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.

UCO Students Dance Their Way to a Better World

University of Central Oklahoma students are brushing up on all of the latest moves for participation in BronchoThon, an 8-hour dance marathon dedicated to the many children who are assisted by Children’s Miracle Network. BronchoThon is UCO’s version of popular dance marathons done by universities throughout the nation. BronchoThon is new to UCO this semester, taking the place of Spring Sing, and will generate awareness and financial support for the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation, an affiliate of the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. BronchoThon will include musical entertainment, student-led activities, refreshments and, of course, dancing. At the end, everyone will celebrate the total amount of money raised.

“BronchoThon is a philanthropy composed of college students who want to make a difference and fight for the next generation. We believe that every kid should have the opportunity to dance, fight, and live. BronchoThon is how we act out on that belief.”

UCO students can sign up for BronchoThon either as an individual dancer or with an organization. The registration cost is $25 per dancer. Throughout the spring semester, students will attend benefit nights, complete tasks and fundraise to earn points. These points are called Miracle Points, and the organization that has the most Miracle Points by the night of BronchoThon will receive an award called the Miracle Cup. There is also a Miracle Cup for the individual who earns the most Miracle Points. In addition, there will be an organization that is the overall winner of BronchoThon, considered the “Overall Miracle Cup Champion.” The Miracle Cup is a great incentive, evoking healthy competition that will encourage students to raise more money for the cause.

Ride on, Bronchos

After a successful fall semester, Central’s Safe Ride program, a partnership between UCO and Uber, lives on.

For the Spring 2017 semester, students can request free rides up to $15 on the Uber app, from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from January until May. Students can take six trips, within the Edmond and surrounding areas, during the semester.

Are you new to Uber? No problem! Just download the Uber app and create an account profile using your @uco.edu email address. You can then enter the code UCOSPRING17 into the Promotions section of the app.

Already using Uber? You’re all set! Update your profile with your @uco.edu email address, if you haven’t done so already, and enter the code UCOSPRING17. If you participated in the program last semester, just enter the code and Uber away!

Celebrating Diversity in Scholarship

Captured in two of Central’s six tenets, global and cultural competencies and research, scholarly and creative activities are prevalent throughout the UCO campus, in both curricular and extra-curricular settings. However, one student group is celebrating its diversity, while promoting research, scholarship and creativity.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-55-02-amDiverse Student Scholars (DSS) is a group comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students at Central, who collaborate to conduct, present and share scholarly research to the academic community and beyond. Dr. Jeanetta Sims, assistant dean for Central’s Jackson College of Graduate Studies and a tenured associate professor in the marketing department in Central’s College of Business, began DSS in the fall of 2007, her first semester of teaching at UCO.

Taking Paws to De-Stress

College can be stressful. It’s a well-known fact that between classes, extra-curricular activities, social events and jobs, college students can experience high levels of stress.

In order to help students de-stress, Central’s Center for Counseling and Well-Being hosts a weekly event “Stress Paws” with three H.A.L.O.-certified therapy dogs each Thursday from 3-5 p.m. on the fourth floor of Nigh University Center.

Human Animal Link of Oklahoma (H.A.L.O.) was founded on the belief that dogs and humans can form wonderful and mutually-beneficial relationships. H.A.L.O. is a nonprofit organization that provides animal-assisted therapy to patients, residents and students.

“We are a Central family. My husband and I met at UCO when we were 18, and our kids were Bronchos as well,” said H.A.L.O.’s Executive Director Terri Smith.

“We love being able to partner with our Alma Mater and share our therapy dogs with its students!”

Ride-Sharing is Caring

For the Fall 2016 semester, the UCO Student Association (UCOSA) partnered with Uber to offer free rides to UCO students on the weekends. In typical college student fashion, Bronchos took full advantage of the situation. Here’s a look at what a few students had to say about their experiences:

The Singing Student

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“I frequently use the UCO Uber on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It’s been great! Kept me out of a lot of trouble by making the right decision by getting one. I think it’s impacted this campus big time by reminding students that it’s okay to drink, but be safe by using Uber instead of driving!”

– Dillon, pre-med major from Newcastle, OK

Being Involved at UCO

By Riley Cole, junior strategic communication major, leadership minor

Being involved at UCO has allowed me to become connected to campus, understanding the history and richness Central embodies. I have built community like no other. I’ve discovered my passion and strengths, and built my resume more and more. So it seems, busier students do better in all areas; I’ve found this to be true.

Serving as a chapter president I’ve been stretched and strengthened more than I could have ever imagined. If it wasn’t for peers who saw potential in me and encouraged me to step up in leadership roles, I would have never had the opportunity to become a member of Sigma Phi Lambda and serve as president. This role has given me immense opportunities on campus, influence in areas I never would’ve dreamed and friendships that will last forever.

Getting involved at UCO has greatly enhanced my college experience. I would not be the leader, student, friend or sister I am if it wasn’t for the organizations I’ve invested in.

Editor’s note: Cole is a member of the following organizations:

  • Sigma Phi Lambda (president, chaplain, homecoming chair, cheer and dance choreographer and Spring Sing chair);
  • President’s Leadership Council (senior representative);
  • New Broncho Orientation (Stampede Week director); and,
  • Hooves Up (rally coordinator).
photograph of renovation of stairs at Max Chambers Library

Cosmetic Surgery for the Max Chambers Library

By Christine Edwards, librarian, Max Chambers Library

This summer the UCO library is undergoing a bit of a face lift. Among the top of these procedures is a re-flooring of the main staircase. Tiles have been torn up and the steps lay bare awaiting their new coverings. Complementing the update of the stairs, a fresh paint job is being applied to all those dusty white (or formerly white) pillars that crisscross the atrium. The expansively high ceilings have required the use of some heavy equipment which has the librarians and students listening to a lovely chorus of “beep, beep, beep” as they maneuver around the first floor. This also required the unfortunate closing off of the east entrance. Want that Starbucks coffee from the Outtakes Café? Need a study snack? You’ll have to walk all the way around the outside for the time being.

If you’re tired of walking, then you might choose to take the elevator instead of the stairs when you come back to study. Look down during your ride and you’ll notice the shiny new floor. No more suspicious-smelling carpet in these lifts! It has been replaced by an easy-to-clean alternative and we are oh so happy about it.

So, while the construction might be inconvenient for the moment, the end result will be well worth the pain of the process and a cosmetically enhanced library will be able to welcome you back in the fall.

— Photo provided by Jeff Musslewhite, library technician III, Max Chambers Library