Money and College

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

We recently asked David Bakke, financial columnist for Money Crashers Personal Finance for his thoughts about how to make the best use of good financial strategies in college.  Here are his thoughts. He writes on topics like college and careers, getting out of debt, and smart money management.

5 Ways NOT to Save Money While in College

When I was in college, money seemed like air to me: free, abundant, and to be taken for granted. I chose to ignore the fact that all the student loans I took out would someday have to be paid back. Besides, I figured I'd be rolling in dough with a high-paying job as soon as I stepped foot off campus.

Had I been financially savvy, I would have realized that saving more and spending less would have a huge effect on my life after graduation. But savvy I was not, and as a result, I graduated with more than $30,000 of debt. The high paying job didn't come as expected, and I spent years digging myself out.

Don't let yourself arrive in this unenviable position. There are a number of things you must avoid to keep yourself in a comfortable financial position. Here are the top five money mistakes to stay away from in college:

1. Pay for College With Credit Cards
Whenever you use a credit card to pay for something that you can't pay off by the end of the month, you are setting yourself up for financial disaster. Forget about enticing credit card rewards or low APRs - paying your college tuition with a credit card will drive up your debt and likely damage your credit score. Those low APRs may escalate, and the rewards will not make up for the massive interest payments you'll be making.

When it comes to using credit cards, there is one simple rule: If you can't afford to pay it off by the end of the month, put the credit card away.

2. Abuse Credit Cards
Card issuers specifically target college students for one reason: They view you as a money-making opportunity. However, by educating yourself now, you can avoid falling into their traps.

Avoid carrying a balance, and never go over your limit or pay a bill late. The fees and interest payments will eat you up financially, and late payments can destroy your credit. If you don't manage credit well during your college years, it could become a lifelong habit with irreversible consequences.

3. Use Student Loans Irresponsibly
While it's great that help is available to finance your education, there are few limitations as to what you can spend this money on. Taking a mature, responsible approach to your finances is especially invaluable when it comes to managing your student loans - you must commit to utilizing these funds for school-related expenses only.

It may seem enticing to go out and purchase electronic gadgets or new clothes, but you will be doing yourself a serious disservice. Student loans should only be used for paying tuition, textbooks, housing expenses, and anything else directly related to college. If you don't end up spending it all, pay it back immediately. Better yet, look into ways you can pay for and afford college without student loan debt.

4. Pay Full Price for Textbooks
When I attended college, I did what many college students do: I grabbed the syllabus for each of my classes, trudged to the college bookstore, and shelled out a ton of cash for the books I needed. But times have changed, and there's no reason to take this dated and expensive route.

With a little research, you can save as much as 97% off what you would pay buying brand new textbooks from the campus bookstore. You can purchase used textbooks via the Internet (and resell them when your course is finished), purchase e-Books at websites like CourseSmart, and rent textbooks at websites like BookRenter to save money.

5. Don't Generate Income
If you have time to watch television or party, you definitely have time for some paid employment. You can start by getting a part-time job or participating in a work-study program. If you're up for the challenge, you can even start your own side business - you never know where it might take you. I started a reselling business several years ago with my wife's unused textbooks, and it ultimately blossomed into a full-time venture.

Final Thoughts
Of course, it's important that you enjoy your college years, but you can have fun and be smart at the same time. Never allow your youthful exuberance to negatively affect your financial future. Remember, once you get out of college, all the debt you racked up will become your responsibility to pay off. While you can certainly investigate student loan deferment options, you will be better off finding ways to pay down your debts before interest fees and balances rack up further. This can cause your credit - and your quality of life - to seriously suffer.

What other money mistakes should college students be careful to avoid?

Get a Job! Alumni Hire at Career Fairs

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Alumni have always been strong supporters of career fairs at DePauw.  This year alumni from companies including Accretive Health, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Citizen Schools, DePauw Opportunity Through Collaboration Program, DyKnow, LLC, Noble Street Charter Schools, Uncommon Schools, Unique Home Solutions, Teach for America, Welch Packaging Group came on campus to interview students. 

Angie's List has been a strong advocate for hiring DePauw students. 

Welch Packaging, seen at right, has been another DePauw managed company that has hired many DePauw graduates.

One senior who attended the fair reported getting three immediate call backs from employers!   

Each year, about two-thirds of each graduating class seeks employment after graduation.  Career fairs have been a way for employers seeking DePauw students to easily access them for jobs and internships.  Employers report that DePauw really bucks a national trend against career fairs.  They report that DePauw students come out in large numbers and are well prepared for the experience.  Career fairs are hosted in the fall and spring.  One fair is just for graduate and professional schools and provides students with the opportunity to explore planning, application, and financial aid.   

Where would you choose to work?

The staff of the Center for Student Engagement helps students and alumni connect with employers around the globe. 

Winter Term 2014 - China & Hong Kong: Tradition and Change

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

For a number of years, Professor Yung-chen Chiang and Professor Li-feng Chiang have led a Winter Term class of students to China to explore the paradox of the country: 

"It boasts an ancient culture of traditions and yet goes all the way out to jettison the old to embrace the new; it holds on to communism and yet latches on to a capitalistic economic regime; it garners the reputation as a rising economic superpower and yet delivers low living standards to the majority of its people.  Its transformation in thirty years from a third-world economy to a superpower is unprecedented in history.  Its economy surpassed Japan's in 2010 and is projected to overtake the United States by 2030.  The success is phenomenal, but the cost—human as well as environmental—has been staggering.  China is at a crossroads.  Might Hong Kong, which is twenty years ahead of China in development and which will remain a special administrative region for 50 years after its return to China in 1997, hold clues to solve some of these paradoxes?"

Meredith Langenheim '13, an East Asian Studies major and Chinese minor, studied abroad on the Winter Term 2013 class and has this to say of her experience.

The DePauw Winter Term trip to China and Hong Kong was especially meaningful to me because I am an East Asian Studies major.  Having the chance to go with two of my Asian Studies professors on this trip was unforgettable. As an East Asian Studies major, I got the opportunity to apply what I had been learning about at DePauw to the six cities we visited throughout the course of the trip.  Ending the trip in Hong Kong was probably one of the most rewarding parts.  Because Honk Kong was just given back to China in 1997, it was very interesting to be able to compare the cities we visited in Mainland China to Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is very different than many cities in Mainland China. It has a different currency, different architecture and different culture, yet is now considered a part of China.  If I had chosen to go on any other trip to China I would definitely not have gotten this wonderful opportunity to explore Hong Kong along with Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Guilin and Henan. 


Current students are applying for Winter Term 2014 courses now (due April 17th), while first year students may begin applying for off-campus courses this summer.  Winter Term is a hallmark part of a DePauw education, giving students an opportunity to explore a new topic of interest. Often, as in the case of Meredith, Winter Term leads into a semester long experience and provides students with greater focus and clarity on their interests and goals.  Learn more by visiting the Center for Student Engagement website.

Summer Internship Signature Programs

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Paying for the commute, living expenses, the miscellanous expenses of summer such as sunscreen and vacations, and saving enough to last through the next school year are all crucial factors in the summer job or internship decision. Unpaid internships deter students and cause countless missed opportunities. DePauw now has the means in their budget to prevent those missed opportunities: the new DePauw Signature Internship Program will award $3,000 grants for unpaid summer interships and in addition several DePauw Alumni will offer paid internships (if any are unpaid the program will provide a grant), for a total of 20 internships. The program gives students three options: paid DePauw Choice Internships with companies like Angie's List and Goodwill, Local Community Building Internships such as working for the Greencastle library or hospital with the grant, and secure your own internships, also with grants awarded to ten students. No longer will the student  with a small budget but big ambitions miss out on what could be the experience that connects them to a career.

I was fortunate enough to have the means to do a Winter Term internship unpaid as a sophomore with Wiley Publishing Company (they are now offering paid internships, just my luck). The experience was outstanding: I had a harmonious team to work with including an inspiring boss, learned about the publishing industry, and beefed up my résumé. However, if I had not had a family friend willing to let me live for them for three weeks, I never could have afforded to stay in Indianapolis. At the end of my internship with Wiley, they offered me a summer internship but I never took up the offer for several reasons — the main one being finances. The DePauw Signature Internship Program can provide the funds in order to solve financial conodrums like mine and many others. I have a good friend who applied to a marine biology internship through TigerTracks — and was selected — but was unable to afford an unpaid internship in South Africa. My friend's experience and my own are not singular to us; students throughout DePauw struggle with how to get the internship outside of their hometown on a shoe string budget. During peer advising, I met an international student who wanted to gain medical experience but didn't have the finances or transportation to do so. The DePauw Signature Internship Program could faciliate that student's ambitions and connect her to an internship with the Putnam County Hospital or Johnson Nichols Health Clinic.
If every DePauw student graduated with two internships under their belt, then finding a job would be easier on all of them, but in reality not every student is so lucky or driven, and not every student has the means to acquire the internships they desire. With the DePauw Signature Internship Program more students can build their résumés and themselves with summer internships. There's no excuse now, only opportunity.

Digging Deeper: Independent Field Research Abroad

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Last week the Center for Student Engagement hosted the 3rd Off-Campus Study Independent Research Forum, an event held each semester where returned OCS students share field research projects they conducted while studying abroad with an audience of students, faculty, staff and community members. Each student presents for about 10 minutes, then answers questions from the audience. This year we had four presenters- here's how they describe their projects: 

Identity in Fiction: Exploring Heart of Darkness and South African Identity (Abby Prine)

This research focuses on the effect that British colonialist literature, particularly Heart of Darkness, has on the way South Africans identify socially and nationally. Specific interest is paid to the way in which constructed identities are expressed through modern South African fiction and citizens’ perceptions of literary identities. 

Treating the Spirit: An Ethnographic Portrait of Senegalese Animist Mental Health Practices and Practitioners in Dakar and the Surrounding Area (Caitlin McKinley)  

Animist beliefs and pracrices are deeply ingrained in Senegalese society, even in the metropolitan area of Dakar, and have prevailed in Senegal despite the many influences of Island and colonization. Animist mental health practices are especially interesting because of the influx of Western mental health practices in the wake of modernization. My research addresses the impact of understanding the culture and viewpoints in which traditional practitioners and methods of treating mental health are recognized as veritable and absolute. 

Women at Risk: Gender Violence, Available Services, and Future Objectives in the Fight for Women in Ecuador (Jocelyn Jessop)

The project was based off of a one month ethnographic study in the south province of Azuay in Ecuador. While volunteering at a refuge house for women and children who have been exposed to violence, I collected interviews in the hope of analyzing the problem of violence against women in Ecuador, what support is available through both the government and NGOs, and what future goals activists and the government have for women in the state.

Urban Versus Rural: Language Proficiency and Ethnic Identity (Phua Xiong)

This in an interview-based case study that examines the role geographic location plays in shaping twelve 15-23 year-old Miao-Hmong students’ abilities to speak Hmong by comparing and contrasting six students from urban areas and six students from rural areas, and by analyzing the minority language policies in China. This study also explores the relationship between the students’ ability to speak the language and their ethnic identity. (The photo at left was taken during Phua's semester in China conducting this project).

What topic would you like to research independently?




The staff of the Center for Student Engagement work with students to facilitiate off-campus study opportunities that are deep and meaningful, including opportunities for study, research, service-learning, and internships all over the world.

MCAT Prep Program and Pre-Health Advising

Monday, March 11, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

What does winter term, on campus, and medical school have in common? A highly intensive medical school and MCAT Preparation course. 

After three years as a class of 2014 student senator, I took the reigns of a DePauw student government senate committee on pre-professional school planning.  We were charged with brainstorming and researching ways in which DePauw students could better prepare themselves for professional schools and entrance exams.  An idea to bring an on campus Kaplan course to DePauw, along with my inability to afford winter term a trip abroad this year, left me with a thought.  What if we made a winter term course?
After meeting with the Dean of Experiential Learning, Raj Bellani, and the Director of Career Development, Steve Langerud, an idea became formalized into a course.  Kaplan was able to provide a group discount upwards of $400 off their course as well as train a DePauw student to be a Kaplan employee and the courses instructor.  Steve and CGPops, were able to coordinate a strength finder seminar, a lesson on personal statements, and organization to the course.  In all, we created a highly intensive and hopefully largely effective winter term course. We met a minimum of three days a week each meeting for 3 hours of intense instruction, ranging from reviewing an entire semester of physics in a single day to learning the intricacies of bodily systems.  Outside of the instruction, we had a Kaplan outline with homework that included access to over 40,000 MCAT questions, a multitude of practice tests, and review materials for every subject.
We worked in the classroom, outside of the classroom, and with each other in order to make it through a winter term course that was spanned two semesters of physics, two semesters of organic chemistry, two semesters of inorganic chemistry, four semesters of biology, and not to mention verbal reasoning.  Although winter term is over, the course meets weekly until its completion in April. With the preparation this course delivered, the MCAT isn’t so daunting, but rather another challenge that an eager student will face.

Have you considered a career in health care? 

Pre-Health advisor Ken Kirkpatrick and The Center for Student Engagement can help you plan you professional school. 


Alumni and MBA Progams

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Sebastian Scott – Prospective MBA Experience

While working as a manager for Bechtel Inc. has been one of the best experiences of my life, I knew that I wanted to explore my options and work in different sectors of business. As I researched top companies and read about their executives, one thing became very clear: the large majority of men and women who run these organizations had earned their MBA. At that moment, I knew that I needed to return to school and obtain my MBA if I wanted to acquire additional knowledge, help further develop my leadership skills, and open doors for jobs at top firms.

Just like most prospective students, I started my search by looking at the top 100 ranked MBA programs in the US. Although it’s a good initial bench mark, it does not provide enough information and does not guarantee the right fit. When I was considering schools, I did extensive research on the location, the alumni network, the job placement records by region and industry, the cost of tuition, and other contributing factors towards my ROI. I was fortunate to receive acceptance letters into several top 100 programs, but after much debate I chose to attend Brandeis University in Boston because it was the right fit for me and gave me the best opportunity to succeed.

Brandeis offered me a unique educational experience that I felt was hard to match. In addition to meeting all of my requirements for an MBA program, Brandeis offered me that “Dare to Be Great” situation. Because Brandeis’ MBA program is less than twenty years old, I took it as a personal challenge to be one of their first elite alumni and be a building block towards becoming an iconic MBA program.

When selecting an MBA program, it’s vital that prospective students gather as much information as possible and find a school that is the best fit. Reaching out to administrative staff, talking to current students, and visiting the campus will all help with the decision making process. Because at the end of the day, the student is the one who is making the investment and it’s the student who is taking the leap of faith. I truly believe that picking a school that feels right is the difference between those who said that their MBA was worth every cent versus those who are impartial towards their experience. 

Are you interested in business careers?  

The Center for Student Engagement helps students seeking opportunities in graduate and professional school.  

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Winter Term 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Winter Term Student Leaders gather their teams one month after re-entering the DePauw culture at the Winter Term Global Fair.  They talk about the experiences they shared, how their perspectives may have shifted since being thrown back in to the busy life of the DePauw student.  At this fair they also re-live the memories as they tell stories to peers passing by and are re-energized about the ideas they had as WT participants.  They will continue to grapple over how this 3-week experience will shape them as they move ahead.. Next week they will try to offer greater reflection and, of course, enthusiasm for their WT programs... 

Global Week March 4-7
Come share in the celebration of global perspectives, service, and adventure during this week's variety of events put on by Winter Term Student Leaders.  This a great opportunity to hear and see your peers’ stories and experiences from living and learning sustainably in Hawai’i, to deep encounters with global health initiatives in Ecuador, to marking a 20 year anniversary of WTIS in El Salvador, to adventures of land and sea in Cozumel... Come check it out! Ask about being a WT Student Leader in 2014!
  • Sustainability in Hawai’i Film, Peeler Mar 5, 7-8:00
  • Timmy Talk, Watson Mar 6, 7-8:00
  • 20 Year Celebration WTIS El Salvador, Peeler Mar 7, 4-6:00
  • Cozumel Movie Premier, Watson Mar 7, 7-8:00


How have you shared a meaningful experience with your peers?

The staff of the Center for Student Engagement work with students to encourage reflection and sharing on Winter Term and all experiential education opportunities.

Peace Corps in Ethiopia

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Two weeks after I graduated from DePauw last May I hopped aboard a one-way flight to Ethiopia to begin my Peace Corps service. It wasn’t easy but I did it. Growing up I had always dreamed about being in the Peace Corps and living abroad as a volunteer. Do you like the idea of helping others, learning about a new culture, learning a new language, learning about yourself? Do you see yourself living in a remote village somewhere overseas for a few years helping to make the world a better place? If so, maybe you should consider Peace Corps.

The U.S. Peace Corps ( sends hundreds of U.S. citizen volunteers young and old overseas every year to work in rural communities in the developing world in many parts of the world: Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. The Peace Corps is a great way for undergraduate graduating seniors to gain international work experience without having to pay a penny and an excellent way to get your foot in the door if you are interested in a federal government career in the future. Peace Corps pays for your airfare to your country of service and back home upon your completion of service as well as complete health and dental benefits and a living allowance while you are serving abroad. Better yet, after successful completion of your service, Peace Corps provides you with a nice readjustment allowance to help you get settled back into life in the states and there are also student loan benefits.

So why did I join Peace Corps? I became interested in Peace Corps starting back when I was in high school back home in Slater, Missouri where I grew up. I got to DePauw and I knew Peace Corps was something I still wanted to do after I graduated. I love helping people and learning about new cultures and new ways of life and the possibility to learn a new language was very intriguing to me. I had some experience from my semester abroad in Chile during my junior year at DePauw teaching English that helped me get the basic experience I needed to qualify for Peace Corps service. Also, as a Spanish major I had some foreign language skills that made my application even stronger. All it takes is a want to help, some basic experience, a sense of humor and flexibility. If you have those things, I urge you to consider Peace Corps. I’ve been working in Ethiopia for over 8 months now as an English education volunteer. It isn’t always easy but I’ve learned so much for the short time I’ve been here. I’m learning Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, I’m doing grassroots development work in my small village in southwest Ethiopia over 550km down unpaved roads from the capital, I’m meeting so many people, making lifelong friends and that’s just a few of the benefits of being in the Peace Corps. As a Peace Corps Volunteer I have the opportunity to challenge myself in ways I never knew possible, travel to places that would otherwise might not ever happen and inspire Ethiopian children to learn and practice their English and help teach Ethiopians life skills that they need to live a better and healthier life. How much better could it get?

If you are interested in learning more about my Peace Corps experience in Ethiopia check out my blog,(, follow me on Twitter (, or message me on LinkedIn(

Where would you serve? 

By: Anthony Navarrete '12, Spanish major, Latin American and Caribbean studies minor.

The Impact of a Year Studying Abroad

Saturday, February 23, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Why study abroad for longer? 

While back on campus, my conversation with alum Chris Granger '11 (East Asian Studies major, Philosophy minor) turned to the impact of his year year-long study abroad experience at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China on his professional growth and development.  Chris worked for Americorps after graduation and now is the Assistant Director of Admission and International Student Advisor at the Art Institute of Indianapolis.  Here's what he had to say:

There's a certain amount of time you need in a foreign culture before you can even experience immersion, where the culture and place sets in and becomes part of you.  It's great to see a new place and have cool experiences, but what studying abroad really is about is helping you develop confidence, adaptability, and the ability to respong to where other people are coming from.  These are things you encounter in the real world - people will have different ways in reacting to you and the world around them.  Studying abroad is the best"extreme training ground to help prepare you to be comfortable with this.

My current employer tells us they want and need us to be extremely adaptable. As an admission advisor, I have to work with students and families from different socioeconomic, cultural, religious, and educational backgrounds.  Being abroad for a year, I had to adjust to a culture that values different things than I do and a culture that responds differently to input and advice.  A year in China, completely outside of my comfort zone, allowed me to increase my competency in this skill that I now use regularly in my work. As a result of my study abroad experience, I know I can effectively serve the people in the communities I'm working in.  

When you challenge yourself in the most extreme scenarios, you're going to be that much more prepared to do so in other situations throughout your life.  Being in China for a year, I needed more than a semester of time to get to this point.  A semester abroad gives you time to learn the lesson, but longer is needed to really live the lesson.

The Center for Student Engagement supports students in the pursuit of a professional and personal life that is filled with purpose and accomplishment. Through study abroad, internships, and civic engagement, students become better equipped to find meanfingful employment upon graduation.

DePauw Alumni Teaching in Taiwan

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

DePauw alumni are teaching English at the Tam Kang School in Taiwan.  The relationship founded by Professor Sherry Mou has blossomed into a vibrant post-graduate opportunity for DePauw graduates.  This year students will be working as interns at the school.

Every morning, Danielle R. Strohmeyer ’10 heads to a job where she can’t speak the native language. It isn’t a lack of knowledge or practice – she studied Chinese for four years as an undergrad, including a semester abroad in Beijing. She’s paid to speak English.

Strohmeyer is one of nine DePauw alumni teaching at Tam Kang, a private school just outside of the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. More than 23 million people occupy Taiwan, an island one-third the size of Indiana, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many other blonde, blue-eyed people there. That’s not such a bad thing in her line of work – as far as English teachers from America go, she certainly looks authentic. To her students, she brings something new and exciting to the classroom. From Strohmeyer’s point of view, so do they.

“The students can be so entertaining,” Strohmeyer says. “One little boy told me he wants to go to America because he wants to have a cheeseburger. Another one wants to go because he heard we have ‘advanced science and mathematical programs.’ He’s 10.”

Those comments sum up life at Tam Kang. Kids are still kids, but at a private school in the capital of a powerful Asian economy, cheeseburgers aren’t the only difference between here and there.

Strohmeyer’s elementary classroom at Tam Kang has two full-time teachers – one English speaker and one Taiwanese. They support each other during the day, splitting their time between teaching and grading, and sometimes stirring a student from an unscheduled nap. At the high school level, English teachers act more like tutors, helping students brush up their language skills before leaving for college.

“It’s a good job,” Strohmeyer says. “We’re paid well and our housing is provided along with insurance. And it’s a job where you feel like you’re doing meaningful work. I’m in love with the kids.”

Where would you love to live and work?  

The Center for Student Engagement works with students seeking post-graduate opportunities like teaching at Tam Kang.  



That's a wrap! Winter Term 2013 comes to a close

Saturday, February 2, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Winter Term 2013 has come to a close.  Students and faculty from across campus and across the world shared what they learned.  Check it out!

A fascinating tour of China brought students to explore the Terra Cotta Warriors and the Qin Dynasty.  You can read more about this group's travels and learning by visiting one of the leaders' blog here.

Students in The Rock n Roll Experience gave a performance in The Duck at the Inn at DePauw.  A standing-room-only crowd turned out to see the the eight bands in the class perform. During the class, students had to form their own band, write an original song, learn how to play together and, for many, perform in front of a crowd, all while learning what it is that makes rock n roll what it is.  Read more in this article in local paper, The Banner Graphic.
The Boulder is the student newspaper during Winter Term. Stemming from an on-campus class led by Dave Bohmer and students who have experience working on The DePauw, the campus newspaper, students learn to write articles, take photographs, experiment with newspaper design and even sales.  News was published online throughout Winter Term, culminating in a print version.  Check it out - The Boulder. Students in New Zealand explored the geology of the country.  It was a hands on exploration of the volcanoes, glaciers and outcrops that make up the country's diverse geological and environmental history.  Read more on the DePauwRocks blog for more of their experience.
Students in YouTube Physics explored the many physics videos on YouTube, learning what makes an accurate, effective and interesting physics demonstration video.  In groups, they designed, constructed and presented their own online video. Students Craig Hadley and Pauline Ota's class, Introduction to Museums and Galleries, worked on the Asian Gallery in Emison, the Admissions building.  They enhanced the gallery with new labels and an audio tour.  They also created a website to visit.  Feel free to come to Emison any time to see this gallery and others.

Believe it or not, staff members in the Center for Student Engagement are already working with faculty and students to plan what they will do next January.  Possibilities include another course traveling to Cuba, exploring geology of the western US, service in El Salvador, and more!  

What would you like to learn during Winter Term 2014?

Connecting NCAA Athletics and Careers

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Competing in NCAA athletics offers terrific preparation for professional life.  However, it is often difficult for students to articulate what they gain from athletics.

During winter term the Center for Student Engagement offered a session to help student athletes think about how they can use their athletic experience to build a strong bridge to their professional life.

Past athletic behavior will predict future professional behavior.  What employers and internship sponsors  value about athletes as employees:

  • Dedication.
  • Practice.
  • Goal setting.
  • Risk taking.
  • Teamwork.
  • Feedback and coachable.
  • Culture of success.

Key liberal arts skills:

  • Manage a project from start to finish.
  • Be an effective leader and member of a team.
  • Read, understand, interpret data.

Key team skills:

  • Setting goals.
  • Understanding a role.
  • Welcome coaching.
  • Hold each other accountable.

Key professional concerns of employers:

  • Can you do the job?
  • Will you do the job?
  • Will you embarrass me in the community?

As one student said, "The talk tonight was informative and helpful. I didn't realize that many of the daily activities as an athlete prepared me for the professional world. The most helpful aspect defining the how easily skills from swimming have prepared me for a career in science. I actually found a connection between the scientific method and a swim season. This talk definitely enabled me to more easily relate my success in swimming to what I want do in graduate school. Overall, the talk was both enlightening and encouraging."

Another student said he went back and it helped him a lot last night with his Goldwater research application.

How have your athletic experiences helped you succeed in school and work?

The staff of the Center for Student Engagement work with students to make the transition from college to career.  The workshop will be repeated during the spring semester.




Bonner Scholars - Service, Community, Commitment & Love

Monday, January 28, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

I am Nigel Bruce, a second year Bonner Scholar. Last semester I was granted the opportunity to serve as the PR Chair for Bonner as well as one of the Congress Representatives.  As the PR Chair I have the pleasure of blogging for perspective Bonners to inspire interest.  I've also designed our annual Bonner T-shirts, which is a grand ritual that comes with a Bonner feast.  As the Congress Representative I've flown across the country to interact with Bonners from all over the nation to conjure ideas of progression on every Bonner campus.  This is a great opportunity to meet other Bonners as well as connect with Staff members for valuable exposure.  In the Greencastle community I serve at the retirement home.  This has been one of the best experiences I've had at DePauw.  Sharing stories, laughing, playing games, and having the space to express personal emotions has allowed me to truly appreciate the senior citizens.  I've built a couple wonderful relationships that I hope will last for years.  Overall, Bonner has helped build my cultural capital and lead me into directions that I was oblivious to. 

Service, community, commitment and love are the guiding principles by which this scholarship is governed. As members of the Greencastle and Putnam County community we feel it is imperative that we fulfill our public responsibility outside of the DePauw community.  Students explore a numerous amount of opportunities for service, such as spending time with the elderly in the local retirement home, mentoring grade school students, and even working in the Mayors office.  Many students go beyond the standard and create their own ways to serve; the possibilities are endless!

How do you engage in your community?

The staff in the Center for Student Engagement work with the Bonner Scholars, and provides service and volunteering opportunities for all DePauw students.

Terra Cotta Warriors and the Qin Dynasty; Xi'an, China

Thursday, January 24, 2013 by Mandy Brookins Blinn

It's been a whirlwind 16 days in China. Our travel schedule was so packed that this is the first time I've had an opportunity to post since we left! Once back in the US, I'll submit posts with details from the course, but in the meantime, I'll share a few highlights with our student travelers. 

One of the most impactful moments on the course was our visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an. The Terra Cotta Warriors gaurd the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Emperor Qin.  They were discovered by accident when a local farmer was digging a well, and discovered broken pieces of terra cotta pottery.  The initial excavation of the grounds revield an army worthy of protecting the Emperor in the afterlife. 

This is only 1 of 4 pits! Archeologist anticipate there are over 6000 soldiers, all of differing rank and purpose, buried under ground protecting the Emperor from invadors. 

What's even more amazing, the Qin Dynasty only ruled from 221 - 206 BCE. The First Emperor Qin only held power for 10 years, and yet his subjects were able to create over 6000 individual soldiers to gaurd his tomb.  At the Terra Cotta Warrior factory, they explained that each warrior takes more than 1 month to complete.  What an incredible amount of work went into preparing Emperor Qin's tomb in just a short amount of time. 

Chris becoming one with the warriors.

Here is Chris becoming one with the Terra Cotta Warriors. 

These soldiers are infantry men. You can tell by their hair style (right-side knot) and the type of armor.  Inside the pits, archeologists have discovered soldiers, officers, generals, and calvary. Each one with an individual face. The historians speculate the faces are modeled after Emperor Qin's actual army.

A shifting world view

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Andrew Miller, class of 2013 studied abroad at Koҫ University in Istanbul, Turkey during the spring 2012 semester.  This is what he had to say of his experience:

"During my time in Turkey, almost every day brought a new and exciting experience which contributed to my personal development; each one of these experiences was life-changing in its own way. However, there is a single moment which captures the essence of my time abroad. Over the centuries Turks have made drinking tea into an art form, so it is no surprise that much of my time was spent in Istanbul’s cafés. One day I had gone down to a café which sat right on the Bosporus, and chose a table only a few feet from the water. Because I was alone, it wasn’t long before I was lost in thought as I sipped my tea and watched the fishermen sorting their catch on the nearby docks. After a few minutes I was shaken from my daydream by the mid-day call to prayer echoing from the mosque a few blocks away.

I was suddenly struck by the normalcy of my surroundings. When I first arrived, the call to prayer was a reminder of how far from home I was, but in only a few short months, it had become as much a part of my life as the sound of the clock tower which sits a few blocks from my life-long home in Indiana. Only a few months before, this very café and the docks surrounding it had seemed a totally foreign world to me. For quite a while I had been too nervous to venture outside my university walls alone. Now, the city not only seemed a more hospitable place, but it’s ‘foreignness’ had vanished. While I still understood very little of the language, and much of Turkish culture remained a mystery to me, I no longer felt like an outsider. I looked down the Bosporus to the ancient heart of the city – to the massive minarets of the imperial mosques and the medieval towers and fortifications which lined the shore – and was amazed to realize how familiar it had all become. The city hadn’t changed, but my perception of it did. Indeed, in a matter of months my entire world view had changed. Suddenly the world had become a smaller and more familiar place and I realized how much a person can grow if they have the courage to venture beyond their comfort zone and embrace the unfamiliar."

How has your time traveling or studying in other parts of the world changed your perspective on the world?

450 students are returning from a faculty-led course off-campus in the US and abroad during Winter Term while another 80 are returning from a semester in the US or abroad.  The Center for Student Engagement is your place to learn more and get guidance about about off-campus study, in addition to internships, career exploration and planning, and community service and civic engagement.

Winter Term China's Triple Bottom Line

Friday, January 4, 2013 by Mandy Brookins Blinn

Today was our first class meeting for the short term study abroad Winter Term course to China: China's Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet & Profit, led by Professor Sherry Mou and myself.

We will be traveling abroad with 24 students, visiting the modern and ancient cities of Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Suzhou and Shanghai.

We had a quick Chinese language lesson, and then dove right into the changing China. The title of our class was highlighted immediately by the film we watched this afternoon: Up the Yangtze by Yung Chang.

The film documents the changes to the Chinese landscape, people and economy as the Three Gorges Dam is finished.

2 million people displaced for the advancement of the nation.

While it may provide jobs and electricity to remote areas, individual ways of life and the environment are changed forever.

It’s easier to see the environmental impact, as it’s more immediate. The individual, depending on their access to resources, may see an improved quality of life, or they’ll be swallowed up like the hundreds of ancient cities now at the bottom of the Yangtze River.

4 more days until travel to China!

Milos Karadaglic and the ISO

Saturday, November 17, 2012 by Katherine Hill

This past Sunday provided a wonderful opportunity for students and community members.  The School of Music brought the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to DePauw for an amazing performance featuring Milos Karadaglic, a classical guitar player.  He played beautifully and I enjoyed the mix of classical guitar with a traditional orchestra.  That was something I hadn't heard before.  The tickets were free for students, and Kresge Auditorium was packed!

After the ISO finished their performance, the audience applauded so enthusiastically for so long that they even gave an encore performance!  The best part is that the ISO is coming back to DePauw again second semester...I cant' wait!

I love being a College of Liberal Arts (CLA) student at DePauw because while I am not actually part of the School of Music (SOM), I can enjoy the concerts and events such as these frequently!  The music school provides over 150 concerts and performances a year, so there is always something to watch!  

A Day in Chem Lab

Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Katherine Hill

For any science major at DePauw, a large portion of our academic course load comes from the time we spend in lab.  Most of our main classes have a once weekly, three hour lab attached to them where we gain some experience and improve experimental technique.   

The benefits of a small liberal arts college can be easily observed in the science lab setting.  Not only is our course professor in the lab with us, but he/she walks around and answers questions and guides a student's troubleshooting when processes don't go as planned.  Our professors know our names and enjoy helping us through any problems we have. 

This week in my Chem 240 or Biomolecules course, our weekly lab involved testing for different carbohydrates (sugars).  This lab was interesting because each lab partner pair brought in materials to test.  We had everything from cereals, popcorn, and bread to Halloween candy.  After deciding which tests to run and what sugars we wanted to test for, my lab partner and I decided to test three different cereals for monosaccharides, reducing sugars, and ketohexoses. 

Here's our result for the Benedict's Assay which shows that we have several reducing sugars in our samples!

After performing the tests, my lab partner and I wrote our lab report....Just another day in Chem lab!!




Meeting the Mind Behind ESPN: Mr Bill Rasmussen

Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Akanksha Chawla

Welcome back from Fall Break, world! (What's that? You thought Fall Break lasts all of fall, too?! I agree--breaks are always all too short--but that's the great thing about student life here at DePauw University: there's never a moment missable!)

Thursday, October 11, I had the incredible pleasure of meeting with Mr Bill Rasmussen, former DePauw student, a mind behind the Media Fellows Honors Program, and the Magic behind ESPN. I've got to admit: this series of 175 Years of DePauw has introduced me to some notable, notable alumni, and it's made me only prouder to be a student of the university--one from a world faraway, one International; one capable of engaging and easing with a myriad minds I'd otherwise hardly have access to. Listening to Mr Rasmussen's story, his start from the very scratch, as well as the ability to talk with him briefly while anchoring my World News section for DePauw's own news show, The Source--humbled and honoured me so: not only was Mr Rasmussen extremely patient and considerate about addressing student questions, he was so, so very down-to-earth and free with the students, mingling with them, becoming their very own. I then had the immense pleasure of talking with him again during my TV Production class, whereby we discussed Film Criticism a bit--and I was again raptured by just how willing and warm Mr Rasmussen was, awarding and aiding me in the time and inspiration I sought. It's these sorts of things--meeting marked minds, and yet finding them so very easy and humbling to be around--that has me awed and incredibly grateful to be here at DePauw!


He'll be here in another couple of weeks, so be sure to watch out for him if you're at DePauw, and if not--throw me a question you'd like to ask him!

(Oh, and do watch The Source, folks! World News is always good to be worded on. :) )