Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Explore New Interests at Carolina

Carolina students go on to do some pretty amazing things after spending four years with us. Last up in our short series of senior stories is Sarb...

When I came to Carolina, I was mainly focused on academics and research with a few hours reserved each week to cheer on our world-class sports teams. The one commitment I had that wasn’t purely academic was Admissions Ambassadors, which I joined to improve my public speaking skills in hopes of delivering better academic presentations. Ironically, it was my fellow Ambassadors who inspired me to break out of my academic shell and experience all that Carolina has to offer.

While listening to other Ambassadors’ service experiences, I was amazed at the scope and impact of their commitment to their respective causes. Their passion and enthusiasm opened my eyes to the many opportunities available at Carolina and helped me realize that developing other interests could only help my research and academics. I began to tutor and volunteer at area hospitals and with my friends’ service organizations. I’m now a Buckley Public Service Scholar and a Carolina Research Scholar, and I recently completed a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Each of these rich experiences helped me earn admission into the School of Medicine at the University of Virgina, where I will begin studying in the fall.

If you haven't yet enrolled, the deadline to do so is tomorrow at 11:59 PM ET! Remember that you can enroll electronically through MyCarolina.

Have a question for Sarb? Post it below.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Celebrating 14 Years of Undergraduate Research - Part II

Today, we'll hear again from sophomore Frank Wu, who recently visited the annual Carolina Undergraduate Research Symposium.

With more than 60% of undergraduates conducting research, you never know what exciting projects your peers may be doing. Below please find my interview with Michele Bresler, who is doing research on mouse intestine cell fission, and Jason Dunn, who is researching unemployment and obesity.

Michele, can you summarize your project?

The intestinal epithelium is one of the most rapidly turning over tissues in the body which makes it very vulnerable to chemotherapy drugs. My research was to isolate the intestinal stem cells which are responsible for replenishing the intestinal tissue after damage and create a culture condition where these cells can survive but not continue to proliferate. Once these conditions were set, we are able to manipulate the cells to discover a trigger for the cell fission in the hopes of finding a drug that can be given to chemotherapy patients to increase the rate of cell fission and the rate of tissue replenishing in the intestine after damage.

What did you learn?

I've learned an immense amount of laboratory skills and techniques that I would have never had the chance to do if I had not decided to pursue research. I even learned to remove the small intestine from a mouse! Besides the laboratory based skills, I've been able to improve my science writing and reading skills through having to read numerous scientific journal articles and write articles and presentations myself.

What connections did you make?

Through my research lab I have been able to form connections  with the doctors, PhDs, medical students, graduate students, and professors that work in my lab and the labs that surround us. Research is very collaborative and I have had the opportunity to work closely with some of the best stem cell researchers in the field.

Do you have advice for other students wanting to do research?

My advice for anyone who is wanting to do research is to take your time picking a place that you want to work in. There are so many opportunities to do research here at Carolina so don't rush into the first opportunity you find. Make sure that the research you decide to pursue is something that you are really passionate about so you are able to dedicate the right amount of time and enjoy what you are doing!

Jason, is there a correlation between unemployment and obesity? What did your research reveal?

I found some interesting relationships between unemployment and obesity, but to draw more conclusions, I would really need to have more information on how individuals spend their time and what they are eating. One interesting insight was finding that after at least three years of unemployment, white individuals gain weight while black individuals lose weight. However, that result was only significant for males.

You mentioned that our faculty was very supportive of your work.
Professor Gilleskie helped guide me through the process of developing my thesis topic, and she was instrumental in helping me figure out how to develop a model to test, determine the regressions, analyze the results, and write up my findings. I met with her weekly to work one on one on my project to ensure that the research was sound and that I met my goal.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Celebrating 14 Years of Undergraduate Research at Carolina - Part I

This week we'll hear from sophomore Frank Wu, who visited the annual Carolina Undergraduate Research Symposium last Friday.

With more than 60% of undergraduates conducting research, the symposium was in its 14th year this past week. Most importantly, the symposium brings together undergraduate of all backgrounds and majors. In my case, I was able to participate in research on income inequality during my first year, but I really enjoyed attending to symposium and learning more about the other kinds of undergraduate research going on at Carolina.

From projects such as Spanish phonology, the relationships between obesity and unemployment and wound healing, Carolina offers the opportunity for undergraduates to engage in research across all disciplines—the arts/humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Not only was I able to see the research from my peers, I started some valuable conversations on their research and how we can utilize their research to make a difference in the world—a common goal for all Carolina students. In addition, I ran into quite a few friends doing research I had never expected. It was great hearing about the time they spent on these projects and the experience they’ve gained through them. As a result, I’ve sincerely been inspired to conduct further research myself, and hopefully write a senior thesis down the road!

One of the students I met during the symposium is Anand Shah, who is doing research on wound healing. I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.

As part of your project, you synthesized a chemical that produces nitrous oxide, which has positive medical effects. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? 

For my research, I synthesized nitric oxide-releasing scaffolds. The goal of my project was to see the nitric oxide-releasing scaffolds' effect on cell proliferation and migration. Both of these abilities are vital in the wound healing process so now that I have confirmed the enhancing effect these scaffolds have on cell proliferation and migration, I am looking to test the effects in vivo. This will hopefully result in a faster wound healing process.

How did you get started doing research?

I became involved in research the summer after my first year. My path to involvement started in my Chem 241H class where Dr. Tiani had each student in the class interview an analytical researcher here at UNC. I was assigned to interview Dr. Schoenfisch and after looking into the research he was involved in, I found the projects interesting and decided to ask if he had any open positions. Luckily he did have a couple of spots open as seniors were graduating.

Do you have any advice for other students who want to do undergraduate research? 

To first-year students I would recommend looking into a department they are interested in and then look at what professors in that department are involved in. With this list of professors students should try to stop by during their office hours or send them an email explaining their interest. From personal experience I have found how professors here are very interested in helping out students and even if they don't have an open spot they can easily recommend colleagues of theirs who do.

Stay tuned for another blog entry from Frank -- Undergraduate Research Part II!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thanks Where Thanks Is Due

If you’ve had the chance to visit our office this spring, the image you see here will come as no surprise. Spring is here in all its glory.

All of us in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are lucky to work in one of the most beautiful corners of one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.  We owe our good fortune not only to the visionaries who founded this great public university more than two centuries ago, but also to the people of North Carolina and to generations of alumni and friends, who have supported our students and faculty through thick and thin.

For the beauty that surrounds us every day, we’re also indebted to an incredibly dedicated grounds crew – Don Acrey, Ernest Richmond, Lar Da, and Pricha Srikhirisawan – and to their manager, Steve Gooch, who provided this photograph.

Thank you, gentlemen, for taking great care of the place that’s been entrusted to us. And thank you, Spring, for brightening our lives again.

Stephen Farmer

Discover Your Passions at Carolina

Carolina students go on to do some pretty amazing things after spending four years with us. Next up in our short series of senior stories is Symone...

My name is Symone, and I’m a Carolina Covenant Scholar from Durham, NC double majoring in sociology and African American studies. When I came to Carolina four years ago, I was 100% sure that I wanted to be a nurse. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I realized my passions lay elsewhere.

Through the liberal arts foundation that Carolina provides, I was able to explore a variety of subjects, which is how I discovered my interest in sociology. After taking a course entitled “Blacks in North Carolina,” I added African American studies as my second major. I finally felt as though I had found my way academically, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation.

I decided to reach out to one of my professors, Geeta Kapur, because I greatly admired the passion she had for her legal work and the excitement she brought to it. That was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She encouraged me to take time to reflect and think about what motivated and inspired me. Thanks to Professor Kapur, I was able to define my passion, which is to provide underprivileged children with the resources and opportunities that will transform their outlook and enhance their future.

Armed with this new purpose, I began researching opportunities that aligned with my goals. As soon as I found the Carolina College Advising Corps, I knew that it was the perfect organization for me. I’m so honored to begin working as a college advisor this fall and to help low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented high school students pursue higher education!

Have a question for Symone? Post a comment below.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Port City Stories

Students, faculty and alums of our School of Journalism and Mass Communication used the ninth annual Carolina Photojournalism Workshop to share stories from North Carolina's Port City. From a woman who's been battling rheumatoid arthritis for more than four decades to a homeless 19-year-old hoping to find a way off the streets, Port City Stories provides a glimpse into the lives of those who make their home in the Cape Fear.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Expand Your Network at Carolina

Carolina students go on to do some pretty amazing things after spending four years with us. Next up in our short series of senior stories is Jane...

My name is Jane, and I’m a senior from Charlotte, NC. As I prepare to graduate in a few weeks, I can’t help but be thankful for all that I have experienced during my time at Carolina. In addition to being some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, my classmates are also incredibly kind and welcoming. Instead of fierce competition, we work together to accomplish our goals and change the world.

Majoring in journalism and double minoring in information systems and entrepreneurship connected me with a diverse range of student organizations – from Women in Entrepreneurship to Students for the Ackland Art Museum. I also served as vice president of my sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and I’m still close with friends I made while living on campus my first year. As a campus ambassador with Twitter, Square, and Google, I’ve had the unique opportunity to build my professional network and collaborate with other student leaders by spreading my passion for innovative technology.

The Carolina network is invaluable, and I’ve learned that it extends far beyond Chapel Hill. Not only did I travel to New York with the Advertising Club, but I spent two summers interning in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ll actually be heading back to California in the fall to begin working for Google, which is something I wouldn’t have been able to achieve without the support of my Carolina community!

Have a question for Jane? Post it below.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Keeping America Beautiful

We may be a bit biased, but we think Carolina has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world (perhaps even the universe), and it’s surrounded by Chapel Hill – an area Sports Illustrated once named the perfect college town. Clearly, we agree. And we definitely feel that we’re making a contribution to April’s Keep America Beautiful Month.

There are so many stunning sights on campus that it’s hard to know where to begin...

For some, the Greek-inspired Playmakers Theater (pictured above) is Carolina’s pièce de résistance. 

For others, it’s the North Carolina native plants and secret gardens found in Coker Arboretum (pictured above).

Many appreciate the history of the Davie Poplar (pictured above) and there are those who marvel at Morehead Planetarium (pictured below). These are just a few of the scenes that make Carolina so beautiful.

For even more spectacular sights, check out this recent Tar Heel Blog post. You can also view our interactive online tour and download our Tour Carolina mobile app.

Of course, the interactive tour and mobile app are amazing, but the best way to experience the beauty of campus is under our Carolina Blue sky! Click here to schedule a visit and student-led campus tour, so can you take in the beauty of Carolina firsthand!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What a Carolina Degree Can Do For You

Carolina students go on to do some pretty amazing things after spending four years with us. Over the next two weeks, we'll share some of their stories with you. First up is Kahlil...

My name is Kahlil, and I’m a senior from New Carrollton, MD studying economics and political science. During my nearly four years at Carolina, I’ve been able to grow and carve out my niche through the extracurricular and academic opportunities I’ve explored.

As a Pogue Scholar, I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, which was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It broadened my worldview and gave me real-world experience to accompany my Spanish minor. My involvement in organizations such as Phi Beta Kappa, Ebony Readers Onyx Theater, and Carolina Language Partnership exposed me to diverse students who challenged and strengthened my beliefs and opinions.

Although I came to Carolina to study political science, I quickly fell in love with economics because it caused me to think in a different way and consider the logical motivations for every action. Professor Ralph Byrns was the first person to explain economics to me, and he used personal experiences to make the topics relatable. The quality of education I’ve received at Carolina and the experience I’ve gained helped me earn admission into the School of Business at Wake Forest University, where I was awarded a Corporate Fellowship to complete my master’s degree in management.

I’m excited that you’re considering Carolina and sincerely hope that you’ll join our community in the fall. 

Have a question for Kahlil? Post a comment below.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Transfer FAQs

Transfer decisions were posted last week and most students should have decisions at this point. As always, we were honored to receive many applications and as always, we had to make many tough decisions. In all, we received just over 3,000 applications for transfer admission. After a careful, holistic review, we were able to admit 1,089 of those applicants. Most students may now view their decisions on MyCarolina (see instructions here) and will receive their paper letters by the end of the week. There are a few applicants without decisions; we are finalizing these decisions and hope to have them available soon.

Below are some frequent questions we get from transfer students. Please just let us know what other questions you have.

Admitted Student FAQs
When will I know how my credits will transfer?
We're now evaluating the transfer credit of admitted students and will begin sending official evaluation reports by email on April 26. All students should receive their evaluation by the first week in May. In the meantime, check out our Transferring Your Courses page to learn more about how we evaluate transfer credit.

What does it mean to waive my enrollment deposit?
When you enroll at Carolina, you can either choose to waive or pay the $250 enrollment deposit. If you choose to enroll with the $250 deposit, this amount will be subtracted from your total first semester payments. If you plan on receiving financial aid, you can choose to waive the $250 enrollment deposit. As aid funds become available, you are still responsible for any remaining payments for tuition, fees, and housing.

When will I receive my financial aid package?
In your paper admit pack, you'll receive information on how to view your financial aid package through your ConnectCarolina Student Center. You'll need to create an Onyen in order to view the information online. We also encourage you to create your UNC email and check it frequently because the Student Aid Office will communicate with you through that email account.

When is the enrollment deadline?
We ask that you reply to our offer of admission by May 15.

I'm ready to enroll. What's next?
Hooray! Check out this transfer checklist for the next steps you'll want to take. You can also visit our admitted student website and view the admitted student brochure.

When should I register for classes?
As soon as possible. The Advising Office has some great information for new transfer students here. Soon after enrolling, you can make an appointment online to speak with an academic advisor by phone or Skype. It's best to register for classes as soon as you can, so that you'll have the best selection of courses available.

Waitlisted Student FAQs
We know a waitlist decision is hard to receive and we hate to ask you to wait still longer for a final decision from us. But we will do our best to get you a decision as soon as we can.

Most of your questions will likely be answered in this FAQ sheet, which offers information on how we review our waiting list and how many students we've admitted in past years from the waiting list. If you have more questions, please let us know!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Welcome Carol Folt, Carolina's new Chancellor-Elect!

On Friday, we were very excited to learn that Carol Folt, the interim president of Dartmouth College, was elected as Carolina's 11th chancellor. She is the first woman to lead Carolina.

An Ohio native, Folt attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, earning a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology (1976) and a master’s degree in biology (1978). She later received her doctorate in ecology (1982) from the University of California at Davis and conducted postdoctoral studies at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University.

She'll assume her duties on July 1.

Read more.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to View Your Decision

Heads-up Transfer Applicants!

To view your decision online when it's ready, please follow the instructions below. Please note that due to the high volume of traffic on our server, you may experience delays. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  1. Go to at my.unc.edu
  2. Under Applicants, click on “ConnectCarolina Student Center.” 
  3. Log in with your Guest ID. If you do not have a Guest ID, please follow the email instructions we sent to you. If you do not have these instructions, please email us at unchelp@admissions.unc.edu
  4. Under Admissions, click on “Click here to view your decision in a new window.” Please make sure popup-blocking software is disabled.
In order to view your decision, the pop-up blocker feature on your browser,  if applicable, must be disabled. Below are instructions for disabling pop-ups in the popular browsers:

Internet Explorer
  1. In the menu bar, go to Tools and navigate down to “Pop-up Blocker Settings.”
  2. Click on “Turn-Off Pop-up Blocker.” 
Google Toolbar
  1. Click the Google Pop-up Blocker toolbar icon. 
  2. The Pop-up Blocker icon should read “Popups are okay.” 
Mozilla Firefox
  1. In the menu bar, go to Tools and navigate down to Options.
  2. Select “Content” tab or icon. 
  3. Uncheck box labeled “Block pop-up windows.”
  1. Click on “Blocking Pop-ups” at the bottom right corner of the AOL window.
  2. Uncheck box labeled “Suppress pop-ups from websites I visit.”
  3. Click “Save” button.
Yahoo Toolbar
  1. Click on the Yahoo Toolbar's popup blocker icon option arrow. This arrow is pointing down beside of the popup blocker icon.
  2. Click on “Enable Pop-up Blocker” to uncheck. 

To allow blocked pop-ups when you're already on a site, follow these steps:
  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar
  2. Select "Settings"
  3. Click "Show Advanced Settings" 
  4. In the "Privacy" section, click the Content setting button
  5. In the "Pop-ups" section, select "Allow all sites to show pop-ups."

  1. Open the Safari menu and select the “Preferences” option.
  2. In the window that displays, click on the “Security” option.
  3. Remove the checkmark from the “Block pop-up” windows option.
  4. Close the window. 

Or, for an older version of Safari, try
  1. Open Safari 
  2. Click on the Safari Menu 
  3. Uncheck “Block Pop-Up Windows”

Friday, April 5, 2013

First-Year Housing FAQs

Have questions about housing options and requirements for first-year students? Read our Q&A with intern, Kelly Crupi. Have another question? Post a comment below.
UNC's Department of Housing and Residential Education

As a first-year student, what are my options for living on campus?
Beginning in fall 2013, most first-year students will be assigned to live in one of the designated First Year Experience (FYE) Communities: Connor, Craige, Ehringhaus, Hinton James, Manning East, and Manning West. Alternatively, first-year students can choose to apply to live in one of the Living-Learning Communities (LLCs), which are spread across campus and are not necessarily located in FYE Communities.

What is the First Year Experience (FYE)?
The FYE program is a new initiative that will help incoming students immerse themselves into the Carolina culture on a social and academic level. The goal is to leverage campus resources intended to foster first-year student success and acclimation by bringing those resources to communities where a high number of first-year students live. Our staff of dedicated Resident Advisors is trained to provide students with opportunities for leadership, community service, cultural awareness, and continuous self-discovery. Through partnerships with various campus offices and resources such as Academic Advising and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, students will learn about Carolina through programs and events throughout the year. All FYE activities and programs are optional. 

What is a Living-Learning Community (LLC)?   
LLCs have a specific topic or area of focus, which gives members the chance to live with a small group of about 30 students who share similar interests or academic goals. There are seven LLCs available for first-year students, including Spanish House, Service & Leadership, Chinese House, Substance-Free, Sustainability, UNITAS, and Women Experiencing Learning & Leadership (WELL). First-year students are welcome, even encouraged, to apply for an LLC. Most LLCs have regular meetings, and many also have a required number of service hours or a class component. In general, members can expect to dedicate two to four hours per week to their LLC.

Can I participate in both the First Year Experience and a Living-Learning Community, or do I have to choose one?
Two of the LLCs are located within FYE communities (Service & Leadership and Spanish House), so those LLC residents will automatically be a part of both the FYE and their LLC. This could be considered the best of both worlds because residents can participate in programs for both the community at large and their LLC. Students are also welcome to apply for an LLC that is not located in an FYE community. But that’s not to say those students would miss out on the First Year Experience. In fact, LLCs typically house several first-year students, so residents would very likely meet other students who are new to Carolina and interested in getting connected to campus. Residents will also have the chance to meet sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the community who can be a great resource for getting to know the ins and outs of campus life.

How do I decide which is best for me?   
Only you can answer that question, based on what you’re looking to gain out of your housing experience. If you want to live in a community with a very large first-year student population and receive a general introduction to life at Carolina, then an FYE community is probably the way to go. You really have the freedom to take what you want from the FYE because you can attend as few or as many events as you would like! If you really want the chance to connect with a small, core group of students throughout the year, an LLC might be the right option for you. LLCs involve regular meetings and frequent programs which averages to about two to four hours of involvement per week.

Can I live on north campus?
First-year students can preference Connor and Alexander, which are both First Year Experience buildings located in the Connor Community. Also, some of the Living-Learning Communities are located on north campus, and first-year students are welcome to apply to those communities.

How do I apply?
For both the First Year Experience and a Living-Learning Community, you’ll need to submit a housing application at myhousing.unc.edu. Applying to a LLC requires a second application that is also available at myhousing.unc.edu. LLC applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and you'll receive your assignment as soon as you are accepted into the LLC. Spaces fill quickly, so apply early if you're interested in this option. If you're not applying to an LLC, your housing application must be completed by May 15 to be included in the first batch of housing assignment that go out in early June. Although you get to rank your building preferences, you'll receive your assignment through a random lottery system, so there is no advantage given to those who apply early.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Visiting Campus Tomorrow? Hear from Current Students at a Special Event

This Friday, a special event organized by a group of first-year students will feature noteworthy Carolina students speaking about their experiences. The event is called Priceless Gems and was designed to be a night for Carolina students to share how they have left their Heelprint at UNC. Nominated undergraduates will share their stories to inspire others to embrace their passions and make their dreams a reality. 

Current students Abby Poeske, Sam Riemer, Alex Romero, Ahmad Sadd, Chris Scanzoni, La’Mon Johnson, Colleen Daly, and Cate Paker are the confirmed speakers. The Priceless Gems event will be held April 5 from 7:30-9:00PM at the Stone Center. Free hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be served!

Prospective students and their families are welcome to attend, so if you're planning to be on campus, this will be a great opportunity to hear from a group of students who have had some incredible experiences as undergraduates at Carolina. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weekly FAQs

Good morning! Here are some of the questions we've been getting this week by phone and email. Other questions? Just let us know in the comments and we'll be glad to help.

I'm an admitted student. When should I visit campus this spring? 
Congrats! We definitely encourage you to visit campus in the coming month so that you can experience Carolina for yourself and find out if this is the place you'd like to spend the next four years. We have special events just for admitted students and you can view these invitations by logging into MyCarolina. Our largest event is Explore Carolina, which is held on several dates this spring. At Explore, you can pick and choose from more than 50 sessions, including department open houses, student panels, and information sessions with student services such as housing and study abroad. It's a great chance to learn more about your areas of interest and the many opportunities you will find here.

If you can't make it to one of our admitted student events, you can come to one of our daily campus tours. These include an information session with one of our counselors and a student-led tour. These tours are geared toward all prospective students (not just admitted students), but we'll do our best to answer your specific questions.

I am having trouble signing into MyCarolina.
We posted recently with instructions on how to view your decision on MyCarolina. You'll log in with your UNC Guest ID. We sent you an email with instructions on how to create your Guest ID after you submitted your application. If you don't have this email anymore, send us an email to unchelp@admissions.unc.edu and we'll resend it to you.

From the login page, you can reset your password if you've forgotten it. If you continue to have problems logging in, give the UNC Help Desk a call at 919-962-HELP. They can help you troubleshoot your problem.

How do I apply for Summer School?
If you only want to attend Summer School at Carolina (not continuing into the fall), you can apply directly to that program as a visiting student. Rising high school seniors and students enrolled at other colleges are eligible for Summer School. Learn more about the courses offered and how to apply here.

If you've applied for admission as a transfer student and are admitted, you can start in the summer if you wish without submitting a separate application to the Summer School. After enrolling, simply send us an email (unchelp@admissions.unc.edu) to let us know that you wish to change your enrollment term to summer. Please note, though, that financial aid is not typically available for classes you take over the summer prior to the fall term you're admitted to.

Other questions? Just let us know.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring into Service at Carolina

Today we feature a guest blog from sophomore Frank Wu, who recently returned from his spring break.

The Pembroke group at a local Lumbee community event with an elder.
For the week of March 9 - 17, I was blessed with the opportunity to lead ten UNC students from diverse backgrounds on a service trip. Service truly plays a strong role in the UNC student community. Every year, the APPLES Service-Learning Program sends out 60 students to 5 different locations for an Alternative Spring Break. Locations this year included: Atlanta, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., Pembroke, N.C., Hyde County, N.C., and eastern N.C.

Our group went to Pembroke, where we conducted a truly multi-faceted service experience. We spent time landscaping a cultural center, planting an organic farm, and helping at a local Boys & Girls Club. In addition to the direct service we performed, we held critical discussions with local community leaders on the issue of rural poverty. And to culminate the experience, our group will design an advocacy project to be presented at the end of the semester.

As a result of the break, our group of twelve students left the experience with a bond that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, through our diversity, we learned from each other as each of us brought a unique perspective to the group. For me personally, this experience only inspired me to seek more opportunities to lead and to serve.