|A Smooth Transition for First-Year Coralys Mercado '14
Only a month into her first semester, Coralys Mercado '14 isn't sweating a thing. Homesick? "No … I go home every other weekend so that takes care of missing home." Dorm life adjustments? "I love our floor! Everyone's door is open all the time and it feels like a second family." Academics? "My classes are great. There's something about the way the teachers teach here. I feel like I understand everything they say."
For a first-year student in a challenging major (Nursing) Mercado seems exceptionally calm and focused — traits she attributes to being in the right place.
"Well, I always wanted to be a nurse, I've known that for as long as I can remember and everyone says this has the best Nursing program in New England," she said. "But once I came to campus, I really knew. It just hit me: 'This is where I'm meant to be.'" And so she is — fully entrenched in campus life.
Carrying a full course load, Mercado also works in the Office of Marketing & Communications and is active in several student groups, including SPEC (Student Programming and Events Council), the Babysitting Club, and the Spanish Club. "Oh, and I also signed up to be an altar server in The Chapel," she said.
Mercado is used to a busy and varied schedule. She graduated from a technical high school where she majored in fashion design ("I love fashion, but never wanted it to be my career.") She attributes her love of science to a high school teacher who "did experiment after experiment with us. It made me see how things work and since then, the sciences just clicked with me." During her senior year, Mercado completed an adult education class and became a certified nursing assistant (CNA), an experience that cemented her commitment to nursing. "I'm the type of person who likes to take care of others. Once I did the CNA training I knew for sure," she said. "I'm going to be a nurse."
Ekaterina Lioutikova, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics
Many students find math intimidating, particularly those who are majoring in non-related disciplines. But Dr. Ekaterina Lioutikova considers collective math anxiety to be a challenge that she is willing to take on as she strives to make Mathematics enjoyable to all. She said, "I use active learning techniques in the classroom. I want students to experiment and reach their own conclusions. Most students have learned Mathematics in a procedural way, but they often don't understand why a certain procedure works and what the reasoning behind it is. I try to have them arrive at a conceptual understanding of the problems they are solving."
Dr. Lioutikova began teaching at Saint Joseph College in 1999. After earning her Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal, an institution known for its research, she was delighted to land at a college where the mission is based on teaching and being accessible to students. Since her first day at Saint Joseph College, her teaching style has been characterized as very enthusiastic. "At Saint Joseph College, I can make a difference," she said. "I enjoy getting women involved in math; it's empowering. I want them to see that there is beauty in math."
For more faculty spotlights, visit www.sjc.edu/faculty.
|Make a Date with your Daughter: Arts on Campus
The Carol Autorino Center launched its 10th anniversary season this fall with a full and varied production menu. The Center's calendar includes an array of professional and student events — all providing great opportunities to spend an afternoon or evening on campus with your daughter.
Highlights of the season include: An International Film Series, Ballroom Extravaganza, the 8th Annual 5x5 Dance Festival, Macbeth, and a screening of To Kill a Mockingbird (introduced by film historian Jeanine Basinger).
For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact the Frances Driscoll Box Office at 860.231.5555 or www.sjc.edu/arts.
Kirschbaum Prints and American 20th Century Paintings on View
Remember, we are (according to The New York Times) "one of the liveliest campus museums in the state." Come see for yourself! Hours and information are available at www.sjc.edu/artgallery. Admission: free.
|Allaying First Semester Panic
By Dr. Cheryl Barnard, vice president for student affairs/dean of students
When most people think of October, they think of crisp fall days, pumpkins and beautiful foliage. For a first-year student, unfortunately, the wonders of October are often lost with the realities of what college is really going to be like!
Until now, your daughter has been experiencing the thrill which comes with living in a new place, having more freedom, and meeting new friends. Her classes have been interesting, and in fact, she may be wondering why everyone told her that college was so much harder than high school! Then, unexpectedly, she realizes that mid-terms are approaching in just a few short weeks.
This means PANIC. So as a parent, what can you do to help your daughter? My first suggestion is that you recommend that she create a chart for October, which includes her classes, activities, eating, and, yes, eight hours of sleep (some students like to color code each activity; although this makes it very pretty, it really isn't necessary). Then have her count up all the extra hours remaining during the week. At minimum, there should be approximately six hours of free time per day that should be spent on schoolwork.
The second way you can assist your daughter in gaining control over this PANIC is to recommend that she use all the resources on campus available to her. She can attend one of the many stress reduction programs offered, sign-up for tutoring at the Center for Academic Excellence (860.231.5514) or even participate in a study group. She can also submit a draft of a paper via computer to email@example.com.
If your daughter does not know how to find out what resources are available to her, have her ask her peer mentor or talk to one of the advisors in the Academic Advisement Center at 860.231.5433.
|Happy New (Academic) Year
The fall 2010 semester officially began August 30 with the start of classes, Convocation, and a community-wide picnic. In keeping with SJC tradition, students, faculty, administrators, and staff assembled in The Connor Chapel for a Convocation ceremony that blended the academic with the spiritual. President Pamela Trotman Reid welcomed all attendees. "At a time when increasingly we see public exhibitions of ignorance and intolerance," she said, "Saint Joseph College remains a haven for thoughtful dialogue, intense inquiry, and intellectual openness."
Psychology Instructor Tonya Rondinone, M.A., winner of the John J. Stack Excellence in Teaching Award, delivered the Convocation address. Speaking on "Titles, Labels, and Passion: What Really Counts," Rondinone reminded students to focus on their "actions, passions, compassion, and willingness to embark on the unknown journey."
Spirits were high as students picnicked on the quad and contemplated the upcoming year. Resident Coordinator Tai Feaster said she was most looking forward to "meeting all the new students and reconnecting to the returning ones."
To hear more student comments and to catch the spirit of Convocation, watch "Opening Day at SJC" at www.sjc.edu/youtube.
|School of Pharmacy Opens in Downtown Hartford
Saint Joseph College expanded its already-significant presence in downtown Hartford with the official opening of the School of Pharmacy, located at 229 Trumbull Street. "What makes the School of Pharmacy special is that it is the first time we have situated an entire School — one of the five schools into which Saint Joseph College programs are divided — in a separate facility," said President Pamela Trotman Reid in her remarks to civic and community leaders. "This facility has been designed with a goal of educating top-quality pharmacists through an innovative and rigorous year-round program that allows students to obtain their doctor of Pharmacy degree in just three years. The School of Pharmacy's centralized location will allow easy access for our students, bring groups of talented young professionals downtown, and provide our communities with outstanding pharmacists."
|Keeping up with SJC
Curious about life at Saint Joseph College? Check out our social media sites for an inside look of College life through blogs, videos, postings, and more:
|Learning About Student Life
The annual Clubs and Majors fair was held September 8 on the quad, providing students the opportunity to learn about various student organizations and academic majors by meeting with involved students and faculty. To date, Saint Joseph College hosts 30+ student-run organizations and offers 25 undergraduate majors.
|Blue Jays Athletics
Stay up-to-date with all the SJC athletics news and events through www.sjc.edu/athletics. It's a busy semester with soccer, cross country, tennis, swimming/diving, and basketball all underway. Be sure to catch a game and show your support!
|From the Career Development Center|
Remind your student to visit the Career Development Center on a regular basis. A national survey of 2009 graduates conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) showed that graduates who used their college's career services enjoyed higher employment rates.
The SJC Career Development Center offers career planning, resume preparation, interview coaching, internships, and job search assistance. Let them be a student's first resort, not her last!
|The Next Step in Career Prep
Thinking of graduate school? The College's co-educational School of Graduate and Professional Studies offers numerous degree and certificate programs, some of which can be combined with undergraduate learning to save a full year off a student's plan of study. For a full list and detailed information, visit www.sjc.edu/grad.
Saint Joseph College is committed to helping students succeed throughout their entire academic journeys. Whether a student is in her first year adapting to campus life or time management, or is a senior preparing to transition into the working world, the College offers appropriate services. Commonly used resources and their campus extensions (preceded off campus by 860.231) are as follows:
|Parents Update is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications. Questions? Contact Laura Sheehan, manager of creative services, at Lsheehan@sjc.edu or 860.231.5297.|