New Superheroes at the Layton Hills Mall

Recently, our team unveiled an extensive, new series of advertisements at the Layton Hills mall that we are quite excited about. There are five main entrances at the mall (not including those that lead into specific stores) and each one now has three door clings, for a total of 15 completely unique pieces of design. Check them out below:

Our goal with this new project was to reach out to the community and communicate our message to as many people as possible. If you aren’t quite sure what “Be Your Own Superhero” means, read this blog post I wrote back in March. The mall entrances seemed like a great opportunity for us—we should get a lot of exposure, especially from back-to-school shoppers who may already have their minds on school.

Our design process here was a bit more involved and substantial than anything we’ve done in the past. For one thing, we commissioned a lengthy photo shoot, starring plenty of nontraditional students to play our new superheroes. As always, photo shoots require a new wardrobe and a professional photographer (thanks to Zac Williams). Once we received our photos, we combed through them for the best of the best, and plugged those into our door cling designs. Since the design elements (logo, color, messaging) already existed from prior marketing materials, these came together fairly quickly, but it was still important to include just the right amount of information. In the end, they were printed and installed beautifully by Fusion Imaging and we couldn’t be happier.

What do you think of them? Could they inspire you to Discover Your Power and Earn Your Degree? Let us know by commenting below or visiting our Facebook page.

Be Your Own Superhero: Mike Jasper

“Many people have the skills to perform the job, but a degree is the next step to being promoted to management.”

If you read our last post about Mike, you probably know all about his crazy computer skills and his future career goals. But did you know that he’s also married AND expecting a new baby? AND working full-time AND going to school full-time? Impressive, right?

Check out his video below:

Like our Facebook page for tons of photos, events, and news.

Be Someone Else’s Superhero—Donate Blood

World Blood Donor Day is coming up quickly on June 14th, 2012—that’s only two days away if you’re counting correctly. The theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day campaign is “Every blood donor is a hero,” which is remarkably similar to our “Be Your Own Superhero” campaign. What can I say, superheros are popular nowadays. The point is, donating blood is an incredibly important thing to do. From the World Health Organization (WHO) website:

Every year, countries throughout every region of the world organize a huge variety of events and activities to celebrate the day, from football matches to free concerts, and from mobile blood donation clinics to monumental decorations.

WHO and partners have decided to focus the 2012 campaign on the idea that every one of us can become a hero simply by giving blood. The everyday hero responds to an immediate need, whatever the conditions, despite inconvenience, putting the needs of others above their own. Voluntary blood donors come from all walks of life, all regions, backgrounds, religions and ages. By choosing to donate blood without getting paid, these individuals commit an “heroic” act, a gesture of human solidarity with the power to save lives. Some of them do so dozens of times over several decades.

Did you know that 5 million patients in the US need blood every year? And that every 2 seconds someone needs a blood transfusion? By donating one pint of blood you can help save up to three lives. What’s more heroic than that? Right now, the American Red Cross is urging everyone to donate blood, as their four blood types have dropped to critical levels. The universal O-negative blood type is especially needed.

So what are you waiting for? The power is within you. Be someone else’s superhero and donate blood. It is very much needed.

Make and appointment now or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

To find local donation centers, visit redcrossblood.org/make-donation.
For more information, visit who.int/worldblooddonorday/en/.

10 Questions with a Computer Science Major: Mike Jasper

Meet Mike Jasper, a senior in the Computer Science department with one year left until graduation. He’s also a student worker here in the marketing department of Continuing Education, and an all-around computer wiz-kid. Mike is responsible for managing external websites and programming internal applications. I recently asked Mike some questions about his experience as a Computer Science student here at Weber State University.

  1. Why are you majoring in Computer Science?
    Computer programming is the one medium I know of that is a synthesis of both art and science. On an average day, I can work with color theory, mathematical algorithms for sorting, or end-user psychology.
  2. What is your greatest accomplishment so far as a Computer Science major?
    My greatest accomplishment so far is that I have stuck with it. There are many difficult classes, including higher level math, which have tempted me choose an easier path. However, I’m often enough reminded of my passion for programming and creating interesting solutions to problems and re-choose to keep going.
  3. Besides Continuing Education, are you currently making money elsewhere in the Computer Science field, even before graduating?
    Yes, I run a freelance website development business. Some of my clients are dentists, musicians, authors, and other local small business owners. Most students have careers in the industry before graduation.
  4. What are your career goals for the future?
    After completing my degree here are at Weber, I would like to further my education with a Master’s in CS. This will hopefully lead me to successful career in software engineering and project management.
  5. As a Computer Science major, what is your greatest strength?
    As a CS major, my greatest strength is my ability to think critically about a problem, and apply knowledge from many areas to create a solution. Both critical thinking skills and a continuing love of education are essential for a career in computer science.
  6. Have you been working on any interesting projects recently?
    Last semester I worked on an open source game engine. A game I created was featured on the website as an example.
  7. Are you a Mac or a PC?
    Most enterprise programming tools and environments run on Windows based PCs, and they are what I am used to. Oh, and, you know, they are cooler (As a side note, PC means any personal computer –  so Macs are PCs too. But I’m assuming you mean a Windows operating system)
  8. What makes the Computer Science department at Weber State University so great?
    Weber’s CS department does an excellent job of preparing its students for careers after graduation, while other universities in the state focus more on theoretical and academic applications. Most CS students are already employed while still in school because of the excellent education and professors at WSU.
  9. Do you have any good advice for someone considering Computer Science as a major?
    Learning to program will challenge your mind to think and operate in a way that it never has before. For some, this can be hard and downright frustrating. Just remember that as you stretch your mind, you are growing personally and enriching your capacity to learn in all other areas of your life. Like many of the sciences, CS can, at times, be monotonous and tedious work. However, seeing a functional and finished project will fill you with immense satisfaction and pride.
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Get To Know A Major: Computer Science

Computers are all the rage these days, aren’t they? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of Angry Birds, updated their Facebook status on a smart phone, or finished homework on a laptop computer down at the local coffee shop. So what better way to secure a solid career for yourself than to major in a field that won’t be going away any time soon?

According to Weber State University’s Computer Science website, “In 2010, the Wall Street Journal had computer-related careers occupying two of the top three positions in best jobs in America in terms of current demand, stress level and salary. Salaries are consistently in the top-10 ranges with ComputerWorld reporting 2010 base salaries at, for example, over $71,000 for programmer/analyst and over $88,000 for Software Engineer. Computer software engineers are among the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2008–18 decade, resulting in excellent job prospects. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

A small disclaimer for some: there is a certain amount of math involved. But it looks like there’s also some really cool classes. Check these out: Introduction to Interactive Entertainment, Mobile Development for the iPhone, Computer Graphics, and Game Development. Sounds pretty fun, right?

5 Clues You Might Be A Computer Science Major:

  1. You’d rather deal with a computer bug than a real bug.
  2. You’ve embraced your nerdiness, but insist it’s the “cool” kind of nerd.
  3. You already know that this sentence is a <li> within an <ol>.
  4. You’re more comfortable writing code than you are writing sentences.
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Degrees / Programs Available:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS)—choose from one of three emphases:
  1. Software Engineering Emphasis
  2. Network Security and Administration Emphasis
  3. Customized Emphasis
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Science
  • Departmental Honors in Computer Science
  • Minor, Teaching Minor, or Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) in Computer Science
  • Game Development Certificate

Career Opportunities:

From weber.edu/cs: “The computer industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, and currently the job outlook for our graduates is very high. In the spring of 2006, Money Magazine rated occupations across the nation based on job demand, salary and stress level and ‘Software Engineers’ rated as #1. A wonderful resource for learning the current job situation and salary information for any field is http://www.bls.gov/oco/.”

Advising / Contact:

If you are considering a degree in Computer Science, contact Richard Fry, the department advisor. You can self-schedule an appointment at http://WSUComputerScience.clickbook.net, or call 801-626-7929 to make an appointment.

For more information about the Computer Science department, visit weber.edu/cs.

(Don’t know binary code? Convert it here.)

What does it take to Be Your Own Superhero?

In today’s popular culture, superheroes are becoming more prevalent and more iconic, thanks to enormous blockbusters like The Dark Knight and Ironman. But what is it that captivates us so much? It certainly doesn’t hurt that these movies have multimillion dollar budgets, some of our favorite actors, and plenty of cool explosions and chase scenes. It’s the characters themselves though, with whom we connect most. After all, every superhero has his or her own set of problems and commitments beneath the mask, just like everyone else. Sometimes it’s a flawed personality trait, sometimes it’s a moral conflict, and sometimes they just can’t seem to get the girl.

So what’s the whole point? You may be asking yourself, “Why all the superhero imagery?” Well, we here at Weber State University’s Continuing Education have decided that our students are real superheroes for pursuing their education amidst less than ideal circumstances. If you didn’t know already, Continuing Education provides assistance to and helps recruit nontraditional students, which is any student who is either at least 25 years old, married, taking evening, weekend or online classes, or is completing courses off-campus at any other WSU location. Many of the nontraditional students that we have highlighted in our previous blog posts (and whose images you may see riding around town on the side of a bus) are people who have returned to school after an extended hiatus, either because it was too difficult at the time or they had other commitments. Some have full-time jobs and some have children to take care of, but every one of them manages to create a unique schedule that works for themselves and their family.

So what does it really take to Be Your Own Superhero? Commitment, responsibility, an eagerness to learn, and a handful of other positive adjectives. Yes, it’s going to be difficult—it should be difficult—but the point is that you can do it. No matter what your excuse is, there’s already someone who had the same excuse and is about to graduate. So throw on your cape, tighten down your utility belt, and register for some classes already.

You can start by exploring some of your options at FinishatWeber.com

Plus, we’re on Facebook now! Like us for updates and free stuff! Facebook.com/FinishatWeber

TAKE IT FROM A RECENT GRAD: BEST GEN–EDS

As everyone knows, picking general education courses is somewhat akin to powering through a proverbial box of chocolates—you never really know what you’re going to get. What you expect to be the funnest class ever can sometimes turn out to be about as exciting as Math 1050, or vice versa. As a recent graduate, I feel it is my duty to impart to you some of my favorite* (valuable/interesting) general education classes, along with their credit type, pros/cons, and difficulty level.

Clint Eastwood, eat your heart out

American Civilization

Course: History 1700
Credit Type: History / American Institutions

I’ve always been somewhat interested in history in general, but American history always seemed to lack the excitement and energy that European history has. However, American Civilization turned out to be a great class. I credit a lot of my positive experience to my professor, Dr. Gene A. Sessions, who always managed to present the history and tell stories in an exciting and unique way. He’s also hilarious, and makes each class wildly exciting and informative. I walked away from the class with a wealth of knowledge and a healthy respect for the history of this country.

Pros: Interesting and relevant subject matter taught by an amazing professor.
Cons: One of the few Breadth requirements, this class is always large and always full (currently, Dr. Sessions’ two History 1700 classes have a capacity of 150 students each)
Difficulty Level:

2.5 out of 5 rating

That totally looks like a Sagitarius…right?

Elementary Astronomy

Course: Physics 1040
Credit Type: Physical Science / Scientific Inquiry

Who doesn’t love staring up at the stars? Well, welcome to Elementary Astronomy! The classroom itself is a state–of–the–art planetarium and has the most comfortable chairs on campus. I really loved this class because it was different in every way from the average classroom setting. It was also a blast to have my mind blown every class learning about stars, galaxies, black holes, relativity, the laws of physics, and anything else to do with outer space. My professor, John Armstrong, was an amazing teacher and a hilarious person. His passion for physics really made the class fun and exciting. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a fairly difficult class. There aren’t any prerequisites listed, but you would definitely be ahead if you have a handle on math and physics.

Pros: High–tech planetarium star shows and very interesting lectures.
Cons: Not a very easy class, especially if you struggle with math.
Difficulty Level:

3.5 out of 5

 

 

For more information on the Physics department, read my other blog article.

Omega–3′s anyone?

Foundations in Nutrition

Course: Nutrition 1020
Credit Type: Life Science

Everyone knows that eating right is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not always easy to know exactly what to eat, or why. Foundations in Nutrition is a great way to get educated in the complex world of healthy eating. This is one of those classes that I really was not excited about taking, but over the course of the semester I learned to really like it and appreciate everything I was learning. Taking a class like this, you can’t help but apply what you learned to your own life, which is important if you aren’t totally satisfied with your own health. Be aware that the class does involve some minor mathematical calculations (regarding numbers and percentages on a nutrition label) and a good amount of traditional homework and studying.

Pros: Lots of valuable, life–changing information to be learned
Cons: Unless you’re a health nut, it probably won’t be the most exciting class you’ve ever taken.
Difficulty Level:

2.5 out of 5 rating

 

 

*Remember that this is all my own opinion and comes directly from my own experiences. You may not feel the same way about these classes and if you’re hesitant, contact an adviser to help you out. Good luck!

 

Get To Know A Major: Physics

More than just the study of falling fruit.

When you see an apple falling from the tree, does it make you ponder the wonders of science or do you just feel guilty about not eating any fruit today? For Isaac Newton, it was definitely the former (he was renown for his fruit consumption).

The Physics department at Weber State University is a great place to learn exactly why the apple falls the way it does (hint: it starts with a G). You’ll also learn about astronomy, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, and other brain-boggling fields. Then, in the end, you’ll learn that (SPOILER ALERT) all these seemingly disparate fields are closely related to each other! Wow!

Indoor star gazing.

The best part about the Physics department? They have their own planetarium! (The Ott Planetarium is where the astronomy classes are taught, but they also offer free star shows to the public and make it available for reservations. More about the planetarium here.) Best classroom ever? Yep. So if you’re curious about the physical world around you, get your celestial body into a class and open your mind up to some really nerdy stuff (in a cool way).

5 Clues You Might Be A Physics Major:

 

1)   Raising kids taught you that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
2)   You spend your days trying to conserve energy and power.
3)   You constantly refer to your car as an “object in motion.”
4)   You understand that string theory has nothing to do with clothes.
5)   To you, we are all nothing more than beautifully choreographed dances of electrons and protons, skirting our way through the universe on heavenly beds of mathematics, as surely as Europa orbits Jupiter and ?Fa,b = –?Fa,b .

Degrees / Programs Available:

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts (BS or BA)

  • Physics
  • Applied Physics
  • Physics Teaching
  • Physical Science Composite Teaching

Minor

  • Physics
  • Physics Teaching

Career Opportunities:

Physics majors can be accepted into industrial and technological fields such as aerospace, electronics, and software design. Plus, starting salaries range from $40,000 to $65,000, depending on the position.

Advising / Contact:

 

1) For the Physics Major/Minor or the Applied Physics Major

  • Advisor:  Dr. Brad Carroll, department chair
  • Contact info:  Room SL 202C, phone (801) 626–7921, e–mail: bcarroll@weber.edu

2) For the Physics Teaching Major/Minor or the Physical Science Composite Teaching Major

  • Advisor:  Dr. Adam Johnston
  • Contact info:  Room SL 207, phone (801) 626–7711, e–mail: ajohnston@weber.edu

For more information, visit the Physics Department website.

Get To Know A Major: Visual Arts

You know, not all schoolwork involves crunching numbers and pouring through dense textbooks every night. It can be fun, too. In the Department of Visual Arts (DOVA), you are encouraged to express yourself and harness your own creative problem–solving abilities. While in the art department, you’ll experience painting (Picasso never worried about paint on his clothes, why should you?), photography, drawing (but if naked bodies freak you out, stay far away from Figure Drawing), graphic design, art history, ceramics and many other disciplines.

The Department of Visual Arts (DOVA) is housed in a new, state–of–the–art (pun fully intended!) facility, is ran by experienced professors (all of whom are practicing artists), and provides a great opportunity to work hard, get creative, and release some of that pent up energy and frustration (thanks boss!).

5 Clues You Might Be An Art Major:

1)   You are the foremost expert in macaroni art.
2)   Thanks to the kids, your fridge is now an art gallery, and you are its curator.
3)   You reward yourself by watching Bob Ross on TV during the day.
4)   You wish scrap–booking could be a career.
5)   You marvel at the inherit beauty of a perfectly engineered tower of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, and are moved as warm tap water slowly and elegantly cascades from the crowning Sippy cup, down and around the abundance of mucky utensils, and into the pedestal–like cereal bowl which, though still half–full, glistens a pale pink, colored by the presence of soggy marshmallows… or something like that.

Degrees / Programs Available:

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA):

  • Art Teaching—provides a depth of knowledge for prospective art teachers
  • 2D Media—for artists interested in painting, drawing, or printmaking
  • 3D Media—for artists interested in ceramics, sculpture, or small metals/jewelry
  • Photography—provides technical and artistic expertise in both digital and analog imaging
  • Visual Communication—for artists interested in the graphic design profession

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts (BS or BA)

  • Art Teaching Composite (requires a teaching minor)—for prospective teachers who feel they might need a greater breadth (as opposed to depth) of knowledge
  • General Art—a generalized education that focuses on foundations and provides more breadth of knowledge

For more information about Visual Arts degrees, visit the DOVA website below.

Career Opportunities:

Depending on your chosen program, visual art majors can be employed as self–sustaining artists, professional photographers, graphic and web designers, arts administrators, teachers, and many more.

Advising / Contact:

For those students interested in studying in the Department of Visual Arts, consult with Outreach Coordinator/Advisor Lydia Gravis at lydiagravis@weber.edu or (801) 626–7689.

Dova.weber.edu
DOVA on Facebook
DOVA on Twitter

ONLINE CLASSES: Embrace your inner geek

Online classes can be a returning student’s best friend. They offer tremendous flexibility for students with busy, and ever-changing schedules. You can do coursework anytime, there are plenty of great classes to choose from and there’s no dress code.

At Weber State, it’s called WSU Online. Let me explain a few things about how it works. You may have heard of online classes or hybrid classes (a combination of in–class and online)—well this is where they happen. WSU Online takes all the aspects of traditional classroom learning (except that face–to–face thing) and puts them on the web. It’s a great tool for both students and professors, but in order to be used effectively, there are a few things you should consider.

Computer Skills

You don’t need to be a computer geek or anything, but you need to have a basic understanding of computers and the internet. In addition, there are a few system requirements you need in order for WSU Online to work correctly. And if you don’t have a computer of your own, there are plenty of computer labs that are open late across campus.

Real Expectations

So what exactly will you be doing, you say? Well, the learning structure of WSU Online is set up to work just like any classroom environment. Professors can upload articles, web links, and homework assignments. Likewise, you, as a student, can upload and submit homework assignments, take tests, and even get your grades (you do all that on Facebook anyway, right?). Be aware though, that because you don’t meet in class, you need to really manage your own time as efficiently as you would in a traditional classroom.

Class Variety

Before you make a decision about WSU Online, you should know what kind of options there are for the classes you need and want to take. Of course, not every class has an online option, but most departments offer at least a few online courses (everything from Art to Zoology). In fact, some degrees, such as General Studies (AS), and Medical Laboratory Science (BS), can be earned entirely online.

No matter how you’re planning on spending your time here at Weber State University, an online class here and there can be a great asset (plus you’ll earn some valuable nerd–cred.)