Tag: Honors Ambassador

Fun and stoles at the Honors Gala

Fun and stoles at the Honors Gala

I had a lovely afternoon with fellow members of the University Honors Program at the 2019 Honors Gala in the Fullerton Arboretum.

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This Gala was essentially a big send-off for graduating seniors in the program. It was one part a chance to sit down and eat Italian food provided by the Monkey Business Cafe (and dessert pastries from Porto’s) with our fellow Honors students, one part a venue to receive our graduation stoles, and one part time for us to cry about the Honors Project Conference this weekend.

Though on top of a stole, I also received these niceties from the Honors Program:

The certificate is a lovely recognition from my mentor Dr. Rizzo, which makes me feel terrible because I may or may not have missed the window to sign her up for an outstanding mentor award in return.

Curse you, exams…

On the right is a glass to say thanks for my work as an Honors Ambassador, alongside a touching note from the Co-Curricular Coordinator Tyler.

It’s all great — even though my friend Mimi caught me with sudden-onset dinosaur arm syndrome while accepting the certificate from Honors Program Director Sandra Perez.

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Seriously, why did I do that?

I like my watch, but not enough to be showing it off like a punk.

Ah well. At least I got some other pictures with a few different people in attendance, including Mimi (with one goofy snark-filled photo), Chris Trinh and Dr. Perez.

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There were a few other people I could have, and probably should have, taken photos with. But at least one notable example left the event early for class stuff, and now owes me fancy dress photos.

Maybe I’ll even up my game a little bit more for that next time. Because I think I underestimated the bar of “cocktail attire preferred” given how I compared to everyone else.

Though to be fair, my dress was probably less awkward than my attempt to talk about myself when they suddenly dragged all the graduates on-stage to speak for the crowd. Guess who got to be the first guinea pig?

That’s about all I’ve got for this glorified photo album. I’m actually off to prepare for my presentation tomorrow morning, so that should take up the rest of my night.

Very glad we got one final as a program before I possibly lose all credibility with them.

Opening a forum

Opening a forum

Not long ago, the University Honors Program gave me an opportunity to add “event planner” onto my résumé.

Now it let me add “forum moderator” to the list as well.

For the last few days, the program has been holding Open Forums to introduce students to the three finalists vying to be next year’s Associate Director.

Co-Curricular Coordinator Tyler reached out to see if I wanted to be a student representative and ask some questions, given I already had some clout with the Honors Center as an Ambassador.

I saw no reason why not. Sure there are superficial benefits to the event being résumé filler and something to do on a Friday (slyly for blog purposes), but it also seemed like fun! An extension of personally sitting on panels.

Plus I was slated to run the forum for Craig McConnell, who I know pretty well.

I’ve had a lot of classes with the guy, most recently my Evolution and Creation course last semester.

Perhaps that makes me bias. Especially considering I didn’t go to either Open Forums prior… But I was just there to ask questions, so I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

At the same time as I was asking questions, I decided to take advantage of my recent training with SPJ by practicing image graphics for my social media feeds.

My role as a moderator meant I couldn’t Live Tweet as I often do, but I tried to put out at least two nice graphics at the start of the forum.

Here’s what I did for Twitter:

And this one is my piece for Instagram:

Figured having slightly different pictures to go along with the slightly different messages on each platform would make sense.

Perhaps I could have been more creative… But practice is practice.

Plus, there weren’t a lot of opportunities to get diverse pictures given the paltry audience we gathered on a Friday at the commuter college.

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The event was mainly for Dr. Perez (left) and Tyler (unpictured), as they are going to be voting on the new Associate Director soon. Other students were there mostly for McConnell to address and field questions from.

I featured two quotes in those social media posts, but those were drawn primarily from the start of the Open Forum.

We also went into specific ideas for improving the Honors student community engagement (because commuter campus) and the possible role of an Associate Director in helping students figure out their career trajectories beyond course adjustments.

Because you know. I work for a career oriented non-profit.

And wanted to write off this event as Internship hours.

Yet as vaguely self-serving as that was, Dr. McConnell had a good response:

“I think colleges should give students a few years to expand their minds,” he said of his concern that traditional schooling is too tunnel-visioned about post-grad careers. “But I’m also aware that it becomes more important every year for schools to help students find jobs as soon as they leave.”

He pivoted on my question quickly and easily, so I was impressed.

The only line of questioning I was unfortunately not able to delve into was arguably the most important.

I should have asked him what he thought of the Star Wars Episode IX teaser! It dropped about a half an hour before our event, so that would have been a perfect barometer of his cultural absorption.

But oh well.

Maybe next time.

My Interdisciplinary Networking Panel debrief

My Interdisciplinary Networking Panel debrief

After months of build up, today was the day.

Networking panel was a go.

Not even hail could keep me out of Fullerton this afternoon, where I finally got to follow-through on officially adding event planner onto my résumé (though I already technically did weeks ago).

I’m serious. It hailed in Southern California. An event so crazy that I scoured my car to find evidence of it once I got to campus.

Don’t think I’ve seen ice fall out of the sky since Elementary School.

But that’s not the point of why you’re all here. You’re here to read my writing on how the event panned out — assuming you didn’t follow my live tweeting (or you’re reading this years in the future).

I’ve discussed my road getting here numerous times in the past, but for the sake of catching everyone up quickly: I became a University Honors Program Ambassador after not nabbing a space on the Advisory Counsel, as the Co-Curricular Coordinator wanted to put the creative power of all us interested parties to good use.

Since then, I’ve been meeting with the Coordinator, Tyler, and a fellow Honors Program student Melina, once a week to plan a panel about interdisciplinary networking tips to find jobs and make connections within jobs.

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Here’s us, post-panel.

Today we finally got to take over the Honors Center on campus:

Unfortunately, the visual arts representative we invited got sick this morning and could not make it out. But she was gracious enough to send us documents with the kinds of tips she was going to share so we could lay it out for attendees.

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How gracious!

Without her we had three speakers and a moderator, Cassandra Thompson — College Career Specialist from the Career Center.

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Finally got to put that arts & crafts to good use.
  • Dr. Sandra Perez — University Honors Program Director and Pre-Doctorate Program Faculty Coordinator for the Graduate Studies Office
  • Dr. Shaun Pichler — Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology Associate Editor
  • Spencer Custodio — Reporter, Voice of OC

Spencer, true to form, was late to the event because he was covering a story. Even hung out a bit afterwards to turn in his copy before we went out to dinner.

Gotta love that man.

I’ll admit that I didn’t personally absorb a lot of what got discussed at the panel. I was too busy live tweeting.

But that said, I did get a lot of great tweets out of the event:

It figures I could only really enjoy my own event through the lens of journalistic objectivity.

After the panel, Justin Gerboc from the CSUF Alumni Association gave a presentation on the Titan Pro Network — which is essentially LinkedIn but concentrated to CSUF alum:

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He was pretty great, too. Real nice guy.

The only other hitch was that I was a dolt and forgot the Fandango gift cards that were planned to be prizes for our networking practice activity at home.

I’ll be bringing the winners their prizes within the next week or so. It was simply yet another reminder that you always have to be ready to improvise, because something perfect on paper might have some last-minute problems in execution.

However, as far as I could tell the audience we had was sizable and decently engaged, in spite of whatever problems we had with late/missing speakers and delayed prizes:

By the end of the afternoon we went well over the hour-and-a-half time slot planned out, and people were sticking around afterward to chat.

So… Yeah. I’d wager that my first ever adventure in event planning was some kind of success!

While I had a great time working with Tyler and Melina to set this whole thing up, I’ll admit that I’m glad it’s finally over. The Ambassador event was a decent time suck while I’ve been low-key stressing out about my Honors Project, Internship hours and midterms.

But hey, all that stress had to be worth it based on comments we got about attendees learning a lot.

That’s the whole reason we put this together in the first place.

So I’ll consider it mission accomplished.

Arts & Crafts with Jason Rochlin

Arts & Crafts with Jason Rochlin

Before you say anything, I know “name tag” is spelled with two words and not one. I was just trying to better emulate a traditional forename/surname structure.

On Valentine’s Day last month I talked about my current stint as a University Honors Ambassador. Essentially putting together an event for Honors students to enjoy alongside a fellow member of the program and the Co-Curricular Coordinator.

Something, something insert another joke about adding ‘event planner’ to my résumé again.

Even though that’s not really a joke.

I’m 100 percent adding that onto my CV.

Since I last talked about the event, we’ve done a sizable amount of work putting it all together. After securing the Career Center representative that I talked about in the last post, we’ve also gotten a journalist, a visual arts teacher and the associate editor of a psychology journal confirmed to come to CSUF on March 20.

On top of that, we’re also going to have a representative of the Alumni Association come in to talk about opportunities that students can use after they graduate.

Which is something I should actually pay attention to at this point. Pretty scary.

We also have a plan in place for some food to have at the event and there’s possibly going to be a networking-theme game involved.

I’m not personally sure how that’s going to work out, but my partner has an idea in mind. So we’ll see.

The only thing that’s still mostly on the back burner right now is advertising the event. We already have a poster put together, but because Honors students are our only real audience so most of the messages are only going out to them through the program’s official channels.

As we’ve been meeting every Wednesday during the lead-up period, every week I’ve had a different task to accomplish.

For our meeting tomorrow, I was tasked with putting together name tags to place by each of the members of our panel. I decided to do a test name tag first, and I’ll bring that in to show everyone.

I wanted to talk about it here before I do.

In part because I had nothing else to write a blog post on today, and I’m really scrounging the bottom of the barrel trying (and failing) to write something every day while all of my school obligations kick my ass.

But also because the method I used to make these name tags are personal, in a way.

As my social media stinger said, don’t believe it when someone says you won’t use anything you learn in school.

In all three (four? I lost track frankly) of the classes I had with the now-retired Daily Titan advisor Bonnie Stewart, she made us create our own name tags. Even if she knew us for years.

They were simple. Just fold a basic 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper in half vertically, then fold the two ends into the center line.

Finally, fold the sides together for a quick, easy and cheap triangular name tag:

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Hope you enjoyed arts & crafts with Jason Rochlin. My brand new, impromptu category of posts that I’ll probably never repeat on purpose.

Figured it would be worth a post to thank Bonnie for everything she taught me — even if the useful stuff is as simple as name tag folding.