Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How To: Throw a Perfect Tailgate Party

This post uses information obtained from Buzzfeed.com and Babble.com

It’s that time of year to cheer for your Aggies! With football season comes one of the best traditions, tailgating parties. The Aggies open their season this week and need the help of past, current, and future students to cheer them on. For those that need a little prodding, we’ve assembled this brief tailgating guide. Also, be sure to check out the Tailgater of the Game/Year Competition.

Why Tailgate?

It’s a great way to meet people. There are so many tailgaters, so there are so many opportunities to meet students, other alumni, and fellow tailgaters.

There are many aspects of tailgating. Food, games, activities. USU Alumni will be at every home game with a tent full of games and prizes.

You could win big. The Alumni Association will be on the prowl for the best tailgater to crown them the official “Tailgater of the Game.” Along with the glory of holding this prestigious title, you will receive a Camp Chef stove, which will undoubtedly improve your tailgate for subsequent games.

The Basics

First things first. Start out by pre-purchasing a tailgating space. For home games, these can be obtained through Parking and Transportation for the north tailgate lot, or the USU Big Big Blue Scholarship Fund for 800 East spots. For away games, check with the specific school’s stadium.

Be in your spot by 2 pm for 6 o’clock (or later) kickoff or 10 am for 1 o’clock kickoff, but not before 8 am without prior, written approval.
(Note: All official rules can be found on the Parking and Transportation website)

Tips for tailgating pros

We've assembled some of the most sound practices for making your tailgate a success. We won’t give away too much, because we want you to come up with the rest.

First and foremost, show your best Aggie pride. Show the world how much you love being an Aggie. 
This is your time to brag about how much Aggie gear you really have.
Dress the part.
Float a helium balloon on a long string from your car, so friends can find you.
Consider what way the wind is coming from. You don’t want grill smoke blowing on your tailgaters.
Think about how you could use paper towels or a hand-washing station. People like that.
Keep it simple.
Keep it classic.
Finger food is better. Make it portable.
Think about the extras: music, face paint, games, etc.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors.
Have fun.

We hope to see you at the tailgate party.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Preparing Young Children for College

The post below uses information obtained from education.com and gocollege.com

Do I really need to start preparing my child for college while they are still in middle school?

Experts say yes. Ultimately, the decision comes down to you and your child, but here are some tips when considering your child's future:

Add college to the conversation.
Talk to your child about their interests, how they might translate into a college major and career. You can help them envision the future at a time when the social anxieties and opportunities of middle school seem to be taking over any extra time in their minds.

Expose your child to college opportunities. 
It’s not too early for you and your child to visit a college so he/she can begin to picture him/herself there. Don't be afraid to introduce them to certain programs or career paths that you have decided together might be a good fit. Many universities offer campus tours to students of any age for free. 
Click here to schedule a tour at Utah State.

 Get involved in your child's choice of classes.
The research is clear: Kids who take algebra by the eighth grade and geometry by ninth grade are much more likely to go to college than those who don’t. These math classes are required to take more advanced math classes in high school and to take science classes like chemistry and physics. In addition to taking math every year in middle school, your child should take: 

  • English: Every year 
  • History (including geography) and science: As many classes as possible 
  • Foreign language: Many colleges require at least two years of a language, which your child can begin in middle school. 

Because college work and many jobs now require computer skills, your child should also try to take advantage of any computer science classes offered in middle and high school. He’ll gain new skills and may discover a career path.

Learn about college costs--and ways of avoiding them 
High school students who take AP classes can often use those credits to skip many general education classes at their university. These high school classes generally cost a fraction of the price, but your child must be academically ready to take on such courses.
Make sure your high school students are preparing to take the ACT or SAT. High scores on these tests can ensure scholarship offers and good job placement after graduation.

College doesn't have to be a scary thing. Preparing early and starting the conversation with your children should help them be excited about their future.

And really, who doesn't love the idea of being a Future Aggie?

    The post below uses information obtained from education.com and gocollege.com

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    The Mentor Effect: Going from Mentee to Mentor

    Original article by Levo League

    by Akansha Agrawal

    I have entered into a full cycle of being a mentee and a mentor: my mentor, Vivian is a Cal alumni, and my mentee Andrea is a sophomore economics student. My relationship with Vivian has been so extremely gratifying that it inspired me to become a mentor — a phenomenon I like to call the ”mentor effect.’ Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.

    Utilize Your School’s Alumni Network
    I came across Vivian’s profile on Cal’s mentorship program through the alumni network, and I knew she would be the perfect fit for me: we grew up in the same city, we share a similar academic background and we were both passionate about the same industry. Your school’s alumni network is a perfect starting point in your search for a mentor, because chances are you will find someone who shares a similar background and interests.

    Discuss Your Goals and Mission

    After a brief exchange through emails, Vivian and I had our first casual meeting where I discussed my interests and goals for the future. It’s important to identify and communicate to your mentor how she or he could best help. I remember when I first heard about the Levo League, I was so eager to get involved that I emailed Vivian right away — I knew she could best advise me on how to reach out to the team.

    Show Your Appreciation

    A mentorship should not be one-sided, and so as a mentee, show your appreciation by writing a nice thank-you note or treating your mentor to lunch. Stay in touch regularly, even if you don’t need new advice or help.

    Give Back

    I have found mentoring Andrea to be even more fulfilling than I could imagine. I learn from Vivian’s mentoring tactics and apply it to my mentorship with Andrea, hoping I can provide her that support system Vivian provides me. As discussed elsewhere on this site, you are never too young to be a mentor, so don’t let age or career level hold you back!

    Original article by Levo League

    If you are interested in becoming a mentor to current students or recent graduates at Utah State, please contact alumni@usu.edu. 

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    How To: Land Your Dream Job Without Experience

    Photo Courtesy of Levo League

    An Army combat engineer turned advertising executive. A banking executive turned career counselor. A mother of 12, now a communications writer. An Intel engineer turned comedian. These are not your typical career changes.

    Here are the inspiring stories and creative strategies these people used to transition into a job they love—without related work experience or education.

    Work on your transferrable skills and connect with the interviewer on a personal level

    Tom Aiello, president of March Marketing, was an Army combat engineer who wanted to work in advertising.To get the recruiters’ attention, he listed his skills and compared it to job descriptions to see which of them are applicable in advertising. Then he focused his resume and cover letter on these transferable skills. His next challenge was to convince company VPs that his military background was applicable to advertising. 
    These decision-makers didn’t think “a rigid Army veteran would thrive at an ad agency,” Tom says. He had to convince them that he could fit in. “The key was connecting on a personal level to make them feel they could work with me,” Tom says. 
    He looked up the background of each interviewer, then used the information he found to break the ice by drawing out what they have in common. 
    Do your homework: study the people, culture and the work done. Use this to “ask intelligent questions about the job,” Tom suggests.

    When transferrable skills aren’t enough: quash the stereotypes
    Peter Berner, president of Pilot Workplace, had a successful banking career, but he wanted to be a career counselor. 
    Back then, “the going price of admission into the career development field was a Ph.D. in Psychology and a skirt,” says Peter. 
    Here’s a situation where transferrable skills and enthusiasm weren’t enough. 
    To solve this, he compiled the bios of senior leaders in major career development firms, and through persistent networking, he got an audience with the decision-makers of these companies. 
    But he didn’t ask for an interview. Instead, he showed them the bio compilation without the names and asked them to check for any similarities in the work and backgrounds on the bios. None of them could find a pattern. 
    The credentials of the senior leaders were diverse, but even more surprising to his audience was the fact that “none of them had a Ph.D. in Psychology and not one of them were female,” Peter says. 
    After realizing this, the people who didn’t want to give him a chance were suddenly open to hiring him. Don’t disqualify yourself from the competition just because you don’t have the “requirements” for the job. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

    Create your own experience
    Varda Epstein, a mother of 12 with a high school education, started out occasionally cleaning houses to help pay the bills, but is now a successful writer. 
    Like most writers, she started out with no clips, so she wrote editorials for a local newspaper and used them for her portfolio. Today, she’s the communications writer at Kars4Kids, an organization sponsoring educational initiatives for children. “I’m doing what I love best: writing about education and helping children,” says Varda. 
    Many aspiring writers think they can’t have a successful writing career because they don’t have a journalism degree, but she didn’t let that stop her. “No potential employer noticed or inquired about my lack of education,” says Varda.

    Don’t be impatient for success
    “Nothing big starts big,” says Dan Nainan, senior Intel engineer turned comedian. He used to travel the world doing technical presentations with Intel Chairman Andy Grove, but he wasn’t exactly a “natural” on stage. 
    He took comedy lessons to get over his fear of public speaking. After that, the comedy kind of took off and, since then, he’s performed at several events, including a TED conference and several presidential inaugurations. 
    He’s successful, but “it took almost two years of full-time work to get my first show,” Dan says. Back then, each $5 ticket sold earned him $1 and he had to hand out flyers in Times Square. It was hard work for low pay, but he persevered. 
    As for changing jobs and learning new skills, Dan suggests, “If you want to do something difficult, try something even more difficult, and the difficult thing will become less so.” 
    Let that sink in for a moment. It’s logical advice. In his case, speaking on stage was hard, but it’s even harder to make people laugh. Once he got comfortable with comedy, public speaking came easier.

    What about you? Are the requirements for your dream job a bit out of reach? Try the strategies here.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    So I'm an Alum of USU... Now What?

    Whether you've graduated for the first time or the fifteenth from Utah State University, we'd like to extend a warm welcome to you as a member of our Alumni group. 

    You might be asking yourself some questions about your place with the university now; let us try to illuminate the answers:

    Why am I so important to the Alumni Association?

    Because of your successes after graduation, Utah State is a well-known institution with programs that build and improve every year.  
    Because of your involvement, Utah State continues to move forward, and future students feel a desire to be a part of educational opportunities afforded here.  
    Because of your support, Utah State promotes a beautiful legacy that we can all be proud of.

    What activities can I be involved in as an Alum?

    Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Blogger for updates on what is going on at Utah State. 
    We host a tailgate party at each road game for the Aggie Football team. Watch for the 2015-16 season schedule this summer.
    With a $25 yearly donation to the university, we can send Utah residents a waiver for the A-Plates for your vehicle.
    The Legacy Scholarship, available to direct relatives of Aggies, goes through the Alumni Association. Contact us for more information.
    Join our LinkedIn group to make connections with other Aggie professionals. Also, take advantage of Career Aggie when looking for a new job. 

    How do I become a official member of the Alumni Association?

    All it takes is a monetary gift of any amount to any department within the university on an annual basis. When you donate, you'll receive a card in the mail with your Alumni benefits listed on the back. 
    We also offer a Lifetime Membership to our association, which supports scholarships, Homecoming, the Student Alumni Association, and many other programs. There are more benefits available to Lifetime members, including a commemorative brick in our courtyard on campus.
    *Note for recent grads: If you graduated less than three years ago, a special discount is available for your Lifetime membership. 

    Becoming involved with the Alumni Association can bring you a sense of belonging and togetherness with your fellow Aggies. You can build on all the memories you created at Utah State University by becoming an involved Alum. So get involved, have fun, and keep your Aggie Pride alive!

    Monday, March 30, 2015

    Aggies In Action Can Make a Difference Around the World

    One of the most well-known traditions here at USU is A-Week. Historically, during A-Day students could participate in events like a free lunch, assemblies, a football game on the Quad, and a special student body dance.

    What started as A-Day has evolved into a week full of USU Student Alumni Association sponsored events and service projects called A-Week. If you've ever participated in A-Week, you know some of the most popular events are True Aggie Night, Admissions service auction, Robins Awards ceremony, and the Senior Celebration.

    Past A-Week Activities

    Going along with our yearly tradition, April 11-18th will be a week full of service projects and fun events for students and Alumni:

    Saturday, April 11th

    Alumni Service Project and Lunch

    Robins Awards

    Service Center Reunion Lunch 

    Monday, April 13th

    Blanket Brigade with Public School Partnership

    Luau Dinner and Show 

    Tuesday, April 14th

    Tuesday Tubes with Aggie Blue Bikes

    Admissions Service Auction

    Miss USU Pageant 

    Wednesday, April 15th

    Common Hour, Career and Family: Women's Balancing Act

    Earth Day Celebration by the Service Center

    Aggie Bull Run 

    Friday, April 17th

    Senior Celebration Dinner

    True Aggie Night 

    Saturday, April 18th

    End of Year Bash, MKTO and Nico & Vinz

    For more detailed information and ticket prices, check out usu.edu/aweek.

    This year, we’re pushing to return to the service oriented nature of the original A-Day. No matter where you live or what you do now, you’ll always be an Aggie, and Aggies everywhere embody the USU brand. You have the power to change for good through your service, careers, and philanthropy.

    We’d like you to show your pride in USU by volunteering in service activities, participating in Aggie traditions, and giving back to help current Aggies. By using the five steps and banners with the hashtag #AggiesInAction, we ask you to document your acts of service and post stories, pictures, and videos to our page

    Also, if you submit your story to our page, you could win a free, exclusive #AggiesInAction t-shirt!

    Here are the five steps:

    1.Volunteer your time to help someone during A-Week 
    2. Take a photo holding the #AggiesInAction banner, or with your Aggie gear on 
    3. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and don't forget to add #AggiesInAction 
    4. Upload your photo or story of #AggiesInAction here for a chance to win an exclusive T-shirt 
    5. Help a current Aggie by giving to the Student Emergency Fund here. 

    Help us keep the tradition of A-Week alive by finding a way to get involved and showing your Aggie pride.

    For more information about A-Week 2015, visit usu.edu/aweek.

    Monday, March 16, 2015

    From Humble Beginnings: Utah State University

    Original article published Mar 5, 2013 by Utah State Today

    On July 2, 1862, just one day after our nation suffered the combined losses and casualties of 36,058 men in the Seven Days Battle during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln quietly signed a piece of legislation that would forever change the way Americans thought about education. The Morrill Land-Grant Act called for socio-economic equality in higher education. Through the sale and use of federal lands, institutions of higher education that were affordable and had a solid base in applicable practicum were established, President Lincoln enabled a wounded nation to heal herself through hard work and education.

    Just 25 years after the Morrill Act set the stage for land-grant institutions to be established throughout the nation, the Utah Agriculture College was founded and designated to reside in Logan. In the past 125 years, a lot has changed for the school with its plowed fields that overlooked Cache Valley. Along with name changes and expanded facilities, that small school’s reach is now state wide, with one comprehensive regional college (USU Eastern campuses in Price and Blanding), three regional campuses (Brigham City, Tooele, Uintah Basin) and 34 Extension offices — including the USU Botanical Center and Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter.
    Founded by the Utah Territorial Assembly on March 8, 1888, the Utah Agriculture College opened its educational doors Sept. 2, 1890. At its humble beginnings in the south wing of Old Main, Utah’s land-grant college included 139 students and nine faculty members.

    Here’s a social and educational look at the school’s earliest days.

    • There was a Preparatory Department to equip students for the rigors of college courses
    • The minimum age requirement for Preparatory work was 13; 15 for college credit
    • There were five major courses of college instruction offered, including AgricultureDomestic ArtsMechanic ArtsCivil Engineering and Business
    • On admission, there was a $5 entrance fee; tuition was free
    • There were mandatory non-sectarian weekly chapel exercises
    • Also mandatory was military drill for men and women — women could opt for elocution and physical culture
    • The first Thanksgiving Day football game inaugurated between the University of Utah and the college took place in 1894 and the Aggies won 12 to 0
    • Twelve students formed the first graduating class in 1884

    Today, in 2015, the university will again celebrate its Founders Day March 6. As part of the 2013 celebration, USU’s University Library assembled an exhibit that showcased prominent but, perhaps, not well known students through the decades.

    Ten students, representing decades from the 1890s to the 1990s, were highlighted. Extensive narratives on each student were included in the exhibit at the Merrill-Cazier Library’s atrium. Highlighted below are snapshots of the students and their accomplishments.

    The 1890s — Thomas Hyrum Humphreys. Born in 1874, Humphreys received his early schooling in the pioneer Bear Lake settlement of Paris, Idaho. He entered the Preparatory Department at the Utah Agricultural College in 1892 and graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1897. He characterized his college career as consisting “chiefly of hard work.” He earned a degree in 1897 and the hard work paid off. He began his career with the newly created U.S. Reclamation Service in 1903, advancing quickly through the ranks, being appointed project engineer on the Klamath and Orland projects, two of the Reclamation Service’s earliest water development projects. He returned to Cache Valley for several decades, but returned to federal service as director of the Public Works Reserve in 1944 before retiring to Logan.

    1911 — Luther M. Winsor. As a graduate in 1911, Winsor became the first from the institution to earn a degree in irrigation engineering, a field that would subsequently come to distinguish the university. Immediately after graduation he was given a horse and sent to the Uintah Basin to advise Ashley Valley farmers. The appointment gave Winsor bragging rights as one of the first county Extension agents in the Western states. In 1939, the federal government selected Winsor as the first technician to advise Iran on irrigation principles. The early contacts made by Winsor paid off following the Second World War, when the university provided agricultural expertise to the government of Iran for nearly three decades.
    The 1920s — Mignon Barker Richmond. As the first Black woman to graduate

    from a Utah college, Richmond holds obvious distinction, but she left the school to pursue a professional career and extensive civic and religious accomplishments. She received a degree in textiles and clothing in 1921 and immediately began teaching her craft at the University of Utah. She also began a life-long association with the Young Women’s Christian Association. After the Second World War she returned to full-time work while maintaining community and civic involvements — she served as vice president and later president of the Salt Lake Chapter of the NAACP. She accepted membership on the boards of the Utah Community Service Council and on the Women’s Legislative Council, where she was instrumental in formulating anti-poverty legislation.

    1931 — Edward P. Cliff was among the first forestry students to graduate from the recently renamed Utah State Agricultural College. He began his career with the U.S. Forest Service on the Wenatchee Reserve in Washington and remained in the Pacific Northwest until 1944 when he accepted an assignment to the Intermountain Region and then as Regional Forester for the entire Rocky Mountain Region. Beginning in 1950 he served as assistant chief for the U.S. Forest Service until he was appointed chief in 1962. He retired from the Forest Service in 1974.

    The 1940s — L. Tom Perry began his college life in 1940 but, like many of his generation, he did not graduate until almost ten years later. Service to church and the country delayed graduation for many. When he enrolled in 1940 the enrollment at USAC stood at a near record level. When he returned in 1947, he became a part of a different kind of student body. Older and focused on completing their education, many of those returning GIs were married and some had young families. Hundreds of veterans enrolled at the college under the GI Bill, swelling enrollment to a new record of nearly 4,500 in 1948. Perry graduated with a degree in finance in 1948 and went on to distinguish himself in the field of business for more than 20 years. He also remained devoted to his faith where, in 1974, he received his church’s highest calling to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, the spiritual and governing body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    1958 — L. Jay Sylvester was a member of the second senior class to graduate from Utah State University — Utah Gov. George Dewey Clyde signed the official document effecting the name change from USAC to USU on Founders Day, March 8, 1957. Sylvester proudly donned the blue and white as a member of the freshman football squad in 1955, but it was in track and field where he emerged a star. In a 1957 spring meet he set new Skyline Conference records in both the shot put and the discus throw. He went on to be awarded All-American honors

    for both shot put and discus in 1958 and 1959, but his record-setting did not end with his college career. He set his first world record in 1961, something he would repeat three times during his career. In 1964 he won selection to the Tokyo Olympic Games. He regained the world record in 1968 and competed for the U.S. Olympic team in Mexico City and again at Munich in 1972, where, at the age of 35, he won the silver medal.

    The 1960s — W. Brent Robinson was inspired after a high school class discussion about Sputnik to become an engineer. Once enrolled at USU, the Franklin, Idaho, student found a second passion — economics, and he pursued a double major in engineering and economics. His USU training prepared him to successfully complete an MBA at Harvard and enter the world of business where he soon began work in the banking industry. With a move back west to Boise, Idaho, he went to work for a bank that was eventually sold. The new owners appointed him president. At that time he was the youngest bank president in the United States. Through his career he has held executive positions at several retail banking institutions in the United States and Canada and has overseen the sale and mergers of more than 20 banks.

    The 1970s — Mary Cleave became an adopted Utahan and stalwart Aggie when the Great Neck, New York native moved to Logan via Colorado to pursue graduate studies in the early 1970s. Her relocation was indicative of the changing demographic at USU during the 1970s, where more than 30 percent of the student body came from states other than Utah — or from other countries — giving campus a decidedly cosmopolitan flair. Cleave graduated with a master’s degree in microbial ecology in 1975 and, following commencement, applied to become an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. That first application was turned down, but NASA encouraged her to pursue a doctorate, which she completed in 1980. She then reapplied and was accepted to the astronaut program. After her successful training, she served as part of the ground crew for five shuttle flights, and in November 1985 she boarded the shuttle Atlantis for her first orbit of the Earth. Included in her personal effects was a USU banner. She completed a second flight aboard Atlantis in 1989. She retired from NASA in 2007.

    1982 — Norah Abdullah Al-Faiz is part of a long history of international students who have studied at Utah State University and continued on to distinguished careers. The first international students registered for classes at Utah State in 1916. As the institution initiated agricultural assistance programs with other countries following World War II, the international student population increased dramatically. While their numbers have periodically expanded or contracted, USU’s international student community has remained a vibrant part of the campus for nearly 100 years. Mrs. Al-Faiz was born in the coastal city of Shaqra in Yemen and graduated from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. She traveled to the United States to study at USU where she earned a master’s

    degree in instructional technology. She began a career as a public school teacher after she returned to Saudi Arabia, where she ascended to head principal in the girls’ section at Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Schools. In 1993 she was appointed director general of the women’s branch at the Institute of Public Administration. In 2009, Mrs. Al-Faiz became deputy minister for Women’s Education; the highest position ever obtained by a Saudi woman. She was named by “Time Magazine” as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and has received the Distinguished Arab Women Award in Education from the Arab Women Foundation. During commencement 2012, USU awarded Mrs. Al-Faiz an Honorary Doctorate in Education for her “service as a powerful role model to women aspiring to careers in education …”

    1990 — Russell Case. The arts have a tradition at USU that dates back to the institution’s founding. Artistic creations often resulted from practical training in carpentry and cabinet-making. Likewise, students enrolled in mechanical drawing courses were encouraged to explore their creativity. USU formed its first official Art Department when it hired Calvin Fletcher in 1907. He would guide the department for the next 40 years, and establish an artistic foundation that has prevailed to the present day. Case enrolled at USU in the late 1980s. With encouragement from his father, artist Gary Case, Russell explored his surroundings through the medium of watercolors. At USU, he expanded his proficiency with watercolors to oils. Pursuing a career as an art professor was Case’s original goal, but after studying with veteran faculty members Harrison Groutage and Gaell Lindstron, Case made the decision following his graduation in 1990 to pursue painting full time. It was a propitious decision and his landscapes quickly attracted public attention. His work has been featured in galleries from Jackson Hole, Wyo., to Santa Fe, N.M., where his paintings command considerable attention. He has won a number of prestigious awards and his work is presently represented nationally at the Prix de West in Oklahoma City, Okla.; Western Visions Shows in Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Coors Western Art Exhibition in Denver, Colo.; and Maynard Dixon Country in Mt. Carmel, Calif.

    Happy Birthday Utah State University, and congratulation to all the students, across the decades, who have passed through your doors.

    (With thanks to USU’s University Libraries and the USU Greats for the background information and research used in this summary.)

    **Watch Utah State University Archivist Robert “Bob” Parson’s talk “A Few Things I’ve learned while Working in the Archives,” the 2013 Spring Friends of Merrill-Cazier Library Lecture.

    Original article published Mar 5, 2013 by Utah State Today