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Annual Fun Run a “Shoe-In” For Local Kids

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By Carol Wilkinson

All photos courtesy of St. David's School of Nursing.

All photos courtesy of St. David’s School of Nursing.

The second annual “Paws for a Cause” 5K Fun Run will be held Saturday, April 27, 2013, at 8 a.m., on the Texas State University Round Rock Campus. The 5K Run, sponsored by the Student Nurse Organization at St. David’s School of Nursing at Texas State University, raises funds to help facilitate the purchase of properly fitting shoes for underserved school age children.

From 2011-2012, as part of a research project, students of St. David’s School of Nursing worked with Georgetown Independent School District elementary school nurses to collect data on playground injuries. The nursing students found a strong correlation between playground injuries and improperly fitting shoes. Last year’s first annual run raised enough to acquire ninety pairs of shoes for Georgetown ISD.

All photos courtesy of St. David's School of Nursing.

All photos courtesy of St. David’s School of Nursing.

This year, the fundraiser will benefit Round Rock ISD’s unaccompanied youth. “According to Round Rock ISD, unaccompanied youth includes young people who have been separated from their parents for a variety of reasons. For many of these young people, leaving home is a survival issue. Unaccompanied youth may lack a variety of resources while attending public school. The nursing students strive to meet these community needs,” noted Angela Franco (junior co-chair) and Jennefer Wiegrefe (senior co-chair) of the 5K race. The committee estimates around 50-100 people will participate in this year’s run. Several local sponsors will donate shoes.

“We wanted to give back to the Round Rock community while promoting the health benefits of exercising. The 5K gives people a chance to get out there and run for a good cause,” Franco said. For Franco, the best thing about the run is “the energy and smiles of all the volunteers and runners working together for a good cause.”

All photos courtesy of St. David's School of Nursing.

All photos courtesy of St. David’s School of Nursing.

All the volunteers on hand during the race will be either junior- or senior-class students, faculty, or staff from St. David’s School of Nursing. An estimated 30 volunteers will help with this event. The Fun Run is open to the public and all registered participants will receive a t-shirt. Registration cost is $25. You may register or donate online by visiting the Paws for a Cause 5k website. For questions about the run, please email pawsforacause@txstate.edu. For more information about Round Rock ISD unaccompanied youth, go to www.roundrockisd.org.

Imagine That!

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By Erica Wiggins, Board Member – Round Rock Area Arts Council

IMAGINE 2013: An Evening of Art and Music will take place on Friday, February 22, 2013 from 7-9:30 PM at Texas State University Round Rock Campus, which is located at 1555 University Blvd. in Round Rock, TX (see MAP). A celebration of visual and performing art and music from Round Rock and surrounding areas, the evening consists of a juried art exhibit, musical and theater performances and a silent auction. More than $1500 in artist prizes will be awarded and $5,000 in grants to nonprofit performance groups will be announced. Light refreshments, beer and wine will be served. Admission is free but donations are encouraged at the door.

Imagine 2013 Signature Artwork

Imagine 2013 Signature Artwork: Agave Movement by Micheal Hammons

A VIP reception occurs from 5:30-6:30 PM prior to the main event. A $250 donation to the Round Rock Area Arts Council (Round Rock Arts) provides tickets for two to an elegant wine and refreshments party and an opportunity to bid on silent auction items and take them home if the reserve price is met prior to the opening of the auction to the general public. (Click on the Donations tab at roundrockarts.org to make a donation and qualify for the reception.)

In 2008, the Round Rock Arts organization chose the signature annual event name “Imagine” to symbolize how Round Rock could evolve into an arts and cultural center. During the past three years, an arts plan for the city has been developed with the goal of more access to visual and performing art venues in the area. Over the next three to five years, the city of Round Rock, together with Round Rock Arts and other city and community groups will help implement the plan.

More Information

Artwork submissions are being accepted through February 8, 2013. Click here for further details.

The exhibit will remain at Texas State University Round Rock Campus through May 17, 2013.

For more information about Round Rock Arts, and to donate for tickets to the VIP reception, visit www.roundrockarts.org.

About the Round Rock Area Arts Council (Round Rock Arts):

Made up of a grassroots group of dedicated and diverse individuals, the non-profit, 501 c 3 designated Round Rock Area Arts Council was formed in January 2009. The organization promotes art and performing venues in the city, facilitating regular gatherings with all art groups located in Round Rock.  The goal of the organization is to encourage, support and enhance arts and cultural activities in the Round Rock area to transform the city into a thriving arts and culture scene. With stellar annual performance and art shows behind them, successful Chalk Walk events in October 2010, 2011 and 2012,  monthly art exhibits at ArtSpace in downtown Round Rock, and grants awarded to Round Rock based art non-profits, art initiatives in Round Rock are increasingly supported by city government, corporations, and artists alike. With two theater groups, two symphonies, a community choir, and talented artists whose works are displayed in various venues around town, this “Sports Capital of Texas” has hit a home run in encouraging the creative class.

Knowledge is Power

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Dr. Leslie Huling

Leslie Huling, EdD

By Carol Wilkinson and Jael Perales

The world of public education is changing every day. As the demands on high school graduates increase, public educators in the state of Texas are under pressure to prepare their students for a more rigorous college and/or career environment. To ensure state-wide improvement in students’ educations, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has developed a new standardized exam which has once again raised the bar for students and educators alike. In an effort to update local communities on this rapidly evolving situation, Texas State Round Rock Campus will be hosting a Public Education Forum entitled, “College and Career Readiness and STARR: An Update for Educators, Parents and Community Member.” The forum will be held on Thursday, January 31, 2013, starting at 5:45pm in Avery 252. Scheduled to speak at this event are Leslie Huling, EdD, and David D. Molina, PhD.

Dr. Leslie Huling is a professor in the College of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction Department at Texas State University and the director of the Educations Policy Implementation Center (EPIC) here at the Round Rock Campus. She is the principal investigator on several grants related to college and career readiness, including the grants that support the operation of the CCRI Mathematics Faculty Collaborative and Success Initiative in Developmental Education – Mathematics (SIDE-M) project. Under Dr. Huling’s direction, EPIC has generated more than $25 million in educational grant funding for Texas State, contributing to the university’s success in being named one of eight Emerging Research Institutions in the state of Texas.

For the Public Education Forum, Dr. Huling will discuss “Texas College and Career Readiness Initiative and Texas State’s Leadership in Faculty Development for the State.” The Texas College and Career Readiness Standards was enacted by the 79th Texas Legislature and seeks to increase the number of students who are college and career ready when they graduate high school.

Dr. David D. Molina serves as president of David Molina & Associates, Inc., an educational consulting and professional development provider. A former high school teacher, Dr. Molina served as a program director at the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin and on the faculties at UT and Trinity University.  His work includes contributions to public education policy, curriculum development, and teacher preparation reform. Today, Dr. Molina works with schools and districts on teacher and leader professional development; the design and implementation of mathematics curriculum and assessment; the improvement of instructional practice; and data analysis, strategic planning and school improvement.

For the Public Education Forum, Dr. Molina’s topic is entitled “STAAR: A Focus on Academic Readiness – Are We Ready?” STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) is a new, mandated testing program put in place by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that will soon be administered throughout the state. This testing program takes the place of the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills).

Educators, students, and parents are encouraged to attend this forum, as well as all other members of the community. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of this event. For more information, contact Dr. Leslie Huling by phone – 512.716.4531 – or by email – la03@txstate.edu. You can also find more information on the RRC Events page.

Texas State RRC nursing students bring smiles and care to Peru

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By Kristen McLaughlin

Five Texas State RRC nursing students and their professor, Dr. Lyda Arevalo-Flechas, took their skills and knowledge to Peru for two weeks this summer to benefit Operation Smile International and a rural Peruvian village still recovering from earthquakes.

“Peru was an absolutely amazing and humbling experience with exposure to different types of healthcare in other countries,” student Amanda Bazan said. “The people of Peru are truly what made this a memorable experience. Everyone was so welcoming and thankful for our presence.”

The group traveled as members of Texas Partners of The Americas, an international network promoting social and economic development  through leadership and development programs. The Partners’ motto is to “Connect – Serve – Change Lives”.

After spending two days in Lima helping Operation Smile, the team traveled to Viña Vieja, (Ica, Peru). The 150-family village was devastated by two earthquakes in 2007, and is still recovering from the natural disasters. Dr. Arevalo-Flechas has been working with this community for about four years and led a group of nursing students in the re-opening of the community’s First Aid clinic in 2010.

The nursing students who participated in this trip are Whitney Milburn, Meghann Seal, Melody Bingham, El Burley and Amanda Bazan.

“I learned about the country and how nurses can have a huge impact on others through simple care and support,” student Melody Bingham said.

What is Operation Smile International? It is a charity that provides safe, reconstructive surgery for children who were born with facial deformities, including cleft palates and cleft lips. The organization was founded in 1982. According to the website, Operation Smile has provided more than 200,000 free surgeries.

“While in Lima we were fortunate enough to be a part of Operation Smile. Personally, this experience changed my life,” student El Burley said. “After one day working with this organization and the community, it changed my perspective and reinforced my love for humanitarian aid.”

Students said this trip has renewed their desire to enter the field of nursing.

“I have returned from Peru with inspiration, motivation, and an increased passion for nursing, learning, and serving others,” student Whitney Milburn said.

Prior to the trip, Dr. Arevalo-Flechas was able to draw off of her experience as a perioperative nurse by providing intraoperative nursing training to the students. They learned skills such as scrubbing, sterile gowning and gloving. These skills were put to use while volunteering with Operation Smile and while working with a pediatric inestivist and the post-anesthesia unit. While in Viña Vieja, the team provided basic screenings and conducted a CPR class in Spanish.

Not only did the Texas State RRC group help others on this trip, but they made connections that were hard to leave. “It was truly hard to say goodbye. I have endless thanks and limitless appreciation for the experience and opportunity made available to us in Peru 2012. I hope I get the chance to do travel there again soon,” student Meghann Seal said.

Dr. Arevalo-Flechas has worked with students in Peru over the past four years. She said as always, she enjoys watching her students grow.

“For me, the highlight of the trip was watching my future nursing colleagues grow as a person and as practitioners. I am addicted to those rewarding moments,” Dr.  Arevalo-Flechas said.

For more information and photos, click here.

Gearing up for the fall

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By Kristen McLaughlin

College student studying in Park

College student studying in Park (Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360)

Many students probably have mixed emotions about the fall semester starting, but hopefully there is a part of you that is excited to be back on campus. We hope you experienced some fun vacations, enjoyed your nights off, and spent quality time with loved ones.  As someone who just graduated from a Texas State University master’s degree program in May, I know that each semester comes along with a healthy amount of preparation.  With only a few weeks left before it is back to the daily grind of balancing school with work or other daily tasks, don’t forget to:

  • Enjoy. Do something fun during the short time you have left before school starts again. Go swimming, take a mini vacation, bake cookies, see a movie or read a good book.  Enjoy the free time you have before you get into the school routine.
  • Prepare. Research the text books and supplies you will need for your courses and purchase them in time for classes. Several professors begin assignments right away. Research your professors as well and see if they have a website with some information about the course.
  • Rest. Get plenty of rest and be prepared to adjust your schedule once classes start, especially if you are taking night classes.
  • Get organized.  Get binders and notebooks for the appropriate classes. Keep all of your course subjects separate. Organization definitely helps when you are taking college courses! Organization also extends to your computer or laptop. Create a separate folder on your desktop for each course you plan to take.
  • Practice time management.  Without a doubt, schedules quickly fill up at the beginning of the semester. With multiple projects, papers, a social life and possibly work, it is important to set a daily routine. Keep a planner and mark important dates. It is also helpful to set reminders on your computer or phone.
  • Review information. Review paper work, such as loans and degree programs, especially if this is your first semester. Ask if you have questions.
  • Talk to your advisor. Make sure you are on track with your program. Get in touch with your advisor prior to the semester if you have not already to review your semester plan and overall degree plan.
  • Watch your finances. Be prepared for additional costs such as tuition, books, supplies and school-related events. If you can cut back on eating out or something extracurricular the few weeks before school, it could be beneficial. Every little bit helps!

Important dates before the semester:

  • First day of class: Aug. 27
  • Schedule changes:  Aug. 27-Aug. 30
  • Payment deadline Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. For more information and to pay, click here.

Some helpful websites:

With preparation and a positive attitude, you could start the semester stress free! Best of luck as you start a new semester at Texas State.

Why Texas State University Round Rock Campus?

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By Kristen McLaughlin 

What can you expect at Texas State University Round Rock Campus (RRC)?  To start, friendly faces, a beautiful facility and a top notch education is what I have experienced here.

Having graduated from the Mass Communication graduate school program at Texas State University in May, I had the opportunity to take three classes at the Texas State RRC. This was certainly helpful, since I live in Georgetown. I looked forward to these classes because it saved me gas mileage, but I learned quickly there were many other advantages to taking classes at the Round Rock Campus.

The classes I took here were Creativity in Business, Social Media at Work and International   PR/Advertising. The professors who taught my classes were all seasoned and dynamic. They not only taught the concept, but made it practical and shared their own experiences working in their field. The classes were small and the teachers all encouraged participation. My International PR professor shared his experiences teaching in South Korea, North Korea and other countries. My business professor was able to speak about various companies he worked for and my Social Media professor showed how social media outlets could be helpful for both career and everyday life.

You will probably notice driving onto the small campus on 1555 University Blvd. in Round Rock that it is a small campus with plenty of vacant parking spots. The university consists of two buildings: the St. David’s School of Nursing and Avery (which houses all of the other programs).  Texas State University Round Rock Campus is a satellite campus for Texas State University, but it offers primarily upper-level courses and masters-level programs. If you are thinking about transferring to the Round Rock Campus, view our transfer planning guides here. The campus offers Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, certification and distance learning ranging in subjects that include Criminal Justice, Education, Nursing, Business and more.  Click here to view a full list of the programs the campus offers.

One aspect I have enjoyed about the Round Rock Campus both as a student and working as a Graduate Research Assistant in the spring is the calm, beautiful atmosphere. Both the inside and the outside of the campus are pristine and peaceful. The campus features a pond and walking trail behind the Avery building. The campus is also environmentally conscious, featuring recycling bins in the student lounge area.

Although it is small, there are definitely resources available that can help students succeed. A Writing Center can be found in Avery 203. Library Services is located in Avery 255 and the comprehensive resources of the Alkek Library can be accessed here.  Are you a student who wants to get more involved in “campus life”? The Round Rock Campus offers plenty of events throughout the year, including the summer. Click here for a listing of events.  And to stay connected to campus, join our social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).

Thinking about attending Texas State RRC? Visit the website for more information. Already a student? What is your favorite aspect of the campus? E-mail km1745@txstate.edu and I will share your answer on our social media sites.

Texas State RRC celebrates graduates

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By Kristen McLaughlin

graduation reception photo

Group photo at the 2011 Texas State RRC Graduation Reception

It is the time of year that can be both stressful and exciting for college seniors and final semester graduate students. The spring graduation is Thursday- Saturday for all graduating Bobcats. For the Texas State University RRC students who are graduating, services and events are available to help students celebrate and alleviate stress during this time.

Texas State University Round Rock Campus spring graduates and students who graduated in the summer or fall of 2011 are welcome to a graduation reception tomorrow from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Avery Building. Students must register. Attendees can bring a maximum of four guests. The event is free, but you must register with your Student ID to attend.  Group photographs of the graduates will be taken, but family and friends are also encouraged to bring their own cameras to take photos. The purpose of the reception is for the Round Rock campus faculty, administration and staff to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating students who attended classes at the Round Rock location.

For busy students who need a quiet place to study, the student lounge in Avery 202 is open and there are plenty of computer labs and seating areas and study rooms throughout the Avery Building available.

Graduates may also have financial concerns and need help finding a job. There are also resources available at Texas State that can assist with this situation.  As far as a job search goes, the Texas State Career Services in San Marcos offers a variety of services to assist students and alumni. For those who are interested in entrepreneurship, there is also the Small Business Development Center located in Avery 265. There are also two other locations, one in Austin and one in San Marcos. The center offers training and advice for those who are interested in starting a small business.

Although there is so much to think about during this time, graduation is a time filled with opportunities and excitement.  Commencement will be held May 10-12 at Texas State University-San Marcos at the Strahan Coliseum, 700 Aquarena Springs Drive, San Marcos. For more information about parking and seating, click here. I look forward to seeing everyone as we celebrate the accomplishments of Texas State graduates!

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