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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.

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!

Bobcat Day: Find out what it means to be a “Round Rock Bobcat”

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By Kristen McLaughlinBoko

What is the Texas State University Round Rock Campus and why should you attend? These are questions prospective students can find answers to at Bobcat Day on March 31 from 10 a.m. – noon.

Whether you are a student in graduate school, community college, high school or a full-time professional, Bobcat Day is an event you can attend for more information to consider about the campus.  A major purpose of Bobcat Day is to clarify what the Texas State University Round Rock Campus is and what programs are offered.

“A lot of people don’t understand we are an extension of Texas State and we have full service here,” Transfer and Graduate Coordinator Karen Ripley said.

Texas State University Round Rock offers junior and senior level courses within 10 bachelor’s degree programs as well as 11 master’s programs. The campus offers primarily night classes, but also has some daytime offerings. Students who complete their degree requirements at Texas State University Round Rock Campus receive their degree from Texas State University-San Marcos.

A large focus is placed on the transfer student, whether they are transferring from the San Marcos campus for location purposes or from a community college. In an effort to make it an easy transition, the Round Rock Campus is partners with Austin Community College. Staff members work with the students to ensure that they are taking all of the right classes. Bobcat Day is tailored to the transfer student and students who are returning to school after a break, although Ripley said high school is not too early to start planning and attend Bobcat Day.

What else is offered at Bobcat Day? The main objective for Bobcat Day is to assist prospective students. The prospective Bobcats will be able to meet with financial aid representatives, discuss degree plans, speak with financial aid, and preview the resources on campus.

“All of the Texas State Representatives I met were extremely helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. You can see their passion in helping students succeed. It’s refreshing,” said Alysia Sanchez, a prospective student who has attended Bobcat Day.

In addition to getting some helpful information, students have the option of touring the beautiful campus. Although it is free, you must RSVP for Bobcat Day.

“From my point of view, Bobcat Day is such a great opportunity to meet prospective Bobcats and formulate a lasting relationship that follows through application, admittance, orientation, and eventually graduation,” Ripley said.

Texas State RRC hosts fourth “Imagine” arts event

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By Kristen McLaughlin

Have you noticed the new art displayed on campus this week?

The walls and hallways in the Avery Building at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus are adorned with many art forms, varying from sculptures to paintings. The art will be featured during the fourth annual Imagine event Friday, Feb. 24, from 7 – 9:30 p.m. in the Avery Building.

“I personally love the energy from the arts community and the excitement from the community to meet and talk to the artists about their work,” said Imagine 2012 Chair Kris Whitfield.

Imagine 2012 encompasses performances by local symphonies, theatre groups and local musicians. In addition, visual artists are also celebrated and honored through the display of their work in the Avery building. Imagine is organized by the Round Rock Area Arts Council. The event is free, but donations are encouraged at the door.

Whitfield said the main goals of the event are to feature local artists of many different mediums, whether in visual or performing arts; and to encourage, enhance and support the arts community in the greater Round Rock area and to encourage more arts-related activities in the area.

This year’s event features 46 paintings, 36 photos and 18 3D entries. One unique aspect of this year’s art entries is that more 3D pieces and sculptures are on display than ever before.

The event will include a VIP reception for those who reserve a spot. One change from previous years is that the VIP reception will be at the St. David’s School of Nursing, next door to the Avery Building. The art council is introducing a new Public Art Project at the reception and unveiling a prototype of a bronze sculpture of Dr. Robert Peters with his dog, Honey Bear. Peters was one of the first doctors in Round Rock, and has been recognized for his achievements. Entry to the VIP reception is $250 per couple.

The artists at the event will be judged in a contest. The winners will be announced at approximately 7 p.m. in the teaching theatre of the Avery Building. The art council will also be awarding arts grants to local organizations in Round Rock. The group created a matching grant of $5,000 with Atmos Energy, and all of the funds will be given to art groups.

For more information, visit http://roundrockarts.org/imagine.php or e-mail kris@roundrockarts.com. Students will have the chance to enjoy the visual art the rest of the school semester, Whitfield said, as it is slated to be displayed until May.

“Show Your Love Campaign”: Bobcats show love to Round Rock ISD

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One Stop Center employees Karen Ripley and Becca Johnson showcase donations during last year's "Show Your Love Campaign".

By Kristen McLaughlin

In the Valentine’s Day spirit, The Texas State University Round Rock Campus is participating in the “Show Your Love Campaign” by donating new socks and underwear for K-12 students to the Round Rock ISD Clothes Closet.

The Clothes Closet was established in 1976 and is one of the first community service projects, started by the RRISD Council of PTAs. The resource supplies families in need with five complete outfits of gently worn clothing as well as new underwear and socks two times during the school year. Students and families in need can benefit from the service project by talking to their campus nurse. The project has already benefited 1,000 children this fall.

During the “Show Your Love Campaign”, Texas State RRC and others in the community are hosting donation drop off locations for new socks and underwear. Donations can be dropped off on campus in the One Stop Center (Avery, Suite 201) by Feb. 20.

“It is a great chance to give back to an organization that does so much for our district, the PTAs and ultimately the children in our own neighborhoods,” said Michelle Jackson, RRISD Community Partnerships Supervisor. “Most of us are here because we believe every child deserves the best possible education, and having the basic necessities is a part of that.”

Last year, 1,100 donations were made by community members as a part of the campaign. Jackson said she hopes to exceed last year’s donations. Other partners for the “Show Your Love Campaign” include Round Rock Express, the Round Rock ISD Food Services Department, Zcore Business Solutions, O’Connell Robertson, The Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and The Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Clothes Closet has two locations, Anderson Mill and Voigt elementary schools. Each semester, the Clothes Closet serves more than 700 students. For more information about the “Show Your Love Campaign” or the Clothes Closet, e-mail michelle_jackson@roundrock0isd.org.

Between the “Show Your Love Campaign”, the Psychology Association Bake Sale and Bobcats Leaving Out Violence (BLOV) awareness day, Texas State University is honoring the generous spirit of Valentine’s Day. Below are some other events on campus this week:

  • Bobcats Leaving Out Violence (BLOV) Awareness, Feb. 14, 2nd floor atrium
  • Psychology Association Bake Sale (Valentine’s Day theme), Feb. 14-Feb. 16, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., 2nd floor atrium
  • SLAC Learning Style Workshop, Feb. 16, 5:15-6:15 p.m., Avery 419. Food provided to those who RSVP to js213@txstate.edu by 5 p.m. on Feb. 15.  Otherwise, walk-ins are welcome.
  • Trade Up Days, Feb. 13-Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., 2nd floor atrium. Trade up another college or university T-shirt for a new Texas State T-shirt. If you don’t have a T-shirt, bring a $5 donation.
  • Teacher Recruitment Program Information Session, Feb. 16, 5-6 p.m., Avery 454.

This is the first post for the Texas State Round Rock Campus blog. The blog is meant to inform students, staff, and faculty of events and programs and to increase awareness of the campus. We are in the process of choosing a name for the blog, and we would like your help! Please e-mail us your ideas. The winner will receive a fun Texas State giveaway. If you have suggestions or comments, please e-mail km1745@txstate.edu. You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook by clicking on the icons at the top of the blog.