This past February I attended the Undergraduate Research Conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg. Seeing the interesting projects students from across the state were involved in was an enriching experience. My personal favorite was a project to test if deer cross roads randomly. My project on Tommy John Surgery got a considerable amount of interest throughout the day. It was even mentioned in the opening speech for the event. Given the opportunity, I would attend the URC at the Capitol again.
RMU students celebrated women in March with a series of scenes performed at Massey Theater. The Freedom Players, a student theatre organization on campus, put on fantastic performances with scenes from Tea at Five, Our Town, Little Women, Antigone, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The small scenes each demonstrated the unique lives of women, from the small Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, to the blunt Katharine Hepburn in Tea at Five. The intimate crowd enjoyed the range of characters and scenes, all giving women center stage in this month of celebration.
On March 18th, Robert Morris University Honors Program students had the opportunity to hear a presentation by an RMU professor, Dr. Daria Crawley, on her research involving the extra responsibilities of the busy woman in the workplace. The presentation was entitled, “She’s Already Busy: An Exploratory Study of Women’s Workplace Attitudes as Predictors of Organizational Citizenship.” Dr. Crawley explained her findings concerning Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, or OCBs, which are instances in which a woman chooses to do work outside of her job description. Through her research, Dr. Crawley found that there are many factors that influence a woman’s inclination to participate in OCBs, including job or pay satisfaction, job tenure, and marital status. Dr. Crawley concluded that a company or firm should never discount the busy woman because these women are experienced in handling a steady work-life balance and planning their responsibilities. Every student and faculty member that attended Dr. Crawley’s presentation was fascinated by her research and was eager to learn more about the background and reasoning behind Organizational Citizenship Behaviors so that they could use this knowledge in their own workplaces or in the outside world.
On Tuesday March 17, the RMU Honors Program hosted a panel discussion regarding fabulous opportunities for RMU students beyond their in-classroom education. Speaking on behalf of the internship and study abroad opportunities available to students were four RMU Honors students who had recently undertaken these life-changing endeavors: Hannah Arnold, Leah Fleischel, Asa Bull, and Jaime Morton.
Hannah, participating in the RMU Study Abroad Program, studied for a semester abroad in Limerick, Ireland. She shared her experiences concerning the breathtaking Irish landscape, her adjustment to an international education style, and her excursions across France, Germany, and Italy, among other European countries, in her free time. Leah participated in an internship program through the Washington Center, based in our nation’s capital. As a journalism major, Leah interned with Voice of America where she acquired skills concerning multiple aspects of journalistic techniques as well as multimedia and international broadcasts.
Asa created his own study abroad experience through an independent study abroad program, Worldwide Opportunities for Organic Farmers (WWOOF). In exchange for his labor, Asa received housing, food, and the picturesque setting of the Irish coast to gain valuable farming skills and to express his deep appreciation for nature. Finally, Jaime Morton became a part of “Disney University” through her internship with the Disney College Program. In addition to her responsibility for “creating happiness” while working at Epcot, Jaime remained a full-time RMU student by utilizing the university’s online courses.
The experiences of RMU Honors students have imparted unforgettable memories and practical knowledge unto their lives as well as their fellow students, allowing all a chance to consider the fantastic opportunities that RMU can provide.
On January 29, The Diversity Speaker Series welcomed Mr. Ryan Scott to RMU. Mr. Scott, the Co-Director of the Black Male Leadership Development Institute, gave a talk entitled “What They See, is What They’ll Be!” The talk was focused on mentorship, and the importance of mentors to help people succeed. Mr. Scott gave a brief overview of his journey and successes, and talked about how influential mentors were in his life. Mr. Scott inspired the crowd to become mentors for other people, while explaining how rewarding of an experience mentorship can be. Students were able to ask Mr. Scott questions about mentorship, and learn different ways to develop a mentoring relationship. Afterwards many students waited to ask Mr. Scott personal question to help them individually learn more about how mentorship could affect their lives or goals. Overall, the event was very successful because students were able to learn from Mr. Scott, and hopefully apply this knowledge to help better themselves.
The Robert Morris University Honors Program was honored this spring semester with our first chance to compete in a regional Quiz Bowl that contested for nationals. Six RMU students traveled to Youngstown State University to compete in 9 rounds, plus 2 playoff rounds, against other colleges and universities. Other schools such as Edinboro, Pitt, and Carnegie Mellon University were represented there as well. The timed rounds used a buzzer system in which we were tested on academic and trivia questions. Although going to nationals is not in our futures, we were praised for our enthusiasm, commitment and drive for it being our first time competing (we were the only school there competing for the first time.) We had the honor of meeting many other students who had worked very hard to reach their standings. It was a joyous experience and we are looking forward to setting up competitions on campus to compete again in the future.
The weekend of February 7 was the annual Scholar’s Day prospective student event. This event brings together the top prospective RMU applicants to learn more about being a member of the Honors Program and to submit their competitive Presidential Scholarship projects. As both an Honors student and a Colonial Ambassador, I was invited to be on a panel of students at the event and had a chance to share my college experiences and advice with the high school seniors. During the panel session, audience members were given the chance to ask questions to the panel of 10 current Honors students. Some of the topics of discussion included college level classes, adjusting to college life, and the benefits of being an Honors student. The day concluded with recognition of the students’ achievements so far in their educational careers. Overall, the event provided key information that helped high school seniors learn about the Honors Program at RMU and celebrated the highest performing prospective students.