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  • August/2012

Get to Know the Peer Ambassadors: Meet Steve

by South University
August 21, 2012

Steve Warner is a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology student specializing in System Security. Steve served 10 years in the Army in the US and Germany. He then spent 10 years as a Nuclear Biological Chemical instructor in the reserves! He is now in his third year at South University Online Programs and has been named a Peer Ambassador as well as Treasurer of the Association for Computing Machinery. We were able to get Steve to take some time away from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about how he got involved at South University Online Programs.

Why did you decide to attend South University Online Programs?
I checked out several schools and South University Online Programs had an excellent veterans rep in Richard Peoples who made my enrollment a pleasure. I was also impressed by the accreditation of the school and how few problems others had as compared to other online schools.

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a new student and how did you overcome them?
Getting used to the online library, and I followed the guidance of my instructors who helped me acclimate to it. Also getting my credits transferred, and I just stayed in communications with my finance counselor.

What are your favorite resources at South University Online Programs (online library, tutoring, counseling, community, etc.)?
Now I really enjoy the online library and its broad scope of material available. I also enjoy being part of the honors program and really enjoyed receiving the different certificates and graduation tassels South University Online Programs sent free-of-charge. It was an unexpected surprise to receive a veterans plaque and pins for the National Technical Honor Society.

How did you become involved with the student community?
I was invited to join the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) based on my grades, and became more involved after meeting the people already involved like Aileen Dillon, Director of Student Services who is a great asset to South University Online Programs!

What do you like about being a Peer Ambassador?
I enjoy being a Peer Ambassador because I have been through both the traditional classroom setting and an active online student for several years. I am also an army veteran and older student who can relate to many of the issues people in these categories face and help them by directly assisting them or giving them the information on where they can get their questions answered.

What are your future goals?
My future goals are to continue with my education at South University Online Programs through my current degree and into the Master’s program and eventually teach in an academic setting and online. I also have an interest in possibly working for the government since I have so many years of military service already. I think I would be happy in either setting.

Why should student attend the upcoming New Student Meet & Greet hosted by the Peer Ambassadors?
The meet and greet is a combination online and voice (phone) conference where new students can meet the Peer Ambassadors and learn about resources available from both academic and personal interest groups. It is a very casual atmosphere where questions can be asked by typing or verbally asking and new students can get instant feedback on issues they may be having from experienced students and staff.

Join Steve and the other Peer Ambassadors for the next New Student Meet & Greet on August 21st at 8pm ET! Register here.

If you’re interested in joining the Association for Computing Machinery, please visit their Connections group. New members can apply to run for office up until August 24th!

The information and opinions expressed and/or any artwork displayed herein [or in this publication/presentation] represents the independent opinions and ideas of individual students attending South University Online Programs and do not represent the opinions or ideas of South University Online Programs.

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Get to Know the Peer Ambassadors: Meet Teresa

by South University
August 20, 2012

Teresa Sams is a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice/Crime Scene Investigation student in her fourth year at South University Online Programs. She has been a Peer Ambassador since December 2011. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her life and her experience at South University Online Programs.

Why did you decide to attend South University Online Programs?
My second divorce had just been finalized, so I decided to further my education online. Out of all the admissions counselors that called, Heather B. from South University Online Programs was the most helpful and encouraging. Heather made the admissions process so easy. She still calls me from time to time to see how I am doing. It's nice to know that someone really cares how your education is progressing.

What are some challenges you faced as a new student?
The two major challenges I have experienced as an online student are losing my internet connection and losing my electricity. In order to turn in assignments on time without an internet connection, I copy my assignments onto my flash drive and use the computers at the public library. If my electric goes out, I have backup files on my external hard drive and can work from the library. In addition, I set Microsoft Word to auto save my documents every minute. There is nothing worse than losing a five-page paper when you are on the last paragraph!

What are your favorite resources at South University Online Programs?
My favorite resource at South University Online Programs is Connections. I enjoy meeting new people who share similar interests. Since I enjoy connecting with family and friends on Facebook, I decided to check out Connections at South. I am so glad I did! I have joined some remarkable groups and have met some amazing people. In just three short years, I have become a member of the QEP Student Advisory Council, Innovative Network Committee, Peer Ambassadors, National Society for Collegiate Scholars, and president of the American Criminal Justice Association/Sigma Upsilon Omega. I never thought any of this could be possible for an older online college student like me.

What are your ultimate goals?
My educational goal is to obtain the necessary education and combine it with my life experiences to make the world a safer place as a criminal justice professional. In addition to my Bachelor’s degree, I am planning to obtain my Master’s degree in Cyber Crime and my Doctorate in Forensic Psychology. My career goal is to be a Digital Forensics Analyst and Criminal Profiler for the Department of Homeland Security.

Tell us what it’s like to be a Peer Ambassador – in what ways are you a good resource for new students?
I enjoy helping other students as a Peer Ambassador at South. I have been through three years of online classes so I am familiar with some issues new online students face. I may not have all the answers, but I am willing to find someone who can help new students with their questions and concerns.

Where can students find you?
You can find me at our upcoming New Student Meet & Greet on August 21st at 8pm ET. I’ll be there along with other PA’s answering questions and giving tips on how to succeed at South University Online Programs. This event is a great way for new students to become involved with the online community at South. Connections are an important part of the online college experience. You meet some incredible people who are there to help or just share your struggles. It helps online students feel a sense of camaraderie as part of a group rather than feeling disconnected and struggling through college all alone.

If you want to meet Teresa and the other Peer Ambassadors, join us August 21st at 8pm ET for the New Student Meet & Greet. Make sure to reserve your seat by registering now.

The information and opinions expressed herein represent the independent opinions and ideas of individual students attending South University Online Programs and do not represent the opinions or ideas of South University Online Programs.

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How to Fight Procrastination: Part Three

by South University
August 17, 2012

By now, we have provided you with four tips to help you stave off procrastination. If those weren't enough to keep you motivated and on the right track, check out our final three tips below!

  • Cut Down on Distractions
    There are so many things that demand your attention on a daily basis – family, friends, pets, TV, cell phone, email, Facebook, and the list goes on. It’s time to tell all of them (if only for a short time) – NO! Tell your family that you need a set amount of time alone and give them a time when you’ll be available, do work in a room that doesn’t have a television, turn your email alerts off on your computer.If what you’re working on doesn’t require Internet access, turn off your connection, turn your cell phone off (or leave only phone call rings on in case of an emergency). One by one, begin to eliminate the things that grab your attention away from your work. Focusing on the task at hand and not allowing yourself to be distracted will get your tasks finished sooner and better.
  • Identify Why You’re Putting It Off – Tackle Self Doubt
    One way to really get to the heart of your procrastination problem is to be honest with yourself. What are the reasons why you keep putting off this project? You haven’t had time? Set the schedule. You keep finding other things to do? Cut down on the distractions. These problems are easy to solve. But, oftentimes, there may be bigger issues at hand. Have you ever put off something because you weren’t sure if you could actually accomplish it or accomplish it at the quality you were hoping for? If self doubt is holding you back, just remind yourself that “The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” Just go for it! No matter what the outcome you’ll learn something from the process. If you don’t do anything, there’s nothing gained and an opportunity wasted.
  • Reward Yourself
    Once you’ve used all of these strategies to get your work done, it’s time to give yourself a nice pat on the back. You can pick out small rewards to get you through each step. For instance, give yourself a short break in between tasks but make sure to set a timer so you know when it’s time to get back to work. Or you can set up larger rewards for when you completely finish something. Pick out a really special treat – be it a decadent dessert, an extra hour of TV time, a game of cards with the family, anything to keep you motivated!
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    Get to Know the Peer Ambassadors: Meet Shamry

    by South University
    August 16, 2012

    Shamry Salley is a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management student in her third year at South University Online Programs. Her sparkling personality and inspirational attitude has made her a very successful Peer Ambassador since December 2011. Shamry was able to give us a few minutes of her time to answer some questions about how she feels about the South University Online Programs community:

    Why did you decide to attend South University Online Programs?
    I decided to attend South University Online Programs because I wanted to finish what I started years ago. After I had graduated from High School, I went off to college and dropped out my sophomore year because I started working at a great job that offered excellent benefits. However, as I got older and lost my job around 2008, I realized that I should have listened and paid attention to the college recruiters that came to my high school and told us, “having a college degree is what opens doors to a wide variety of opportunities.” I started my journey here at South University Online Programs on November 11th, 2009, and I’m so thankful that I made the decision to go back.

    What are some challenges you’ve faced as a new student and how did you overcome them?
    Online college can be very challenging because your academic environment is based solely online. This means no teachers to show you step by step how to reach an answer, no meeting area for students to mingle and get to know each other, no one to call on when you need some academic or personal advice, and books have to be accessed online. I feared that I was not going to excel in courses, which terrified me, because I have the biggest math phobia! I worried and worried so much about the math courses that I would put off my math courses, until I started mingling and joining different academic organizations, such as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. My actions paid off! I made some friends, including my best friend Jami, who has tutored me for my math and accounting courses. I just had to first stop worrying, and have faith in myself, because self-doubting will bring nothing but bad results.

    What are your favorite resources at South University Online Programs?
    I love to go to the South University Online Programs Online Library when I have to search for credible sources and information to compose research papers and different analysis on a certain topic(s). One of my favorite source search engines is ProQuest Journals. I like it because all you have to do is type in just a few words of your topic or question and a variety of related articles show up. I also love the Commencement pages because I’m able to see other South University Online Programs students from previous to current years graduate! I like to pretend it’s me graduating, and I sit at my laptop smiling, picturing myself walking across the stage to accept my degree. This is what motivates me to continue pushing forward through all doubts, fears and “I want to give up” moments, knowing that I have something to look forward to, my graduation.

    How did you become involved with the student community?
    I became involved with the student community by constantly networking. I simply stood up to the plate and vowed to make myself known amongst my peers here at South University Online Programs. I enjoy interacting and networking with students and faculty members wherever I go because you never know what kind of affect you may have upon a person and their personal and/or academic life. When I started at South University Online, I was alone and very nervous. When I began networking and engaging in conversation with other peers, in my classroom, through Connections, or by joining different academic organizations it really improved my outlook.

    Tell us what it’s like to be a Peer Ambassador – in what ways are YOU a good resource for new students.
    What’s like to be a Peer Ambassador? Hmm… you really want to know? It’s super-dee-duper!! I love being a Peer Ambassador because this position allows me to interact with all students. Not just new students, but ALL students who are in need of help, advice, motivation, encouragement, a listening ear, an internet shoulder to cry on, whatever. I’m an excellent resource for new students because I’m experienced and can give a quick response to questions. If there is something I do not know, I will find the answer as soon as I can. I want students to know they can come to me if they need help. While traveling this college road, there are unexpected bumps and they can take you by surprise, I am always here to help navigate through it.

    What are your future goals?
    One of my goals that I’m working toward is graduating either Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude. I can and will achieve this goal by continuing to work and study hard in each of my classes. Staying dedicated is a 100% effective way to maintain a high GPA as well as make excellent grades. A second future goal is to become employed after graduation. I want a job that will allow me to help others. So far, I’ve been spending my time searching for internships in local hospitals and medical facilities, so that I can reach my goal of graduating with experience in my desired field. My third goal is to lose weight and feel better about myself. This has been challenging, but well worth it. Just like getting my degree, it’s hard work involved, but in the end, it is well worth all the stress, tears, fears, ups and downs.

    If you would like to learn more about Shamry or our other Peer Ambassadors, join us for our New Student Meet & Greet on August 21st at 8pm ET! Make sure to reserve your spot today - register here.

    The information and opinions expressed and/or any artwork displayed herein [or in this publication/presentation] represents the independent opinions and ideas of individual students attending South University Online Programs and do not represent the opinions or ideas of South University Online Programs.

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    How to Fight Procrastination: Part Two

    by South University
    August 15, 2012

    So far in this blog series, we encouraged you to avoid procrastination by breaking up large tasks and tracking your progress. Below, you’ll find two more tips to help start you off on the right foot.

    • Set a Schedule
      This seems pretty simple, but it really makes a difference. As a busy student, you probably only have a few hours a day that you can devote to your homework. Make sure to make the most of that time by filling in your schedule with all of your responsibilities. Make sure that when you set aside time for homework, you assign specific times for working on specific things rather than just writing in “Homework”. This will not only keep you focused but will help you visualize in black and white how much time you really have rather than assuming you have tons of time to get something completed. Schedules make you create and face your deadlines – don’t let them surprise you! Keep a schedule and you’ll know exactly what stands between you and your deadline.
    • Urgency – Do it Now!
      All right, so you’ve got your schedule down, but when it comes time to tackle the tasks at hand, you think “I could really spend this time (fill in the blank with anything besides what you should be doing).” Did you really need to organize your spices in alphabetical order instead of getting a head start on your last paper? Once you put off the task you were supposed to accomplish, you start the excuse game. You tell yourself, “Oh, I’ll have plenty of time to get this done while I’m working out or riding the bus or while I’m doing laundry. I’m great at multitasking!” You may very well be good at multitasking, but why would you add on extra stress to yourself later? Just do it now! Because, really, when else are you going to do it?

    Face it: the time to stop procrastinating is now. Stay tuned for our final blog post in the series!

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