August 2010 Archives

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"One of the things that I read once that really rang true to me ... and it partly helped me get through the storm, is that hope is something that comes from the relationships that people have with one another," Michael Cowan, a theologian and administrator at Loyola University said today on National Public Radio as he reflected on the fifth anniversary of hurricane Katrina. He makes a good point, and one that seems particularly relevant to the events of this week on our campus.

Attending classes and studying is your primary focus, and this is good. But it's also important to make connections and develop relationships, not only because it helps develop your résumé, but also because it nurtures your spirit. One of the ways to do this is to go to the Involvement Fair taking place this week in the HUB-Robeson Center. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet representatives from the nearly 200 clubs and organizations on campus. If you can't get to the Fair, check out the searchable directory listing all recognized student organizations at Penn State. Also, give particular attention to those in our own College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. (See the flyer above.) We have 16 organizations with something to join in MATSE, EME, GEOG, GEOSC, and METEO.

Keep hope alive. Join something today!


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On August 17 TOTEMS began. Purple-shirted upperclassmen, faculty, and staff greeted incoming freshmen with warm welcomes and offers to help the new students' cart their belongings to their dorms. The weather was ideal with bright sunshine and low humidity as students from all over the country and beyond spent the morning moving in.

Afterward it was on to the Ryan Family Student Center for a delicious lunch. Once again, the local favorite, Clem's BBQ, set out a spread of pork, chicken, vegan sausage, beans, potato salad, fruit, cold water and soda. Classrooms along the lower floor of Deike looked more like restaurant banquet rooms as groups socialized and gathered around the table clothed classroom tables.

At 2:00 p.m. students boarded buses for Raystown Lake in nearby Huntingdon County. Parents and family members waved as the blue Penn State busses drove the new recruits off for a fun-filled three days. TOTEMS is a unique program at EMS designed to welcome freshmen, give them a chance to meet faculty and staff in a casual setting, and help make new friends.

Just before the buses departed, some parents were reaching under their sunglasses dabbing tears. One mother whose voice was wavering turned to another and said, "Now that our jobs are done, I think we parents should get to go to a lake for some fun too!"

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