21 February 2014

How I Work: Graphic artist

posted by Meaghan Milliorn
Last year, we started a series showcasing how some people work at UALR. This week, we get an inside look into the workspace of Benny Scroggin, student development specialist, aka graphic artist, in the Office of Campus Life.
14 February 2014

Love, academic style

posted by UALR

This Valentine’s Day we wanted to bring you a story about love. Lucky for everyone, we found two UALR students who met, fell for each other, got married, and now are co-authoring a paper together. Maybe it’s the nerd in us, but we think Ben and Annie’s story is the sweetest thing, especially when they tell it.  (more…)

12 February 2014

Top 5 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

posted by Jennifer Godwin

It’s one of those holidays you love or love to hate. Whatever your affinity or relationship status, here are five things you can do this week for Valentine’s Day: (more…)

10 February 2014

‘A sea of resources and opportunity’

posted by UALR

Jeannie Kuang-Nguyen graduated from Mills High School in Little Rock in 2013 and could have gone out of state for college. Instead, she stayed close to home and came to UALR, which she says opened up her world in all new ways.

My senior year of high school, I had a great desire to leave the state, but when I began considering in-state options, specifically the Donaghey Scholars Program at UALR, I was convinced that it wasn’t necessary to leave to receive a good education or to have an enlightening undergraduate experience. (more…)

21 January 2014

‘Nothing compares’ with scholar program

posted by Jennifer Godwin

Congratulation to Mackie O’Hara, who was named a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. The competitive award includes a $32,000 annual stipend and $12,000 in tuition support for three years, as well as opportunities to apply for additional travel funding. Nationally, only 16 awards were given in Mackie’s category of biological anthropology.

Mackie hails from central Arkansas and was convinced her college choice would take her out of state. Four years later, and the Donaghey Scholar was right about one thing – she has traveled far and wide. But her college home was right down the road at UALR.  (more…)

16 January 2014

Trojans, roll up your sleeves

posted by Jennifer Godwin

We hear over and over again that UALR is a community-minded university. But what exactly does that mean?

In countless ways large and small, the employees and students at UALR help out one another, the surrounding neighborhoods, and central Arkansas. The UALR Staff Senate is one such campus organization that lends a helping hand throughout the year, whether it be donating food baskets at the holidays to volunteering at Red Cross blood drives. (more…)

18 December 2013

Advice to grads: See more rocks

posted by Jennifer Godwin

See more rocks. That might be an unusual appeal to make to a crowd of soon-to-be college graduates, unless they were all budding geologists. But Dr. Beth McMillan’s point is that whatever the field, students must expand their options by gathering data and putting it all in a mental atlas.

Watch her inspirational speech:

Thanks to Drs. McMillan, Michael DeAngelis and Laura Ruhl for the photos.

Earth sciences students on a field trip










17 December 2013

Commencement: social edition

posted by Meaghan Milliorn

I love commencement, and one of my favorite things is seeing others’ excitement play out on social media. We asked students to use certain hashtags in their posts on Instagram and Twitter leading up to the big day, and then we put those pictures and posts in a video that played on the big screen before the ceremonies.

It was nice seeing grads thank professors or family members for helping them get to this moment. It was also fun to see what grads were doing to get ready for their big day!

Thanks to everyone who helped make this video and congratulations to our fall graduates!

8 December 2013

Ace those finals with these tips

posted by UALR

All students want to say so long to the fall semester by acing their finals. Purvi Parmar (currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Quality), a graduate assistant in TRIO Student Support Services, organizes workshops for study skills and tutors SSS students. Here she shares some helpful study tips for finals. Don’t forget about the extended library hours this week, either.

Following these tips and strategies can help students increase their understanding and enhance their test performance. So read on and pass that final like a PRO!

Right Approach – Better Start: If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.

Whether you study better with a group or prefer to be alone, studying for a final exam can make a huge difference on your final grades. It can be very stressful. However, if you know how to study in a correct way, you can make better grades without applying too much pain and effort, raising your GPA in the process.

Keep up with the POSSE plan (POSSE stands for Plan, Organize, Study, Schedule, and Evaluate):

PLAN your study

  • Know your syllabus (What does it say?)
  • Know your subjects/materials
  • Know your test very well
  • Know your instructor and classmates – look for group study
  • Know your final – exam, research paper, project, or quiz
  • Know yourself (e.g. particular strength and/or weakness, most effective study time for you or awakening time for your brain chemistry).

ORGANIZE your studying strategy

The earlier you start studying, the better organized you will be. Cramming may work occasionally but, during finals, rushing your study material can be unfavorable to retaining information. Start reading or writing early to better grasp a deeper understanding of your subject. Go to class regularly; gather appropriate material or start collecting notes from the lectures; start working with a tutor; and construct a study plan.

SCHEDULE your study plan in a better way

Take a few minutes to prioritize. Decide which classes will have the most demanding finals, and then give those subjects extra time and study for those finals when you are most alert. Understand the value of time and make it count for your study. Avoid studying for long hours. Always take short breaks during study and reward yourself by watching TV, playing games, or something else relaxing. If you are a “morning person,” then try to schedule study time earlier in the day. And, if you are a “night-owl,” study after dark.

Use the “Break It Down Method” either for scheduling your budgeted time or for strategic study, such as studying only one subject for one hour per chapter.

STUDY at your best

Study with proper concentration and the right mindset. Make study enjoyable and fit in your study environment. Study different subjects alternately. Use some technique for good memory development, like making poems, rhymes or acronyms, mind maps, outlines, stories, or flashcards. Make clear revisions within 48 hours of your reading or study. Be careful about immersing yourself ‘too much’ in subject material.

EVALUATE yourself

Do so by making a self-practice exam and review your past papers (what mistakes you have made?) or imaginatively ask questions like the instructor. Look for an available practice test and create a self-exam environment to practice in order to reduce fear of exams and boost your confidence level. Don’t categorize yourself.

In addition, try to work with your instructor and tutors. If you are struggling to understand or grasp certain concepts, consider studying for your final exam with a tutor.

Eat well and get plenty of rest. Pulling all-nighters is counter-productive and can actually cause grades to suffer. Drink plenty of water to ensure your brain is at its peak so you can concentrate while studying and taking the exam.

Last, but not least, stay away from distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, messaging, chatting, parties and hangouts with friends. Avoid trying to work with a stressful study partner. Put all electronic gadgets away and focus all of your mind power on studying.

Remember, be positive and don’t forget to taste the reward by celebrating a good exam result or your accomplishment of a project. It will reinforce your disciplined study habits and fuel your motion toward success.

POSSE: A Study Plan For Objective Exams. Retrieved Nov. 13, 2013, from www.cas.lsu.edu, Center for Academic Success: http://appl015.lsu.edu/slas/cas.nsf/$Content/Study+Strategies+Tips+and+Tools/$FILE/POSSE.pdf

11 November 2013

Student and soldier

posted by UALR

Military ombudsman Kathy Oliverio helps a very important group – our military members past and present and their families – transition to college. This Veterans Day, she shares a story about a soldier-turned-student.

Many of our students choose to go back to school a little later in life. We call those students “non-traditional.”

Nikki Ackerman, UALR English majorNon-traditional students come from all walks of life including the military. What does a typical military student look like?  That’s hard to say, because no two are alike.

Nicole “Nikki” Ackerman is a non-traditional student.  She is also a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and at one time in her life, a soldier.  That would make her a “non-traditional female” as well. In the United States, only .007% of women between the ages of 20-35 choose to join the military.

Ackerman joined the Army in 1995 and served for four years as a Military Policeman. Like many in the military, she was able to “see the world.” Unfortunately, the parts of the world she was able to see weren’t your typical tourist destinations.

Between 1995-1999, Ackerman was stationed in such glamorous places as Fort McClellan, Ala., and Fort Polk, La.  She also traveled to Bosnia during the Allied Forces involvement in the Bosnian War.

“I liked Bosnia.It may have been a war-torn country but it was still beautiful,” Ackerman recalled. “Land mines were everywhere, but it was still beautiful to look at.”

Being a female military member can be challenging. Women make up about 20 percent of today’s force. Ackerman related that the worst part of being a female in the Army was “being treated like a girl.”  She said that she felt she was a “soldier first, everything else later.”

The deployments and loss of time spent with family took their toll and Ackerman left the Army in 1999.  Missing the camaraderie and esprit de corps that is found in few places other than the military, she decided to join the Army Reserves in 2007 as a medic.

Soon after signing up, Ackerman was sent to “play in the sand.” This is a phrase that many military members say when they are deployed to the Middle East.

When asked about serving in Iraq, she said it was “not so bad.”  She was deployed to Balad, Iraq. Some soldiers refer to that assignment as being in “Disneyland” only with mortar attacks.

Nikki Ackerman was a soldier deployed to places such as Iraq. The city had many amenities like coffee shops and entertainment.  You just had to watch your back whenever you went off base.  Ackerman related that a local coffee shop was “taken out” shortly after she left.  Nikki revealed there was one perk she enjoyed about being a higher-ranked enlisted female soldier in Iraq: She didn’t have a roommate.

In 2009, while stationed at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Ackerman made the decision that when the deployment ended she would go back to school. The summer of 2010 was her first semester. In 2012, she made the decision to voluntarily enter the Individual Ready Reserve and put her military career on hold to focus solely on school and her now-teenage daughter.

The transition from military service to UALR student hasn’t always been an easy one.  “We are not as young as they [traditional students] are, but we have experienced and know more than they will ever know.”

This can be said about military students who are the same age as “traditional” aged students. Ackerman goes on to caution, “Don’t ask if we killed anyone.  That will not get you an answer.”

She added, “Don’t look at us as broken because we’re not all broken.  Not all veterans are broken. Be patient. If they [veterans] ask for help, give it to them. Be a ‘Good Samaritan’ and help them out.”

This non-traditional student’s plans are simple: Graduate from UALR in less than five years. A degree, Ackerman said, will start her “on the path” to becoming a screenwriter.  She said that an MFA degree in screenwriting may be a possibility. She is going to go wherever life takes her.

For now, life has brought her to UALR.

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