It’s time to cheer for Spring Jam is here!

Hey boys and girls, 

SPRING JAM IS ALMOST HERE!!

So you better break out your flannels in time to watch Gloriana perform LIVE,

 Round up the crew for a friendly game of bowling,

Show off your smarts while playing Trivia, 

Receive a standing ovation (while making college kids chant, “ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!”) after performing in the talent show,

Cheer loud and proud for your fellow Gophers during the Battle of the Bands competition,

AND,

Shake your groove thang during the Mac Miller concert.

Join us in celebrating the sunny weather and the end of the 2013-2014 school year by attending this year’s Spring Jam event.  Spring Jam is the LARGEST student-planned, campus-wide event that is held here, at the U, during the spring semester. It’s a three-day music festival that includes live performances, competitions, and many other fun activities. The majority of the Spring Jam events are free (with the exception of the Mac Miller concert) and they are open to ALL University of Minnesota- Twin Cities students. So, come on out and socialize with other undergrads. Have a little fun in the sun! 

GOPHERS, GET YOUR JAM ON. 

Mac Miller concert tickets are now on sale at mygophersports.com. Also see http://springjam.umn.edu/#/schedule for additional information regarding this year’s Spring Jam festivities and to view the complete schedule of events.

GIF Sources: Baby, Running in Office, Buddy, Military Man, Elevator, YEEEAH!, Happy Dance, Spring Jam

May Term Spotlight: Family, Culture, and Money

Self PixMay Term is just around the corner and if you’re still looking for a class to get you some credits and an interesting perspective, check out Family, Culture, and Money. To learn more about the course, CEHD Undergrad spoke with its instructor Dung Mao (right.) Read on for details!

What topics will be focused on in Family, Culture, and Money? The topics covered will be communications, family obligation, and financing weddings. We will be focusing on how culture and money intersect and affects how families make financial decisions.

 

 What students will find this class to be the most interesting? We believe money in itself is fascinating! However, we will acknowledge that not everybody shares the same view as us. With that in mind, we believe examining money in the context of one’s family and cultural up bringing will be the most interesting and meaningful part of the class because students will learn about their own culture and how that impacts their own financial decision-making. Students will also be learning about different cultures and how money influence decision making for individuals and families though current research, individual experiences and videos.

 

Describe what will take place on the online portion of this class? The online portion of the class will primarily involve a combination of online discussions based on the readings and different media. We will also dedicate some of that time for group work.

 

Will the class include any projects? Yes, students will be asked to do group work reflecting on money and culture. Students will also be asked to write a research paper at the end incorporating current research and materials covered in class.

 

 Tell us why a student should want to take this class in 10 words or less. Know your financial self! Explore money through family, and culture.

 

Picture source: Piggy Bank

One Class, One Day: Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity_Matters

Discovering a nearly three-hour class where the students remain actively engaged is no small feat. Based on that fact alone, the class must be pretty engaging.

Discovering said three hour class that falls on a Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.– especially when it falls on one of the first sunny, warm days after a seemingly endless Minnesota winter– is another thing altogether.

Enter OLPD 3828: Diversity in the Workplace, instructed by Maria Pabon.

On this particular Thursday, students in Pabon’s class were engaged in debate. The week before, Pabon had given her students a handout of diversity incidents and left them to read and analyze each incident for examples of workplace discrimination, prejudice, or oversensitivity. Now students gathered in the front of the room to discuss their analysis of the events with their classmates.

Among the twelve cases discussed, one example that led to a particularly long discussion was a case in which a top applicant’s application was removed because she was a convicted felon. As Pabon mentioned to the class, weeding out people based on past experience is standard practice during the hiring process. Each case read caused a range of reactions from students. Phrases such as “Who cares what their lifestyle is as long as they’re gonna get the job done correctly?” and “standardized discrimination,” filled the room as students debated each case.

The class was more than just discussion, despite the fact that it didn’t seem like anyone would have minded had it been. During the class session, students finished an activity from the week before on intercultural communication. Two groups of students stood in front of the room, one pretending to be a tribe and another a group of American men. The group playing the tribe was instructed not to respond to any spoken attempts at communication to serve as an indication that they didn’t speak the same language. What followed was a period of awkward silence as the men attempted to figure out exactly how to get their message across to the tribe. After five minutes of uncomfortable laughter and shrugging shoulders, Pabon asked the groups to return to their seats. She then revealed the reason for the exercise was to serve as an example of how cultural differences can be an obstacle in the workplace.

“We’re all wired to feel categories. To label and to put situations into groups, so it is impossible to be culturally neutral. It doesn’t matter how open-minded we are or how much we know about the culture,” Pabon told her class, concluding that the only truly universal gesture is a smile.

Throughout the class, Pabon gave out plenty of the universal gesture, and provided students with an environment to communicate their thoughts and ideas. Because of her flexibility, a student’s comments could give way to an entirely unplanned discussion, filled with nuggets of wisdom from Pabon.

One such example was a student’s story of a tour of Google he took with a friend who works there, noting that Google provides employees places to take naps and lots of food. This led to a conversation on the importance of understanding the diversity of your workplace to know what motivates people. Or, in the words of Pabon, “To be creative, you have to feel safe and be comfortable.”

The same could be said about the Diversity in the Workplace experience. Thanks to Pabon’s guidance and a wealth of interesting and extremely relevant topics to discuss, students had a safe and comfortable space to share their thoughts and ideas. Diversity in the Workplace presented a whirlwind of information extremely relevant to anyone interested in understanding diversity or the dynamics of business– and that was just one Thursday.

One Class One Day: SMGT 3143- Organization and Management of Sports

“How you respond to adversity is what defines you.”

– Joel Maturi

52,557- That’s how many students attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (link to source). There are 52,557 Golden Gophers in the world and if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them. So, let me ask you a couple of quick questions. Do your professors know you by name? If you skipped a class (which we frown upon!), do you think your professors would even realize it? Do any of your professors give you a printout of your current grade in their class? What about late work, do they accept it? If you answered “no” to all of the above, welcome to college! In college, this is pretty typical. However, this is not how Professor Joel Maturi operates.

Professor Maturi is truly one of kind. His class sizes aren’t small, but he still makes an effort to get to know each and every one of his students on a personal level. At the beginning of class, he gave all of his students a printout of their current grade. Then, he took the time to go over all of the answers to the quiz that his students had just taken. (The quiz referenced financial terms and politics in the world of sports). Maturi is a man who has his students’ best interest in mind- always. He is a professor with integrity and a compassion for people. Moreover, he is very knowledgeable. Professor Maturi used to be the athletic director at the University of Minnesota. Therefore, he is able to make course content applicable to the real world. He’s always telling stories and this is found to captivate those in his classroom.

After reviewing the quiz, Maturi recapped the speech that was given during their last class period. The guest speaker, Joe Sweeney, was found to give a remarkable presentation and Maturi simply wanted to touch on the highlights of this. Professor Maturi summed up Sweeney’s speech by talking about how everyone has different passions in life. He also said that everyone possesses different gifts along with their various passions. Likewise, this speaker also discussed how people see the world and what people want from life. He told the class that people today often live for entitlement and not for gratitude, and then gave the students time to reflect upon this. After referencing Sweeney’s speech, Professor Maturi then went on to speak about a few of his personal beliefs. He spoke of how one’s response to adversity is found to define who they are as a person. In this segment of class, Maturi also recited some fun facts. He told his students that Joe Sweeney normally gets paid $25,000 (gasp!) to speak and that Sweeney has written a bestselling book as well. Thus, it’s safe to say that this guest speaker was one to remember and that the students in this class are very lucky to have been given the opportunity to listen to his words of wisdom.

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The next portion of class was entitled, “Hot Topics”. This is where students got the chance to speak in front of their peers in regards to what was currently happening in the world of sports. The first student spoke of new legislation that was proposed by the NCAA. He also showed a brief video segment regarding this breaking news. Among the new legislation, both scholarship and walk-on student-athletes will now be allowed to have an unlimited number of snacks and meals from their respective schools. The student explained what this entails in greater detail and then went on to pose a couple of thought provoking questions. He asked questions such as, “Why do you think the NCAA did this?”, and “Do you think that this a good or bad idea?”. This then resulted in an interesting class discussion. Students began to voice their opinions on how this would effect the small D1 schools that can’t afford to do something such as this, and they also spoke of how students could abuse this privilege. Furthermore, these questions got students thinking about how this would effect the U’s financial situation/ status. (Another fun fact from Professor Maturi- there are 750 student-athletes at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities!)

The next two students both chose to do their presentations on the Dinkytown riots that took place last week. They gave an overview of what these riots consisted of and then posed some tricky questions. They asked questions such as, “Do you think the fact that it was a buzzerbeater game is what caused the students to riot?”, “What do you think would have happened if people wouldn’t have been allowed to watch the game at the bars?”, “Did all of the police efforts only make the riots worse?”, and “Do you think social media played a role in all of this?”. Another enticing conversation then began. Students spoke of their personal opinions regarding the riots, why they thought they occurred, and what factors played a role in them. It seemed as though everyone had their own story to tell in regards to the riots, and listening to other people’s thoughts and opinions was very interesting. Opinions were varied and this discussion caused students to really reflect on what happened. One key point that had been addressed was the role that social media seemed to play in all of this. Little things like uploading “selfies” with the SWAT team really seemed to fuel the fire. Think about it, would you still ask a SWAT team to take a pic with you if you couldn’t post it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat? Probably not. This is just one example of something that was being considered/ reflected upon (there were many others!).

The last portion of class was devoted to talking about a topic that was deemed to be controversial. Students discussed the unionization of college student-athletes. The question, “Should they be allowed to unionize, why or why not?” was posed and then another discussion section was found to follow. Once again students spoke of their personal opinions and potential complications with the topic at hand. This allowed individuals in the classroom to see things from divergent perspectives.

SMGT 3143- Organization and Management of Sports is a class that is focused around student participation and engagement activities. It’s a course that is found to be very interactive. Professor Joel Maturi creates a lively atmosphere in his classroom and he firmly believes that when students get involved, learning takes place. Professor Maturi does teach his students a great deal of information, however, he also ensures that they have fun throughout the learning process.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

Photo/ GIF Sources: Sports Management BannerMinnesota M

A Peek Into The Pay It Forward Tour

Would you rather… spend spring break by an ocean in Punta Cana (hanging out with your “besties”!), or spend it participating in various community service projects with a bunch of strangers?

I bet right now you’re thinking something along the lines of, “Ha! That’s such an easy question. I’ll go with the first one.”

I think it’s safe to say that most of you would choose Option A. In fact, most of you wouldn’t even have to think twice about your decision. “Vamos a la playa!” would be the only thing running through your mind, right? Well, believe it or not, about 35 students at the U chose to go with Option B during last year’s spring break. You might be thinking, “Why would they ever do that?! They’re nuts!” The simple answer here is that they just wanted to make a difference. The students who went on extravagant spring break trips may have returned to MinneSNOWta with a golden glow; however,  the countless TRIO and UMN students that took part in the Pay It Forward Tour came back with so much more.

In the fall of 2013, four U of M freshmen founded STLF- Students Today Leaders Forever. One night these Territorial Hall residents, that were in the midst of completing a community service project, stayed up late discussing their thoughts on the world and their place in it. They spoke of how they wanted to change the world and how they wanted to change how the world perceives youth. Moreover, these freshmen wanted to inspire a generation of leaders. And thus, a new organization was born. Today, STLF has grown and become a multi-state 501 c(3) national nonprofit organization. It is an organization revealing leadership through service, relationships, and action. STLF has also given birth to the Pay It Forward Tour. This tour consists of a 9-day national service road trip that takes place during the week of spring break.   1

On March 14th, 2014 about 35 students from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities left for this tour.  Six buses were packed with volunteers that were heading to one of three final destinations- Salt Lake City, UT, Washington, D.C., and Houston, TX. Each bus made five additional stops along the way. There were two types of buses. The first type were the classic buses. The volunteers that filled these knew where they were headed. They were aware all of the places the bus would be stopping in before their departure. These individuals knew what the future had in store for them. Well, to a certain extent anyways! The second type of busses were the “mystery” buses. The passengers traveling on these bad boys knew of their final destination, however, they didn’t know what 5 cities they would be stopping in during their trek. But, these passengers were given helpful hints throughout their journeys. Students from the U were given 5 different options, and they could then chose which tour they wanted to embark on. Each tour helped make a difference in our world, and each tour participant has their own story…

Bus #1: Houston Mystery Tour

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How they helped:

  • Typically volunteered from 8:30 am- 11:30 am
  • Helped out on local farms, in nursing homes, with The Salvation Army and with creek and park restoration practices, student volunteers also wrote letters to the troops stationed overseas

Stops along the way:

  • St. Joseph, MO
  • Broken Arrow, OK
  • Pine Bluff, AR
  • Longview, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • Houston, TX

Recreational activities:

  • Went to the Pine Bluff hot springs on St. Patty’s Day!
  • Participated in night activities, the students who went on this tour said that all of the night activities were very influential. The volunteers liked hearing people’s personal stories and they enjoyed sharing their life experiences with one another.

Fun facts:

  • When they were cleaning up a creek in Austin, they were all required to sign a liability form. Pretty scary, huh? (This was in case they came into contact with snakes!)

Memorable quotes:

  • “If you keep trying your best, you influence people without even knowing it. You make a difference in their lives.” -Sonnah Barrie

 Bus #2: UMNTC Houston Classic Tour

Houston Classic Pic

 How they helped:

  • Students helped out with Habitat for Humanity, they volunteered in a cemetery, they cleaned a lady’s home, they assisted in cleaning a zoo, they did a lot of yard work, and they even volunteered at a food shelter

Stops along the way:

  • Liberty, MO
  • Eureka Springs, AR
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Jackson, MS
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Houston, TX

Recreational activities:

  • The student volunteers got to have some fun at a zoo!

Fun facts:

  • Volunteers spent a night sleeping in a Taekwondo center

Memorable quotes:

  •  “We often take things for granted. One guy that we helped started crying and said that 18-year-olds in his town never do things like this. He was really grateful.”  -Candace Bunyan

Bus #3: Salt Lake City Mystery Tour

Houston Mystery

 How they helped:

  • Participated in many cleanup projects (including a highway cleanup project), wrote letters of encouragement to hospice patients, helped out with the Humane Society, volunteered their time to help with a landscaping community service project, cleaned a church, and painted houses with members of Habitat for Humanity

Stops along the way:

  • Lincoln, NE
  • Sidney, MO
  • Boulder, CO
  • Moab, UT
  • Glenwood Springs, CO
  • Salt Lake City, UT

Recreational activities:

  • Hiked the Chautauqua in Boulder, Colorado
  • Visited the hot springs in Glenwood, CO

Fun facts:

  • First stop was Lincoln, NE. So for the helpful hint, everyone on the bus was given a penny. The second city was Sidney, NE, so the volunteers got to watching Finding Nemo on the bus.
  • For most of the cleanup projects the volunteers weren’t given gloves to wear (talk about getting a little dirt on your hands!)
  • Collected 300 pounds of glass during a single cleanup project

Memorable Quotes:

  •  “I wanted to go on this trip right when I heard about it. It is community service based, but you also get the chance to travel and build relationships.” -Vilma Quito
  •  “Every person has a story. They have their own lives that I don’t know about. I can’t just look at someone and know what they’ve been through.” -Daniela Gavilaries
  •  “I learned that I need to be more open minded. This experience really changed my views.” -Ka Ying Lee
  • “It was sad to go back to reality.” -Daniela Gavilaries

Bus #4: Salt Lake City Classic Tour

Houston Mystery 2

How they helped:

  • Cleaned a YMCA, painted the inside walls of buildings, restored certain public areas, and participated in a highway cleanup project

Stops along the way:

  • Kansas City, MO
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Garden City, KS
  • Boulder, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Salt Lake City, UT

Recreational activities:

  • Visited the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, the temples in Salt Lake City, UT, the Garden of the Gods, and they shopped ‘til they dropped in Denver, CO
  • Participated in the “shoulder tapping activity”. During this activity, an affirmative statement is read aloud. Then, if that statement reminds you of someone, or if someone in the room embodies that personal attribute, you simply tap them on the shoulder. This lets others know how they are influencing you in a positive way.

Fun facts:

  • Volunteers learned how to meditate
  • Visited a charter school
  • Created a mural for STLF! All of the volunteers dipped their hands in colored paint and then put their handprints on a wall.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “I led a group jam session in a circle of people. That was a lot of fun.” -Victoria Kor
  • “That night we stayed up until 3 am. We shared memories, and there were tears. These people are considered my family now.” -Victoria Kor
  • “The views were amazing. It was like they were photoshopped or something.” -Victoria Kor
  • “Before we left everyone was crying. I didn’t want to say goodbye.” -Victoria Kor

Bus #5: Washington, D.C. Mystery Tour

 

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How they helped:

  • Served food to veterans, participated in many cleanup projects, painted, and volunteered with foodlink

Stops along the way:

  • Elgin, IL
  • Detroit, MI
  • Rochester, NY
  • Worchester, MA
  • New York City, NY
  • Washington, D.C.

Recreational activities:

  • Visited Times Square in NYC and many historical monuments in Washington, D.C., and played Charades and Catch Phrase on their bus

Fun facts:

  • The volunteers on this tour kept using the phrase Ubuntu (oo-BUN-too), which means “I am who I am because of who you are”
  • Helped clean up the most polluted river in the United States! ( Located in Washington, D.C.)

Memorable quotes:

  • “I wanted to step out of my comfort zone.” -Xinling Zhuo
  • “We didn’t just listen to each other’s stories, we felt each other’s experiences and emotions.” -Derran Bedward
  • “Just to get away from our phones, social media, and all of that was a great experience. It was the most memorable part of the trip for me.” -Derran Bedward

Jumping Pic

All in all, these student volunteers were glad that they had the opportunity to take part in the Pay It Forward Tour. They made a difference in the lives of others, and by helping others, they were able to help themselves. After all, it’s often said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. You may only be one person, but you can be one person that makes a difference in our great, big world. For more info on the Pay It Forward Tours and on TRIO, please visit the following websites- Click here!  And here!

Photo/ GIF Sources: Obviously, STLF, Painting, Cemetery, Food Shelter, Detroit, Jumping Pic, and Helping Others Quote