Author: sneese

Dorm Room, Sweet Dorm Room

dorm room with bed, desk and various decor

Every summer, new students prepare for their first year here at the University of Central Oklahoma. Students search the depths of Pinterest, looking for the perfect packing list, dorm hacks, and most importantly, dorm decor. Decorating the perfect dorm is no small task and can often require hours of research, shopping and labor. Students spend hours wandering the aisles of Target, Hobby Lobby and Bed Bath and Beyond, to ensure that every detail will be both flawless and affordable.

This year, one Central student took dorm decorating to another level. Let’s just say that, if dorm room decorating were an Olympic sport, Abbey Tinsley would finish with a gold medal.

girl stands in front of her bed in her dorm room

Tinsley is a freshman this year, majoring in business, with the hopes of one day becoming a professional choreographer with her own dance studio. She is already making the most of her time at Central, serving as a member of the UCO Pom team and recently joining Sigma Kappa sorority. However, her greatest accomplishment thus far might just be her incredible dorm room.

Dorm room decorating can be tough, so we decided to ask the dorm room diva herself for some much-needed advice and inspiration.

photo of headboard with black and white stripes, with pillows in front and pineapple wall on the adjacent wallOne of the most unique things about Tinsley’s decor is her adorable, striped headboard and bed skirt. As many of us know, it is not easy to dress up your dorm, and it most certainly does not come cheap. Tinsley and her mother created their vision for the dorm room, and her grandmother helped bring that vision to life. Her headboard, bed skirt and curtains were all handmade by her grandmother to fit Tinsley’s personal style.

DIY is a great way to get a custom look for your dorm room while also staying within your budget. Following accounts on Instagram can be helpful.

“I have been following different dorm sites on Instagram for the past couple of years.  I searched the hashtags #collegedorm and #dormroom, just to see what people are doing, and the best way to use the space,” Tinsley said, of her search for inspiration.

Dorms are small – it’s one thing we can all agree on about campus living. Staying organized and finding a proper place for all of your belongings can be difficult, especially when sharing your room with another person. Tinsley combats her lack of space by “lofting” her bed, or raising up the bed to add additional space underneath. She placed all of her dressers underneath her bed, to allow for more space when moving throughout the room. Lofting your bed, like Tinsley did, is a great way to save space, while the addition of a bed skirt hid her dressers from view.

What makes someone want to go above and beyond when creating their dorm sweet dorm, especially when facing space and cost challenges?

“I wanted to make my move and transition to UCO a smooth one,” Tinsley said. “This will be my new home for ten months, so I wanted it to be comfortable.  I need to enjoy my surroundings, and I want to be happy when I’m in my room. My room is small, so I knew I needed to use the space wisely and be able to make it look less cluttered.”

Moving away from home can be hard, so making your new home comfortable can help with the transition and put you at ease.

Dorm decorating is a lot of pressure, but don’t freak out! With a little bit of research and a whole lot of hot glue, you can turn your dorm room into your home away from home.

Throwback Tuesday – 3OH!3 on the M-I-C

Do you remember how old you were in 2008? What was in style? Who was your best friend? What music did you listen to? Oh, 2008 – it had some really good times, some really strange times, and honestly, some times that we would prefer to forget. But, while we’re reminiscing on the good ol’ days, let us gather to remember one of the most iconic happenings of 2008 – a band called 3OH!3, who slid their way into the limelight.

You’re probably thinking, “what does my favorite middle school band have to do with anything?” It has everything to do with kicking off the new Central year right. 3OH!3 will headline the UCO Stampede Week concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22 on the Hamilton Field House front lawn.

As UCO prepares for this evening of nostalgia, we’re taking a look back at some of 3OH!3’s most memorable songs, collaborations and performances. We’re also going to take a timehop down memory lane and latergram a few pop culture happenings from 2008, just to make you feel super old (seniors, we’re looking at you).

a pair of gold hands forming a circle with the index fingers and thumbs

3OH!3 released their debut, self-titled album in 2004, but no one really knew who they were until the release of their album “Want” in 2008, which included the single “Don’t Trust Me.” The album reached number 44 on the Billboard 200. “Don’t Trust Me” soared to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and had us all wondering “what exactly is the Helen Keller?” In 2009, the band released a digital hit, a remix of their second hit single “Starstrukk.” The remix included pop singer Katy Perry and was a top-ten hit in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Finland and Poland. Just one year later, 3OH!3 paired up with Kesha for the song “My First Kiss,” which goes a little like this… Sorry. We couldn’t help ourselves.

Let’s rewind to 2008.  The good times – Zac Efron blessed the big screen again when “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” hit theaters, President Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American president of the United States and the opening ceremony for the Beijing Summer Olympics blew our minds. Then, there was the bad – Heath Ledger died and The Great Recession was in full swing. Of course, there was also the weird – Sarah Palin could see Russia from her house, Britney Spears had her meltdown and the first “Twilight” movie was released (good, bad or weird, we’ll let you decide).

We fell in love with “WALL-E,” we rocked Kanye glasses and we all mumbled along to “black dress, with the tights underneath,” thanks to 3OH!3.

And now, they’re back! Fresh from the studio with a brand-new album, titled “Night Sports,” 3OH!3 hits the Hamilton Field House lawn with a mixed bag of throwback hits and new music.

Ready for a night of flashbacks and feels? Don’t miss 3OH!3 at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22. We’ll see you there!

Solar Eclipse of the Heart

retro science illustration of the solar eclipse with starry night background and typography. Web banner, card, poster or t-shirt design. vector illustration.Chances are, if you’ve been on the internet at all within the past week, two weeks or even month, you’ve probably heard about the solar eclipse coming to a sky near you on Monday, August 21. (Hey, isn’t there something else important happening at UCO on that day? Oh yeah! Welcome back, Bronchos!)

What even is a solar eclipse? 

Basically, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking all or part of the sun for up to three hours, from beginning to end. However, for this eclipse, the longest time that the moon will completely block the sun, at any given location, will be for a little less than 3 minutes (2 minutes and 40 seconds, to be exact).

So, what’s the big deal with this solar eclipse anyway? 

Well, we’re glad you asked. The last time the United States saw a total eclipse was in 1979. That’s almost 40 years ago. Think about it. In 1979, the Soviet Union was still a thing, ESPN was born, Michael Jackson dropped his first solo album, gas was 86 cents per gallon and your parents were probably still in elementary school. So, needless to say, a total solar eclipse (that we can actually see) is super rare.

Well then, how can I see it? 

Another great question! We asked Dr. David Stapleton, a professor in Central’s College of Mathematics and Science, to help spill the tea on all of this eclipse stuff.

“We will not be in the path of totality for the eclipse here in Oklahoma. For example, in OKC, only about 84% of the sun will be eclipsed at the peak eclipse time,” Dr. Stapleton said.

That means that we’ll see a little bit of the sun, but most of it will be covered by the moon. However, it’ll still be a pretty cool sight. BUT there are some important safety tips that you should follow.

“Here in Oklahoma, eye damage will occur when looking at the sun all during the eclipse, unless appropriate glasses are worn,” said Dr. Stapleton. “The eclipse may also be viewed indirectly, such as by viewing its image projected through a pinhole in the back of a box or onto the ground.”

So, if you’re strolling along campus on the first day of classes during the eclipse, don’t look up at the sun! WE REPEAT, DON’T LOOK UP AT THE SUN (unless you’re prepared).

But, I WANT to see the eclipse, how do I get prepared? 

Unfortunately, at this point, the majority of solar glasses are sold out. However, a little bird (Dr. Stapleton) told us that there might be solar glasses available at Westlake Ace Hardware, near the registers. There are A LOT of solar glasses being sold online that ARE NOT safe to look through during the eclipse. However, here’s a list from NASA (they kinda know about suns and moons and things) about where you can safely buy solar glasses (if they’re still available).

If they’re not available, don’t worry! With the help of some good, old-fashioned arts and crafts, you can still view the eclipse. Try making your own eclipse viewfinder for your camera, or you can make one out of a box. You can also try pinhole projection.

Whatever way you’re going to view it, make sure it’s the safe way (so you don’t go blind). Check out these tips from NASA on how to safely view the eclipse.

Want more information?

Visit the official Total Solar Eclipse 2017 website. And make sure to watch this cool video from NPR:

The Future of Food Science – The Bee’s Knees?

When you think of food science, you’re likely to picture an upscale restaurant serving a gastronomical feat – such as a balloon made of sugar – or the creation of a hybrid fruit. However, an assistant professor in Central’s Department of Human Environmental Sciences, Dr. Kanika Bhargava (Ph.D.), suggests that insects may be in food science’s future.

Insects? Like bugs?

You heard right.

“Insects as a food ingredient are gaining interest,” Dr. Bhargava said. That’s why Central’s Nutrition and Food Science Program, along with the Oklahoma section of the Institute of Food Technologists, hosted a lecture featuring Aaron T. Dossey, Ph.D., during UCO’s Food Science Symposium.

The lecture, a part of the Spring 2017 symposium, focused on the chemical and biological diversity of invertebrates (animals without backbones) to develop sustainable technologies and products in the areas of agriculture, food and medicine.

The symposium also featured the Cricket Powder Fortified Baked Good Tasting Event, which challenged UCO food and nutrition majors to bake muffins, brownies, cereal bars and sourdough bread with 15 to 20 percent cricket powder.

You read that correctly. Cricket powder – as in, powder made of crickets.

Dossey is editor of the new book “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients” and the founder of All Things Bugs, a company that develops sustainable eco-friendly technologies from insects to improve food security and health. Dossey earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Florida. He is collaborating with Central’s Dr. Bhargava to apply advanced processing and evaluation technologies to insect-based food ingredients.

This type of technology is gaining traction, as symposium guests included Oklahoma food industry professionals from SONIC, Clements Foods Company, AdvancePierre Foods, BlendTech, McDonald’s Corporation, Shawnee Milling Company and OSU.

The symposium is part of Central’s Nutrition and Food Science graduate program, which strives to connect its students with internationally recognized faculty of registered dieticians and certified food scientists.

Who knew the future of food could be so buggy?

A Letter to Central’s Recent Graduates

As UCO grads settle into life post-graduation, Nathan Box, a Central alumnus (Broadcast Communications, ’07) penned a letter* to these new alumni on his own blog, offering sage advice for the future:

According to social media, another 1,000+ graduates turned their tassels at the University of Central Oklahoma. 10 years ago, I sat where they sat. As I listened to the names of my fellow graduates being read and watched as each accepted their degree, my mind was elsewhere. As soon as I walked off that basketball court, everything would be different. What was expected of me would change. My contributions would need to change. Responsibilities would shift fully in my direction. This life would become fully mine for the taking. The direction I had to choose was mine and mine alone. Happiness, success, contentment, and joy would be up to me. It all felt overwhelming. It was enough to make me want to get up walk out and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately, that simple act wouldn’t change facts. Turning my tassel and walking away from UCO would change everything. 

As many of my fellow graduates can attest, life came fast and it was nothing like what I expected. Your university experience and the experience shared by college students all around the country is really good at cementing confidence within you. The world is really good at putting you in your place. For some, jobs will come easily. For others, the road may be tiresome and disappointing. You may discover your degree prepared you perfectly or you want nothing to do with your chosen field. A few of you will find your dream job straight out of college. Most of you will spend your remaining years searching for something that may never come. It is my simple hope that our choice of institution prepared us for the paradoxes of life. I know it did for me. 

10 years later, I am not where I thought I would be. Perhaps, I suffered from delusions of grandeur. Maybe, I haven’t planned adequately. Maybe, I have missed opportunities. Or, maybe I am right where I am supposed to be. Only the test of time can judge such things. I, like many of you who graduated, live a life filled with fear of unmet potential. I don’t want my life to be wasted or lived in vain. I am of the belief that I only get one shot at this thing, therefore I should make the most of it. I know wholeheartedly that my education prepared me to squash my fear. In my mind, that preparation was worth the price of admission. If UCO is worth anything, you will be saying the same thing 10 years from now. 

Be good to each other, 

-Nathan 

* This letter was edited for minor grammatical errors. View the original post by Nathan.

#FlockGoals: The UCO Geese Story

UCO’s resident geese are no strangers to the spotlight. They’ve been entertaining students for years, first on campus, and now on Twitter, as @UCOGeese.

The UCO Geese Twitter account is an extremely popular student-run account, with more than 800 followers. Inside Central got an exclusive interview with the anonymous student who runs the @UCOGeese account, and he/she wants to inform students that the geese are royalty and demand to be treated as such.

This is their story.

The word on the street is that they come from a very prestigious Canadian goose family. According to our anonymous source, the UCO geese are “of a higher deity than anyone else around them,” which means that we have some seriously special geese waddling around. Sources tell us that their favorite place to hang out on campus is on top of tall buildings, so they can maintain the higher ground and establish dominance over the students – because, after all, they are better than everyone else.

It has been said that the geese establish their high-glam nests on Central’s campus, because it’s a great place to raise their royal goslings. The first order of business when they arrived on campus was to take over Broncho Lake, another flock favorite, and they’ve been slowly expanding ever since.

Did you know that every female goose can lay between 2-9 eggs? This means that we could be expecting upwards of 30 royal goslings this spring! We know that students love to interact with the geese, but @UCOGeese has warned us to please proceed with caution and give them space. They will be protecting their nests at all costs, even if it means nibbling on someone’s toe.

Though not a surprise, our source says that the UCO geese love to be fed, but they mentioned that they are on a strict no-bread diet. To stay on their good side, feed them cooked rice, birdseed or halved grapes. Please do not feed the geese bread, because it makes them sick and goes straight to their hips. They are really trying to maintain their goosley figures.

@UCOGeese says that the geese are all for making friends, as long as students are aware that they are always going to be better than them. They will be kind to those who are kind to them, unless they just feel like trolling people that day – then, you’re out of luck.

At the end of our chat, we asked about the gaggle’s goals and aspirations; we were told that their ultimate goal is to eventually take over the world. So, respect the geese, because let’s be honest. They’re definitely #SquadGoals.

New Program Celebrates Success

The first cohort of UCO Customized Education’s Workforce Advantage program received their Certificates January 13 at UCO Downtown.

The course teaches soft skills such as adaptability, integrity and effective communication methods to employees and managers seeking to improve their professional image and learn strategies for career advancement.

Through an anonymous post-course survey, one trainee said the program “will help me be a better manager to my co-workers and team member to my fellow managers,” while another person commented that it was a “fantastic class, and I would definitely recommend it to others.”

The new certificate is a direct result of Governor Mary Fallin’s “Oklahoma Works” initiative and is offered in partnership with the State Chamber of Oklahoma.

“The workforce must be developed,” said Karen Youngblood, executive director of Customized Education. “Simply taking the chance to hire another employee is no longer a viable solution. Rather than spending up to 150 percent of an employee’s annual salary to replace them, business leaders can transform their personnel into polished professionals who are valuable assets to their organization.”

WAC_Cert1_Group2

The Workforce Advantage Certificate is comprised of three modules: Personal Branding, Relationship Building and Reputation Management. Each one is designed to teach soft skills through learning activities that emphasize practical application, and the initial results demonstrate the viability of this structure.

A new cohort of the Workforce Advantage Certificate begins with Module 1, February 9-10. The training is held at UCO Downtown, located in the Carnegie Center at 131 Dean A. McGee Ave.

To register or learn more about the program, visit ce.uco.edu and click on the “certificates” icon, or call Customized Education at 405-974-3030.

UCO Alumna Starts ‘Beer Yoga’ Movement

Should you challenge your body with a yoga class, or blow it off for a beer with friends? Thanks to Brooke Larson, you don’t have to choose.

The University of Central Oklahoma alumna and former adjunct instructor at the university is the founder of Beer Yoga, a movement growing in popularity. The idea started to brew in February 2014. Larson began posting silly pictures of herself doing yoga poses with a beer in her hand on Instagram. Before she knew it, she reached 10,000 followers. Breweries then began sending her beer to pose with and her following grew to 20,000. She became a certified yoga instructor in July 2015 and Beer Yoga, LLC was born. Today she heads a thriving business with more than 30,000 Instagram followers.

The Beer Yoga experience begins with a yoga class that typically takes place in a brewery. After the class, participants have a beer and may tour the brewery.

“Beer Yoga is all about balance. Those who come to my yoga classes love that they can get a great workout in for their body and mind and afterwards they are rewarded with a tasty beverage. Even better that this takes place in a fun location that they typically have never visited in their city,” Larson said.

The classes are fun for beginner and experienced yogis alike. Larson said participants often say they are intimidated by yoga studios, so the more casual setting of a brewery puts them at ease and allows them to enjoy the class. The goal is to experience yoga in a relaxed, low pressure environment, meet people from all walks of life and discover new kinds of beer.

Larson showing off her skills via InstagramLarson is aware that some people may be a little wary of Beer Yoga but she offers these words of advice, “Just come to one class and see how they feel. Classes are geared towards all levels of physical fitness, and there is no pressure to do all the poses or drink beer. Also, beer is for after class and we will not be drinking or balancing bottles on our heads during class!”

Larson recently relocated to Denver, but says she will be back in Oklahoma to do a few classes this spring at either COOP Ale Works or The Root. If you take her class locally each participant pays $15 for an hour of yoga and one beer, but her out of state classes cost $20.

For more information, or to purchase tickets visit: www.eventbrite.com/o/brooke-larson-8363158161

A Stellar Program: UCO STLR Crosses Borders

Central’s Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) continues to make waves in the higher education community. Institutions across both state and national borders are adopting and adapting STLR on their own campuses.

UCO’s STLR acts as a second transcript for students, recording their growth and tangible transformative learning experiences across five of Central’s six tenets: Global and Cultural Competencies, Health and Wellness, Leadership, Research, Creative and Scholarly Activities, and Service Learning and Civic Engagement.

Across the nation, Western Carolina University, in North Carolina, has begun the planning and assessment phases of their adaptation of the STLR program, which they’ve titled DegreePlus. Additionally, a team of seven from Eastern Washington University, in Washington state, will travel to UCO at the end of this month to get a firsthand look at the inner workings of the STLR program.

Internationally, Collège La Cité, in Ottawa, Canada, launched the STLR program on their campus, during the Fall 2016 semester, becoming the first institution, outside of UCO, to do so. Massey University, in New Zealand, held a webinar meeting this month for a deep dive into STLR and will send one of their deans to UCO in February, in preparation to bring a version of STLR to their campuses.

UCO Photo Services

UCO Photo Services

 

The success of STLR has been made possible by the hard work of the many faculty, staff, students and administrators that created, contributed and collaborated on the program. Because of their dedication, STLR’s goals and processes are now being valued and emulated by other organizations.

Stay connected to Inside Central for more inside looks at the STLR program and its impact on the national and international higher education communities, including  a preview into the creation of Massey University’s own set of STLR tenets.