The class of 2013 will surely be missed here at Tech. I had so many friends graduate this year and each one of them brought out a different side of me. It will definitely be extremely weird not to see their faces on campus next fall. Out of all the seniors I know I was the closest to Thonide Aristide and Monika Becker.
It’s rare for me to remember how I met someone, but how I met Monika is unforgettable. During a cookout on the Tech Mall a girl named Monika Becker approached me during a joke and said is my name Aruba because it was on my key chain. As soon as she said that everyone started laughing and that is when I knew Monika was not from America. I said “No, Aruba is an island, my name is Angel.” Now, I have a close friendship with an international student. Whenever we were together we always had a blast rather we’re studying, running or snowboarding. It’s always nice to have a friendship with people you can be completely yourself with (they are rare to find).
Another one of my favorite memories with both Monika and Thonide was my freshmen year during dead week of the spring semester. A couple of my favorite people were in Thonide’s room and it was around midnight that we started to get bored and tired of studying. So, we decided to go onto YouTube and found some of our fav’90s music that everyone should remember. Then, I came across this song that I remember every single detailed of the choreography and decided to perform it for everyone (“Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC). One minute and eleven seconds into the song when the chorus started I started dancing with so much aggression and passion. Everyone busted out laughing and I couldn’t help myself, but to continue the movement. To this day, Thonide has made it impossible for me to forget the movement.
Random, but who cares. For commencement I got the chance to take pictures at the event too bad I didn’t really take any pictures with my closest friends. Also, I was given the opportunity to interview some of the seniors for the commencement video and some of their quotes are included in the video. The commencement photos and video links are below you should definitely check them out!
Commencement 2013 Photos:
Commencement 2013 Video:
Question: Before you came to WVU Tech, you built a successful Information Systems program at North Texas University. We began Information Systems program WVU Tech just last year and we already have more than 20 students in the program. Why do you think Information Systems has become a popular major in the US?
Answer: Information Systems is the newest trend in computing. These days even small companies have computer systems, networks, and databases. e-Commerce has become very popular and is rapidly growing. These developments have created an enormous demand for computer professionals. Most of these jobs are not for Computer Scientists, even though they qualify for some of them. They are for the Information Systems professionals, individuals with skills in a wider area of computing. In 2012 Information Systems graduates received an average annual salary of $56,868 and that is the ninth highest salary offered to college graduates. Computer technology is changing rapidly and that makes careers in Information Systems and Computer Science very challenging and exciting. Our Information Systems program emphasizes hands-on learning and that is also attractive to students. For example in classes like CS 225 – C# and MANG 370 – Visual Basic-Business Applications students learn to develop programs for real life applications in business and other fields. CS 465- Computer Security is another very important required course for Information Systems.
Question: What is the Mathematics requirement for Information Systems?
Answer: Computer Science or Engineering programs require a long sequence of Math classes. In comparison, Information Systems students take very few Math courses. Information Systems students are required to take MATH 123 Finite Math, Math 150 Applied Calculus, and MANG 386 Business Statistics.
Questions: What careers do Information Systems graduates pursue?
Answer: Computer Systems Analyst, Database Administrator, and Network & Computer Systems Administrator.
Question: Where do Information Systems graduates work?
Answer: They work in all employment sectors: public and private. That is the other advantage in majoring in Information Systems. You can choose to work in almost any field you like. Information Systems graduates find employment in health-care, education, commerce, engineering enterprises, social services, and government agencies.
Question: Could you also tell us about yourself, the courses you teach, and your research area?
Answer: I come from a family of academics and my teaching philosophy is to share my knowledge and wisdom with others. I believe, as a teacher I am not only responsible to provide fundamental theories, concepts, empirical material and skills applicable to student’s professional career but also, influence the lives of my students for the better. Since I believe that “teaching is a learning process”, my teaching approach, strategies and techniques are constantly evolving. I try to enrich my own professional development, to observe my peers, to listen to my student’s insightful comments, and along the way I improve my teaching.
My research area includes two different dimensions: cache memory design and engineering education. The main goal of my cache research is to analyze the algorithms and data structures of applications to address the deficiencies in existing cache memory systems. In my engineering education research, I am involved in both K-12 and higher education area. In K-12 area, my research involves finding innovative curriculum and pedagogical tools to inspire K-12 students to STEM fields. Last year I have arranged a workshop (sponsored by NASA WVU Consortium) with High school teachers and I am continuing to work with local high schools. For the higher education part, my research revolves around the professional skills like communication, team work, information literacy, and ethics in our curriculum. Last year I have received the WVU Information Literacy Course Enhancement grant and this year I am making a presentation on that project at the ABET Symposium.
I joined TECH in Fall 2011. Since then I have taught Computer Organization, Computer Architecture, Data Structures, Algorithm Analysis, Computer Science I and II, C, Software Engineering, Introduction to Computer Applications. I really enjoy introducing my students to my own research experience (along with theoretical knowledge) accumulated over last ten years. I also enjoy teaching introductory classes like “Computer Science I” and “Computer Science II” where I introduce my students to the exciting world of computing.
Wow. Two weeks until finals. I can’t believe it!! It seems like this semester flew by! It’s hard to believe that I’m signing up for my SENIOR classes. It seems like just yesterday that I was walking onto campus for the first time, wondering how in the world I was going to get through it all.
On May 11 some of my dearest friends will graduate and move on from Tech to the real world. It makes me sad, but happy at the same time.
When I first came to Tech, the first person I talked to other than my roommate was Ashley Clark. As I was moving in, she stood in the doorway and talked and talked and talked about everything! Her sorority, the volleyball team, school, Montgomery. She offered to give me a tour of Montgomery and she showed me some of my now favorite places—Benny’s, Gino’s Pizza, Burger Carte. She showed me where all my classes were going to be and gave me advice on certain professors. As the semester went on, she convinced me to come to her sorority’s Recruitment Week. I was initiated on November 10, 2010! Ashley became my Big Sister, and she’s been the best a girl could ask for! She’s a dynamic woman who can make you laugh anytime! She will no doubt go on to do well no matter what she does and no matter where she ends up. She will graduate on May 11 with a degree in accounting.
Another close friend of mine is graduating in May—my boyfriend, Robin Davis. He’ll graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering technology. He truly is my best friend, and he’s the best in the world! We’ve been together two years, and I’m sad he’ll be going to Texas for his new job. I know he’ll do well but I’ll miss him. He’s a great man—a good leader, intelligent, and vivacious. He will succeed no matter what he does and no matter where he goes.
All in all, I hate graduations. I’m happy that people get to go on and become someone in the world, but I’m sad they’re leaving! I’ve gotten close with a lot of people here at Tech and it’s always sad to realize I won’t see their faces everyday next year. But, congratulations to the Class of 2013!!! You all have worked hard for this, & you deserve it! All of us here at Tech will miss you!!
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 I finally show a Broadway Production with the Student Support Services here at Tech. First, they took us to dinner at Lone Star Steakhouse and I ate so much food I thought I would explode. Then, we headed to the Clay Center to see the amazing Broadway Play Fiddler on the Roof. I’m not into musicals, but this play is definitely an exception (since it’s an old musical that has been around since September 22, 1964). The play happened around World War II and was about a Jewish father and his family (with 5 daughters) who are changing their Jewish religious traditions with outside influences. I was rather surprise when I heard a song I knew “Sunrise, Sunset”. I couldn’t help myself, but to sing along with them (not loudly). I’m glad that I can cross Broadway Production off my bucket list now.
Mine is four weeks away, and I never thought it would ever come. First of all, because I came to the States with the plan to only stay for one year, and second, once I decided to stay longer than a year, it still just seemed So. Far. Away.
However, it is closer now than I realize, and my to-do lists say the semester has to be at least another 2 months longer, just to get everything done. I am not sure when I should start getting myself Graduation-day ready, but one thing is certain:
I don’t need a fancy dress or glamorous shoes. Quite contrary, I decided that only one specific pair of shoes should be on my feet, walking with me over that stage to receive the applause for having a Bachelor’s Degree:
My soccer shoes.
Not for the reason that I love the sport so much, but because soccer was the one thing that brought me to Tech, and therefore, those shoes deserve more than anything else to carry me through the day.
Now all that’s left to do for graduation is to purchase my cap and gown, not mess up on final exams, and wait impatiently for my family to arrive from Germany. Oh, it’s going to be a wonderful day!
It’s going to be the exclamation mark to 4 colorful, wonderful years of college.
Well, I will save you the emotional walk down memory lane here, because I believe I already did that in an older blog, and it would probably turn into a 10-page essay.
Everybody, enjoy the last weeks of the semester, spend as much time as possible with the friends you won’t see over summer break, and tell your teachers they did a great job and you learned a lot this semester.
Yesterday was the first day of spring and I was so happy I whistled and sung walking down the street in the 50-degree weather in lovely Montgomery. I wish today was the second day of spring, but Mother Nature decided to make it a cloudy snowy Thursday. I’m glad that I finally get a break from the crazy school schedule and can just focus on the numerous projects I have to do. One of the projects is for the new Student Success Center on the 3rd floor of the Vining Library (the grand opening is April 4th at 1 pm). I have so many ideas for this event, but then my imagination goes overboard and I forget that the event is happening very soon and certain things just can’t happen. It took me awhile, but I thought of an amazing idea of like a major Jeopardy. Basically, there are questions from all the different departments here at Tech. Some are multiple choice, question and answer, and true or false. I think this idea will get everyone’s attention and the grand opening will be an amazing success.
The A.I.I. Tournament this past weekend was epic like most basketball events here at WVU Tech. The crowd cheered both teams to victory on Saturday and unfortunately only the Women’s Basketball team will be advancing to finals. Both the Men and Women’s Basketball team played their hearts out and gave the audience intense games to watch. The crowd really made this game enjoyable. They had chats and cheers for almost everything happening on the court. There were so many free gifts (t-shirts, iPads) given at the tournament everyone had a reason to be excited and happy. The most spectacular, spectacular (I said it twice for a reason) thing I saw at the basketball games was Monika Becker. This girl is amazing and should add circus stunts to her resume; she did a LED-poi performance to the song Lights by Ellie Goulding. In case you don’t know what LED-poi is, I’m glad to tell you. It’s similar to having two glow in the dark balls attached to a sturdy string and basically you swing them around at fast speed and they look amazing like the picture of Monika Becker shown below. As said before the Tournament was epic and if you missed it there’s some pictures below to glance at.
There is SO much going on at Tech! It’s crazy to see how far Tech has come… my freshman year there wasn’t even close to this much going on. In the next month or so we have:
-The AII Basketball Tournament (March 1-3)
-Miss AST (March 19)—a backwards beauty pagent where the men of Tech and Bridgemont compete to be the most beautiful lady! Brought to you by Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority.
-Yoga & Ballroom Dancing Lessons every Thursday
-Zumba every Monday
-Tai-Chi/Self-Defense every Monday & Wednesday
-Movies every Tuesday
-Monty Python Movie Marathon (March 14-15)—Brought to you by the Tech Film Society.
-Bingo every Friday
-Games Tournament (March 10)—The main competition will be a double elimination pool tournament as well as side games such as board games and even video games. Brought to you by RA Craig Mitchell.
-Wild West Quizbowl (March 21)—A wild west theme quiz with several different rounds such as movie theme tunes, general knowledge and movie observation. Teams will be up to 5. Prize will be $50 for a meal at a restuarant of choice in Montgomery. Brought to you by RA Craig Mitchell.
That’s not even everything! Everything can be found on the WVU Tech Calendar.
Miss AST is definitely my favorite out of all those! Miss AST is put on each Spring by Alpha Sigma Tau. Men dress up as women for casual wear, talent, formal wear, and swim wear. Yes, in bikinis and all! This year, Miss AST is being organized by my sister Jenn Lyons, so I know it’ll be a blast!! And to top it off, all the sorority sisters dress as men (last year I was a drag queen!).
I must say, it’s pretty hysterical to try and watch men put on bikinis. Apparently it can be very difficult!
Wow! We are a fourth of the way through the semester already!!
I am currently sitting in the Student Government Association’s brand new office! It is located in Orndorff Hall Room 3401. Now I feel like a real secretary, sitting at a desk typing this! Haha! We actually have a beautiful view on the mountians Tech faces—the sky is blue and clear today and I absolutely love it.
Second semester always seems the hardest to me. Maybe it’s because it starts in winter when things seem so bleak and cold, or maybe it’s because I’m just plum wore out. I always love the fall better; it seems like the perfect time for a fresh start, and because of homecoming the whole semester just seems spirit filled and perfect!
One thing that I have slowly come to terms with is that I will be at Tech for an extra year—I will gradute in five years rather than four. And I don’t like it. I always try to push myself to be the best I can be. And a lot of the time, that means being just like my dad. He went to the United States Naval Academy and graduated in four years. He’s currently working on his PhD. He’s a very successful systems engineer. And I always compare myself to him, even without trying to do so. It’s only because I admire him so much and want to be like him. So I feel like if I don’t graduate in five years, I am somehow a failure, even though I don’t think that about anyone else. All because my dad graduated in four years (even though at the USNA, it’s pretty much required to graduate in four years).
I don’t think anyone is stupid for needing to take longer to graduate. I don’t think I’m stupid either—that’s what I’ve had to come to terms with. I’m not stupid, I just need a little more time than others to fully grasp the material I’m being taught. It all clicked for me over winter break. My dad took thermodynmaics in college, and wasn’t so great at it. I took it last semester… and I got a B. My dad was proud of me, but the fact that I had done better than my dad at something just boggled my mind—even if it was just thermo. It made me realize I’m not stupid.
And for now, all I can do is push myself through my schoolwork and work on being the best chemical engineer I can be. Which is all anyone should do—focus on being the best you.