In Our June, 2017 Issue:

One Student’s Story: My Vision Boards


Six sum­mers ago, I was sleep­ing in my Honda Odyssey van. I was manic and unable to pay for my men­tal health med­ica­tions. My low-​paying part-​time job had me earn­ing just enough that my Med­ical Assis­tance ben­e­fits were denied. I lived on food stamps and pur­chased my food with an EBT card

That Hal­loween, I was for­tu­nate to move in with Lynn and Bill, a cou­ple that has since become my dear friends. On a snowy win­ter day, I sat down in their kitchen and cre­ated a vision board. In the cen­ter, I placed a large, smil­ing sun. To its right, I glued a pic­ture of a hefty, happy-​looking, silver-​haired woman in a blue cap and gown, proudly stand­ing with her hands on her hips. Down below, I put a pic­ture of a blue back­pack with an A+ glued to it. There was also an image of a nest with golden eggs in it that I placed near the backpack

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AS A MATTER OF COURSE: Big Questions, Big Tent


This sum­mer, Metro State stu­dents are broad­en­ing their world­views using the teach­ings of a 19th-​century edu­ca­tion move­ment in IDST 323 Chau­tauqua: Sense of Place.

Dr. Carol Lacey, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor in the Col­lege of Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies (CIS), cre­ated this new inter­dis­ci­pli­nary course. She mod­eled it on the spirit of the Chau­tauqua Insti­tu­tion, an inno­v­a­tive lib­eral arts pro­gram that is more than 140 years old. She incor­po­rated what she learned from attend­ing the Chau­tauqua Insti­tu­tion sum­mer sea­son in 2016 in south­west­ern New York

Lacey wel­comes stu­dents from any major to enroll in the online course. It can be used to sat­isfy goal 5, goal 10 and upper-​division Lib­eral Studies.

Mul­ti­sided Syllabu

Asked how the class dif­fers from WRIT 532 Writ­ing About Place, Lacey said that her stu­dents first con­sider a per­sonal expe­ri­ence in a place that is spe­cific and sig­nif­i­cant to them.

Class exer­cises push stu­dents beyond casual obser­va­tions. They must explore phys­i­cal, eco­nomic, social, cul­tural and spir­i­tual aspects. They must tackle eco­log­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges, and eval­u­ate the sus­tain­abil­ity of their cho­sen place.

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STUDIO, STAGE & SCREEN: Indulge in the ‘Ecocentric’


Step through the entrance and imme­di­ately your atten­tion is seized by a bright and col­or­ful tree at the cen­ter of the room. You lean in close to dis­cover that the tree is made of Tar­get bags and other recy­cled plastic.

Swirl to your right to see a sculp­ture of a fish, cre­ated from empty Marl­boro cig­a­rette car­tons and alu­minum Moun­tain Dew cans.

In the oppo­site cor­ner, you see a sculp­ture of a fox also com­posed of recy­cled material.

Hang­ing on every wall are pic­tures of wildlife and char­coal draw­ings of seeds. These images mean­der across the wall, cre­at­ing an intrigu­ing mosaic that seizes your imagination.

Some peo­ple might call these pieces of art eccen­tric. Rather, they are the art­works that make up the “Eco­cen­tric: Art, Ecol­ogy and Engage­ment” exhibit.

Eco­cen­tric” is on dis­play in the Gor­don Parks Gallery until July 13. This exhi­bi­tion fea­tures the works of Min­nesota artists Mary John­son, Rachel Breen and Miranda Bran­don. You can find the gallery on the third floor of the Library and Learn­ing Cen­ter on the St. Paul campus.

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Metro State Breaking Club Joins Student Life


The Metro State Break­ing Club made its cam­pus debut at the Monte Carlo Night on April 28. In front of a Stu­dent Cen­ter audi­ence, Kevin Vang, Genny Moua and Robert Thao per­formed their sig­na­ture break danc­ing moves.

The crowd applauded the dancers’ impres­sive steps, spins, flips and freezes. Soon, the audi­ence broke away from their card games to join the excite­ment. They learned new tech­niques and had fun show­ing off their dance skills

Kevin Vang, the founder of this new stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion, felt some­thing was miss­ing at Metro State. “I wanted to bring some­thing fresh and new to the uni­ver­sity,” he said. Vang, also known as Bboy Keej, has been break danc­ing for seven years.

He started when he was a fresh­man in high school. Now, Vang is an instruc­tor at House of Dance Twin Cities, a cen­ter for hip-​hop and break danc­ing. There he dis­cov­ered his pas­sion for teach­ing. He enjoys see­ing stu­dents learn new skills and dis­play their individuality.

Besides instruct­ing, Vang is also a com­pet­i­tive break dancer. As a mem­ber of the Icy Styles Crew, Vang trav­els to tour­na­ments that pit five-​member teams against each other.

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Summer Sampler: Recommendations for summer fun from the Metro State community


Metro State fac­ulty aren’t spend­ing the sum­mer holed up in their offices. They are out explor­ing all the Twin Cities have to offer, and they’re a fount of ideas for sum­mer fun. Check out their rec­om­men­da­tions for activ­i­ties and events

Trail Blaz­ers

Kal Tuomi­nen, com­mu­nity fac­ulty mem­ber in the depart­ment of nat­ural sci­ences, is teach­ing NSCI 201 Min­nesota Ecol­ogy and Con­ser­va­tion Biol­ogy this sum­mer. They rec­om­mend stu­dents take a hike “a bit out­side the Twin Cities.

Peo­ple who want to get out of the city for a few hours, or even for a few days, will find a lot to do at Afton State Park. This is my first choice when I want to go for an intense hike with­out dri­ving too far!” Tuomi­nen said.

The park offers 20 miles of hik­ing trails, includ­ing 0.6 miles that are wheel­chair acces­si­ble. Ter­rain varies from flat to steep.

Tuomi­nen points to the park’s “excel­lent exam­ples” of decid­u­ous for­est, for­mer pine plan­ta­tion, oak savan­nah and restored prairie.

Park activ­i­ties include camp­ing, pic­nick­ing, swim­ming and fish­ing in the St. Croix River, vol­ley­ball, horse­shoes and geo­caching. An archery range will be open on June 10 and July 15.

Afton State Park is about a 30-​minute drive east from the St. Paul cam­pus. A one-​day vehi­cle per­mit costs $5. A twelve-​month per­mit is $25 and allows access to all 75 Min­nesota state parks and recre­ation areas. Entry is free on June 10 in cel­e­bra­tion of “National Get Out­doors Day.” For more infor­ma­tion about Afton State Park, see dnr​.state​.mn​.us/​s​t​a​t​e​_​p​a​r​k​s​/afto

Gallery Gaz­ers

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Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

The Metro State Distance-​Learning/​Intellectual Prop­erty Com­mit­tee of fac­ulty read with inter­est C.T. Corum’s arti­cle, titled “Break­ing the Piggy Bank: Why Online Classes Cost More Money Than Tra­di­tional Classes” in your March 2017 issue.

Our com­mit­tee was dis­ap­pointed that no fac­ulty were inter­viewed for this piece, because we work hard to advo­cate for improve­ments to online learn­ing. These include: ADA accom­mo­da­tion needs in online courses for stu­dents (e.g., closed cap­tion­ing, uni­ver­sal design); SCORM (Sharable Con­tent Object Ref­er­ence Model) for ensur­ing con­tent func­tions con­sis­tently across the learn­ing man­age­ment sys­tem; an online ori­en­ta­tion for stu­dents new to online course­work; and course tem­plates for con­sis­tency of nav­i­ga­tion and user expe­ri­ence as stu­dents move from course to course.

We would very much like the stu­dent body to know that our fac­ulty com­mit­tee has reviewed and ques­tioned the devel­op­ment of extra tech­nol­ogy fees asso­ci­ated with online learn­ing. As a com­mit­tee, we have advo­cated reg­u­larly for the most effec­tive, eco­nom­i­cal, and effi­cient uses of any tuition dif­fer­en­tials that may be needed for online and hybrid courses.

If any stu­dent would like to speak with our com­mit­tee regard­ing our committee’s research on this issue and our pro­pos­als for exam­in­ing the use of tuition dif­fer­en­tials for improv­ing stu­dent suc­cess, please feel free to con­tact Pro­fes­sor Car­olyn Whit­son, our committee’s chair, at carolyn.​whitson@​metrostate.​edu


Metro State Fac­ulty Distance-​Learning/​Intellectual Prop­erty Committe

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Players of All Stripes Unite at Game Night


As I walked into the quiet Library and Learn­ing Cen­ter on the St. Paul cam­pus, I thought it was an odd place for a noisy night of games. I headed to the stu­dent lounge on the first floor, where the library offers Game Night the third Tues­day of every month.

When I arrived, I was greeted by library tech­ni­cian Dylan Har­ris as he hooked up a Super Nin­tendo — just one of the many sys­tems avail­able to play. Har­ris and librar­ian Jen­nifer DeJonghe are the mas­ter­minds that brought this event to the Metro State community.

Joined by librar­ian Alec Son­steby this year, the Game Night team has expanded the library’s game col­lec­tion to include table­top and board games — all of which can be bor­rowed by library cardholders.

We know that not every­one can stick around and we want peo­ple to have fun,” Son­steby told me when I asked how to check out games. “[We want peo­ple] to play games and learn new ones and we want peo­ple to take them home.”

That raised a ques­tion about logis­tics: How do they keep track of the numer­ous game pieces in a board game? The library uses the honor sys­tem and expects patrons to com­mu­ni­cate prob­lems with the librar­ian on duty. Usu­ally there are no issues as the library can often replace miss­ing pieces.

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Writing a Winning Resume


How can col­lege stu­dents and grad­u­ates impress employ­ers and get hired for their dream job? Resumes and net­work­ing are the answers

Resumes are often the first thing a prospec­tive employer sees from a job appli­cant. These one-​page doc­u­ments have the power to land you an inter­view— or get you tossed into the rejec­tion pile.

With so much rest­ing on your resume, how can you write one that will impress your employer and get you an interview?

Resume Resources

Resume Drop-​in Sessions

Wednes­days, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Library and Learn­ing Cen­ter, St. Paul campu

No RSVP needed. Bring paper or elec­tronic draft of your resume. Offered by Career Cen­ter and the Cen­ter for Aca­d­e­mic Excel­lence (CAE).

One-​on-​One Resume Reviews

Sched­ule per­sonal appoint­ment by email­ing

More tips from the Metro State Career Center


Ele­gance is Everything

Holis­ti­cally, when I first look at a resume, I think the first impres­sion is impor­tant,” said Met­ro­pol­i­tan State pro­fes­sor Quan Zhou, who teaches WRIT 372 Doc­u­ment and Infor­ma­tion Design. “It tells you some­thing about this per­son. Some resumes are clut­tered; other resumes are elegant.

Resumes give employ­ers a peek into your lifestyle and per­son­al­ity. As a job can­di­date, you have total con­trol over what that employer sees.

Use clear writ­ing to empha­size your strengths. Resumes should lay out your accom­plish­ments and skills. Hir­ing man­agers do not want to have any ques­tions about your qualifications

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Which Web Browser is Right for You?


The web browser is the most fun­da­men­tal piece of soft­ware on your com­puter. The major­ity of time you spend on your com­puter will be within a browser. Every web­site you visit, every online appli­ca­tion you use, will be con­ducted, medi­ated and con­trolled through a web browser. They are the gate­keep­ers between you and the internet

When it comes to browsers, peo­ple have their pref­er­ences. But they aren’t always well-​informed choices. Microsoft Edge (and before it, Inter­net Explorer) is stan­dard on Win­dows PCs, so many peo­ple default to using it. The same is true of the Safari browser on Macs.

On the other hand, Google Chrome is the most pop­u­lar web browser at the moment, and so many peo­ple auto­mat­i­cally use it— “it must be pop­u­lar for a rea­son,” right

Let’s explore the mod­ern web browser land­scape, and com­pare dif­fer­ent web browsers for speed, secu­rity and features

Niche Browsers

I will men­tion a hand­ful of lesser-​known, “niche” browsers through­out this arti­cle. Don’t be sur­prised if you haven’t heard of them; they exist mostly for a spe­cial­ized audiences.

The three most com­mon right now: Opera, Vivaldi (which tries to be like Opera of a few years ago), and Brave. Sandip Rai dis­cussed the secu­rity fea­tures of Brave in-​depth in our May 2017 issue

Oper­at­ing Sys­tem Support

It is also worth not­ing that not all browsers are avail­able to everyone.

Safari is only for macOS users; if you use Win­dows or Linux, don’t even think about it. Microsoft Edge is only avail­able on Win­dows 10. Older ver­sions of Win­dows run Inter­net Explorer instead, which is old enough that in gen­eral I won’t focus on it

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Test Drive Google Drive


The dri­ving force behind Google Drive is the idea of “Save Here. Access Any­where.” Any file you save to your Google Drive will be acces­si­ble to you from any device, includ­ing your PC and smartphone .

As a stu­dent, you can use this ser­vice to write and sub­mit papers, projects and reports every semes­ter. Once you save it in Google Drive, you will never lose your work. This fea­ture makes Google Drive a more secure option than stor­ing your papers on USB flash dri­ves that are eas­ily misplaced

If you have a Google or Gmail account, it’s easy to get started with Google Drive. Go to google​.com/​drive and sign in with your Google account.

Every user gets 15 GB of stor­age space, which should be more than enough for all the papers you will write until you graduate.

Google Drive’s most pow­er­ful fea­tures are its online sync­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and soft­ware suite (Google Docs, Sheets and Slides).

Sync Your Files

Google Drive fea­tures an easy-​to-​use file sync­ing tool for lap­top and desk­top computers.

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