Tag: study abroad

Silent Library

To the students of UCO, finals week is officially upon us! Since you’re reading this, I am just going to assume that means you aren’t studying (surprise, surprise). Why is it that when finals week comes around, and we should be studying, it’s always the last thing we want to do? Maybe it’s because our brains are already on winter break or maybe it’s because we’re just mentally and physically exhausted. It also seems that no matter where you go to try and escape you get distracted, whether it’s by friends or by social media, you just can’t seem to focus. But fear not my friends, because we have some great ideas for places to study right here on Central’s campus!

Let’s start out with a college go-to, the coffee shop. You may think that coffee shops would be too loud or distracting, but the Starbucks in the Nigh is actually incredibly peaceful! Just grab yourself a drink, pop in some headphones and join the rest of the caffeinated, sleep-deprived students. If you like lattes, we would highly recommend picking up a Caramel Brulée Latte, maybe add an extra shot if you’re feeling particularly unmotivated.  This is also a great place to work on group projects (we’re looking at you communications majors). The long tables and mellow environment make it the perfect place to collaborate.

Another great classic study spot is the Max Chambers Library. We spoke with Michele Ramsdell, assistant director of library development, about the best places to study in the library.

“There are many places in the library for quiet study.  The best place is on the south side of the fourth floor.  This area is marked as a ‘silent zone,’ which means no cell phone usage, and no talking,” Ramsdell said.

Ramsdell also mentioned that there are quiet zones on the second, third and other areas of the fourth floor, as well as study rooms on the second and third floors, which are great for quiet group study sessions. You can reserve a study room on the library’s website, by phone at 405-974-5159 or in person on the third floor.

The library has a lot of places where students can go to study alone and stay focused. The library also has the Market, which is a perfect place to grab a snack or some coffee in between study sessions. However, the best part of studying in the library is definitely the dogs! Central’s Center for Counseling and Well-Being hosts Stress Paws events, where students can pet therapy dogs to help de-stress.

Last, but certainly not least, UCO has a hidden study spot that not many students frequent. The Howell Hall Atrium has a large study room full of tables and chairs that are perfect for studying on your own or collaborating with a group. We do have to warn you though, it can get pretty wild (wild animals that is). This room is full of taxidermied animals and various creatures, to keep things interesting. If you are looking for a change of scenery while you study, this is definitely the perfect place to switch it up.

Finals are hard, but don’t stress out too much! Grab yourself a coffee, pet some loveable fur babies and go ace those finals Bronchos!

Reading Rainbow: Spreading Joy Through Literacy

As a college student in America, at any given moment, there is probably at least one book in your backpack, not to mention the countless books on shelves in your home. Now, imagine wanting to read, but not having the resources to do so.

A group of UCO students stands in front of a library in Gulu, Uganda.

The group of Central students stands in front of the library in Gulu, Uganda where they made improvements.

This summer, as part of a study tour, a group of UCO students traveled more than 8,000 miles across the world to serve the Ugandan community and provide maintenance for a new library that had been built at the St. Monica vocational school in Gulu, Uganda. This library was built thanks to the generous support of the UCO community. Last semester, the same group of students hosted a gala and organized a T-shirt fundraiser for St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, with the help of Sister Rosemary, the director of the center, all to assist with literacy efforts in the area. The St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre is a safe-haven for young women who have been subjected to horrors such as abduction, torture and more, as well as being forced to injure or kill family members while serving as soldiers in Kony’s army against their will.

With more than $12,000 in raised funds, the students set off to give their time and efforts to the Ugandan community. During their time in Uganda, the students helped sand, prime and paint the new library in St. Monica’s convent. In addition to helping abroad, the UCO students helped foster growth and leadership in students of all ages within the metro community, by engaging the students of Belle Isle Middle School in Oklahoma City. The middle school donated enough books to fill 23 suitcases, which then were taken to Uganda during the UCO trip.

Student body president Stockton Duvall attended the study tour and described the valuable experience.

“I think [the trip] was important, because it taught us, as students, that you can create change as a college student. You don’t have to wait until you’re grown up and settled into a job. Giving your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can present to someone.”

“I would say that on my trip the most important lesson that I learned is that we should strive to not always focus our work around ourselves, but instead be willing to be part of someone else’s story,” Duvall continued. “We each got to play a small part in the story of Sister Rosemary and all the other women at st. Monica’s and help in the best way we possibly could.”

Four women at St. Monica's convent in Uganda stand with student Stockton Duvall.

Stockton Duvall, student body president, stands with women from St. Monica’s in Gulu, Uganda.

For those searching for a way to give back, like this group of UCO students, Duvall gave this advice, “I would suggest trying new things and developing a passion in an area where you can help others. Dedicating your life to helping those around you, whether it be through your job here or overseas, can change your perspective on life for the better. If you have the opportunity to travel abroad, whether it is for a short time or an entire year, take it.”

Serve on, Bronchos!