Enjoy the Weather! by michaelminnock

I’ll be the first person to tell you if you don’t already know Pittsburgh can have some harsh winters. That’s why I’m hoping you are all taking full advantage of the warm weather while you still have the opportunity. Going to class and then going straight back to your dorm room is not very healthy. Take the chance to sit outside, walk around campus, go for a run, or just enjoy the sun. Once November hits you’re really going to miss the sun. I’m not saying it’s horrible when it gets cold, but enjoy each season. That’s another great thing about Pittsburgh that it’s a four season city. Enjoy the little things that make Pittsburgh/Duquesne special, whether it’s the warm air, the first color change on trees, the first snowfall, or the first feeling of a spring breeze. These are all things that take us away from the occasional stress of school. Life is about enjoying the little things. College will keep you busy, so time goes by pretty quick. Make sure you don’t forget the little things that make you happy.


Goodbye Duquesne by katzb
05.09.10, 9:20 am
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

I’ve been waiting to post my finals blog until after graduation so I could report on the festivities, plus I’ve been super busy!

Finals weren’t too bad. I have two final papers, two presentations, and four exams, but I made it through! I still think one of the best feelings in the world is selling books back and recycling old notes. I am still checking DORI constantly because only half of my final grades have been posted. I picked up a free yearbook during my last day on campus, and it has been fun to look through and this years pictures and events.

The graduation ceremony for the whole University was on Friday at 5 p.m. There was a baccalaureate service earlier in the afternoon, but my family and I didn’t go. The whole school graduation was nice, and big! It was in the Palumbo Center and the students sat on the floor arranged by school. There was a speaker, we sang the Alma Mater, and the doctoral students were hooded by their advisors. After the ceremony, I went out to eat with my family and friends who had attended the event. It was a nice night, and we were glad we took part.

The Liberal Arts graduation was early Saturday morning. The event started at 9 a.m. and students were supposed to arrive early to get checked in, get their note card with their name on it, and arrange in alphabetical order. It wasn’t as chaotic as you’d think, and it was actually nice to see so many familiar faces of students and professors. I realized how many people I’ve come to either befriend or at least know from classes over the years, and how many different Liberal Arts professors I’ve come to know.

The Liberal Arts graduation went quickly, considering each graduate was called up on stage and given their (fake) diploma individually. (Our real diplomas get mailed to us after all final grades are submitted.) My family enjoyed seeing my walk across the stage! There was a reception following the ceremony, but we decided to skip because it was pretty cold outside!

My family planned a nice graduation dinner for my last night with friends and family. They wouldn’t tell me where we were going, they just told me to dress up! After driving through downtown passing every restaurant that I had guessed, we ended up at the Georgetowne Inn on Mt. Washington. I had been up to Mt. Washington a few times to take pictures, but never to eat! Before our reservation, we rode the Duquesne Incline down and back up for the great views and memories.

Then we ate right next to the window at the Georgetowne Inn, which was an amazing view! It was an awesome dinner and a great way to celebrate my graduation and moving on to the next phase. It was fireworks night at the Pirate game, so we got to end the night by watching fireworks on the river!

Overall, it was a great weekend. I am exhausted and a little stressed about the amount of packing I have to do in the next week, but the graduation ceremonies were a good way to celebrate my accomplishment. I’ve added some graduation pictures to the Liberal Arts facebook page, so take a look!

Thanks for sticking with me over the past two years, through tests, stress, jobs, applying to schools, and graduation. I’ve really enjoyed blogging and getting a chance to share my views and experiences with Duquesne and the College of Liberal Arts. Have a good summer, Duquesne students, and enjoy the years to have left on the Bluff.


Gettin’ paid, getting’ paid – Job hunting advice! by Matt Kasznel
05.07.10, 9:45 am
Filed under: MattK, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

For those of you who are interested, I survived junior year. I’m officially a senior at Duquesne University. You may hold your applause until the end of the blog post.

But before I get to the the thrill of graduation, the agony of senior thesis, and the human drama of secondary education (props to anyone who gets that reference), another four-month task stands in my way: the temporary workforce.

In my flurry of schoolwork, school newspaper work, work study job, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, I had little chance to search for a job or internship most of the semester.  The job I had last summer – “warehouse associate” of a company that made aluminum insulator pipes – can’t give me hours, and while my hands are very happy that they won’t be bleeding as much this summer, my wallet is not as happy.

Even internships are difficult to come by.  Journalism internships are rough because most don’t pay well, if at all.  And banks aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to give out internships with this whole “we’-re having a financial crisis and it’s all the banks’ fault” thing going on.  This means I’m doing what I’ve done for the last two summers: searching for random full and part time labor to get me through until August.

However, my suffering can be to your benefit, readers.  Frantically searching for employment has made me somewhat well-versed in the art of the summer job search.

First off, the Internet is a beautiful thing, especially if you don’t live in the area you go to school in (i.e. you go to Duquesne but live in Philadelphia like me).  Not only are online job search sites great for simply looking for jobs, but most offer a “common application,” meaning you fill out your core application once and submit that to each employer, with a couple additional questions to answer for each individual job.  This saves you an incredible amount of time; in the time it would take you to drive around town and fill out three or four applications, you can apply for twenty-five different positions online.

For jobs or internships that are related to your major in college, you need to be looking starting in January.  They’re valuable, competitive, and fill up very quickly.  A site like JobsOnline or Monster that specializes in long-term “career”-type employment would be a good place to look for these jobs.

For regular summer jobs, such as working in retail or landscaping, you can usually apply later in the semester, even up until late April, and still be okay.  SnagAJob.com is a great site for this.  You may think that online applications get lost in the mess of millions of applicants, but I received two phone calls just two days after applying for jobs on SnagAJob.

Second, if you’ve applied for online jobs and haven’t heard back in about a week, drive around to the different places you applied and see what’s going on.  You can call and do this as well, but it’s much harder for someone to deny you or claim they “don’t do job applications” in person than over the phone.  Plus, while some might seem annoyed that you’re “harassing” them, most will appreciate your hustle.

Day camps are always fun too.  If you’re good with children and don’t mind (or love) being outside, being a day camp counselor is a great job, although the pay is not always the greatest.

Lastly, there’s always College Pro Painter.  A painting and window-cleaning company, College Pro Painter has been hiring exclusively college students for summer work for nearly forty years.  You’ll spend the summer “cold-calling” potential customers for estimates, painting houses, and basically working hard, but they have a very good hire rate.  Always consider them, unless you’re not a fan of manual labor or pass out at the scent of acrylic paint.

That’s the end of my guided tour of summer employment.  We hope you’ll come again soon.  The gift shop is to your right–please buy something.  As I’ve mentioned before, I could certainly use the cash.


Graduation by liberalartsduq
05.06.10, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Tomorrow is graduation!  1,480 students will graduate from Duquesne.  There are two days of ceremonies beginning tomorrow, Friday, at 3pm.  Here’s a schedule of events:

University Commencement

Friday, May 7, 2010
3 p.m. Baccalaureate Mass
(doors open at 2:00 p.m., once Mass begins, entry will be curtailed until 4:15 p.m.)
A.J. Palumbo Center
5 p.m. Commencement Ceremony A.J. Palumbo Center
Reception immediately following Academic Walk
Rainsite- Union Ballroom

Diploma Ceremonies

Saturday, May 8, 2010
9 a.m. McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Reception following at the Mellon Patio
A.J. Palumbo Center
Mary Pappert School of Music
Reception following at the Power Center
Union Ballroom
12 p.m. Palumbo School of Business Administration / Donahue Graduate School of Business
Reception following at the Mellon Patio
A.J. Palumbo Center
School of Nursing
Reception following at the Power Center
Union Ballroom
3 p.m. School of Education
Reception following at Canevin Hall
A.J. Palumbo Center
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Reception following at the Power Center
Union Ballroom
6 p.m. Rangos School of Health Sciences
Reception following at the Palumbo Center
A.J. Palumbo Center

School of Pharmacy

Saturday, May 22, 2010
8 a.m. Baccalaureate Mass Chapel
10:30 a.m. Pharmacy Commencement
Reception following at the Duquesne Union Ballroom
A.J. Palumbo Center

School of Law

Sunday, June 6, 2010
9 a.m. Baccalaureate Mass
11 a.m.
Law Commencement

To find out more information visit duq.edu/graduation

Congrats to all the graduates and good luck in the future!

Time Flies! by liberalartsduq
05.05.10, 12:15 am
Filed under: Class of 2013, Mike, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Time really does fly. Yesterday seriously feels like the first day of high school and I’m already done with my freshman year in college. Of course I’m excited for the summer, but there is a bit of bitter sweet feelings in the air. All the work is over, but another year in gone in my life. As corny as this sounds when you stop and think, you realize how fast time really goes. Most people go through life not truly appreciating every day. People are too busy with school, work, jobs, and feel too stressed out to enjoy each and every day. They wish for weekends, summers, vacations without appreciating every day. Everyone is looking to live in the future, but the present is where we should be living. Time is too valuable to throw away. Confucius once said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” There are obviously going to be bad days at times you can’t wait for a new day, but make sure it does not become a pattern. The future is an exciting time especially since college is setting us up for a successful future, but just remember to take one day at a time. College is meant to be some of the most exciting years of our life, so don’t waste them. Have a GREAT SUMMER!

Guest Post: New Registration Policies by liberalartsduq
05.04.10, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

This semester, the College of Liberal Arts changed the way that undergraduates register for classes.  There have been some questions on the new process and advisor Bill Klewein wrote a guest post explaining them:

Changes to the registration policies for the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts (and rationale for doing so)

There are several changes to the way in which students in the College will be registering effective Summer/Fall 2010.  There are several reasons for doing so, some system-related, some are more philosophical in nature.

One change that is occurring in the system is the introduction of an automated waitlist.  This means that when a student is waitlisted for a class and a seat becomes available, the system will send a message automatically to the student giving them a 72-hour window for only that student to register.  Since there are numerous break periods and long weekends where that 72-hour window could come and go without our offices being open, we needed to make sure that all of our students were able to make changes to their schedule via DORI, even populations who had not been able to do so previously, like those with fewer than 30 credits earned.

The other reason for doing so is more philosophical, as advisors, we want to make our interactions with our students as personal and productive as possible.  While we would normally meet with more than half of our students to actually register them for classes, a good portion of these meetings were spent searching for open sections, doing data entry, each taking away from the face-to-face time with the student.

So the issue then becomes one of accommodating both our desire to make that advisement appointment more a chance to actively engage with our students instead of peering into a computer monitor and to make sure that all of our students have access to make changes to their schedule via the web – all while ensuring that students are remaining on track with their academic programs.

The solution that we, as a group, came to (with Dean Duncan’s and Associate Dean Stoddard’s input and advice) was to encourage students to make a pre-registration plan and submit it via a web-based form to begin the discussion during registration appointment.  With advisors approving courses or requirements, and often, more than students would likely take, it is hoped that students will have more freedom to generate a schedule that is to their liking, and to make changes to the schedule if need be, all while feeling confident that their schedule is getting them closer to graduation – without having to schedule another registration appointment.  We also started seeing students well in advance of the first day that they were eligible to register, so that instead of a few people getting the benefit of having that “first” registration appointment when they are eligible to register, that many more can have the best chance at getting the classes that they want.

The problem is in making sure that we see all students, and as many before they are eligible to register, we have to put registration holds on students’ accounts until they have met with their advisor and made a registration plan.  This hold does not prevent anything except registration.   Once students have met with their advisor, their advisor will lift the hold and students can register the first day that they are eligible.  When we open up DORI so that all students can register, we still have an obligation to make sure that our students are taking courses that make sense for their academic program, so it didn’t seem that there was another way to serve as many students as possible and still allow students the freedom to make their own schedule.

Thanks, Bill!

Major Decisions and More by afederoff

After twenty-four full hours of totems, charisma (as in “deep truth revealed by cosmic order, recognized by social adherence”), and modernity, I thought I would officially commence the summer with one last blog as a freshman at Duquesne University. Finals sucked, I’m not going to lie. Luckily, I only had four finals (instead of the dreaded five) and I think I did well on all of them. My classes were awesome, my professors helpful, and my experience wonderful!

Let me tie up some odds and ends:

I think I’ve finally decided on a major… sort of. I entered Duquesne as a journalism major, enrolled in the Narratio learning community. Although I have decided to not pursue a career in the journalism field, I could not be happier with the path I took. Besides the obvious elements (such as making great friends, having awesome professors, and fun opportunities…like blogging!), I have found many of the classes I have taken this past year will be helpful in building my future curriculum. For example, Media and Society has been a great stepping-stone to future classes I will be taking. So, without further ado, I have decided to make my own major. The liberal arts college offers this incredible program in which a student literally makes a major of their own. With the help of my adviser, I decided this was the best path for me because of my future goals (to go to NYU and get a MSW/JD). If you have your heart set on Duquesne, but the liberal arts college does not have the exact major you are looking for, I would suggest looking into the program. In order to do this, I must compose my curriculum plan to our dean along with my reasoning for this course of study (major summer project). What do I plan on studying exactly? I like to call it a degree in feminism… it will be a unique combination of media studies, sociology, women studies, and conflict resolution.

That brings me to my next point: you’re never too new to get involved. Though countless advisors, interviewers, and peers have told me I am way ahead of the game, I think I am just trying to stay on the right path, following my passions. So, as my summer plans shape up, I will be working for an OB/GYN Monday through Thursday, and Fridays and Saturdays will be devoted to my internship, the first exciting leap into my career path. I briefly mentioned it before, but since it began in January, I have hardly had the time to blog about it. Anyway, I will be an intern for Ms. Courtney Martin, feminist activist and author. The Women’s Center Therapy Institute, in NYC, has asked to be the frontrunner for their international campaign against distorters of body image. The campaign, entitled Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body, is scheduled to occur in March of 2011 and I am ecstatic to announce that I have currently been working on the guest list!

In terms of getting involved on campus and in Pittsburgh, I would encourage new freshmen to step out of the comfort zone and just try everything. Organizations I have become heavily involved with are CONTACT Pittsburgh, Strong Women Strong Girls, the Liberal Art blog, and Residence Life, as well as Phi Eta Sigma (the freshmen honors fraternity) and Lambda Sigma (the sophomore honors fraternity). Becoming involved was one of the best decisions I have made all year. Sure, it took guts to attend all those initial meetings, but luckily I have them. J If you don’t, please, please take me up on this offer: email me, comment me, ask me questions etc. Being involved is key, especially as a Duquesne student!

Thinking back to high school, I still don’t enjoy being a freshman a.k.a. “fresh meat” and the like. But at Duquesne, faculty and peer leaders somehow manage to make it less scary then James Caldwell High School did. In fact, it’s not the kind of scary where you want to go home or eat lunch in the bathroom; it’s more like scary before a performance, a date, or a speech. Oh wait… I think the word for that is excitement.

Happy summer, see you all in August!