Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Final

The accumulation of my entire undergraduate career came down to a 10 minute presentation yesterday.

I presented my online portfolio - a site which contains what I consider to be my best pieces of work from the past 3 semesters (through classes at Westminster and internships) - to the Communication faculty and my peers.

This presentation is part of the Portfolio class which all Communication majors must partake in in order to graduate from Westminster. The two credit class meets 5 times the first semester, finishing with the presentation and a mock-interview with a few Westminster alumni and the two professors who teach the Portfolio class (in my case, Rulon Wood and Curtis Newbold).

Although most students, including myself, choose to create an online portfolio using Wix, SquareSpace, or Adobe Dreamweaver, a few often present using a traditional portfolio with a binder.

Building the portfolio is the easiest part of the class. I built mine and published it in about 4 hours using Wix by uploading the work I've created over the past 7 semesters. I also chose to create and print business cards to hand-out at my presentation so that I could show that I understand PR and the importance of mobile accessibility.

The hardest part of the class was definitely the presentation. It's nerve-wracking to show your professors what you've learned, but I survived and I loved hearing their feedback.

This has been one of the best classes I've taken at Westminster. It's given me the chance to re-evaluate what I've learned and created over the past few years. I am confident this site will help me present my work and will put me ahead of my competition when I send in my resumes to job potentials.

Feel free to look over my site. Let me know what you think!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Gore School of Business Celebrates 25 Years!

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business on September 19th, I would like to showcase a few of Westminster's talented and successful student entrepreneurs. 
Many of these students work hand-in-hand with the Westminster Center for Entrepreneurship, a program which focuses on providing platforms for: experiential  learning, mentoring, success, networking, and much more. The center also offers a variety of entrepreneurship programs, including a Certificate in Entrepreneurship for MBA students. 

Here are just a few of Westminster students' companies

Westminster Alumni: Jason Knott ('10)
                                         Sebastian Hooker (current student)
Overview: BreathAdvisor has created the world's most accurate Breathalyzer kiosk. The kiosk provides an anonymous, accurate blood alcohol content reading to patrons, helping them make informed decisions. 

Far From Home
Westminster Alumni: Phillip Hessler (current student)
                                       Galen Knowles (current student)
                                       Brolin Mawejje (current student)
Overview: Chair 83 productions was established to create a video chronicling the inspirational story of Brolin Mawajje, a pre-med student and pro-snowboarder at Westminster who was originally from Uganda. 

Westminster Alumni: Abby Speicher ('13)
Overview: Daakye is a company dedicated to giving back by selling purses and wallets handcrafted by seamstresses in Ghana. Each item sold funds one week of school for a child in Ghana. 

Sugar Doodle Kids
Facebook/Twitter /Pinterest 
Westminster Alumni: Nick Whatcott (current student)
Overview: A children's sleepwear company creating pajamas designed by sketches submitted through their website via kids and artists. 

Jonathon Chandler Photography
Westminster Alumni: Jonathon Chandler (current student)
Overview: Commercial, advertising, adventure photographer from Bend, Oregon. 

CE photography
Westminster Alumni: Claire Huntsberger (current student) 
Overview: Lifestyle and commercial Photographer. 

Westminster Alumni: Elana Jadallah (current student) 
Overview: Portrait and lifestyle photographer. 

Carbon Made 
Westminster Alumni: Lucas Morris 
Overview: Typography, Identity Design, Marketing Strategy. 

Lucid Education 
Westminster Alumni: Trevor Martin (current student) 
Overview: The purpose of this company is to help young adults achieve their dreams by giving leadership and networking advice through short video segments. 

Westminster Alumni: Cody Schneider (current student) 
Overview: Direct to garment t-shirt printing. 

If you would like to support student entrepreneurs, network, and become inspired, be sure to stop by the Gore School of Business 25th Anniversary Celebration on September 19th. 

When: Thurs. Sept. 19, 2014,  2- 4 p.m.
Where: Gore Atrium
RSVP: Here

Here is a list of some of those who will be presenting: 

Nick Whatcott, SugarDoodle Kids

Phil Hesler, Far From Home

Chad Reinertson, Naturel Eyes

Tim Lawlor, Achieva Engery

Tracey Diven, Cranium Café

Chris Ciancone, Liyen Inc.

Chris Hopkins, Knudra Tansgenics

Jason Knott, Breath Advisor
Matt Visser, VICTIG
Jeff Bischoff, Massox
Caitlin Jolley, Inside & Out Cosmetics

Students interested in starting their own company should consider joining the Entrepreneurship Club. Members of this club are able to network with other entrepreneurs, take advantage of WEC resources, participate in workshops and field trips, and learn how to start their own business venture. 

For more information about the Westminster Center for Entrepreneurship, feel free to contact Linda Muir (Director)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Every Summer Has A Story

Today is the first day of my senior year at Westminster College.

[WOW. I cannot believe I just typed that.]

Where did the time go?  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was gathering my gear for Spain and taking finals. Now here I am rushing around, getting internship forms signed and my graduation application turned in...

Summer flew by.

Just four months ago - on May 3rd - I took off to Spain with 25 of my peers (including my best friend, Kelcee) to study Spanish while traveling the Camino de Santiago, also known as, The Way of St. James. This journey is an ancient pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, where the remains of Saint James the apostle are supposedly buried. Although all of the students from Westminster traveled The Way for math or Spanish credit, we each had our own personal reasons for embarking on the Camino - whether it be religious, fitness based, spiritual, and/or personal.
For me, it started as a fitness goal and ended up being my very own "eat, pray, love" journey. This rewarding experience came at just the right moment in my life: a time when I needed to reflect, regroup, and re-acknowledge who I was and who I want to become. While hiking 14-20 miles a day and enjoying the countryside of Spain, I had plenty of time to think about things I had not thought about in some time and to discuss them with people I wouldn't have connected with (or even met) if we had not been thrown together.

It was a beautiful month - full of learning and growth.

With Kelcee & Edward in Toledo

Over the course of 28 days our group hiked over 200 miles. By day we conquered the trails; following yellow arrows while stopping often to discuss the days events over vino y chupitos with other peregrinos. (We stopped so often at the bars, we were jokingly deemed the "American baragrinos" by other pilgrims on the trail.) While hiking we met many fascinating people from all over the world: a man who was walking the Camino to spread his late wives ashes, a New Zealand couple on their honeymoon, a young man who eerily asked us "Are you happy?", and three "lost boys" from California, Brazil, and Germany who taught us how to live more freely. One of our girls even fell in love with a  man she met in Spain!

Our experiences during this time were unparalleled. We danced from dusk til dawn at La Kapital in Madrid, slept off our jet lag on the steps of a cathedral in Toledo, straddled the border of France and Spain while on our way to Roncesvalles, walked through the streets of the Running of the Bulls, and hiked through the snow to O'cebreiro (okay, okay maybe a few of us took a taxi that day...but how else would we have met the cute driver who brought us tequila while we were in the middle of nowhere so that we could celebrate Kelcee's 21st?)

Chocolat con Churros
Jet lag Naps
Sure, there were days when a taxi looked like a better option than the 28 km hike staring us in the face. Our backpacks grew heavy at times, we became tired of living off of bread on bread on bread, and yes, I did end up with an IV in my arm upon completion due to a cocktail of severe dehydration, a double ear infection, strep throat and ammonia, but it was worth it. Every single step.

Almost to Santiago!
Its been months since I left Spain, and yet, I still cannot manage to fully wrap my mind around the events that spanned over the course of that life changing month. Snippets of memories come and go throughout my days, and only when I am together with my Camino friends am I able to reminisce out loud. After all, some things are meant to be kept private, and this is one of those things for many of us. It was an opportunity I will cherish forever.
The 'Baragrinos'
(Meredith, Edward, Christina, Kelcee, Noah, Jono, Me, Matthew,  Kayla)
I parted ways with my Camino group in Madrid on May 29th. From there I flew into Stuttgart, Germany to spend a week with my family and celebrate my brother's high school graduation. (Alec is going to be attending and playing football at the University of Dubuque in Iowa as a freshman this fall). It was great to be back home, if only for two weeks.

He's graduated! 
The rest of my summer was spent in Salt Lake City; nannying, teaching cycling classes, celebrating my 21st birthday, laying by the pool with my amazing friends, and moving into my new townhouse on Foothill with my roommate, Ashley.

Celebrating my 21st with close friends in Park City
(Hannah, Erica, Me, Ashley)
There was also a quick weekend getaway to Vegas with my best friend, Erica, and her sister, Malayna. Like most twenty-somethings, we LOVE Vegas. It is the perfect place to break from reality and party it up. Who wouldn't love the 118 degree weather, VIP pool parties, late nights at the clubs, sushi dinners and outlet mall splurges? We left that mini-vacation speeding down I-15 with an extra television remote (don't even ask) and plenty of stories to last us till next summer.

The Marquee with Malayna & Erica
Okay, after typing that I'm REALLY not ready for summer to be over...

But classes have begun and there is no delaying the onset of the 2013-2014 school year. It's time to admit to myself that I am officially a college senior.

My friends and I constantly joke about "the days when we will finally have money and more free time."But now that I am a year away from the possible 'dream scenario', I am nowhere near ready. The past three years at Westminster have been incredible. I have learned so much and have met many wonderful people, and yet, there are still so many classes I wish I could fit in before I leave; so many things I wish I could be apart of now (and in the future) that I did not make time for previously.

When I was in high school I used to spend my free time in class (okay, or maybe more like all of Algebra class...) planning out the courses I'd be taking the following year, the places I'd intern for, and the colleges I'd apply for two or three years down the road. I'm a planner; a control freak. But now, for the first time in my life, I have to let go and learn to live with uncertainty. It's time to place faith in myself, my abilities, and time. I have absolutely no idea where I will be this time next year, and surprisingly, I think I'm okay with that.

For now, I'm going to keep busy and enjoy the rest of my time at Westminster.

This semester I'm enrolled in two COMM classes: COMM 490 and COMM 322. I also have a social media internship with KSL in downtown Salt Lake City and a general marketing internship with Christensen & Hymas Law Firm in Draper. On top of all of that, I am teaching my two cycle express classes Monday/Wednesday 7-7:45 am in HWAC.

I hope all of you had a fabulous summer as well and that you are excited for this upcoming school year. Make sure you take time to reassess where you want to be, where you are headed, and where you want to go. Be thankful for the people who have helped you along the way and who continue to guide you. Fall in love - over and over again. Not just with a significant other, but with Westminster, Salt Lake City, your passions, and your friends. Take advantage of everything that your school has to offer, network, sit at the front of the class, and ask your Professor how their day is going. Don't be so cool that you skip out on all the dorky, fun orientation activities. Smile, stay positive, take care of yourself, apologize when you're in the wrong, and don't get hung up over silly things.

Study hard, make good choices, and most of all, live it up! You are only in college once, sometimes its okay to stay out much too late with your friends or to skip class for that trip to St. George.

Good luck and thank you for continuing to read my posts, it means so much to me!

- Lia

Monday, July 29, 2013

44 Reasons Why Westminster is THE Best

The other day I was surfing Buzzfeed and I came across this article. Of course, I have nothing against APP State - one of my very best friends recently graduated from the school - but I was kind of disappointed there was nothing on the web like this for Westminster. I mean, how will other people know WESTMINSTER truly is the best college out there if we don't put it out there ourselves.. am I right?

1. We probably have the COOLEST President and Provost ever. 

2. Westminster is constantly being compared to Hogwarts. Our acceptance letters are even mailed by OWL.... (just kidding...) 

Not quite sure on the resemblance...but we DO have a bridge and a quidditch team.

4. If you live in Olwell, Behnken, or Stock you have a direct view of the sand volleyball games all summer long. 

Thats right... you don't even have to leave your apartment to check out the hotties bumpin' it on the court.

5. We actually look forward to Finals week. 

Midnight breakfast prepared by the Professors, free massages in Shaw, animals in the Student Life Office, free food, snacks delivered personally by the Dean.

6. Robert Redford spoke at the 2013 commencement. 

7. SugarHouse Pub and Maxwells 

Walk into the Pub any night of the week and you're likely to find multiple Westminster students and employees. Not only is it the perfect place to grab a drink with friends and watch the game, but it is within walking distance of the college if you're coming back from one of the cute restaurants in Sugar House.

Also, Maxwell's recently announced that they will be opening a new location underneath The Draw. Another reason to save the cab fare and stay in 'the hood' for the night.

8. No class on Fridays. 

.... well, for most of us.

9. Our Campus is GORGEOUS.

10. Westminster is the ONLY wet-campus in all of Utah

Alcohol is allowed in the 21+ residential halls and at all events for those 21+.

(That's right, we're liberal AND progressive.)  

11. Our mascot is a mythical creature 



Even though Westminster is located within 30 minutes of 7 of the top snowboarding/skiing resorts in the world, we often like to bring the party to campus. Not only are we home to over 20 olympic athletes and Rail Jam, but we also have this awesome program called Winter at Westminster that students from other schools can participate in as well. 

13. Location, location, location! 

Westminster is located about 10 minutes from downtown (City Creek Mall, Gateway Mall, Energy Solutions Arena - Jazz Games, Trolley Square, The Capitol, The Temple in the winter), 20 minutes from gorgeous hiking trails, and 30 minutes from 7 of the top snowboarding/skiing resorts in the world. Westminster is also only 5 minutes from the University of Utah which means there are 30,000 other students our age living right next door! Being in close relation with the U also means that we can attend their football games in the fall and take advantage of dual-enrollment if we need a class that Westminster does not offer. 

14. Our Aviation program 

Westminster has one of the best Aviation programs in the country. Don't believe me? Ask Manny. 

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15. Our Award Winning Newspaper, The Forum 

Second Place at ACP Chicago

16. Commons in the summertime 

17. Not to brag, but we throw some pretty awesome parties...

Everyone looks forward to the annual Halloween Dance and parties off-campus are always the best during orientation week. 

[[You know theres a party going on when you see a group of people on bikes with backpacks full of PBR riding down 1300 E on any given night or when you receive a Facebook invite from "The Stadium"...]]

18. Twilight concerts 

The ONLY place to be Thursday nights during the summer. This years line-up: Grizzly Bear/Youth Lagoon, Ludacris, Kid Cudi, King Chip, Empire of the Sun, MGMT (among others).  

Plus, its only $5 per show.  

Salt Lake City was ranked the 14th healthiest city in the United States back in May by NerdWallet

Full-time Westminster students stay fit with free gym memberships to HWAC, access to group fitness classes, and outdoor rec trips. Students and faculty alike have also pushed for healthier foods in the cafeteria - including, gluten-free options. 

20. The best chai lattes are served on campus 

Ask for the soy pumpkin chai latte with lite ice next time you're in the Bassis Center in the fall. Promise you won't regret it.  

22. Print for FREE 

Anything FREE is awesome when you're in college... just be careful not to get stuck behind the nursing students when you're printing. 

23. Our NAIA sports teams 

We have more than 250 student-athletes participating on the Westminster basketball, cross country, skiing, snowboarding, volleyball, soccer, golf, lacrosse, and track teams. 

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We also have an AWESOME student section...

24. Cool Professors 

How many of your friends at other universities/colleges can tell you that they've taken shots with their Professors in Spain? Have gone to coffee with an advisor on a Sunday afternoon? Have had the Dean call their personal cell phone to ask them why they aren't doing well in algebra? Or, have their Professor as a friend on Facebook? 

Do they even know what their Professor looks like?  

25. Westminster continues to help our alumni find jobs and network years after they've graduated.

"More than 90% of Westminster grads report that they are either employed or enrolled in grad school within five months of graduation" (here). That statistic is largely due to the fact that the Career Center and Westminster Professors are dedicated to helping current and past students succeed post-grad.

26. Sugar House is the quintessential college town. 

Cute/hip restaurants & pubs, young/friendly residents, safe, everything is within walking distance, theres more than 3 froyo shops within 5 miles, affordable housing, a great running park, the dollar theater, student discounts, a farmers market in the summer...

What more could a twenty-something ask for?

One of the newest restaurant additions: Flatbread Pizzeria 

27. Outdoor Rec

Students and faculty at Westminster LOVE the outdoors. If you go to school at Westminster, expect people to look at you funny if you say you don't like to camp or have never shot a rifle. 

29. Financial Aid/Scholarships 

All students are taken into consideration for academic-based scholarships upon applying for Westminster. Yes, its normally pretty pricey to go to a private, liberal arts college but Westminster has multiple (legal) ways to cut the cost. 

30. May Term

One month abroad with your fellow peers and awesome professors earning FREE credit for graduation. 

If you have been on May Term, you know how amazing it is. You know there are no words to describe it. 

If you haven't been yet...what are you even doing? 



But if you must stay... 

Take 2-4 free credits on campus for the month. Choose from tough classes like: Coffee in History, Sex in the Brain, Communication on the Golf Course, and The History of Harry Potter. 

31. Highly respected degree 

"You go to Westminster? Wow. That is a GREAT school." 

You have NO idea how many times Westminster students hear this upon first meeting someone. 

And, its not just word of mouth...we've got the rankings to back it up: 

- Rated #13 in The Princeton Review for Quality of Life in 2011. 
- The Princeton Review also considers Westminster to be one of the 'Best Values' for undergraduate education. 
- Kaplan/Newsweek recognized Westminster in 2006 as being one of the "most interesting schools" in America. 

32. Oh yea, we go to school to learn too

- 70 academic Programs 

- Average class size: 18
- 11:1 student-to-Professor ratio 

Philosophy: Professors serve as mentors, not sages. 

33. There are over 50 student-run organizations and clubs in ASWC 

34. Westminster Study Abroad Program 

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35. Westminster supports our troops! 

ROTC students who choose to attend Westminster and choose to live on campus, are awarded full room and board grants. Those who choose to live off campus receive a $2,500 grant. Westminster also accepts the GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Bill. 

The Westminster Military Association is also a prominent support group on campus for those associated with the United States Military. 

36. The (fairly) new science center 

Meldrum, our newest building on campus, opened two years ago. The Platinum LEED certified building (meaning it has over 54 environmentally friendly features) is four stories and contains state-of the-art facilities, integrated lab classrooms, research labs, and faculty offices. Each floor has beautiful reclaimed hard-wood floors, cozy study spaces with white boards, and interactive exhibits. Another cool fact about Meldrum is that Westminster designed the building so that light streams in from every angle possible - making this the perfect place to study in between classes. (more info here

37. Our 40-foot climbing wall 

38. Everyone's favorite Wild Wednesday: Mr. Westminster 

Nominated Westminster men compete for fun in order to fundraise for local, non-profit: The Rape Recovery Center. 

39. We get to enjoy all four seasons

High of 90-100 in the summer, around 60-70 in the Spring/Fall, and low of 20-30 in the winter. 

40. Westminster students are pretty awesome too...

CLASS OF 2016 Profile:

- 47% from Utah, 53% from out of state
- 22 students (4% are international)
- 32 states and 15 countries are being represented 
- 12 are valedictorians 
- 55% were in the top 25% of their graduating high school class 

And if you are interested in what current students have accomplished, you can check us out on the Westminster Student Achievement Board 

41. Sometimes we get to have class outside. 

It is wonderful.

42. Westminster is a dog friendly campus

Triton, Kelcee, & the Griffin
There are dogs everywhere - in classes, on the lawn, in the office. 
Westminster LOVES dogs. 

43. Westminster's got the hook-ups

The concierge desk in Shaw has discounted tickets to movies, games, and more! 

44. Vegas is only 6 hours away

(And if you get desperate, theres always Wendover...)