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The Backpack
The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of NAU students
Blank Blank
Vol. 6 No. 14 | November 10, 2009

Life and Resume Enrichment

by Dianna Van Sanford

Community volunteerism is inherently rewarding. Becoming active in the community may spark your student’s interest as he/she chooses a major or moves into full-time employment. It definitely builds one’s resume and gives a young person some “real world” experience. It goes without saying that volunteering helps students to network and feel a sense of accomplishment and belonging.

It is easy to volunteer in the Flagstaff area. The Northern Arizona Food Bank is always in need of volunteers with a variety of skills and availability from executive outreach, such as grant and proposal writing, to graphic arts and fund raising. Other opportunities include clerical support, food sorting, driving, and wood banking for people with disabilities.

The Flagstaff Family Food Center needs “Dinnertime Volunteers” and volunteers with interest in assisting children with reading, homework, and social skills.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff is looking for “Bigs” through a variety of programs with varying levels of time commitment. For example, your student could volunteer one hour a week to have lunch with his or her “Little.”

Habitat for Humanity asks volunteers from all levels of experience to assist in home building projects, to volunteer as a restore clerk, and to serve on a variety of committees. Or, your student could volunteer for a wide range of projects through the United Way of Northern Arizona.

Encourage your student to look into volunteer opportunities to enrich his/her life and resume. The Nonprofit Resource Center of Northern Arizona, Volunteer Match and NAU’s very own Gateway Connects all serve as central clearing houses for volunteer opportunities to meet everyone’s interests and schedule.

Study Abroad

Short-term Study Abroad

by Marisa Crowley

The Center for International Education is excited to announce that it has numerous opportunities for students to participate in short-term programs abroad for summer 2010! Programs are available for most majors, are for NAU credit, and take place all over the world.

For more information, contact Marisa Crowley at 928-523-6865, visit the summer programs website, or write to marisa.crowley@nau.edu.

The Compass Newsletter

NEW! The Compass: A College-specific Newsletter

by Bob Beck, Parent Leadership Council

Calling all parents who have students enrolled in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). This past month we published the first edition of the Compass, an e-mail newsletter similar in structure to the Backpack but with content for parents whose students are in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Within the Compass you will find information from the college dean, profiles of faculty members, career ideas for your student, and other interesting articles. If you don’t know if your student is majoring in a subject with this college, please check with your student or refer to the list of SBS departments. Newsletters are being developed for other colleges.

If you would like to start receiving the Compass, please send your name, student’s name, and your e-mail address to me at bob.beck@nau.edu.

Health Tip: Stressed is the Norm at this Point in the Semester

by Melody Hicks, MC, LPC, Counseling Center

The mid-point of the semester has come and gone and many students are feeling the pressure as the end of the semester draws closer and closer. Being “stressed out” seems to be the “norm” for this point in the semester, but it doesn’t mean all students (and parents) can do is “ride it out.” Here are some tips for taking control during this stressful period:

  • Look ahead and do some planning. What is due? What is the priority regarding time and energy? Which classes are most challenging or difficult? This is a time to not just react but to think and wisely use all available resources regarding time, energy, and skills.
  • Surround yourself with study-minded people. At this point in the semester some students are beyond caring and will want to focus less on school and more on playing. It is hard to work when surrounded by distractions and people wanting to play.
  • Make time to relax and sleep. Some students get into the mode of work, work, work, and forget to eat, sleep, and have some down time. This hyper-intense mode results—at some point—in a meltdown. To do well in classes students also need to take good care of themselves. Getting sleep, eating healthy, and taking time to relax, exercise, and talk about anything but school can help.
  • Be realistic. There are students who, early in the semester, skip class, read and study little, and then wake up mid-term and realize they have a “D” or “F” in their classes. Some of these students then vow to bring up their grades by the end of the semester to “A” or “B”, which is not likely to happen. If students want to bring up a grade, they should be realistic and talk to the professor to see what options or obstacles are available for improving a grade.

This is a rough point in the semester and it is intense for most students, but it doesn’t have to be damaging to one’s mental or physical health. Check out our website for some ideas on how to cope, or contact the Counseling Center at 928-523-2261 to make an appointment.

NAU Botany Club

Club Spotlight: Botany Club

by Marissa Mourer

The Botany Club is a group of folks that have an interest in plants but are not necessarily botanist. We join up every week in the NAU greenhouse to work on cool projects, usually involving the propagation of plants. We have helped reestablish the teaching garden adjacent to the greenhouse and we are currently helping bring guest speakers to NAU like ethnobotanist Mark J. Plotkin. Our most noted event is our yearly plant sale in the fall where we sell all the plants we propagate during the school year.

But Botany club is not all work! We have many fun activities like food socials (usually one or two per semester) and get-togethers. In the past we have gone to trips and visited amazing places like Lotus Land, a plant-based theme park in Santa Barbara.

Event Highlights (Tue, Nov 10–Mon, Nov 16)

Applied Indigenous Studies continues the Traditional Knowledge Scholar Lecture Series on Thursday, November 12 with Diné Shoe Game—How day and night came to be taboos by Maybelle Little at 1:30 PM in the Social and Behavioral Sciences West Building #70, room 9 (bottom floor). Free. Questions? Maybelle Little or 928-523-5928.

♦ The School of Music Student Ensemble Series presents the Symphonic Band in Ardrey Auditorium on Thursday, November 12 at 3 PM. Free to students with an NAUCard.

John Masserini

♦ The School of Music Faculty Artist Series presents John Masserini on clarinet Friday, November 13 in Ashurst Hall at 7:30 PM. Free!

NAU Men’s Basketball against Southwestern College on Friday, November 13 at 6:35 PM in the Rolle Activity Center. Free for students with an NAUCard.

♦ The Grand Canyon Guitar Society continues its concert season with Rafael Aguirre Miñarro at the Coconino Center for the Arts on Saturday, November 14 at 7 PM. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of the show.

♦ “Decolonizing Dialogues: Violence Against Native Women and Truth-Telling”—an evening with Mishuana Goeman (UCLA) and Andrea Smith (UC-Riverside), 6:30–8 PM, Gardner Auditorium, W. A. Franke College of Business, November 12. Contact Jennifer Denetdale with questions.

♦ “Feminisms, Native Women, and Indigenous Sovereignties”—a panel discussion with Mishauna Goeman (UCLA), Andrea Smith (UC-Riverside), and Jennifer Denetdale (NAU), 10 AM–12 PM, Belwood Auditorium, SBS West, November 13. Contact Jennifer Denetdale with questions.

♦ More event highlights can be seen at ShowUp Flagstaff.

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