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September2011 Volume 6 | Issue 2

Dear CSU Parents and Families:

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For the past few weeks, students have been going to classes and getting involved on campus, exploring possibilities and making good and not so good decisions. The campus has such great energy, especially after our big volleyball win over Nebraska and football victory over the University of New Mexico.

Last year I helped a dear colleague cope with her son going away to college, and this year I found myself reaching out to her for advice.  Although my son is a first year student living on campus at Colorado State, I find myself really missing him. While I have been working on college campuses for nearly 25 years and helped develop the Parent and Family Programs at Colorado State University 10 years ago, being a college parent for the first time is a real learning experience for me!  My colleague summed it up well when she chuckled, “As parents, we’re so into our kids and, when they go to college, they just so aren’t into us.”  So, I’m listening to my own advice, letting our son determine how often and when we text and talk. I’m giving him space to navigate the campus and make it his own. And, most of all, I’m trusting the 19 years of life lessons, family values, and influence we’ve impressed upon him.

Found within this newsletter is information about the upcoming RAMFAM Parent & Family Association meeting on Saturday, September 10, 10 a.m.-12:00 noon (MST) in the Lory Student Center.  Kacee Collard Jarnot, Assistant Director of Parent & Family Programs, put together a wonderful panel of experts to talk about what students should be focusing on during each of their college years to lead to academic success, personal growth, and ultimately, graduation. While I wish all families could attend in person to truly experience the wonderful community of CSU Ram Families, stay tuned to your email or visit the Parent & Family website to find out how you can participate in the live webcast of the meeting if you are unable to be in Fort Collins on Saturday morning.  If you log-on, please participate in the blog to let us know you’re watching.

I’ll close with a quick shout-out to Kacee.  Many of you have emailed and/or called during this past month, requesting assistance, support, or answers to inquiries.  Kacee has been taking the lead on all Parent & Family programs, events, communications, and projects.  As I’ve been focused on some of the craziness of the Dean of Students position, Kacee has worked overtime to make sure you are well served.  Please join me in sending her big thanks!

We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter and if you have any ideas for future editions, please let us know!

Sincerely,

Jody

Jody Donovan, Ph.D.
Dean of Students/Executive Director of Parent & Family Programs
jody.donovan@colostate.edu

Parent and Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312

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Faculty Highlight:  Marketing

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Dr. Tuba Ustuner

Name: Tuba Ustuner

Title: Assistant Professor of Marketing

College: College of Business

Department: Marketing

Years teaching: 6

Degrees: BSc (Middle East Technical University), MBA (Texas Tech University), MA in Sociology (Urbana-Champaign), DBA (Harvard Business School)

Areas of research: Consumer Research (specific topics are Consumption in the Developing World, Status Consumption, Sustainable Consumption)

Undergraduate Classes:  Marketing Decision Making

1. What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in the balance between theory (critical thinking) and practice, also between team work and individual achievement. In my courses there is always a real-life managerial issue that the students need to solve. And, in each class, the students work towards solving that issue. Sometimes before introducing the theory, I first ask them how would they, as future managers, solve the problem.  I let them take some time to discuss the issue with their team-members. I then let them share their approach with the class. And, only after that, I introduce the new theory and describe how it could improve their decisions. I believe that a decision-oriented approach to marketing theory helps keep students interested in the content.  It teaches them a process of critical thinking and analysis. Generally, I am less concerned about whether they memorize marketing details. I feel like they can always refer to a book. But the approach, the decision-making process, is a know-how they can only learn in the classroom.

2. What is your favorite college memory?

One of my professors brought tens of books to class with him. He carried them all in a bag and emptied the bag on a table at the classroom. One by one he sat each book vertically on the table, their colorful covers facing us. It took him maybe five or ten minutes. He did not say anything until he was done. We were all sitting in silence trying to figure out what he is going to do next.  He then turned to us and asked “Do any of you know the most effective and efficient way to wash windows?” Nobody responded.  He continued “You can read all these books, yet still might not have any idea how, unless you get your hands wet and wash the windows yourself." And after another minute or so of complete silence, he added “Just because you've washed millions of windows does not mean that you know how, either."  It was his way of explaining you need both theory and practice: You need to read all the books and wash lots of windows to discover the most effective and efficient technique.

3. What advice would you give students who want to be successful at Colorado State University?

I think finding a balance is critical for success here at CSU. A balance between social life and academic life; between theoretical and practical knowledge; between outside work and academic work; between independence and family ties, between fun and fitness. My most successful students have always been those who enjoy having fun (socially or on their own hobbies) yet are able to keep their academic lives as their priority. They are committed to learning, experimenting, thinking critically and yet, are always optimistic, put in the effort, and never get discouraged. They like to hear both sides of any argument and are open to change their minds - but only after critically engaging with the issue and conducting their own in-depth analysis. They are independent and try to manage the challenges they face, but smart enough to ask for help when they believe the challenges are not manageable. They are in close contact with their families and call them frequently and let them know about their new life as a college student. Many work outside of school to help pay their tuition, but they are also very much focused on their studies and determined to learn and achieve a high GPA.

4. What advice would you give parents and families of college students?

First of all I would like to congratulate the families. Clearly they have raised amazingly successful students who manage to get admitted to CSU. They should be proud. Yet, they should also realize that this is a new world for the students. The students might look strong and independent, but they still need their parents’ support. There might be times when the student gets confused, loses interest, or gets discouraged. I suggest families try to remember that almost every undergraduate student goes through such stages and they should try to support their children as much as they can. They should call them, try to visit if possible, and if not, send a card to remind them that they will always be there for the student. They should give the student some space, let her/him experiment with new ideas and approaches and learn from their mistakes.  After all, college is about learning and growing and there are multiple ways to achieve that goal. But if they feel the student is lost, they should not think twice about getting back into the student’s life and helping in any way they can, even connecting with the student’s mentors and professors.

5. What else would you like people to know about you?

I am very proud of our students. They are brilliant young adults. I think they work very hard both at school, and outside both as volunteers and as working-people. They are open-minded. They are eager to learn new ideas, theories, practices, and approaches to improve their own and others’ lives. They are always there to help one other and our community. They are respectful people. They listen and they have the courage to criticize if they do not agree. They are our future and I love them all!

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Assessment Results:  Academic Advising Advice for Students

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Danny Kellogg, CSU SeniorName: Danny Kellogg
Major: Business Administration: Finance
College: College of Business
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2012

1. Describe your relationship with your academic advisor.

My relationship with my advisor, Felicia Zamora, is very strong. Ever since my freshman year in 2008 we have gotten along well and have become quite close over the last 3 school years. I value my relationship with Felicia because I can stop by her office any time to ask a question, class related or not. Even if I don’t have an appointment I feel comfortable reaching out to her or tracking her down to point me in the right direction. The College of Business Advising Program as a whole is extremely organized, dedicated, and impressive. I have certainly reaped the rewards of the program and my relationship with Felicia!

2. How did you develop a relationship with your advisor?

I developed my relationship with Felicia by meeting with her on a consistent basis and by saying hi and talking in passing during the day. Also, I participated in the College of Business Mentoring Program, which Felicia coordinates, and by doing so got to know her even better! The key for me was not being shy, just being myself, and being open to developing a relationship with my advisor, something that I would say has paid off for my academic career.

3. How often do you meet with your advisor?

I make it a point to meet with my advisor once a semester.  Usually that one half hour meeting is plenty to make sure I’m on the right track and not forgetting any classes. I don’t recall a situation when I needed to meet with Felicia more than once in a semester (because she is so awesome!).

4. Why is it critical to work closely with your advisor?

Advisors are there to keep you on track and help you decide which classes will be best for your potential career choices. Working closely with my advisor in my college career has allowed me to be confident that I will graduate on time and with the right credits. No one wants to get to their last semester and realize they are missing one class! Meeting with your advisor regularly gives you the peace of mind that won’t happen.

5. What advice would you give to first year students about working with their academic advisors?

Get to know to know your advisor on a more personal level if you can. This will help you feel more comfortable asking for their advice and guidance. Be consistent in your dealings with your advisor, meaning meet with them on a regular basis, whether that be once a semester or once a year. Like I mentioned earlier, regularly meeting with your advisor will eliminate most fears of not graduating on time. Finally, make the most of your advisor! All advisors are very plugged into campus life and know how to help students get involved or at least who to ask to get the ball rolling. Pick their brain about anything and everything you can!

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Resources for the Transition to CSU

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Student in Residence HallWe are consistently amazed with the amount of growth and development that occurs in students at the university level.  Each year more than 4,000 new students enroll at Colorado State and spend the first semester transitioning to CSU. They have to adapt to new course work, become comfortable with campus life, and figure out how to live independently (or in a new campus environment, if your student transferred to CSU).  We want to be sure families understand the nature of the transition to college and are aware of the resources available to help you and your student through this time when you may be feeling “in-between”.
As we share during orientation sessions, CSU uses a transition model adapted from the work of William Bridges.  In this model, Bridges indicates there are three phases to a successful transition:  the ending, losing or letting go phase, the neutral zone, and the new beginning.  Based on the calls our office receives, it often seems as if September is an important time to remind families that the model is cyclical.  If your student has been coasting in the new beginning phase of the model, he or she might begin to feel the loss of things they left behind in order to come to CSU.  If this is the case, please know there are resources available to support your student.

Tips on the Transition to College:

We want all students to ‘own the campus’ and the best way for them to begin to plant their feet here is to get connected:

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September RAMFAM Association Meeting

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RAMFAM Association GraphicThis month, we're talking about student development across the academic years.  Last spring we developed a new publication for families: Students As Emerging Adults:  A Transitions Guide for Parents and Families and, using this as a basis, want to highlight the challenges that occur in college, as well as the resources and support available on campus to support students in each step of their journey. 

Who: All Parents and Families of CSU Students
When: Saturday, September 10, 2011
Time: 10:00 am - Noon Mountain Standard Time
Where: Lory Student Center on campus or online via the webcast and RAMFAM Blog
Cost: FREE!!

Tentative Agenda:

Look for details on meeting location and webcast logistics in a separate email and on the Parent & Family homepage.

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Homecoming & Family Weekend - Register by September 19!

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Homecoming & Family Weekend MumsHomecoming & Family Weekend is this month!  Held a few weekends earlier than usual, this year's homecoming is shaping up to be an exciting event.  The theme for the weekend is "Get Your Green On" - promoting both CSU's colors and environmental initiatives - and students and staff are gathering now to ensure the CSU signature events are top notch.  While tradition is the theme of the weekend, CSU has some unique programs & initiatives we want to highlight for families.

Registration Pick-Up - Families will pick up their Homecoming & Family Weekend materials at the Alumni Center between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, September 30. 

CSU Mums - These gems, shown in the above photo, can be purchased as part of your Homecoming & Family Weekend registration package.  More traditional in southern schools, CSU has adopted a smaller version of the mum, complete with CSU spelled out in green pipe cleaners, ornamental footballs to wish the Rams luck, and plenty of green & gold ribbon.  Get yours today!

Housing Options After the First Year - this fantastic session kicks of the weekend with a ton of information on students' options for housing after living on campus in their first year.  Like no other session during the weekend, we promise it will be packed with great information to help you and your student make the best housing choices for their second year at CSU.

Lighting of the "A" - a long-standing tradition at CSU, the lighting of the "A"  happens every year.  Why an "A" you ask?  CSU was founded as Colorado A&M University, with a focus on agricultural education and the Aggies as a mascot.  While our land-grant mission hasn't changed, our name and mascot have.  The "A" on the hill, the pumpkin orange t-shirts, and the fact that our mascot is called CAM the Ram are all nods to our agricultural roots in northern Colorado.

5K Race on the CSU Campus - The Homecoming Race is an event for the whole family. Both runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to participate in the 5K race around the beautiful CSU campus. Children are invited to take part in the free Kids Fun Run led by Cam the Ram. As every year passes, more and more students and community members join in the fun. The race had over 2200 runners in 2010.

Traditional Tailgate - We hope you'll attend the 'official' Homecoming & Family Weekend Tailgate, co-sponsored by the Alumni Association and Parent & Family Programs.  With lots of giveaways, food, music, and great company, this is one tradition we hope you'll attend!

Families can register for Homecoming and Family Weekend online or by calling the Alumni Association at (800) 286-2586.  If you're interested in the Homecoming football game, please be sure to register by September 19.  For all other events, please register by Friday, September 23.

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Safe Walk: There's an App for That?

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Students WalkingEach year, we reach out to families to learn more about the perceptions of Parents Fund and how to better serve parents and families on campus.  During the November 2010 RAMFAM Association Meeting, we held a focus group with families to determine what would compel someone to give to the fund.   

During this focus group, you told us you'd like to see the Parents Fund pay for more safety initiatives and the conversation centered mostly around Safe Walk - a service offered through the CSU Police Department.  Based on your feedback, we talked with members of the CSUPD and found the main issue with Safe Walk is the lack of advertising.  In their opinion, many students don't realize Safe Walk exists because the police department doesn't have funding to make posters to display across campus.  We talked with staff and students and found many students would be more likely to use Safe Walk if it were easier call.  So, we created 'an app' for Safe Walk!  Any smart phone can access the Safe Walk application by going to http://safewalk.colostate.edu/ and clicking on the "Call Safe Walk Now" button.

In addition, the focus group helped us change much about how we talk about the fund, as we realized our advertising wasn't fully explaining how the fund is used.  Today, the Parents Fund exists to meet students' greatest needs - whether through supporting Parent & Family Programs or helping to fund student organization programming to better our campus.  Thanks so much for your feedback - we need your help to improve!

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Like Us on Facebook!

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CSU Parents & Families Facebook Page imageBy Joshua Gallegos, Graduate Assistant for Parent & Family Programs

It's so great that parent and family members are utilizing our Colorado State Parents and Families Facebook group!  Our group member total is now 161 and increasing. This group has proven to be an effective avenue for parents and families to connect with one another and participate in a variety of discussions.  It's meant to be a space for families to network and share advice and we’re pleased to know that this has been a valuable resource for you.  We encourage you to join and participate in the discussions if you have not already.

In our continued effort to support the parents and family members of our Colorado State University students, we have created a Facebook page. This page is not intended to replace our group, but rather provide an easier way for parents and family members to receive updates about Colorado State University. By ‘Liking’ the Facebook page, information posted about campus events, updates, videos, and pictures will post to your wall for easy viewing. This page allows us to maintain contact with you, while leaving the group open for your networking and discussions.

We hope that you find these tools helpful and fun to use! If you have any questions about how to use the page or group, don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to help!

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