Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dishing Out Love to Donors This Week

There are many different types of people who support Utah State monetarily: alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and more. We love every group for the unique ways in which they affect USU’s success:
  • As alumni, you give back by donating time, money or experiences to our university and its students. In addition, you give Utah State a good name by using the marketable skills and knowledge you developed while in school at your workplaces and in your homes.
  • Faculty and staff have dedicated their careers to teaching our students and providing opportunities for them to succeed. They've spent countless hours preparing and producing quality curriculum and programs for students.
  • Students can give back through the True Blue pledge. More importantly, USU would not be the great institution it is without hardworking, devoted students who use their ingenuity and intent to acquire well-earned degrees.
  • Parents support their students as they learn and grow at USU. They can support systems like the Merrill-Cazier Library, which serves as a valuable learning environment for every student on campus.


We recognize that many Alumni fit into several of these categories. Because of your unfailing support of this institution, we would like to say thank you, once again.


The relocation of the Block A was made possible by USU donors


This week, February 25-27, is Love-A-Donor week. Every day we thank a different group of our supporters:
      
February 25th - Celebrate Faculty and Staff - Send words of love and appreciation to faculty members who go above and beyond the call of duty! The Student Alumni Association will also be giving a small gift to these wonderful individuals. 
February 26th - Celebrate Alumni - Say thank-you to those who have come before! On this day, the alumni population will receive a powerful video via email from our student population saying thank you for the generosity of all our giving alumni.
February 27th - Celebrate Students - Many students give of their time, talents and treasures to USU. On this day, the Student Alumni Association will recognize all of those types of donors. If you have given the True Blue Pledge stop by the Alumni House from 11 – 1 PM for your swag, “A” license plate waiver, (if you have not already done so) and a cookie! If you haven't participated in the pledge, please stop by if you'd like to become “True Blue” yourself.


You are also invited to participate in a campus-wide social media competition during Love-A-Donor week. During the week, we encourage you to post pictures of yourself thanking a donor. You could write a note to a professor who donates, cook dinner for an Aggie alumni family member, or do the dishes for your roommate who has given the true blue pledge. Show your appreciation however you would like.

Be creative, and use the hashtag #usugivesback. At the end of the week, Alumni Association staff will examine the entries and the winning photo will be recognized on many Utah State University social media channels. The winner will also receive one use of the David B. Haight Alumni Center, free of charge.


Whichever group you're a part of, know that we love and appreciate you. Thank you!





Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Spreadin' the love... all over Utah


You may have heard that we love our students and alumni. Well, it's true. And here is another way we show it.

We believe in giving students the tools and resources they need to succeed, not matter where they live. As a result, USU offers so much more than the education and experience available on the Logan campus.

The Distance Education programs at USU have been receiving some attention for their great achievements. In fact, U.S. News & World Report recognized 
Utah State University's Online Graduate Education program as the 13th best in the country, as published in Utah State Today.


“We have made great strides to become Utah’s premier online university, and in doing so we have also become one of the top-rated online programs in the country,” said Robert Wagner, Utah State University’s executive vice provost and dean for Academic and Instructional Services.

“The university views online course and degree delivery as an integral part of higher education’s future. We understand the demands of our consumer students for flexibility and choices when it comes to pursuing a college degree.”

Utah State also has campuses all over the state of Utah. From Tremonton to Kanab, these 27 campuses allow for flexibility in obtaining a degree no matter where you live, or what your work and family life look like. 


It gets even better. 

If you attend class at any of these campuses, tuition and fees follow the normal USU tuition table (including financial aid). They offer over 70 degrees and programs to online and regional campus students.

Our love of education and feedback from students and alumni, like you, have helped us create the types of programs from which you will benefit the most. So, what could you do with a degree in American Sign Language, Social Work, or Economics? 



Visit distance.usu.edu to find out more about our programs.

Monday, February 9, 2015

We Love You… Platonically, Of Course



It’s February - the month of LOVE.

To some, that thought may be joyful and full of excited anticipation. For others, it may simply be abysmal. Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day this month, or Singles Awareness Day, love is an inevitable, and integral, part of your life.

We each have multiple, and varied relationships that are founded on some degree of love. Whether it be a cherished family member, an adored spouse, an admired friend, a beloved sports team or even a favorite dessert, the feelings are there. You can’t deny them.

Love is an interesting phenomenon. Think about it for a second. We all need it. We’re happy when we receive it and even happier when we give it away to others. It’s been referred to as the universal language, but the funny thing is, we don’t all speak it the same way.

In fact, Dr. Gary Chapman, a renowned author and licensed marriage counselor, claims there are five different languages of love:
·         Words of Affirmation
·         Acts of Service
·         Receiving Gifts
·         Quality Time
·         Physical Touch

In his best-selling book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, Chapman stresses that each of us feels loved the most when others share our Love Language with us. An example may be helpful.

Imagine this. Jake and Jamie are married. They have four kids, two jobs, an overwhelming house payment and a Great Dane, named Snuggles. Amidst the daily chaos of life, they’ve become so focused on keeping their children, employers and Snuggles happy, that they’ve forgotten about each other’s happiness. Their relationship has gotten a little rocky.

They’ve both read Dr. Chapman’s book and Jake knows that Jamie’s primary love language is Acts of Service. He also knows Jamie hates to clean up dinner. Speaking his wife’s love language, Jake tells Jamie to relax with her book (as much as she can with four kids) while he makes dinner and cleans it up afterward. 

The result: Jamie feels sincerely loved. Way to go, Jake!

Obviously, that single act alone won’t guarantee this couple’s happily ever after. The trick is to speak each other’s love languages frequently and consistently over time.

Now shift gears a little. Instead of imagining a husband and wife relationship, imagine your relationship with your alma mater. Is it good? Bad? Somewhere in between? Do you feel like it’s mutually beneficial? Or is it one-sided?

Are we speaking your love language well enough that you feel appreciated by the university? In other words, can you feel the love?

We may not excel in speaking all of Chapman’s love languages, but here are a few we try to do well.


WORDS of AFFIRMATION

Our students, faculty and alumni are amazing! We’re constantly looking for ways to highlight their accomplishments and share the incredible things they’re doing. From this month’s Alumni Spotlight on Brittany Fisher to our recent Utah State Today article on Emeritus Professor David Lancy to our engineering students’ Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber on the Huffington Post, we’re proud of your achievements and love to talk about them.


ACTS of SERVICE

Utah State University faculty and students are involved in some of the most cutting-edge, influential research in the country. The work they do provides services and solutions to problems faced by people, communities, cities and nations around the world.

In addition, multiple USU organizations give students and alumni the chance to serve those in their communities and beyond. For example, the Val R. Christensen Service Center regularly organizes service projects both in Cache Valley and around the globe. The projects this group facilitates not only help those who are direct recipients of their acts of service, but it also serves the students and community members who volunteer, making their lives richer and more purposeful.


RECEIVING GIFTS

We all know the greatest gifts a university can give its alumni are the knowledge and skills to succeed in life. After all, we’re in the business of providing the best education possible. We also know that education comes with a price. Tuition isn’t cheap, but it’s an investment for your future, which is certainly worth making.

While there are expenses to graduating from USU, did you know there are also opportunities to get things for free? Here are some examples:

·         Aggie Rewards – this is a mobile and desktop app that doesn’t cost a penny, but can have big dividends. Simply install it on your computer or phone and start playing. You earn points for things like visiting USU websites or social media sites. You can also earn points just for shopping online at some of your favorite stores (Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Best Buy, Kohl’s, etc.). Then you redeem those points for gift cards or a chance to win some amazing prices.
·         Social media giveaways – follow the USU Alumni Association and other USU groups on Facebook and Twitter for chances to win additional prizes. In the past, we’ve given away football tickets, basketball tickets, Aggie gear and more. Trust me, it’s worth it to stay connected.
·    Membership benefits – join the USU Alumni Association and receive all the benefits that come with your membership. Joining is easy. You have options between an Annual Membership or a Lifetime Membership. Visit our website for more details.
  

QUALITY TIME

Our lives are full of online interactions. Whether it’s at work with colleagues, at school with classmates or at home with family, we’re constantly communicating with each other through electronic devices. That type of collaboration may be necessary today, but we also still believe in the incomparable value of face-to-face contact. We understand how spending time to develop a personal relationship can make a significant impact in someone’s life. That is why we host a number of events across the university. And they’re not just limited to the Logan, Utah campus.

The Alumni Association organizes pregame parties before football games on the road. We also put together parties for some of the basketball away games. These are great opportunities for alumni and friends to spend time together and with representatives of the university. All with a common bond of being an Aggie.

Cheering on your favorite Aggie sports team with someone you care about is another great way to speak the language of quality time.

In addition, the Student Alumni Association (SAA) organizes Alumnights throughout each semester. These events are networking occasions where students are invited to the home of an alum to share their professional and personal experiences and to connect with other Aggies.

Not only does SAA have opportunities like this, but networking events that bond students and alumni happen all the time throughout USU and its regional campuses.



PHYSICAL TOUCH

We stay away from this particular love language, for obvious reasons. We’ll let you worry about it with your other, more appropriate relationships.



Dictionary.com defines love as a verb meaning “to have a strong liking for or take pleasure in.”

Here at the USU Alumni Association, we think this is a perfect definition of how we feel toward our alumni. We certainly have a strong liking for every one of our graduates and we take a great deal of pleasure in seeing you succeed.

As you do find success, please keep us informed so we can share your inspiring stories with others and we can all benefit from each other.


This Valentine’s Day make it a goal to learn how to speak the love languages of those who matter most in your life. Who knows, it may result in being the best Valentine’s Day ever!

20 Ways to Stay Involved After Graduating from USU

After all those years spent in school, you’re finally finished.

Now you have time to get a job, be involved in your hobbies, settle down somewhere new—do all the things you've wanted to for years. But how do you keep your friendships and connections alive with your university after moving on?


Here are some ways to keep yourself involved with Utah State:
1. Join the USU Alumni Association 
2. Post available job or internship positions from your employer on the USU Career AGGIE website.

3. Stay in touch with faculty members or classmates. 
4. Make sure we always have your current contact information so we can keep in touch and connect you with university events and updates.  

5. Keep up-to-date by following us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and our blog. 
6. Volunteer your time by hosting an in-home networking session with students from USU by emailing sheldon.browning@usu.edu.
7. Connect with other Alumni and students by attending events hosted by the university.

8. Sign up for and read our Alumni e-newsletter and engage in the stories of your alma mater and other alumni. 
9. Organize an service event with other Aggies in your area. (More info coming soon!)
10. Visit campus! It is improving every day.  
          Catch an athletics event 
          See a performance
          Take a campus tour 
11. Show your spirit by wearing your Aggie gear. 
12. Check to see if your employer has a matching gift program, and make a donation to USU.

13. Get an Alumni Association calendar. 
14. Put tradition events like Homecoming Week and A Week on your calendar. 
15. Display your love for USU with an Aggie license Aggie license plate 
16. Remember USU in your will or estate plan. 
17. Don’t forget to have your children apply for the Legacy Scholarship. 
18. Use Career Services to locate jobs in your area. 
19. Make usu.edu the home page on your web browser. 
20. Earn Aggie Rewards points on your everyday purchases.


Getting involved is easy at Utah State. The education and memories we've gained here bring us together and give us a reason to interact. 

Again, thank you for supporting the legacy of Utah State University. We love that our alumni are so involved on campus and across the country.


What have you found are the best ways to stay involved with USU?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Utah State Supports Student Entrepreneurs

There are many ways that people demonstrate their love for USU, and during this month we’d like to share a few moments where USU has shown love to students and Alumni, and they show it in return.

Just last month, Utah’s universities were recognized for joining a national trend of schools offering thousands in start up money for budding entrepreneurs to test their business plans before launching them in the real world.

Scott Petersen, director of Brigham Young University's Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship, said the programs allow students to run with their start ups before taking on the responsibility of major investors.

Petersen said his school offered $355,000 for entrepreneurship and technology programs this year, more than three times what was available five years ago.



At BYU, the University of Utah and Utah State University, much of the available money for startups is donated by corporations and outside groups, and awarded to students whose pitches win business competitions, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Utah State University offers prizes of up to $5,000 for students winning competitions.

At the University of Utah's Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, more than $25,000 in grants is available through a startup program.

"We're giving money to them and hoping they do the right thing with it," said Troy D'Ambrosio, the institute's executive director. "It's that catalyst; that little bit of spark to get the momentum rolling."

One of those recipients is Sakpants, a company founded by two University of Utah students that offers baggy lounge pants that cover feet like footie pajamas. The company received $3,000 from the university's entrepreneurship institute in April to get the business up and running.

Founders Garred Lentz and Brayden Iwasaki then raised $25,000 on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. They've sold more than a thousand pairs of the $29.99 pants, which are now back-ordered.

Lentz said he'd like to eventually take what he's learned and put it toward other business opportunities, but for now, "We just want to keep people's feet warm."

Giving students real-world business experience is a great way to prepare them for trial, error, failure, failure again, and eventual success.

What do you think are the most practical experiences we could offer to students?


Original article by The Associated Press, found on www.militarytimes.com 

Find Sakpants at: http://sakpants.com/

Thursday, January 29, 2015

5 Ways USU Might Be Different Without Alumni Support

Your involvement is vital to everyone at Utah State. 

As an alum, you have upheld traditions, attended events, and assisted the students at USU.
In fact, without your support, things could be pretty different around campus.

Just imagine:


1. Big Blue would still be a real bull























We'd have to teach him how to breakdance dance and give high-fives to all the kids.



2. Students would howl for more resources in the library on a regular basis





Students living nearby in Reeder Hall have to wear earplugs every night instead of just during Finals Week.




3. We couldn't pay for seats in the stadium, so we'd have to stand





Imagine the thrill of standing through a 4-hour game, with 4 kids.







4. We'd have to hold all our events on the Quad, rain or shine



singing in the rain pluviophile gif

With no Performance Hall, we'd be "singing in the rain, in the Aggie rain.."






5. True Aggies would have to kiss in the tower of Old Main, instead of the block A





After all the sweating from climbing the hill and the tower stairs, how many people would actually end up kissing?


In all seriousness, we hope you realize how big of a difference your involvement makes at Utah State University.

Our reputation is built on our successes. What greater success could we have than our students using their education to better the world? 


Thank you for your continual confidence in and support of Utah State University.









Friday, January 23, 2015

There's More to the Student Opportunity Fund Than You Realize

Each student at Utah State University has a unique story and purpose for attending our school. Many students are happy to explain the impact scholarships have on their educational experiences. 

One of these scholarships is the Student Opportunity Fund, sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, or CHaSS. This scholarship allows students in the college to keep the dream of completing a higher education within reach. It has helped both of these students achieve their educational goals.


SYMONE CALDWELL
“Me and my family are currently below the poverty line. For me, for what I want to do in my life and my life goals, college is the only way for me to get there. For me to attend college and have funding to go to college, makes a difference in my life.”

“Thank you for investing in me. I really do appreciate it. You’re the reason that I’m here, and I hope to live on your legacy.”


 SAMUEL ABBOTT
“My choice to be a history major was based on a really good professor, it matched my interests, and it’s something that I’m easily motivated to do.”


“I’m a Hubbard Family Scholar, and that means I've expressed excellence in both writing and environmentalism. This scholarship has given me a lot of extra time, and it also gives me motivation. When I know I’m working on someone else’s dollar I put a lot more effort into it.”


Thank you for supporting students at USU so generously with your time, talents and donations. There are many ways to continue that support; so much more than giving money. Getting involved in your community helps spread the Aggie legacy of service, and keeps the Aggie spirit alive in many cities and countries. 

Utah State is about more than education. It's about an experience of learning and serving and growing. 

How has your education helped you better serve your community?