Welcome to the February Issue of The Pink Flamingo

It’s the first issue of The Pink Flamingo in 2009! What could be better? Well, maybe a vacation to Florida to see some real flamingos, or even just a February that has more days above 0 degrees than below. Sadly, although we may even hit 40 this week, that blasted Sun Prairie groundhog has already guaranteed us at least 6 more weeks of winter weather, and we’re only newsletter editors, so the best we can do is bring you some great information sprinkled with our unique brand of humor. Read on – and don’t miss the Top 10 list!

  • Breaking News: Human Development Hires New Professor
  • P/HD Club News: Big Plans this Semester
  • Psi Chi News: Applications, Initiation, Honor Cords, Rock Band, and More!
  • This Just In…New Procedure for Declaring a HUM DEV or PSYCH Major or Minor
  • New Feature: Student News to Celebrate
  • Want to Teach in the Wisconsin Schools But Don’t Have an Education Degree?
  • Trying to Speed Up Graduation? Register for Summer Classes!
  • Careers of the Month: February 2009 Edition
  • Graduate School Tip of the Month: Help Dealing with Admission Decisions
  • Career Tip of the Month: Specific Ways to Prepare for the Job Market
  • What’s New? Jobs, Volunteer Opportunities, and More on the HUD/PSYCH Bulletin Board
  • War and Peace Seminar: Human Development Explores the Campus Common Theme
  • Author! Author! Professor Gurung Publishes Four (Yes, Four) Books!
  • Call for Help: Submit Your Pink Flamingo Ideas
  • Top Ten Reasons We Know Spring Is Coming…Really

Breaking News: Human Development Hires New Professor

The Human Development Department is thrilled to share the news that we will be welcoming a new faculty member this Fall. Soon-to-be Professor Melissa Schnurr will be joining the faculty after completing her doctoral work in Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University. She will be teaching both Middle Childhood and Adolescence and Infancy and Early Childhood next year. She has research interests in the areas of romantic relationships and relationship violence. Thank you to all students who attended teaching or research colloquia and who took faculty candidates to lunch. One of the most consistent comments we hear from our candidates is how very impressive our students are!

P/HD Club News: Big Plans this Semester

The Psychology and Human Development (P/HD) Club has big plans for the semester, including movie nights, volunteer opportunities, guest speakers, and other exciting events. First up is Dr. Illene Noppe, who will be speaking about college student grief at the February 24th meeting (5:00 p.m. in Phoenix Room A).  Then, in early March the club will be starting a discussion group for those interested in talking about professional issues related to human development and psychology.  The first meeting will be on March 4th at 4:00 p.m. in the Garden Café, when the group will discuss the ethical issues related to torture.  Also, the P/HD Club is looking for people interested in becoming officers next year. Please contact the current President, Tiffany Wilhelm (wilhtm31@uwgb.edu), if you would like more information. Finally, for those of you who might be interested, the P/HD Club has a Facebook group. To find it, look for “UWGB’s Psychology and Human Development Club.”

Psi Chi News: Applications, Initiation, Honor Cords, Rock Band, and More!

The Psi Chi honor society will have its 4th annual initiation ceremony on March 25th from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the University Union. Please remember that final applications for membership are due by Feb. 15th.  Members can also look forward to a special dinner on February 18th at 7 p.m. at Victoria’s.  As always, graduating members should order their honor cords ($13.00 due to Twila Marquardt in MAC C310) well in advance of graduation. Finally, members are reminded to join the UWGB Psi Chi Facebook Group and check the Psi Chi D2L page regularly for updates, pictures, and more 

Psi Chi will also be coordinating a number of events for all Psychology and Human Development majors/minors. Get your vocal cords and dancing duds ready for “ROCK BAND” on April 27th. It will be a great fundraiser and social event.  On March 12th, Psi Chi will be coordinating a special event for area high school seniors and teachers of psychology in secondary schools – students and teachers will be provided with a free lunch (courtesy of the UWGB Admissions Office) and get to listen to scintillating presentations on psychological science. Other special speakers and social events (in collaboration with the PHD Club) are also in the cards.

This Just In…New Procedure for Declaring a HUM DEV or PSYCH Major or Minor

Anyone hoping to declare a major or minor in Human Development or Psychology will have to use a new procedure beginning this semester. That includes, by the way, any existing Human Development majors who want to add a Psychology minor or major and vice versa. We are now requiring all students to complete a pre-declaration form before we will sign the Academic Plan form you file with the Registrar’s Office. Click here for the Human Development pre-declaration form.
Click here for the Psychology form pre-declaration form.

Keep in mind that your advisor will not sign your major or minor declaration unless you have completed this form. In addition, if you want to declare, let’s say, a Psychology major and Human Development minor, you need to complete both forms. Now, we know you think we are inventing new policies just to torment you, but really, we hope completing the form will help you learn key information about our programs. We also believe that having the completed form will enable your advisor to get to know you better and provide you with better advising services. In fact, already declared majors might consider completing the form anyway and sharing it with their advisor. If you have questions or concerns, please direct them to the Human Development Chair (Dr. Kristin Vespia), the Psychology Chair (Dr. Ryan Martin), or your academic advisor.

New Feature: Student News to Celebrate

One of the New Year’s resolutions of your newsletter editors is to include more news in the PF about all the great things our students are doing. Want to see your name or that of a friend in lights? (Okay, we admit the best we can do is italics.) Please let us know of good news we can share by using the electronic suggestion box or by sending an email to Drs. Martin or Vespia. This month, we have the following kudos, accolades, and jobs well done to share.

  • Several of our students will be headed to the American Psychological Association’s convention in Toronto, Canada this August. Katie Bruni had a poster presentation accepted to Division 8 (Social/Personality). In addition, she will be a discussant on a symposium concerning how students use textbooks. Jaimie Henschel was recently notified that her honors project on college student engagement was accepted for presentation. Finally, Trudi Arnold and Becky Miller are co-authors on a symposium with Dr. Vespia related to college student mental health services, and Jonathan Carlson will be joining them on that project. Congratulations to all of these students!
  • Stephanie Sabinash participated in “Dancing4Kids” last month, a charity event that paired volunteer dancers with professional instructors, much like the popular “Dancing With the Stars” TV show. Stephanie danced on behalf of Camp Lloyd (http://www.uwgb.edu/camplloyd/).She was paired with Peter Blavit, and the two of them brought down the house at the SC Grand in De Pere with their swing number. Check it out on www.Dancing4Kids.org. Way to go, Stephanie!
  • Mike Schachtner was recently named to ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-District V First Team. This is the third consecutive year that Mike has been so honored, and this award makes him eligible to again receive Academic All-American honors. We’ll be pulling for you, Mike!
  • Kirstin Thompson has won the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) Student Initiative Conference Scholarship, which will allow her to attend the ADEC annual conference in Dallas, TX this April, to hear the newest thanatology research, and to network with students and “movers and shakers” in the field. The scholarship includes her registration fee, travel expenses, and a one-year ADEC student membership. Congratulations, Kirstin!
  • Katie Vonholzen has secured a prestigious summer internship at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH). This eight-week Ivy League opportunity will pay her a stipend and travel funds and allow her to gain priceless experience working in a social neuroscience lab under the direct supervision of Todd Heatherton, a cutting-edge neuroscientist. Great job, Katie!

Want to Teach in the Wisconsin Schools But Don’t Have an Education Degree?

If you think you want to teach, but you do not have the credentials from an approved Education program that would make you eligible for certification, consider investigating the Milwaukee Teaching Fellows program. It is a competitive program that can help highly qualified candidates with bachelor’s degrees in other areas become certified to teach in Wisconsin as they teach full-time in Milwaukee (and are paid to do so) and pursue the coursework needed for licensure. Our quick read of their website seems to indicate that individuals might be able to teach math, science (if they have majors in those areas), special education, or elementary bilingual education (if fluent in English and Spanish). It can be dangerous to rely on your Editors’ quick reading skills, though, so learn more for yourself by visiting the program’s website at: http://www.milwaukeeteachingfellows.org/.

Trying to Speed Up Graduation? Register for Summer Classes!

No plans for the summer yet? Think about taking a summer class or two. It’s a great way to pick up some credits in order to make up some lost time, free up your fall and spring semester for something different (e.g., TA, RA, study abroad), or even graduate early.

This summer, there are four Human Development classes (Adulthood and Aging; Death, Dying, and Loss; Family Development; and Middle Childhood and Adolescence) and five Psychology classes (Abnormal Psychology; Counseling Across the Lifespan; Psychology of Cognitive Processes; Social Psychology; and Theories of Personality) that remain open, and you can register today! 

Careers of the Month: February 2009 Edition

Like working with people and finding a way to help them? Consider these great job options!

Elementary or Secondary School Teacher: Students interesting in a teaching career in Wisconsin must be certified by the state, which typically involves completing an approved Education major or minor, passing qualifying exams, and more. Some of our HUD and PSYCH students are also completing the Education program, but if you are not, there may be ways to pursue the necessary educational and testing requirements after you complete your bachelor’s degree in another field (e.g., see Milwaukee Fellows Program post). You can find out more about teaching careers at: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos069.htm

Physical Therapist: A graduate degree is required to become a physical therapist, and a solid foundation in the sciences as an undergraduate is important. This rewarding career has a great employment outlook and could be a wonderful match for someone who enjoys helping others. See: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos080.htm

Graduate School Tip of the Month: Help Dealing with Admission Decisions

With the passing of February 1st, many of you now have nothing to do but wait when it comes to your graduate school future. The applications are in, and you watch your mail and email boxes hoping to hear some word about your fate. Here are our answers to some frequently asked questions during this time.

My application has been in for a month, and I haven’t heard anything. What does that mean?

Honestly, we don’t know. Often, though, applications must go through the graduate school before they can be forwarded to the department for consideration, so this process can take time. In addition, if you had a December 1st deadline, those applications might not have even been looked at until well after the end of the fall semester. Not hearing anything could mean that a decision has not yet been made. It could mean that you are on an alternate list, and they are waiting to hear from candidates ahead of you on the accepted list, and it could mean that your application is no longer under consideration. Ultimately, you should be informed by the school no matter what their final decision.

I’ve been accepted to one school, and I have to make a decision about going there before I will hear whether I have been accepted at my first-choice school. What should I do?

Consult with your advisor. This is a difficult situation, but it is also one that happens fairly frequently. Schools make decisions at different points, and they will want a commitment from you as soon as possible after extending an admission offer. If you don’t want that offer, they want to give it to the next most qualified student before they lose that person to another school. Individual consultations with your advisor and other professionals are probably your best route with this one. 

I’ve been accepted to more than one school. How do I decide?

People obviously vary in their preferred method for making big decisions like this one. Often, though, it can be very helpful to talk with current graduate students in that program after you have been accepted. The person in charge of admissions should be able to give you the email address of at least one student, and sometimes student contacts are even listed on the department website. Another thing that can be very beneficial is visiting the programs to which you have been accepted. A happy and successful graduate school experience involves finding a good “fit” between you and a program. There are many things you simply cannot assess based simply on a website and admission materials. A school you were not very excited about on paper can turn out to be wonderful when you visit (and vice versa), so if you have the time and resources, an in-person visit is usually advisable.

I didn’t get into graduate school. What should I do?

First of all, don’t panic. We realize that’s easier said than done, but this is an extremely competitive process. Many very qualified students are not admitted each year, and it is nothing to feel embarrassed about. The best thing you can do it talk with your advisor and other professionals on campus (e.g., Career Services) so they can help you as you formulate alternative plans. Remember that many students who are not accepted one year end up with multiple acceptances in a subsequent year. Others find wonderful work or alternative educational plans. All of us, even your professors, have dealt with educational or professional disappointment at some time, and we really do want to help.

Career Tip of the Month: Specific Ways to Prepare for the Job Market

We at the PF understand that the prospect of job hunting feels particularly daunting right now. How can you cope with anxiety about the job market? Be prepared. Some great ways to start include:

  • Visit the Career Services’ website at http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/. You’ll find a great article about how to deal with a tight job market, as well as the opportunity to join a webinar on February 11th that will address how to thrive in that market.
  • Attend the Human Services’ Networking Night on Monday, February 23, 2009 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Phoenix C. Learn more about the potential employers who will be in attendance and about Networking Nights in general at: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/NetworkingNights.htm.
  • Plan now to attend the Spring 2009 Job and Internship Fair on March 4, 2009 from 9:30-1:00 p.m. in the Phoenix Rooms.

What’s New? Jobs, Volunteer Opportunities, and More on the HUD/PSYCH Bulletin Board

We are not quite sure why we have been asked to include this item given you have an amazing blog to bring you all the news you could ever need, but we have been informed that there’s a great HUD/PSYCH Bulletin Board in the 3rd floor hallway of MAC, just outside the C Wing. Some job, volunteer, internship, and graduate school opportunities, breaking news announcements, faculty publications, and more are posted as received. Apparently, our once-a-month-or-so blog isn’t enough to keep up with all the breaking news, so please visit the bulletin board when you have the chance.