Thursday, May 9, 2013

Until We Meet Again

I have become to think of Vol State as my second home, especially since I have spent more time on campus than I have at my actual home. The windowless newsroom in the Wood Campus Center can suck you in like a person with a gambling problem and you're inside a casino. Many nights I have spent in that room only to walk outside and realize it's a new day. Although coming back to college consumed most of my time, I would not trade my Vol State experience with anything in the world. 

When I first decided to come back to college in spring 2011, it was scary and exciting. I came into Vol State for testing on a Saturday, registered, and started my first class the same afternoon.  After being out of college for several years, and the only things that I had written were emails at work, it was no surprise that I needed to take a developmental writing class. Going from a developmental writing class to the social media writer for the school’s blog and editor of the school’s magazine within a year seems shocking, but I owe it all to the professors and instructors that I had here at Vol State.

Arlo Hall was my first instructor and he really inspired me to do my best when it comes to writing. Laura Black really helped me find my voice in her English class, and Grady Eades helped me structure my writing in his History class. Even with all my help from my instructors, without the Language Center and Susan Previte, I would have been lost. Once I started my communication classes, Clay Scott took everything that I thought I knew about writing and threw it out the window. Writing for media and AP (Associated Press) style is completely different from writing an academic paper. With the help of Eric Melcher and Scott I have learned to write for media, and also confuse myself when writing a paper for class.

I wish I could have spent my two years focusing mainly on literature, but it's mandatory to take other classes in the math, science and social science divisions. I really appreciate Carol Topping for making Psychology interesting enough to make me second guess my major in mass communication and think about neurology. Can you imagine me as a brain surgeon? Sounds funny, but she made it seem possible. Seth McCormick managed to teach me biology to where I could actually use it in everyday conversation, and Peggy Dyers stayed with me after class working on math problems that I did not understand during class. I truly do not believe that I would have received this hands on experience at any other school. Especially in the radio studio where I had my own radio show. Thanks to Howard Espravnik, I'm one step closer to being Oprah status!

Vol State has not been all academic, it has been a place to have fun and give back to the community. As a member of several clubs on campus, I have had the chance to work on several service learning projects as well as help entertain the students on campus with my involvement in student government and association of campus entertainment (ACE). I know that the student life office works extra hard to ensure that students feel like they are more than just a number, but a actual person who wants more from their school than just classes. Dr. Kenny Yarbough, Tabitha Sherrell and Lori Miller make it all possible, plus they listen to my rants.

It's not just the things that happen on campus, because of Vol State, I have been able to travel this beautiful country of ours as well as other countries. Thanks to the International Study Program, I have been to France, Holland, and Belgium. I am gearing up to travel to China this summer. I owe the world to Anne-Marie Ruttenbur for being a good friend and mentor to me and all of the Vol State students who travel the globe with the help of Dr. John Espey.

I have really enjoyed the past two years at Vol State and I know that I do not have to say good bye to anyone, because I’m sure that we will see each other again.  Thanks to all the professors I have ever bugged with all my questions, everyone in student services, especially Patty Powell. And a big thanks to everyone in the Public Relations Department, for taking a chance on a writer who started her writing career in a developmental class. Tami Wallace is the best boss a person can ask for, and Lesa Durham and Holly Nimmo are so helpful, because they are all knowing. Jason Bugiada and Jefferson Furtado kept me entertained in the P.R. office. Because of my position, I have had an opportunity to meet so many interesting people who have been apart of Vol State, as well as individuals from around the world. I have also had the chance interview celebrities like former NBA player John Salley and a high profile attorney, Ray Whitley. These two years have been absolutely amazing. This is not me saying goodbye, but this is me saying, see you later. Once a Pioneer always a Pioneer!

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