Why Regent University?

I transferred into Regent University from a state school. My experience at Regent has been so different from a public school because the professionalism and value of Christian character that inspires people to excellence. I have received so much personal attention to my goals, I have no doubt this choice is a factor in my future career success.

Why Online Learning?

Online Learning is great because it is so convenient!
Click-in, click-out and class is over for the day. I have been able to save hours of my time while still being able to engage with the learning experience because of . I think online learning holds is large part of the future in education.

Why An English Degree?

Most people don't think of English as a bona-fide major. A
classmate once told me, "All we English majors do is study truth and beauty all day." I could not agree more. As an English major, I have been able to critically think and determine truth and beauty.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Back By Popular Demand

“Why don’t you blog anymore?” I was asked way too much last semester. Normally when I am hit with this question I am in a public place waiting for coffee or fresh out of a government class and the only response I can pull from my brain is the truth – “I am just too busy.”

Being too busy to write is being too busy to think – too busy to eat, too busy to sleep. Eek. Good thing last semester is over. Here I rest, a brand spanking new 23 year-old (as of January 1) descending into graduation and back to writing my blog because people have requested it. That feels good! Its nice to know at least some people read my stuff!

This year at Regent has been entirely different than last year with new experiences editing the Daily Runner. I have learned an incredible amount about people and industry and what careers I am likely to never enter.

Life changes. As my friend Kristen tells me, “It doesn’t get any better after you graduate. From here on out, things just continue to constantly change.” This golden nugget of truth divulged over ceasar salad at Panera Bread did not particularly calm my inexperienced self, but none the less confirmed what I have learned living in four different states and two different countries in the last four years – things change.

Instead of quoting some consoling bible verse that eases the sting and anticipation of change, I would rather leave this blog open ended, as if change is worth allowing. It is wave worth riding. I don’t know if I am ready for this next phase of life, but I didn't think I was ready for Regent. Regent was ready for me.

And I think that is the perspective I will choose when searching for jobs – the world is with opportunity for the one who is open to finding it. Opportunity exists for the man who looks for God's will as he searches for that one open parking space at a packed amphitheatre 20 minutes after the concert has started.

I am so excited for what God has in store.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sneak Peak: May RUN

So here is a sneak peak at my article in the May edition of the Regent Undergraduate Newsletter (RUN).

Thank Goodness for Mom

For a split second, and I really mean a split second, I thought I was going to be an RA in the Regent Commons next year. For those of you who do not know what the Regent Commons is, it is the undergraduate/graduate student housing Regent provides to its on-campus students. The few moments I thought I was going to be an RA were exciting. Of course, they were followed by an unexpected afterthought of anxiety as I realized that for nine months I would be playing activity planner, hall-monitor, confidant and friend to about 15-20 girls. This requires a great deal of maturity; it is sort of like being a mom.

I thought a good way to begin being mature would be to ask the girls I knew what they would like to do for fun activities next year. A number of ideas came up – ugly sweater Christmas parties, weekly bible studies and door decorating parties. The list of fun things to do was endless. I had my list nearly complete and highly professional written in orange colored pencil on piece of paper I tore from a notebook when someone said to me, “It would be nice if you would do something to recognize good deeds, like give awards or gift certificates somewhere for people who do nice things for each other.” The same girl followed up with a comment suggesting that sometimes she felt like no one ever recognized her or saw her.

A part of my heart sunk to my intestines. No one should feel invisible, especially not at Regent where there are so many opportunities to be noticed. Another part of me, the cynical part, cynically thought, Isn’t this life? Meaning, we all have to try hard to engage and get noticed and yes sometimes it is hard. It is not an RA’s job to make sure everyone feels secure and plugged into their individual niche where they will be appreciated for who they are – that is like asking them to play God.

After this conversation I sulked back to my room. I knew the feeling the girl was talking about and I think a lot of people know how it feels to be invisible. It is hard to feel unique when everyone shops at SuperTarget and works in a state-of-the-art, grey cubicle. I have felt invisible before but never did I extend myself past my own self-centered bubble to realize that a lot of other people feel this way too. The invisible feeling is an isolating one; it makes you think no one feels the same way you do.

This week I was not invisible. I won an essay contest. I got to read my essay in front of 20-30 people in the Regent University library and then sit on a panel of professors to discuss the essay topic. Things like that make you feel like life is moving forward and the invisible feeling fades for a moment. No one person has stood by me as I have developed my writing talent as much as my mother. She knew me when I was a squirrely seventeen year-old emitting teenage emotion all over MySpace in blogs. She knew me when I had my first journalism course at college that I nearly dropped because my grades were so bad. She is there now, when my writing is beginning to develop into something good, something that I can use.

The morning I won the contest, she was the first person I called. On the phone she said, “Julie, you have a gift here, but no one said it would be easy.” The wise words were a little searing to my ears. No one did say it would be easy. Now I understand what that means. It means working day and night towards your goal, being secure in both failure and success. It means staying with things when there is no recognition for your efforts and learning to wait when you have done all you can and there is no indication that anyone will ever see you.

When I become a mother, I will tell my children that no one said life would be easy. If my split second as an RA would have lasted nine months, maybe I would have said this to some girls, not as their mother, but as someone who was trying to conjure up enough maturity to act like a mother. I am lucky I have a mother to say this to me. My mom is really good at what she does, if she wasn’t I would have quit writing a long time ago. Thank-goodness for mom, right?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Regent University National Library Week: April 11-17

Regent University celebrated National Library Week last week and I won the university-wide student essay contest. The essay addressed the question,what is the role of Wikipedia in scholarly education? Here is a copy of my essay, what is your opinion on Wikipedia in higher education?

Starting Points

When a student enters the Regent University Library website and clicks into the databases icon, they have the option to begin with “starting points.” What is a starting point? It is a place to begin. New media technologies are re-creating the academic environment and Wikipedia is a leader in this online learning. There is no resisting the change that new media is bringing to academia and technology will continue to change academia’s environment. In the online world of articles, books, blogs and wikis, a place to begin is crucial. Wikipedia is that place to begin.

The historic Socratic method teaches that discussion, including question and answer, is the method that best highlights new ideas and brings greater understanding to an audience. This kind of learning occurs through the sharing and discussing of ideas. Wikipedia serves as a communication technology that allows for the sharing and critiquing of information about various topics. It is a place where all can come to edit, share, gain and critique information. Wikis have made the goals of post-modernity possible by allowing for the voices of many people, educated or not, to be heard. Culture is an influential and ever-changing factor in academic study and Wikipedia’s open environment allows for a more culturally influenced perspective. It does not limit information sharing to a particular group, educated or not. The presentation and critique of various ideas is a cornerstone in higher education, and technologies like Wikipedia help make new ideas and perspectives available.

Still, Wikipedia is not peer-reviewed or mediated. The only mediation is the editing available to everyone at the click of a mouse. No standard specifies what can or cannot be written or what topics are appropriate for discussion. Therefore, a Wikipedia user accepts the risk that information found on Wikipedia is possibly erroneous. It is not appropriate to cite Wikipedia information as bona fide knowledge or as a primary source in research. Even Jimmy Wales, creator of Wikipedia, did not create Wikipedia to be used as a scholarly source. He claimed, “The goal is to give people a free encyclopedia to every person in the world, in their own language. Not just in a 'free beer' kind of way, but also in the free speech kind of way.” The goal of Wikipedia is to provide information to everyone as an avenue of free speech, not necessarily a scholarly source. A student who relies on Wikipedia as a primary source in their research is not being scholarly but instead lazy.

Wikipedia is not a qualified scholarly source, but is best used as a place to begin. Today, research occurs more often at a computer than in rows of books at a library. Wikipedia is an excellent place to begin. It allows for a broad perspective on information sharing for a student to define a niche and begin research. It is a starting point, not an end point.

Whales, Jimmy. “Encyclopedia Quotes.” Brainyquote.com 2010. BrainyMedia.com 09 April 2010. .

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lady's Night Regent Style

Meet Dr. A.

Excuse me, Dr. Attanasi, Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy in Regent's Undergraduate Religious Studies program, for those who like ornate titles.

Dr. A is on the left-hand side of the table, one person away from the wall. Just to be vain and let everyone know, I am the one sitting directly to Dr. A's left (which would technically be her right) in the white sweater.

The female students who have had Dr. A in class were all invited to dinner at CiCi's Pizza, off of Kempsville Road and Centerville Turnpike and this night was ladies night. There was no particular reason for the event, just for some good conversation outside of Regent's own four walls. We discussed future plans, academics, everyone held the baby in the stroller and ate as much pizza as an all-you-can eat buffet will supply for just over $7.

Girls from all academic studies attended, anything from English to Communications to Religion majors attended. I might add it was a good night of discussion and fellowship and good food! Good food seems to accompany all good Regent Events. It is nice when you are a broke and starving college student.

Dr. Attanasi is a Harvard grad finished her Ph. D. at Vanderbuilt University in Tennessee. She has travelled extensively and spent one year working as a journalist. I think this explains why I enjoyed her teaching style so much, I can identify with her stress on strict observations from the texts we would read. Learning (and good journalism) is all about learning to observe, and in Dr. A's class observations of all kinds were welcome.

It was a good night and I think just about everyone in the picture could agree.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter with a Ph.D.

I am a tele-counselor in the Regent University Undergraduate department. Basically, I call 17 and 18 year old kids and try to convince them that Regent University should be in their future and then I talk with them a little bit about what they want to major in and generally do with their lives. Most of the time I get the apathetic student who would rather talk to the wall in their bedroom than discuss their academic future.

Occasionally I do get an interested student who likes to talk. What do they ask me? They ask, "Why do you like Regent?" As my superiors teach me to do, I have about five stories lined up to share about why the Regent experience is the best experience.

I do love Regent; it has been a God-send to me as it has been to many others. What I love most is when I am here on Easter Sunday in Virginia Beach hundreds of miles away from home and a fellow student invites me have Easter dinner with their family. They invite me into their home, give me food, laugh and let me hold their children. They treat me like family when my my family is far away. It then that I am remember that I am surrounded by people at Regent are nothing ordinary and actually quite unique.

I am reminded of this when the famous undergrad professor, Dr. William Lyons, Ph.D., invites me over to his house on Easter Sunday to have chai tea with him and his wife and other students. We talked religion, school and food. Then, of course, we ate dinner and talked more. . I believe this is the definition of going above and beyond. This is something Regent asks of all her students in their individual studies, so it is nice to see our faculty lead by example.

Each moment I am at Regent, despite the times when school is hard and it feels like a fishbowl because of the small size, I am reminded on days like this that choosing Regent has made a difference in the direction of my life and I am so glad I did.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dr. Robertson Turns 80

Regent University's Chancellor and Founder turns 80 on March 22. To celebrate, Regent is doing nothing less than the elegance of true regent style - white tents and fried chicken.

Early last week party trucks lined up in front of Regent University's communications building to set up a big white tent for our Chancellor's, birthday celebration. All students have been invited to the luncheon and a birthday card has been passed around the university so all who wish to may sign it.

Pat Robertson's wish for the event is personal donations provided on a monthly basis or a one time gift of $80. This money will go towards building Regent's own Chapel and School for Divinity. Dr. Robertson's vision for this building is that it may stand as a reminder of to all of what Regent University has done and will do in the world with its graduates. For more information on this birthday wish or if you would like to make a donation, click here.

I am sorry to say that I will miss this celebration as I will be in Philadelphia supporting another Regent on-campus group, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), the university's own business and community outreach group. For everyone here on campus, by all means show up have some good old fried chicken with our founder. These days with President Robertson are few and far between as his presidency will end in July 2010. Pat Robertson only turns 80 once, though I am sure 85 will be an even grander celebration, hopefully none of us students will be here that long.

Happy Spring.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Break in the Dorm?

Regent University just finished Spring Break 2010. Students arrived back on campus after a much needed 10-day break before another eight weeks of grueling coursework ending with everyone's favorite finale - summer.

I found myself on a plane flying home to Denver to recoup from January and February's class load which was particularly challenging and included terrors such as British and American literature classes. I am sure someday when I am a 40-year-old deep in a riveting career it will be British literature that I look back on and realize it changed my life. Just kidding, as my mother used to say, there are somethings that if you don't laugh about you will probably cry about. I am sure that deep analyzations of "Porphyria's Lover" and other British poems are most definitely what she was referring to.

Denver was happy to receive me for a few days where surprisingly, the weather was much better than it was in Virginia Beach over Spring Break. What was even better was that when I left Denver I was happy and rested and full of new ideas about life. Some of these ideas were crazy like "I should try to finish 36 credits this year to graduate in May of 2011" and yet others were a little bit more rational like "I think I want to go to law school."

I don't know about you, but I have the next twelve months carved out for me. More than I like to admit, in college this is a really good feeling. One that is rare and should be treasured because personally, I don't think I have felt in four years. On toward the LSAT! And happy spring break to you whether you have had yours yet or not.