186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

“A Chat with My Munson” by Hayley Whiting

As a newly accepted UD Honors student, one of the first people to reach out to me was my Munson Fellow, Ellen Schenk, a sophomore from Simsbury, Connecticut. I remember getting an e-mail from her at the beginning of August and felt comforted that there was someone I could go to for advice as I made the transition to college. Now that I have gotten to know Ellen, I am thankful for her support, kindness, advice, and commitment to bettering our Honors community. To honor Redding’s Munson Fellows, here are seven questions with Ellen, my very own Munson Fellow!

 

Q: How would you describe your role as a Munson Fellow?

A: I am an academic peer mentor and the liaison between the Honors Program and the students living in Redding. But I’m also … there if you guys need anything or someone to talk to. I also build an inclusive floor community.

 

Q: Why did you become a Munson Fellow, and what inspired you to get more involved in the Honors Program?

A: The reason why I came to UD was because of the Honors Program. I loved the idea of a big university with research, good professors, career services, and just all of the amenities of a big university. But the Honors program makes that community a lot smaller … I just want to support the program … and just get more involved in it because I love it.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Munson Fellow?

A: The students! I like giving advice and figuring out what I didn’t know freshman year and … trying to make your freshman year as enjoyable as mine was.

 

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a Munson Fellow?

A: I really like seeing … events that I … put a lot of hard work into planning just come to life and seeing students enjoying them … For me, living in Redding was such an important part of my freshman year, so it’s really rewarding to be able to be a part of that and to be able to contribute to community building.

 

Q: For people who are interested in the position, how can they work towards becoming a Munson Fellow?

A: The most important thing if someone does want to become a Munson Fellow is getting involved on your floor and being able to show that you personally have built a floor community. Also having a passion for the Honors program, wanting to better students’ lives because freshman year is scary, and showing that you are able to be there and that you are able to support freshmen.

 

Q: What is your advice for freshmen as we close out the first semester?

A: Keep your door open. I think everyone has kind of formed their friend groups, but it’s also important to remember that … building a floor community is still really important, and it’s important that those goals that we all set for ourselves as a floor continue even through second semester.

 

Q: Finally, as a Munson Fellow, what would you like residents to know?

A: Munsons are a really good resource, but we’re also here to go to dinner with you guys and to come to your events that you plan and to support you in whatever you’re doing, so we’re pretty cool people to hang out with, and we just want to get to know you guys better. I think it’s kind of like a two-way street; we get to know you, but also you get to know us, and that helps build a floor community and a building community as well.

 

Ellen and all the Munson Fellows play an integral role in Honors students’ first year. From planning fun events to calming registration nerves to just chatting with us, they are here to talk with us, support us, and strengthen our community. My thanks to the magnificent Munsons of Redding for all they do!

 

Making a Difference in a World of Chaos by Jenna Newman

The other night I was sitting in our large group room at the Baptist Student Ministry house as we prayed for the church in Texas and the deaths that occurred there. When we finished praying, someone said, “It’s crazy how we are becoming desensitized to death and terror, when we wake up and hear about how another twenty people died, we just think to ourselves essentially, ‘wow, that sucks.’” Saying it that bluntly may seem kind of harsh, but take a step back and really think about it. We talk about how it’s, “crazy these things keep happening,” or, “I can’t even imagine that happening in my community,” but rarely we shed a tear.

Our generation is probably one of the last that can remember a time before this. I can hardly remember 9/11; however I can remember watching as people continued to feel the impacts of the attacks on the Trade Towers as I got further into elementary school. I can still think back to a time before it was just another day of waking up to people dying.  Kids growing up now don’t have this. They don’t know anything different, they don’t know what it is like to not be constantly afraid of someone walking into their building and shooting students for no reason, they don’t know what it is like for one bombing or terrorist attack to completely change the world and the policies around us.

I have a challenge to those of you reading this post. When the next tragedy happens, before you take to Twitter or change your Facebook profile picture to show a frame supporting whatever country, take a moment to yourself. Take a couple minutes and reflect on what happened, let it wash over, let yourself feel the pain of others. Empathy is something that our world is losing because our instant reaction is just to talk, or post, instead of just feeling.

Then take REAL action. Don’t let our society and the next generations become apathetic, or feel as though this is just a part of day-to-day life. UD is such an ideal place to work and make a difference. Join a club that works to promote global awareness. As a member of Delaware Diplomats, I learn more about people from different cultures through attending events on campus and gaining scholarship money. By learning more about the culture around me, I am more connected to people groups and countries that I have never even visited.

Do something more than posting a status on social media. Go to your Resident Assistant and see if you can work together to raise money or resources for the people living in the affected areas. There are so many non-profits or advocacy groups you can get connected to. Maybe even reach out to an organization that helps serve people living in areas affected by these attacks and then see if you can start an RSO on campus working with them here at UD.

Had it not been for organizations like the Baptist Student Ministry here on campus, I could have also slipped into the same apathetic, automatic reaction the rest of the world is falling into. It is our job to be actively involved and hold each other accountable for empathy. How would you want others to react if your hometown or city was the next target? Then act in that way towards the ones that are.

“Internships 101” by Avery Beer

To put it simply: finding an internship is TOUGH, especially when you’re applying to competitive companies that look at thousands of applicants for one position. However, internships are important: they help you narrow down what you would like to do post-graduation, they help you make connections, and they help you realize your strengths and weaknesses. However, actually obtaining one can be difficult, so I I am going to share my personal tips and tricks for scoring an internship experience for you! Continue reading

Finding Joe Biden – A Series

For those of you who may have read my previous post about the famed Joe Biden: hold onto your hats for this second installment. For any coming to this post as the first story you may have read on this blog or by me, hello, and welcome to my tale of woe.

Joe Biden, hero of University of Delaware, has enjoyed several visits and talks here over the last several months. During spring semester last year, Joe sat down for a quick bite in our very own Caesar Rodney Dining Hall and was also the star speaker at his own event Biden is Back. In his speech on that cold, grey day in April he said, “When you see me walking down campus, don’t pretend you don’t know me.” Here enters my excitement, but today, my heartbreak.

During his meal in Caesar Rodney, I was blissfully unaware in Trabant – until I opened one Snapchat story, followed by another, and another. Next I opened Instagram and saw posts flow showing him shaking hands or hugging students. My heart shattered, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it as I had class shortly and I was also 5-7 minutes away and kids were already trying to bombard him with pictures. This makes one missed opportunity.

Then this semester, Joe led yet another presentation at Mitchell Hall. By the time I knew it was happening I also knew that I would be unable to attend. After this event, a friend tells me she just happened to walk by after the event and just happened to run into the ex Vice President of the United States of America and was able to meet him and get a picture. Another missed opportunity.

And finally we reach his last visit just a few days ago, November 16th, where he gave another presentation in Trabant. At 10:45, after my 9:30 class let out, I walked unknowingly through Trabant to reach my next class. As I left, I saw the Instagram stories, the Snapchat stories, and the Facebook post letting everyone know of Joe’s latest appearance. Yet another missed opportunity.

I leave for Thanksgiving break disappointed and disheartened. How could I have missed it all? How could I not have had my moment on campus with him when so many others had? When would my moment come? I vowed upon realizing my latest missed opportunity that I would meet him sometime in my four years here. Joe, if you are reading this, please make my four years complete and find me.

Here Comes That Feeling You’d Thought You’d Forgotten by Emily Fudge

Ah, fall. The time of the year where the craziness of summer is winding down and you can finally stop sweating to death (love you, Harter Hall). In my college experience thus far I have noticed that with the change of seasons comes a change of heart. Lately, my spirits have been resembling the leaves on the trees. As the leaves long for the sunshine and warmth of summer, I long for the comfort of home. What I thought was a typically freshman experience has crept its way into my second year here at UD: homesickness.

College is a weird time in a lot of peoples’ lives. All you’ve known for 18 years is lifted out from under you as you propel yourself into a brand new living and learning environment. New friends are made and interests are developed; a lot is learned of yourself and others. The expectation to automatically feel “at home” on campus, which is hard to attain. I moved across town in 8th grade and it took me awhile to adjust, and that was with my whole family by my side! While UD does a great job at welcoming students and making dorms and campus feel like a community, it is hard to deem a new place as “home” so quickly. Just when you start feeling comfortable in your dorm, it’s time to leave for a 6-week winter break. I love UD and all the opportunities it provides for me, the friends I have made, the professors that have made a difference in my educational career, and the experiences I have shared with others through common interests. I love being home where my dog and parents are always happy to see me and where I can actually drive without getting lost and turned around on one way streets.

As the months go on, ideas of what home really is start to get jumbled and you may end up feeling like home is nowhere at all. When the time has finally come to go home for break, expectations and reality do not always see eye to eye. Coming and going from place to place makes it really hard to establish some living permanence. A dorm room cannot beat the comfort of your own bed; your own bed can’t replace the late night shenanigans that ensue with your roommates. With all of this change happening at school, it can be shocking to come home and realize how much it has changed as well. The town that you grew up in feels a little different; who said it was allowed to change while I was away? All of your siblings may be back together again in one place for the holidays and you start wondering when “back together again” became the norm as opposed to just being together. Whenever someone visits me at school it is a reminder of how life used to be and how quickly it has changed. It’s not always a good or bad thing though, just a matter of growing up.

When you boil it down, home is a place where you are with people whom you love and who love you. There will always be people who care no matter where you are. The pieces from different places can be stitched together; a patchwork of home can be carried wherever you go. Little reminders of who you are and where you are from are an important part of identity. You can embody your own home wherever you are with that scarf you bought with your mom at your favorite hometown store, the UD sweatshirt you bought your first fall on campus, or the pair of socks your sophomore roommates got you just because.

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