in and be by ourselves. Many times, I don’t like to share where I am with friends when I’m in one of my hidden places, usually because I worry that they will take the spot from me. However, I want to share some of these spaces with you so you can experience the same joy that they have provided for me.

Go to the bottom floor of the library and sit at one of the desks by the windows. Now, be sure to use one of the big blue comfy chairs because who wants to sit in an uncomfortable chair? The bottom floor always seems to be one of the more quiet, non-quiet floor, floors. Easy to get work done, not many people can find you, and it’s fun to watch the rain/snow fall when it comes to that time of the year.

As mentioned in a previous article, there is a labyrinth between Bacon and the Chapel, right off of Van Meter. It’s secluded enough where, when you sit there, no one can find you. It’s a nice place to go to if you’re having a stressful day and just want to be surrounded by flowers and bushes.

My next favorite place is the swing down past Stimson and the South Lot. Keep going down the path, and you will be greeted by a swing in an open space. I swung on it during the first snowfall of the season and can honestly say that that may have been one of my happiest moments there. If you keep going down the path, there will be a path to your left and if you go through it, you will end up in the old equestrian field! Then, from there, you can relax in another favorite spot of mine.

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Goucher College Library. Photo Credit: The Chronicle of Higher Education VIA Google Images

My last favorite place is the old equestrian field. On any nice, or at least decently warm day, it’s a great place to lay out on a blanket and either do some art or bring homework that does not require the use of WiFi and be somewhat productive. Yes, many people may think “well, everyone knows about the old equestrian field.” However, there are certain parts that are hidden from people just walking around — you will have to find those on your own! One of these is further back, closer to the track field because there is less through traffic. You can even walk along a path that goes deeper into the woods and will lead you to a creek. Be sure to bring your hammock with you as well because it’s a great place to hammock.

So, here you have it, some of the spots on campus to hide away and be alone for a little bit. Yes, it is always good to go out and socialize, but it’s also a good idea to take some time for yourself. Why not spend this time out in nature in the old equestrian field? I did not share all of my favorite places; those will have to wait for another time.

The Mary Gaitskill Reading: Navigating the Twisted

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On Tuesday, October 16 at 8 p.m., renowned writer Mary Gaitskill stood on the stage of the Hyman Forum behind a wooden podium and read aloud a portion of her short story, “The Acceptance Journey,” to a crowd of Goucher students and faculty. Taking off her glasses to read, she described the life of Carol, a woman who took a job at a small liberal arts college after separating from her husband.

“The Acceptance Journey,” while referencing some graphic material, was, at least for the portion she read, one of her less disquieting stories, referencing Carol’s interest in torture and violence on the news and crime shows. While Carol’s fascination with these heavily negative subject matters is certainly disturbing, this first section of “The Acceptance Journey” was less dark than many of her other stories. Her 1988 short story collection entitled Bad Behavior included raw descriptions of multiple forms of abuse. The collection is perhaps most well known for its infamous short story “Secretary” (the inspiration for the movie of the same title with Maggie Gyllenhaal). Gaitskill is also known as a National Book award finalist, earned for her novel Veronica in 2005, and received the O’Henry Award for her short story “The Little Boy” in 2008. Gaitskill’s most recent work, Somebody with a Little Hammer, is a collection of essays and reviews, the only book of non-fiction that Gaitskill that has published. She is known both for her command of craft and for her blunt, raw depictions of abuse, trauma, and, more generally, the actions of selfish people.

The reading, while potentially needing a disclaimer regarding sensitive material, effectively highlighted the blunt, direct, and decisive tones of Gaitskill’s prose. Gaitskill varied her voice and tone very little throughout the story, except for when Carol begins writing letters to a little girl who writes to “The Grinch” for Christmas presents. During this part, Gaitskill slightly shifted her tone for thoughts and put on a low-toned, crotchety voice for Carol’s writing as “the grinch” and a higher pitched, dignified voice for Carol’s writing as “the winged assistant,” shifting her posture and stance as she did so to adopt the mannerisms of these characters.

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Mary Gaitskill Photo Credit: goucher.edu

The following Q&A, facilitated by Professor Bill U’ren, covered a variety of topics from all around the crowd. Some questions lead to a deeper analysis of the night’s reading. When asked about how she starts to write a story for instance, she described the different things that influenced “The Acceptance Journey” in particular: her time as a visiting professor at a small college, driving past the billboard for “The Acceptance Journey” in Pittsburgh, and the constant terror and traumatic events that pepper the news and TV shows. Other questions focused on Gaitskill’s other writings and her influences as a writer. One question-asker in particular asked Gaitskill about her interest in the figure of Ayn Rand in her novel Two Girls, One Fat One Thin, which led to Gaitskill sharing her dislike for Ayn Rand’s ideology and how strange and varied she has found the writer’s following to be. Addressing her influences, she described her mother’s reading to her as an important part of her becoming a writer and named Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty, whose short stories share a raw dark humor that is found throughout Gaitskill’s, as main influences for her work.

The connection between the author and her work was incredibly visible during this reading, not from a content perspective so much as a voice perspective. Through this reading, one could really develop a sense of Mary Gaitskill’s voice and the ways in which it overlaps with her writing.

A Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Picture Source: CelebMix.com

At least one hundred students were sitting outside of Merrick Lecture Hall Friday night, October 26th. Anticipation went through everyone as they waited for the doors to open, where they would be led into the world of Rocky Horror. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a movie about Brad and Janet, who get stuck with a flat tire outside of transvestite scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion. They are taken for a wild ride in the mansion, where they meet an array of different characters including Rocky, a creation of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Goucher College’s rendition of the movie is done as a shadow cast, meaning cast members dress in lingerie and mouth out the words to the movie while the actual movie is projected onto a screen. Goucher has been doing this since the 1980’s, which explains why students get so excited when it gets close to Rocky weekend.

This year’s co-directors were seniors Chris Meyhew and Sophie Mezebish. Mezebish was a part of the cast her sophomore year, and then was assistant director her junior year. When asked why Rocky Horror is performed the way it is with a shadow cast, Mezebish said that because it’s such a cult classic, “people didn’t want to stray too far from the original movie,” hence why it is performed in front of it with actors mouthing words. Mezebish says that the reason why Goucher’s production is so unique is because it is so close to being a theatrical version but is still a shadow cast.

Zoe Gilmore and Jared Sumar played the loving couple Janet and Brad. Gilmore and Sumar are both sophomores, and it was both their first times being a part of the Rocky Horror cast. Gilmore decided to audition because she wanted to “step out of [her] comfort zone” as well as think about the different ways theater presents itself. She was in the theater department in high school but took freshman year of college off so she could scope out the theater scene here at Goucher. The rehearsals, meaning staying up past midnight to perfect scenes, was a great bonding experience for her as well as for the rest of the cast.

Jared Sumar, on the other hand, was not a total fan of the show at first. He decided to audition because his friend Chris said that he had to go because his name was on the audition list. Sumar enjoyed the fact that Meyhew and Mezebish made it a fun environment for the cast. Sumar wants to be involved again but most likely not until his senior year.

One of the most anticipated character reveals was Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Moe de la Viez, a senior here at Goucher. After a singing number, the spotlights moved to the top of Merrick, towards the entrance. Ensemble members held a white sheet, and with a sudden drop, De la Viez was revealed.

De la Viez has been a part of Rocky Horror for the past three years. She first watched the shadow cast before even knowing what she was getting herself into. She then portrayed Magenta her sophomore year, Eddie her junior year, and, of course, Frank her senior year. “Ok ya, everyone is going to be half naked” De la Viez said, describing it to be the culture of the show.

Having the show in Merrick lets there be much more audience participation throughout the show. As an audience member, you volunteer yourself to be crawled over, sat on, and even consensually made-out with by ensemble members. This kind of intimacy, however, is a one of a kind experience.

Too many details cannot be given, however, because then the surprise of the show will be ruined for all those who did not get the chance to see it this year. Thank you to this year’s cast for creating such a fun experience for all. If you did not get the chance to see it this year, get to Merrick even earlier next year.

The Labyrinth: A Place of Peace for Stressed Out Students

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Picture by: Aubrie DiBenedetto

When someone finds a spot that they consider a hidden gem, they might be compelled to tell everyone they know, but something usually holds them back and they may only share it with a few people. Most hidden gems are meant to stay hidden. They provide their finders with a private space that they can call theirs.

It’s no surprise that a lot of Goucher students don’t know about the hidden gems on our campus. My favorite, located between the Haebler Memorial Chapel and Mary Fisher Hall, is one that shouldn’t go unnoticed and be hidden anymore. From the outside, it looks like a small circular garden and seating area, but if you walk to its entrance, you will see a brick and gravel maze-like path. But it’s not a maze, it’s a mindfulness and meditation labyrinth.

Mazes are meant to trick and confuse you. They’re meant for you to find your way out of them on your own. A labyrinth has no tricks, isn’t meant to confuse you, or make you choose your own path. It’s meant to help you find your center and find clarity. It’s a tool that’s been used for centuries for mindfulness and meditation. The labyrinth is a representation of the journey inward to our own true selves and then back into the real world. On top of likely having an emotional and even spiritual response to walking a labyrinth, the body also has a physiological response.

The labyrinth, located between the Chapel and Mary Fisher, is one of two labyrinths on Goucher’s campus. The second one is a portable canvas one that when fully spread out barely fits in the Heubeck forum (it actually goes up the walls a bit). But the permanent one is more than just a calming place.

While all labyrinths are very similar, there are differences that come with each one. For Goucher, the outdoor labyrinth is also the site of two very special trees that are dedications to two students from the class of 2010 who tragically passed away in 2006. Goucher wanted to build the labyrinth before the students passed away, and thought that combining the labyrinth and the dedications would be the perfect way to not only provide a space for others to enjoy and memorialize two students but also might bring more meaning to the Goucher labyrinth. The trees and their significance set it aside from the other labyrinths located around the area.

I sat down with Goucher’s Chaplain, Cynthia Terry, to talk about the labyrinth and how it came to be. I asked her “Why put one on Goucher’s campus?” She told me that, “a college campus is a perfect place for one.” They are used as a calming space and a place for mindfulness and meditation; and I have to agree with her because I think a college, full of very stressed out students, is the right place to have a labyrinth. The Goucher websites labyrinth page says that the labyrinth can be used as an “opportunity to reflect on the transitions and decisions of your life”. A place that can be calming and possibly bring clarity to students? Everyone needs that peace and space in their life.

If you want more information on labyrinths, there is a wonderful documentary called “Labyrinth Journeys” by Cintia Cabib that Cynthia Terry recommended.

2018 Baltimore NEDA Walk: Hope, Strength, Recovery

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Photo Credit: NEDA Walk shirt obtained by Anonymous

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.” NEDA’s vision is a world without eating disorders, and their mission is to support and serve as a “catalyst for prevention, cures, and access to quality care.”

Every year, all throughout the country, NEDA hosts walks to raise money and awareness about eating disorders. NEDA walks are a great way for people with connections to eating disorders to seek support from a community of people who understand what it’s like, support those who need it, hear empowering messages from speakers, and be a part of something bigger.  

On Sunday, September 30th, Goucher hosted the NEDA walk at the Dorsey Center. After getting a chance to check in, participants had time to meet other people at the event and talk to representatives of NEDA programs before a voice came through the speakers and announced Kara Richardson Whitely as the first speaker of the morning.

Kara is a motivational public speaker, an author, a mother, and she is in recovery from an eating disorder. In her speech, she shared how, as a part of her recovery, she’s climbed to extraordinary heights, both figuratively and literally, by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro three times.

The second speaker of the day was Andrew Walen. Andrew is an author, speaker, advocate, and certified eating disorder specialist with expertise in males with eating disorders. He joked about how he didn’t know what to say until five minutes before getting in front of everyone, but in his speech, he talked about his battle with an eating disorder, how he overcame it with the help of his wife and son, and he talked about all the amazing things he’s seen people do in recovery, which I saw as very impactful for men with eating disorders because, while eating disorders aren’t as common in men, around one-third of those with eating disorders are male.

After the speeches, the walk began. We gathered behind the NEDA banner and started to walk from the Dorsey Center, around the Loop Road, between Stimson and Heubeck, down Van Meter, and back to Dorsey. In the concluding announcements, three individuals and one team were identified and recognized for their fundraising contributions. After that, people started to dwindle away, and the walk ended.

One year ago, I sat in my P. Selz dorm on Goucher’s campus struggling with my own mental health. But this wasn’t something new to me. I have struggled with mental illness for my entire life. I won’t get into numbers, but I have been in a multi-year long battle with an eating disorder. A year ago, I wasn’t a person; I was the embodiment of my eating disorder pretending to be me.

Before I came to Goucher, I had an entire team of medical professionals telling me to not go to school and to go back into treatment instead, but I refused. I knew what I was getting myself into, but that’s the thing about being sick with an eating disorder: it can make you feel in control and like nothing can hurt you – until something does and you have to leave everything you love behind.

My eating disorder caused an avalanche of events that ruined my life, sending me to the ground in shambles. I didn’t know where to start picking up the pieces to attempt to tape them back into place, so I eventually got up and I went to treatment. And I pretended to be okay until I made it back to school. Then I crashed again, this time harder and faster and in a more devastating way than before. Only this time I didn’t get up. I didn’t even pretend. I was done fighting.

I was done until I, the real non-eating disorder me, asked myself to try one more time. I got myself into to treatment and instantly regretted it. I hated every minute of being there at first, but slowly my mind started to shift. Was this recovery? I wasn’t going to question it because it was forward momentum, real progress! I am standing here proud to say that while yes, my recovery is very little after time and time again of trying and failing, it’s enormous to me and my supporters.

The 2018 Baltimore NEDA Walk was my first walk where I was fully in recovery. It was both inspiring and empowering for me and my recovery. And I hope it is the same for others who are recovered, in recovery, finding recovery, and those who are supporters.

I know it’s hard to find hope and healing, but it is possible. If you’re struggling, reach out for support. Recovery IS possible. You are worth it and you are enough.

BY ANONYMOUS

First-Year Village: Too Much of a Bubble?

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Three years ago, the First Year Village was just an idea in the minds of students, faculty, staff, and administration. The first building of the Village, Pagliaro Selz Hall (commonly known as P-Selz), was up and running in fall of 2016. Only about a third of the first-years of 2016, the class of 2020, got to live in the fancy, new, hotel-like building. Pagliaro Selz is set up in a way where one must walk through all common rooms in order to get to their dorm room. The two buildings that followed, Trustees Hall and Fireside Hall, have been built in similar ways, although each have their own unique features. Some of these features include a dance studio and game room in Trustees Hall, and a demo kitchen (where students can film themselves cooking) in Fireside Hall. Now that the first-year village is complete, it is interesting to discover what the new first-years and their Residential Assistants (RAs) think about their new homes.

Many first-years have been asked about community in the First-Year Village, given that it is exclusive to one class of students. “It’s good because everyone knows each other, but at the same time, it feels a little bit isolating,” says resident Sal Suarez. When asked to explain how it felt isolating, he said that he believed the First-Year Village is a very big bubble and that the only upperclassmen he knows are those he has classes with. “I have absolutely no upperclassmen friends,” he says. He admits that it may be mostly due to it only being his first month of college, but he also feels that he could have already become friends with some of those upperclassmen were he not living in Fireside Hall.

For first-year Julia Gazzola, living in the First-Year Village has been a great experience so far. “I think living in the First-Year Village brings all [of us] together and gives us a sense of community,” which is what the the First-Year Village strives to do. Julia is a member of the Women’s Lacrosse team, so when asked if she felt isolated from upperclassmen, she said that for her, it did not feel very isolating because she gets to be on a team with women in all different class years. She understands, however, that if someone is not very involved, the First-Year Village could be isolating for them.

Interviewing RA Antonia Pettit (’20), provided an upperclassman perspective. Antonia was part of the first cohort to live in Pagliaro Selz back in the fall of 2016. She then became an RA in P-Selz last year, fall 2017, and is now an RA in Trustees Hall. “I loved it! It felt like a great community, although it seemed harder to get to know people my freshman year when first-years lived in [other dorms],” she says about her first year at Goucher. Since being an RA, she has observed many friendships developing in the First-Year Village halls and connections between first-years there developing sooner, even more so than through clubs and out-of-class activities.

The one flipside that Antonia touched on was that she felt that some first-years had not thought about the privilege that they have being able to live in such housing. As a result, their expectations after entering college and living in such beautiful dorms were skewed. Some anger towards Goucher has come from students who have had a chance to live in the First-Year Village and then have had to move into dorms such as Stimson Hall or Mary Fisher Hall, where the living situation is not nearly as high-end as in P-Selz.

Caption: The First Year Village.
Picture taken by Sarah Meehan for the Baltimore Sun

Evan Vann, a current first-year who lives in Fireside Hall, has enjoyed calling the First-Year Village his home. Like Julia, he believes it is a home with a good community and positive vibe. “It took a bit of time to get everyone comfortable with each other, but it’s starting to come together really well,” Evan said about his building and floor. He has not felt very isolated from upperclassmen because he knows that there are on-campus opportunities, such as clubs, to get out of the first-year bubble. Evan was one of the first freshmen interviewed to say that they have gotten to know a good number of upperclassmen without the help of being on an athletic team.

Overall, according to the freshmen interviewed, the First-Year Village has many great qualities and only a few negative ones. Most of them have enjoyed living there so far and believe that its proximity to the dining hall, Sports Recreation Center, and Academic Quad is well thought out. While they may not be able to live in the more historic dorms at Goucher and mix with upperclassmen that way, they do get to be a part of an important community environment in the newer buildings. While evaluating the First-Year Village now, after the opening of Fireside and Trustees Hall, was a must, The Quindecim will be checking back up on first-year impressions at the end of the year.

 

 

New Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Daniela Beall

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How do I exist within the systems around me? How is my environment influenced by economic factors, weather patterns, systems for managing waste, and the moods of the people around me? How can I work with others to make our shared environments more equitable? How do I even engage with these questions on a philosophical level, much less in a way that creates a tangible impact on Goucher’s campus and the world beyond?

Daniela Beall, Goucher’s sustainability coordinator, is an invaluable resource for students grappling with some of these huge questions. After working on sustainability initiatives as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Towson University, she brings an incredible level of energy to her new position on campus. When I asked about what she views as her role on campus, she responded in part that, “there are a few ways of looking at it. One is providing leadership for sustainability initiatives, being an advisor to student groups and helping support student initiatives… and then a large part [of my role] is to be a connector”. By serving as a person who knows about all the types of sustainability initiatives happening in all niches of campus, she can put different individuals or groups in touch with one another so that they can, as she put it, “build power together and build on each other’s work instead of recreating the wheel”. Beyond just connecting people who come to her directly, she also plans on communicating with the campus population as a whole regarding larger-scale initiatives.

When asked about ideas or projects that she would not consider in her purview, Beall told me that she “[sees] sustainability as really broad. I consider myself a generalist, I know a little bit about a lot of things, and trying to see the systems and ways they are interconnected. I am a big fan of collaboration and partnership”. If a student comes to her wanting to talk about equity through a sustainability lens, for instance, she wants to “talk to folks in CREI and to faculty members and bring their specialties and their resources to the table as well,” and if she isn’t the best resource for the situation, she can still connect students to other people on campus who might be more able to help them out.

What is a project that you want to bring to Goucher that will allow us to build more sustainable systems on campus? This can relate to waste management or energy conservation, as is traditionally considered when thinking about sustainability, or it can relate to any other idea that is able to last a long time and improve our ecosystem. One long-standing sustainability initiative that Daniela highlighted that allows students to enact projects like this is the Goucher Environmental Sustainability Advisory Council (GESAC). GESAC is the governing body that awards financing for sustainability projects from the Green Fund. Daniela is “more than happy to be a resource” in this process, and encourages any student who wants to work through this process to come talk to her. There are also a number of student groups dedicated to sustainability, such as the Food Recovery Network, Goucher Green Coalition, Eco Team, Trail Maintenance Club, Plant-based Nutrition, Bee Club, the CBL Environmental Justice Partnership, and many others.

Photo Credit: LinkedIn (via a quick Google search)

Want to learn more about sustainability? Beall recommends reading the United Nations’ “Sustainable Development Goals,” posted on the door of her office, which is located in Hoffberger 116. You can contact Beall through the Gopher app, via email (daniela.beall@goucher.edu), or by phone (410-337-3035).

“How U Been?”The Exploration HUB is Open and Ready to Connect with You!

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Want to know what all the HUBbub is about on campus? Let’s start with a small slice of it. On the first floor of Van Meter (up the stairs to the left of the former Van) is the new Exploration HUB. It’s got new fancy couches, a positive atmosphere, and (coming soon) a 70-inch TV.

What is the HUB?

The HUB is a central location for all three offices on campus that deal directly with experiential learning:

  • The Office of Community Based Learning (CBL) works to connect students with organizations within the greater Baltimore area with the intention of working with communities (instead of for them) in order to achieve the group’s stated goals. There are also CBL courses offered in the academic catalogue that formally teach CBL pedagogy. Student Leaders for Civic Action (SLCAs) serve as student stewards for specific programs, and are supported by staff that work for the CBL Office itself. As Zanabou Njie, an SLCA from the class of 2020 told me, she expects the HUB to serve as a central area for people to get experiential learning on campus. She also hopes that it will bring more attention to CBL, a theme I heard from each person I talked to at the HUB’s recent open house.
  • The Career Education Center (CEO, formerly the CDO). Alex Steitz, class of 2021, told me, “[c]areer Mentors [Elizabeth Tran and I] primarily help students with résumés and cover letters in order to support them on their path to career and internship success. I assist students in navigating and utilizing the many fantastic resources the CEO has to offer regarding careers, networking, personal branding, major/curriculum advisement, events, professional experience, and more. I also help with the CEO’s social media. Follow @TheGoucherHub on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!”
  • The Office of International Studies (OIS) has all the information you need about studying abroad. As listed on their website, they offer required Study Abroad 101 sessions for semester long study abroad programs at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays. Interested in an Intensive Course Abroad? These programs, open to anyone currently enrolled in classes (hey there, first years!), have a required 101 session at 1:30 p.m. on Mondays and 4 p.m. on Thursdays. The application deadline for Summer 2019 ICAs is November 5th.

Why does the HUB make sense from an educational perspective?

Traci Martin, the Director of the CEO, described the HUB as a “student-friendly space” that brings together these three offices in such a way as to allow students to make connections between various experiential learning opportunities. It’s a space where “ideas come together,” according to Martin.

Lindsay Johnson, the Associate Director of Community-Based Learning and Community Service Programs, told me that her goal is to allow the HUB to “deepen some connections for student engagement in experiential learning.” The HUB came directly out a combination of student complaints regarding the isolation of the three offices and a collective desire to follow best practices both for CBL and career exploration. Instead of looking at students through a reduced lens of how they engage with one particular office on campus, the HUB allows its 16 full-time staff members and 25+ student workers to recognize individuals as the complete people they are, while also tracking their experiences throughout their time at Goucher. As Johnson describes it, the first two years for a student are all about asking questions: what programs are good fits for you? What would you like to get out of a CBL or internship or study abroad experience? What would you like to study, and where can those studies take you in the world? By the third and fourth year, the goal is for the HUB to interact with students as they collectively work to connect all the pieces of their collegiate experience into one cohesive whole. This includes spaces to reflect both before and after studying abroad.

Credit: Flyer created by the HUB

Jenn Leard, the Associate Director of Career Advising & Student Engagement at the CEO, suggested that the HUB can be a place for storytelling, where students can share both the positive and challenging aspects of each of their experiences through each of the three offices. She described the HUB as a place for students to process their experiences and figure out how to move forward, while still “pausing to think.”

What to go to at the HUB:

Every Monday through Thursday, between 2-4 p.m., the HUB will be hosting drop-in advising hours. Walk in, talk to someone at the particular office you need advice on, and take off when you’re ready.

Every Friday, between 2-4 p.m., the HUB will be hosting Open Studios, a series of what Lindsay Johnson named “self-exploratory” activities (see photo).

Starting at the end of September, the CEO will reboot its legendary Friday Coffee Chats. These are casual conversations with alumnae where students can ask about where their life has taken them post-Goucher. Stay tuned for updates on when this series will start.

In Short

For those of you who skip to the end of articles, the HUB is an awesome space that just opened on the first floor of Van Meter. Bringing together the CEO, OIS, and Office of CBL, the HUB serves as a means of removing barriers that prevent students from getting off campus and experiencing the world beyond. Built directly out of student feedback and best practices, the HUB is an open space fostered with the intention of learning from one another outside of the classroom as a means of creating a better world together.

NOTE: The headline of this article was suggested by Zanabou Njie of The Office of Community Based Learning.

Dr. La Jerne Cornish Leaves Behind a Legacy

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This year, the Goucher community must sadly say farewell to our Associate Provost of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. La Jerne Cornish, as she moves onward to her new position as Provost and Senior Vice President of Educational Affairs at Ithaca College. Dr. Cornish first came to Goucher as an undergraduate in 1979, and will leave behind a legacy of strength, integrity, and quality education.
The Quindecim spoke with Dr. La Jerne Cornish about her time here at Goucher College, what she will miss most about the community, and how she has seen the institution change and grow. The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Q: What was the most rewarding aspect of working in the Goucher community?

Dr. Cornish: I adore the students. I love my colleagues. I have wonderful relationships with faculty and staff, but the highlight of my day, every day, is my relationships with the students.

Q: Do you have a favorite student story that’s particularly meaningful to you?

Dr. Cornish: Early on, there was a student who was a history major with a concentration in secondary education, and he was constantly getting in trouble for making poor decisions. I pulled him into my office one day, and he was about six feet tall, much taller than I. I looked at him and I said to him, “You are so much better than this, and it is time for you to start making informed decisions, and it’s time for you to start handling your business. Because if you don’t, things are not going to turn out the way you’d like them to turn out.” Fast forward 20 years and this young man is a history teacher par excellence. In a few years, he reached out and got in touch with me as he was coming through Baltimore. We went out and got lunch together, and I know that I made a difference in his life.  Things like that matter to me.
A few years ago, I took another student to South Africa on my ICA, and he was really struggling here and did not feel worthy. He did not feel like school was for him, or that he could make it. We went to South Africa and had this amazing experience. He taught math and English to students in middle grades (5,6,7) and found himself. He recognized the agency that he has. He too is a teacher today and is doing just great work.
Last story–a [Communications] major was graduating and did not know where to go to graduate school, and received an offer from Northwestern, which is a top com school. I was going to a conference in Chicago to present a paper, and I said, “you know what? Come with me. I’ll take you to Northwestern, and we’ll go look at it.” She flew out with me, I did my conference, and then we toured the school. Today this student is a well-regarded reporter for the New York Times. I’ve had a chance to really make a difference in the lives of our students.

Q: What about your South Africa ICA will you miss the most?
Dr. Cornish: Well, truth be told, I am going to talk with the folks in the Ed department at Ithaca to see if they can partner with Goucher, and if we can have an Ithaca/Goucher partnership, so that my ICA can continue with students from both schools.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your background after graduating from your undergrad at Goucher, and how you’ve seen Baltimore change as your home city over the past few decades?
Dr. Cornish: I started teaching in the Baltimore City public school system, so that was my first career. I was a teacher and an administrator in the school system that educated me. I received a quality education there, and the people with whom I worked were stellar teachers in the classroom. Over the years, I’ve seen our school system decline, because we had this period where people were going into teaching who weren’t certified to teach. They were taking alternative routes to education and sometimes that works. However, schools that need the most ability also need teachers who know how to teach, who are in this for the long haul, and not for the short term. That is one of the things that I’ve seen in the time that I’ve been here, is the school system struggle. Even as it gets smaller, we still have schools that are very successful and some schools that are under-performing horribly, and I struggle with that. What can we who are in the teacher/education business, if I could use that term, do to provide more quality teachers for Baltimore City public schools, and to make it a place where people want to work? Often people are afraid to work in the city, so how do we combat those negative stereotypes about the system and the city in particular?

Q: How do you see Goucher’s larger role in that environment?
Dr. Cornish: Goucher has always had a social justice focus, mission, understanding, and commitment, so we have been very active in the schools, through community based learning and through our education department. We have three or four professional development schools within the Baltimore City public school system and we are committed to doing that work.

Q: What do you think you’ll miss the most professionally about working at Goucher?
Dr. Cornish: I loved this position most of all, the one that I currently have. I really enjoyed being the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies. It gave me a chance to support my colleagues on the faculty and staff. It gave me an opportunity to work with colleagues across different divisions of the college. It gave me the opportunity to be a student advocate, and that’s what I love most of all. Students knew if they needed help that they should come here. I appreciated the fact that they trusted me with their joys, with their sorrows, with their disappointments, and with their challenges. I got a chance to bring all of me to this position, and so that’s what I’m going to miss here, but also what I look forward to doing at Ithaca.

Q: Do you have any favorite Goucher events?
Dr. Cornish: I love new student convocation, because we are welcoming new students into the academy and we get a chance for them to see our traditions. That’s a new tradition that started with President Bowen. I love Get Into Goucher, well, some parts of it (laughs). If I’m being honest, there were other parts of it where I was worried about students making informed decisions, so I would always say to my students on GIG, “I need you to watch out for one another. I need you to make informed decisions and if someone’s doing something to excess, I need you to look out for your peer and just make sure everybody stays safe.” I love Baccalaureate and I love Convocation. I love to see our students celebrated for the honors they’ve achieved each spring.

Q: How does that feel, watching students that you’ve built relationships with for 4+ years graduate?
Dr. Cornish: I gave birth to one child, but I’ve had the opportunity to be a role model, and a mother figure, for many students, hundreds of students. I am as proud of them as they leave here as I will be of my own child when he graduates from here on May 25th.

Q: Considering how many students you have helped and guided throughout their time here, what would you say to the students currently leaving their undergraduate careers here?
Dr. Cornish: Continue to believe in yourself. When you are struggling, seek help at the moment of the struggle. Don’t wait until it’s too late, or until you feel it’s too late. Continue to strive and to do great work. Continue to make a difference in the world, because that’s what Goucher students do. They make a difference in the world. Continue to question what you see, and continue to challenge that what you think is wrong. Continue to believe that the education you’ve received here will indeed enable you to embody and live up to the Goucher motto, which is “Prove all things and hold fast that which is good.” That would be my message.

Q: What is the biggest change that you’ve seen in the community and institution in your time as Associate Provost?
Dr. Cornish: The positive change is curricular and co-curricular people working together. You know, one used to talk about the academic side of the house and the student affairs side of the house. Over the last few years we have been focused on having one house, and how these sides can come together to support our students in all ways. To me that’s the biggest positive change that I’ve seen.

Q: How do you see that moving forward after your time here?
Dr. Cornish: I think that we need to continue to collaborate across divisions and to seize opportunities for collaborative work. As you may know, OIS is moving over here (Van Meter), so having OIS, CEO, and CBL within the academic building, creates this synergy where it makes sense for us to work together curricularly and co curricularly to help our students achieve success.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve seen the college overcome in your time here?
Dr. Cornish: We’re still working on retention, and that’s everybody’s job. It doesn’t belong to just one person, it belongs to all of us. How do we make sure that one student who enters Goucher in the freshman year, graduates from Goucher four years later? That’s our challenge. It’s one that I think we can meet, but it’s going to take all of us to meet it.

Dr. Cornish’s South Africa ICA is one tradition from her work at Goucher that she hopes to continue, and her program there has unquestionably had an impact on the students that she has taken. Alumni Chris Riley remembers his relationship with La Jerne, and the ICA he went on in 2013 as transformative. Chris said that, “Before the ICA, like many others, I thought I knew what South Africa was like. While there we were teaching reading and writing to students, I remember a specific evening while at dinner, one of the Goucher students brought up the differences in what we hold as values between their culture and ours. Through that dinner we had some of the most engaging conversations I’ve been a part of. La Jerne was there at dinner with us, asking about our perceptions and thoughts on how values and cultures differ. She steered and engaged in the conversation with all of us. It is because of this specific conversation that my views of education around the world changed completely. Because of Dr. Cornish, and the trip she lead, I have become a better, more aware person. I can say without a doubt that, like many others, Dr. Cornish has changed my life for the better.”

Dr. La Jerne Cornish has changed and touched many a student’s life for the better during her time here, and she will be missed greatly. As one of the first women of color at a predominately white school, Dr. La Jerne has been crucial to forming a sense of community for people of color on campus. Senior Amielia Gilbert said that, “Dr. Cornish has made a positive impact on my Goucher experience. Academically, she has helped guide me in the right direction as far as my major and minor and in finding my niche. Her presence and dinners at her house made people of color on this campus feel very welcomed and loved. Coming in as a freshman, not knowing anyone, the upperclassmen people of color who knew La Jerne connected with us and helped us form a big happy family. She will be missed.”

Photo Credit: Dr. La Jerne Cornish. Photo Credit: goucher.edu

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