Tips for Surviving Finals Week

Tips for Surviving Finals Week

By Kiara Morrissette – Contributing Writer

   As the semester winds down, students all around UMF begin to prepare for their final exams. With over 2,000 students come several different ways to study for finals.

   Knowing the importance of these exams can cause a lot of students to become stressed or have major anxiety. It can be a balancing act between finding the time to study for exams and our busy schedules as college students. For some, it’s quite challenging, while others have been able to find methods that help them relax and focus on their studies.

   Elina Shapiro, a senior Psychology major, studies by going over PowerPoints and by rereading chapters in the textbook. “Sometimes I make my own study guide or I answer the questions on the study guide that the professor has given out,” said Shapiro. “I go over the information until it sticks.” She reviews any key pieces of information before finals, but she also studies throughout the semester, in order to reduce stress.

A bulletin board in FAB promoting several useful ideas
Credit: Kiara Morrissette

 Every student seems to have their own preferred study environment. Most students like to find quiet areas, away from any noise or distractions, so that it’s easier for them to focus. Kelsey Dunn, a senior Early Childhood Education major, said, “I have heard that students study inside their cars. I don’t really recommend studying in your room because there is this thing called Netflix and a comfy bed.”

   As much as every student loves to be prepared for their final exams, there are some things that can affect your level of focus. Krystal Livermore, a senior Elementary Education major, explained that she believes “it is important to isolate yourself in order to study because then you can focus better.”

  Livermore reviews notes, quizzes, and tests for finals. She also mentions that there are things that you can’t study for because sometimes professors don’t clearly explain what will be on their finals.

While studying for a final exam can be stressful, there are some things that you can do to reduce the level of stress or anxiety you may have. Shapiro has a few tips that may be able to help somebody get through finals and reduce their stress levels. “My best tips to survive finals are eat well, sleep well (if possible), do something fun (go out to eat, watch something fun, workout, etc.) along with your studying,” said Shapiro. “Mix in stress relieving activities!”

  It’s easy for students to get distracted or procrastinate when they are studying for an exam, especially in today’s world where cell phones and social media are a big part of our everyday lives. “Turn your phone off or silence it and put it away,” Dunn said. “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Dunn also has some words of encouragement for students who may have trouble focusing and are worried about passing their finals. “Have confidence that you can pass,” she said. “Believe in yourself and believe that you will get a good grade.”

UMF’s Own Dr. Jamison Conducts Study on Mandatory Office Hours

By Collin Regan – Contributing Writer

A crowd of UMF faculty, students, and community members recently packed Emery Arts Center to listen to professor Rhonda Jamison’s talk about Teacher-Student Relationships.

Jamison, also known as Dr. J around campus, talked about three studies she did, including one on UMF students and the impact of mandatory office hours.

During the 2015-2016 school year, Jamison wanted to see how the relationship between her students and herself impacted the classroom environment. To do this, Jamison conducted an experiment between three of her Child and Adolescent Development classes (PSY 225). In one of her classes, Jamison required two mandatory fifteen minute office hours during the semester, one class had one set of mandatory office hours, and the other had no mandatory office hours.

“The goal of the office hours was to get to know students as individuals,” said Jamison. “This was one avenue for connecting with students outside of the classroom, where I could get to know each student as an individual.” Jamison had a theory that when she got to know students as individuals, they would do better in the classroom.

Lydia McDonald, a junior Elementary Education major, remembers having two required office hours over the course of her second semester of freshman year.

“I really enjoyed going to visit with her and chat. It made me feel very comfortable around her and in class,” said McDonald. “I felt pretty neutral about office hours before this, but now I think they’re great.”

During the office hours, students would have a conversation with Jamison. Sometimes, Jamison used conversation starter questions found online to ignite conversation. “I always made sure that I answered the questions too, so that I got to know them, and they got to know me,” said Jamison. Office hours took place in the second and third weeks of the course, right after students had taken a survey.

Over the course of the 2015-2016 year, Jamison gave the same survey to 159 students who had either one, two or no mandatory office hours. This survey was given once at the beginning of the semester before the office hours and once again at the end of the semester. The results showed that students who came to office hours–whether it was once or twice–showed a significant increase in perceptions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness to concepts in the class.

While Jamison was most interested in the findings of a teacher-student relationship, she was surprised that the experiment showed an increase in autonomy and mastery or competence in the class.

“I didn’t know that coming to office hours for fifteen minutes would change how students felt about the content in the course so dramatically,” said Jamison. Having a relationship with students outside of the classroom improved the content knowledge, confidence, and participation from students in the class.

Daniel Picard, a junior Secondary Education major, remembers his experience in PSY 225. “I remember the class having a lot of participation, more than most of my other classes I’ve had at UMF,” he said. Picard was a member of a class that had one mandatory office hours.

Jamison also made an impact on some future educator’s careers in the process of this study. “One great way to learn how to be a great teacher is by observing great teachers,” said McDonald “Dr. J is definitely one of the professors I enjoyed watching teach because her way of handling the class is excellent.”

Jamison will soon be presenting her research and results at a national level. In January of 2018 Jamison will explain her findings at a conference for the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP).

“This conference is different because everyone is presenting on teaching psychology, which everyone in the room does,” said Jamison. “I’ll be in a room of people where everyone does it, which is pretty cool.”

Eric Mina Hypnotizes UMF Students in Mesmerizing Show

By Elina Shapiro – Contributing Writer

   Eric Mina, a life coach and certified hypnotherapist from Scranton, PA, hypnotized ten students at UMF during his show on Friday the 13th.

   At the start of the show, Mina invited anyone in the audience to come on stage to be hypnotized, to which students responded eagerly. “[Hypnosis is] being in subconscious mind which is highly suggestible,” said Mina. “You inlay suggestions to help people or have fun on stage.”

   Throughout the show, volunteers’ bodies went completely limp, and they believed exactly what they were told. When Mina said he was blue, participants reported that they saw a blue man. They made comments that generated roaring laughter in the audience such as, “You should probably see a doctor!” and “Are your parents blue?”

   When Mina said that he was invisible and carried a shoe across stage, participants screamed in horror, believing that the shoe was floating. When they were told they were dogs, they followed Mina’s orders and rolled over, sat, barked and waited for a treat. When participants were told that an audience member was Channing Tatum, they dangled off the stage trying to shake his hand.

  Although the experiences were dictated by Mina, they felt like reality to those who were hypnotized, even though the students were just on the stage of Nordica Auditorium.

   “The surrounding experience was real; I was really a dog, and I was really a cat, and a dancer, and a model,” said Cody Curtis, a freshman and Visual Arts and Graphic Arts Major with a concentration in Theater at UMF. “It was really weird. I saw the cameras, and it was as if people were coming out with cameras and there were ones coming from above that looked like they were dangling and moving, and I was on stage.”

   Some students found the experience to be similar to dreaming. “I wasn’t actually sleeping, but I felt completely relaxed,” said Sarah Jenkins, a senior and Elementary Education major at UMF. “My eyes were heavy, my breathing changed, that was really weird.”

   Time was distorted in the minds of the hypnotized. “It felt like it happened for maybe five minutes, but it was an hour and a half,” said Jenkins, laughing. Students reported that they knew the audience was there, and they knew what they were doing was strange, but they had no control. “I could see [the audience] but I didn’t care, and usually I totally would have cared,” said Jenkins.

   Mina ended the show by having those who were hypnotized “see” themselves in a film about their future life in which they make better choices and feel more confident about themselves.

   “I became what I want to call myself a ‘Dream Achievement Specialist,’” said Mina. “I want to help people achieve their dreams and goals in their lives and get over their biggest hurdles so they can have the life they’ve always wanted.”

   In addition to leaving the stage with a new life vision in mind, students felt peaceful.

   “It’s very relaxing, you feel wonderful after. Shaky, tingly, but you feel wonderful,” said Curtis. “I felt very relaxed, I felt like I just slept for like a day. But at the same time, I am kind of tired.”

   Mina loves his job as a hypnotherapist because he can do performances on stage, where he feels at home. “What I love about hypnosis on stage is that I get to show [how the mind works] in a very fun and interesting way, it makes people a lot more interested in listening to the information,” said Mina. “I love entertaining and I love inspiring people and seeing that their minds are more powerful than they realize.”



UMF Students in Relay For Life Kick Off to Save Lives

UMF Students in Relay For Life Kick Off to Save Lives

By Alicia Davis – Contributing Writer

UMF students in Relay For Life are prepare for the busy year ahead.

Relay for Life is a portion of American Cancer Society that raises money for cancer awareness, cancer treatment, provide housing near hospitals and more. The big event for Relay For Life occurs at UMF in April at the FRC, where teams walk around the FRC all night and fundraise to support children and adults with cancer.

In the fall, Relay holds an event called Kickoff. Meredith Laliberte, one of the co­-chairs for Relay, said Kickoff is an event for students to find out more about Relay and become educated about the event.

Members of ALD

Kickoff helps Relay find new members, and get more people involved with their club. “People are able to sign up for Relay at Kickoff, or they can form their own team,” said Laliberte. “We do not know the exact date of Kickoff yet, but it will be at some point before second semester.”

This will be Laliberte’s third year with Relay at UMF. “We show a slideshow at Kickoff to show past Relay events, and we have themed activities at Kickoff. At last year’s Kickoff there was ornament and cookie decorating,” said Laliberte.


Brianna Fowles is the secretary for Relay For Life, and this will be her third year with the club. “We have decided that Relay’s theme this year will be Dr. Seuss. We will come up with different decorations and foods to have at the event that go along with this theme,” said Fowles.

Everything that Relay does this year will go along with the Dr. Seuss theme. “Teams at the Relay event will also have tables to fundraise, and teams’ tables typically match our theme at the event,” said Fowles.

From L to R: Heather King, Brianna Fowles, and Danielle Cote.
(Photos Courtesy of Loren Marshall)

Josh Beckett, a junior, has been a part of Relay for three years now at UMF. “I relay because two of my best friends from high school are cancer survivors. Many of my friends have parents or siblings who have beaten cancer or who are currently fighting. It’s so important to me to help raise awareness and to help those who are currently battling cancer. It’s also important for me to show that an ordinary student at UMF can help make such a huge impacts,” said Beckett.

Relay is always open to accepting new members. “Making teams for Relay is easy. We always table for the event, and are open to explaining what Relay is to anyone who is curious,” said Fowles.

Relay has meetings most Monday nights at 7pm, Roberts 107. If anyone has any questions about Relay for Life, they can contact Beckett, Fowles or Laliberte.

From L to R: Meredith Laliberte and Sage van Eekhout at the Fall 2017 Club Fair. (Photo Courtesy of Loren Marshall)

Renovations Make the Tech Commons a Communal Area for Students, Faculty and Staff

By Elina Shapiro – Contributing Writer

UMF’s Technology Commons is being renovated to be more student and faculty friendly; it will now have more office space for staff in the Global Education and internship departments, added classrooms/co-labs and a lounge for students to study and collaborate with each other.

This project is being done in two halves. “We started the construction late spring/early summer, and because of money involved, we’re kind of ‘phasing it.’ So right now we’re going to do the first phase which is the right hand side of the hallway,” said Laurie Gardner, the chief business officer at UMF.

The right hand side, which will include the lounge as well as co-lab space and some offices, should be done within the next month. “Knock on wood, I am hoping, depending on furniture, we should probably see that open mid to late October,” said Gardner.  

Because the left side includes finding a place for the computer lab, that part will take longer to start. “I would love to get that done soon, but we have to re-locate a classroom first. That’s going to take some time to do,” said Gardner. “Worst case scenario, we’re looking at this time next year for it to be open 100%. Best case, we’ll be able to do it quicker.”

The tech commons has been a popular spot on campus for students to do homework and print. “I have been there [to work] on assignments, I’ve gone there for classes, and I’ve gone there just to print out assignments for other classes, so it’s a pretty universal, ‘one stop shop’,” said Bryan Eldridge, a junior Elementary Education major. “I think that it’s a great spot for both students and faculty and I think [the Tech Commons] is very heavily used by everyone on campus.”

Many students utilized the Tech Commons when other places weren’t conducive to studying. “I am wondering when it’s going to be all done,” said Kelsey Dunn, a senior Early Childhood Education major. “It was a place I’d get the majority of my homework done. Having Tech Commons open is a good backup for when the study room [in the residence hall] is occupied and the library is closed.”

The goal of renovating the Technology Commons is to make it a space where all of campus can mingle. The renovations will include the addition of a lounge, more classrooms/co-labs, offices for student advancement as well as offices for global studies.

“[We are] making it a space where students can come and work together and create opportunities for themselves” said Laurie Gardner, the chief business officer at UMF. “We’re going to develop, what I think, will be an exciting area.”