Welcome to the October 2007 issue of The Pink Flamingo!

Read on for great information on the following:  

  • PHD Club: Meet the Profs on October 16th

  • Psi Chi News: Tips for Major Success, Application Deadlines, and Grad School is FUN!

  • The Legend of the Pink Flamingo: The Packer Flamingo

  • Career Tip of the Month: Write an Effective Cover Letter

  • Graduate School Tip of the Month: The Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Statements

  • Internships: A Student Perspective

  • Speaking of Internships…An Invitation to Apply to Become a Camp Lloyd Counselor

  • First Faculty Colloquia a Success: Next up, Dr. Zapf

  • Analogy: The GRE is to Difficult as the Pink Flamingo is to…Awesome?

  • HUD/PSYCH Trivia Results (September 2007)

  • Faculty Trivia Results (September 2007)

  • October Trivia Contest

  • Careers of the Month: October 2007 Edition

  • Where in the World are the HUM DEV and PSYCH Faculty?

  • The Pink Flamingo Mailbox

PHD Club: Meet the Profs on October 16th

It seems like every time we at The Pink Flamingo turn around, the PHD Club is up to something great. If it’s not their picture in The Fourth Estate (see below for a great picture of them doing the robot) , it’s a hugely successful Cold Stone Creamery Fundraiser. Well, they’re at it again with Meet the Professors Night. Join them on October 16th at 6:30 in MAC 210 for an informal chat with the Human Development and Psychology Faculty. It’s a good chance to learn a little bit about what courses we teach, what research we do, and how we like to spend our free time. Hope to see you there.

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Special thanks to The Fourth Estate and Photographer Scott T. Nichols for this photo.

The Legend of The Pink Flamingo: The Packer Flamingo

Regular PF readers will remember the story of how all those pink plastic creatures ended up outside faculty offices in the C Wing. If you’re curious, check out our archive (click on PF Legend under our Topics heading). In a nutshell, we now create specially decorated flamingos to honor our colleagues or to celebrate special events in their lives. This year, our PF Legend series will focus on profiling specific faculty flamingos.

Many of you have probably noticed the beautifully decorated Green Bay Packer flamingo outside Dr. Martin’s office. You probably also assumed it was there because of his undying affection for the Green and Gold. Well…not so much. In fact, although we all believed when he interviewed that, because of his educational roots with the University of Southern Mississippi, he would be a Favre fan and Packer Backer, his ties to his home state of Minnesota were apparently stronger. With heavy hearts, the PF investigative reporting team is sad to announce that soon after he arrived at UWGB, the faculty uncovered incontrovertible evidence that Dr. Martin is indeed…a Vikings’ fan. Rather than accept Dr. Martin as one of the gang despite his support for the Vikings, HUD/PSYCH has been working tirelessly to try and convert him by providing him with all sorts of Packer paraphernalia. To date, he has been graciously given a Packer banner, Packer notepaper, “Favre Bucks,” and the decorated flamingo shown below. Amazingly, he doesn’t see the flamingo as an object of affection and has even accidentally knocked it over from time to time. Of course, we all know what Freud said about accidents.

Dr. Martin’s Flamingo

Career Tip of the Month: Write an Effective Cover Letter

Cover letters and resumes are the first impressions you provide to employers, so you want them to be professional documents that present you both accurately and effectively. There are many tips out there for writing good cover letters, but there are two pieces of advice we would like to highlight for you.

  • Do not send a form letter. Customize your letter for each job to which you apply, emphasizing your particular qualifications for and interest in the available position. Make sure you consider the specific background and skills that would be necessary to perform effectively in that job (the posted job description is often a great place to find that information). Then, work to address how your own experience and abilities fit their advertised needs.

  • Think about your transferable skills. Let’s say you are applying for a job working with children in an after-school program, but your only work experience is as a store cashier. On the surface, those positions may appear to have little in common, but in reality, you may have developed very polished interpersonal skills through your interactions with customers. You may have honed leadership skills by training new cashiers. You may be very good at thinking on your feet and remaining calm during busy situations because of your experiences handling long lines and the occasional disgruntled customer. You don’t want to stretch the point, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to highlight the skills you have learned in one job that will help you excel in another.

To get advice from the experts on cover letters, you can check out the Career Services’ website. Even better, attend their upcoming workshop on Creating Dynamic Resumes & Cover Letters: October 24th from 2-3 p.m. in the 1965 Room.

Graduate School Tip of the Month: The Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Statements

The Pink Flamingo is pleased to announce an addition to our staff. That’s right, this great information about personal statements was not penned by your trusty editors. It is brought to you instead by our new Senior International Correspondent for the Investigation of Graduate School-Related Affairs.   

Do:

  • Tailor your statement to each school to which you’re applying. Mention the specific faculty you want to work with and why the school would be a good match for you.

  • Make sure you answer the question. Once you’ve written a draft of your personal statement (and again before you finally send it out), go back and re-read the question to make sure your answer is complete.

  • Highlight any relevant experiences you’ve had like a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, internship, honors project, resident advisor, and/or volunteer or work experiences.

  • Talk about your future goals/career interests. Try to be as specific as possible. For example, if you’d like to be a counselor, what type of counselor would you want to be? What types of populations would you like to work with?

  • Have many people (faculty you know, the writing center, friends) read your statement over before you send it out. You will be revising this statement many times.

  • If you’re applying to a research-focused program, talk about your own research interests and how they match the faculty with whom you want to work. Read the faculty members’ recent publications and look at their websites for recent research directions so you can convey true interest and excitement in their research.

  • If you scored poorly on the GRE (or other test needed for admission to your graduate program), you might consider explaining your performance. You don’t want to sound like you’re making excuses for your performance, but if all of the other evidence (your GPA, honors project, relevant work experience, TA, RA, etc.) indicates that you’re a strong student, you should note this. You should also ask your letter writers to discuss that your scores might be under-representing your true potential.

Don’t:

  • Get too personal by talking about your own depression, your parents’ divorce, etc. Even if this has inspired you to pursue graduate school, you do not want the admissions committee thinking that you are applying to graduate school to try to solve your own problems.

  • Be too vague. Most psychology and human development majors like helping people. By saying you want to pursue graduate school because you want to help people, you will sound pretty generic.

  • Make little errors that might cost you admission. Don’t exceed the specified page or word limit. Don’t have spelling and grammatical mistakes.

  • Get too overwhelmed! This process can seem pretty daunting so you might be tempted to put off thinking about your personal statement until the last minute. Your personal statement will require a lot of honing and revisions. Don’t expect perfection in your first draft, which might make it a bit easier to start working on (and revise from there).

  • Be too broad. Don’t indicate more than 3 faculty with whom you are interested in working. If you indicate more than this, you will look like your interests are not very focused.

  • Be too cheesy. This is not the time to make up cutesy phrases or acronyms. You want to stand out as a passionate and professional individual, not as a hokey one.

  • Be too teach-y.  If you’re applying to a research-focused program, you will be expected to engage in a lot of research while you’re there.  If your statement just talks about your desire to be a college professor and teach a lot, most programs will not consider you to be a good match.  Research-focused schools expect to be training future researchers.  Some schools show more flexibility in this than others, but you need to convey your interest in research and not just teaching. 

Internships: A Student Perspective

In what we hope will become a new regular Pink Flamingo feature, we bring you our first “Student Perspective” article. Emily Kotecki, a Human Development and Psychology double-major, graciously agreed to let us interview her about her internship experience. What follows aren’t exact quotes from Emily (our tape-recorder was broken that day), but she tells us it’s close enough.

1. Where are you doing your internship?
At Golden House [Editor's Note: a local domestic violence agency and shelter]

2. How did you find out about the internship and go about getting it?
I talked with a student who had interned there in the past, and she said it was a great experience, so I looked on their website for more information and then sent their volunteer coordinator an application.

3. What kinds of things do you get to do on your internship?
I get to do room checks, go to court, assist with restraining orders, help with the women’s and children’s support groups, observe intakes, create bulletin boards in the shelter, talk to women in shelter, and answer Helpline calls.

4. How do you think the internship relates to what you have learned in your classes?
It relates a lot to my Infancy and Early Childhood and Middle Childhood and Adolescence classes and what we learn about how what happens in childhood can influence you later. I also learned about the power of violence in my Health Psychology class…What’s great is that I get to see information from many classes in a real-life setting.

5. How important has this internship been to your educational experience at UWGB, and why?
This experience really helped me to form ideas about different career options (e.g., court services, social work) and learn about the direction I want to go.

Emily’s interview provides insight about her great internship, but there are many possibilities! Investigate options in our internship file drawer, which is located next to Dr. Bartell’s office (and which contains brief student reaction papers about their experiences). You can also view some potential sites on the Human Development website. Remember, we do not place students in internships. You also need to find a faculty sponsor for your internship before you interview for an internship. There are prerequisites for doing an internship, including Junior standing, at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA (a 3.25 in upper-level major classes), and instructor consent. Learn more about requirements and prerequisites on the Psychology website.

Speaking of Internships…An Invitation to Apply to Become a Camp Lloyd Counselor

Camp Lloyd is a week-long day camp for children who have suffered the loss of a loved one.  The camp is sponsored by the Human Development program at UW-Green Bay in partnership with Unity Hospice.  Camp Lloyd counselors receive 3 credits as a part of the Human Development Internship (which may be open to non-majors).  During its second season (summer of 2007) Camp Lloyd enrolled 17 children between the ages of 7 and 13.  Each Camp Lloyd counselor served as a “buddy” to a child, and fully participated in all activities such as hiking, swimming, arts and crafts and music.  In addition, with the help of grief counselors from Unity, the children participated in grief sessions.  Some of the craft activities were linked to these sessions, including constructing a memory box that held articles and reminders of their loved one who had died.  Camp Lloyd concluded with a memorial service at the Ecumenical Center that involved a balloon releasing ceremony and the planting of a memory tree. This year, Camp Lloyd will be held from June 23 – June 27, 2008.

For further information about Camp Lloyd and becoming a counselor, please visit our website.  Applications to become a camp counselor may be found at this website. We will be accepting applications until the end of October.

First Faculty Colloquia a Success: Next Up, Dr. Zapf

There were over 100 students at Dr. Martin’s presentation last month, but Dr. Zapf aims to top that with her colloquium on October 29th.  Dr. Zapf’s presentation, Knowing more than one can say: The early regular plural, will be held in MAC 107 from 5:00-5:30.  Space is tight, and it’s first come, first served, so get there early to make sure you have a place to sit.  Take a look at the Faculty Colloquia Series Webpage for a schedule of the fall presentations.

HUD/PSYCH Trivia Results (September 2007)

Who are our most recent recipients of fame and fortune? Read on for September’s trivia answers and winners!

Question: What are the 5 elements that need to be in balance to promote positive “chi” according to Feng Shui philosophy?
Answer: We had six correct answers to this one, but Laura Schultz was the lucky student who got it right and had her name drawn.  Nice job, Laura, for knowing that fire, wood, earth, water and metal need to be in balance to promote positive “chi.”  And here we thought it was extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness.  I guess that’s something different.

Faculty Trivia Results (September 2007)

Question: Which faculty member has been driving his/her colleagues “pipistrello-í” (translation: “batty”) by practicing newly-acquired skills in conversational Italian language?
Answer: Quite a few correct answers once again, but Christian Eversen is the lucky winner who knew that Dr. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges has been practicing her conversational Italian lately.  How did Christian and so many others know that she was trying to learn Italian?  Well, it could be that she spoke it non-stop for several weeks.  Was it in preparation for a trip to Italy? Yes.  Did she bring us all back presents? No.  Are we bitter?  Si, absolutemente!

October Trivia Contest

Sick of all your friends getting their names in The Pink Flamingo and free candy bars?  Well it could be you.  All you need to do is submit a guess to the trivia questions below…and have that guess be correct…and have your name picked from a hat.

Faculty Trivia: Which faculty member, based on his or her performance at PHD Club’s Cold Stone Fundraiser, is clearly not lactose intolerant?

HUD/PSYCH Trivia: When a member of a group is worried about being judged according to a stereotype, this can negatively affect his or her performance.  What do social psychologists call this phenomenon? 

Submit Trivia Answers 

Where in the World are the HUM DEV and PSYCH Faculty?

So you think Matt Lauer of the Today show racks up frequent flyer miles? He’s got nothing on your faculty members! As we hope all students know, teaching really is the first love of professors here at UWGB. What you may not know is that part of our assigned job is to conduct research and publish and present our findings, which can take us to places near and far. Just since the semester began, Dr. Von Dras has been invited to present two papers on stress, aging, and memory at the Gerontological Society of America Conference in San Francisco, Dr. Zapf presented work on how two-years learn to use plural words at the Boston University Conference on Language Development, and Dr. Bartell has had her research on a marital disillusionment scale accepted for presentation at the National Council on Family Relations conference. Finally, demonstrating how seriously we take our teaching, research Drs. Gurung, Martin, and Wilson-Doenges have done on teaching (on freshman seminars and the ERLP program) will be shared at the Best Practices in Teaching Psychology Conference in Atlanta. To learn more about faculty research interests and how you can get involved as a research assistant, explore the faculty pages on the Human Development website.