Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rhiannon Bond - Student, Mother, Wife...Oh My!

What is your occupation?I am currently a stay at home mom. My husband is deployed to Afghanistan so I decided being home with my son, Liam, and taking online classes would be best for him. 


What is your college major?
I am an Organizational Leadership major with an emphasis in Public Administration.

Who is the biggest inspiration for your education?
I would have to say that my mom always told me that I could be whatever I wanted to be and that was a huge inspiration. She always talked about how much fun school was and encouraged me to always do my best and I would succeed.

What are your career plans beyond eMajor?
Hopefully my family will be stationed in another country and I will have the opportunity to work on a base in public administration. I can't wait to get back into a professional environment.


What are two things most people don't know about you?
I am named after a Fleetwood Mac song, my daddy really loved Stevie Nix and all her music. Being named after one of her songs was as close as my mom would let him get. I am the first of my immediate family to graduate from high school.

Your definition of success is..............?
Happiness. I feel like no matter what you are doing in your life professionally, as long as you are happy I consider that success.

What are you planning on doing when it gets warm? 
I plan on playing outside a lot with my son, Liam and my dog, Hukaah. Once my husband returns we will be outside enjoying ourselves as a family.

What would you tell the 10 year old you?
"Stop tattling on your brothers so much. It's not fair that you should share all their secrets just because your mom bribed you with cheese." Psst...Cheese was my favorite.

What is your least/most favorite word?
"Slice" UGHHHHH!!! That word just sounds like it causes so much pain.

My favorite place to visit in the United States is.........? Why?
I wouldn't say that I have a favorite place to visit, but my favorite place to drive through is Chattanooga, TN. There is a part as you drive through where there is a beautiful lake on the right side of you, and a mountain on the left side. Its right around a curve and I think its absolutely beautiful.

What is something interesting about you that those in your class would not know, that you would like to share?

Even though you can't tell from your computer screens, I am a very outgoing person. I love to have fun. My favorite jobs are being a mommy and a military wife.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 Ways to Sit in the Front Row of Your Online Class

Some students feel invisible in their online courses, and don't do as well as they could. But there are clearly ways to get noticed, making sure the professor knows exactly who you are. Here's our top five:
  1. Get personal. Many courses have an introductory week when students share information about themselves. Reveal a bit more than your major and why you're taking the course. Tell about your job, your kids, your hobbies, and a couple of really interesting things about you. Reveal a bit more throughout the course.
  2. Post first or very early each week. The first responses to a discussion posting will typically get noticed more than the ones that approach the deadline. It will usually impress the instructor that you're early and on top of your game.
  3. Raise your hand. Pose questions to the instructor. Don't be obnoxious, but ask the instructor a question every week or so related to the content. It's even okay (and intelligent) to question or disagree with the content that's presented.
  4. Address people by name. When you're responding to a classmate or an instructor, something very magical happens when you use their name. For example, say, "Dr. Smith, I found your analysis of the Clinton years very interesting," or "Sally, that must have been a difficult experience for you."
  5. Provide your instructor with useful feedback some time during the course. If there is something negative to be said, sandwich it with something positive. For example, you might say, "Dr. Smith, I so much appreciate the depth of feedback you have given me on my written work. It has really improved my writing. I would like to express my concerns about the amount of group work that we have in this class. While I appreciate the engagement with other students, I believe that I would be more successful if one of the three group projects were independent. This is a great class, and I have enjoyed your anecdotes." You might be surprised, but most instructors will really welcome this.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

60 Seconds With Grant Roberson - Dalton State eMajor Student

1. What is your occupation? I work at a local power company, EPB, in Chattanooga, TN in the Field Services division.  I mainly focus on the fiber optic services like TV, Internet and phone service.  I troubleshoot problems that our fiber optics customers are having within their fiber network like TV signal issues, internet and phone issues. 

2. What is your college major?
My college major is Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership.  I was originally going for a Bachelor of Business Administration at Dalton State College before the eMajor program was offered. 

3. Why eMajor?
I needed the eMajor program because I work full-time, and it is impossible to take more than 6 hours per semester face-to-face.  It was taking me forever to finish and it was going to take me at least another 2 years to finish.  I am so thankful that DSC is a part of the eMajor program because now I will graduate summer after only being in this program for less than a year!

4. Who is the biggest inspiration for your education?
The biggest inspiration for my education is me. I know how that sounds but hear me out.  I have had crappy jobs most of my life.  When I graduated high school I went to the carpet factory. (We are in Dalton you know!) After 1 year of hard labor I decided I could do something better for myself.  I went back to Dalton State College to get my Associate's degree so I could get a better job.  I got my Associates degree in 2 years and shortly after I obtained a decent paying job.  Finally, I had something I could be proud of and since then I have excelled with my degree.  I wanted to go back to get my Bachelors degree so I could advance in my career and go even further and make even more money.  I pride myself in having a very good work ethic and I work extremely hard.  I know I can achieve anything because I have been there and done that and have seen the fruits of my labor.
5. What is something cool you've learned this semester in your eMajor class?

Something cool that I have learned is that I find it more interesting and I feel like I learn more because I have the material at my hands at all times.  Some of the discussions we have really feel like you are in the class and are getting to know the other students.  I have learned a lot about myself as a learner.

6. What three words would you use to describe one of your online instructors?

These are more like 3 statements vs. 3 words:
 
1. Very smart
2. Easy to communicate with
3. Involved

7. Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA?
My favorite place to visit is anywhere that has a beach and for adventure I have started hiking the Appalachian Trail. I love to hike and my friends and I will take week long hikingtrips and love being outside.  We started the AT this year and have completed to first 21 miles and will do another 20 mile section later this year. 

8. What kind of mood are you in right now, and why?
I’m in a great mood because I know my life is heading in a very positive direction and I can't wait to finish my degree to get my reward for all of those years of hard work.

9. Your favorite study spot?
My favorite study spot is my couch.  Believe it or not, I like to have the TV on and have it on mute while I study.

10. What is something your online classmates don't know about you?
I guess they do not know how funny I can be.  I have a lot of stupid-funny jokes that I tell so I think I'm pretty entertaining. 

11. What are your career plans beyond eMajor?

My career plans after eMajor is to further my career here at EPB.  This company is so amazing, and we have a culture here that only Google would know about.  EPB cares so much about its employees and always tries to make everyone comfortable.  There is always continuous opportunity and they make you feel important and always make you feel proud to be a part of this great company.  My goal would be to get into leadership either in power or fiber optics.  All I know is that I will get an opportunity to shine, and when I get it I will run with it!


12. Is there anything interesting you would like to share about yourself?
I'm just a regular guy trying to make it. I feel like nothing but good is ahead of me with my eventual graduation with a bachelor’s degree, potential advancement and a loving family.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

60 Seconds with eMajor Student David Bachman - Airport Ramp Control Coordinator


David Bachman is one fascinating guy who grabs life by the horns and lives it to the fullest. He has lived in many different areas of Georgia, but has now settled in Midtown Atlanta. Believe it or not, David found out about eMajor from our USG eMajor Facebook page. 

1. What is your occupation?
I am a Ramp Control Coordinator at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. I coordinate the ground movement of 320-350 flights per shift on the world’s two busiest ramps. Yes, you could say that things get a little stressful at times. I work in a ramp control tower, which is located on top of the concourse in which passengers load their planes. During peak traffic times it is highly common to communicate with 20 or more aircraft. Ramp Control is a highly specialized profession that requires your full attention to ensure the safety of all passengers and the efficient movement of aircraft on the ramp areas. I am very fortunate to say that I look forward to my job every day.


2. What is your college major?
I have previously studied Mass Communications and Marketing at the University of West Georgia prior to transferring to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control school at Middle Georgia College, where I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Air Traffic Management.

I am working towards my Bachelors in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Public Administration from Valdosta State University via eMajor.


3. Why eMajor? 


I stay very busy with my full-time job in Atlanta which inhibits me from attending college in a traditional classroom setting. I chose to explore my options with eMajor and I have been very pleased with the ease and the results. I am able to learn at my own pace while working at my full-time job, which I love! The technology is state-of-the-art and the online systems make it easy to navigate, communicate with others, and upload files. I specifically enjoy sharing ideas and receiving feedback from my professors and peers. My degree from Valdosta State University will make me a much more marketable person in the future. 

4. Who is the biggest inspiration for your education?
My mother is my inspiration. She has always been a promoter and supporter of higher education. She frequently tells me how important it is to earn my Bachelor's degree. My mother attended college at the University of West Georgia, in Carrollton, but never finished. She has told me this was one of her greatest regrets. I now know what she is talking about. If you do a job search today it is nearly impossible to find a decent, respectable job if you do not have a Bachelors degree. Try it for yourself – it’s impossible! I’ve discovered that it’s absolutely required in today’s workplace to have that Bachelor’s degree behind your name. My mother has opened my eyes pushed me to finish, and I am very thankful for that. Thanks, Mom!


5. Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA?

My favorite place to visit is Austin, Texas. The Oasis at Lake Travis specifically, as the sunset view is stunning! Definitely a place to search on Google pictures.

8. What kind of mood are you in right now, and why?

I am in a very confident and a little taller and a little more proud in the investment that I have made in my education.





9. What's your favorite study spot?
Starbucks! Enjoying a delicious coffee combines very well with my studies. Surprisingly I am much more successful at studying when I am at Starbucks than when I’m at my own home.

10. What is something your online classmates don't know about you?
What I look like.

11. What are your career plans beyond eMajor?
My goal is to become employed by the Federal Aviation Administration as a certified Air Traffic Controller. My degree from Valdosta State University via eMajor will make myself much more marketable inside and outside the aviation industry.

12. Is there anything interesting you would like to share about yourself?
I enjoy working out regularly, staying fit and healthy, riding my bicycle, enjoying the pool with friends, and listening to Frank Sinatra.

David - "Sliding into eMajor!"



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

60 Seconds with Dr. Bogart, eMajor Instructor of Public Personnel Admininistration and HR Director

Dr. Denise Bogart teaches POLS 4601 Public Personnel Administration for eMajor, and the Chief Human Resources Officer; Director of Human Resources and Employee Development at Valdosta State University.

Why did you choose your field?
Human Resources is a natural extension of wanting to assist employees as well as educating and professionally developing others towards fulfilling life-long learning opportunities.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A Veterinarian; a Teacher; a Biologist…

What is the secret to a happy life?
Staying positive and adaptable.

Who in your life would you like to thank and for what?
My mother and father for always being  there when I needed them and for giving the greatest  gift-unconditional love.
 
What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?
Don’t cry over spilled milk.

How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who cared.
 
What was the worst job you ever had and why was it so bad?
All my work experiences have been good for one reason or another…I did not like telemarketing. I cannot sell anything I don’t personally believe in.

What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?
My children!

What do you still want to accomplish?
My bucket list is very long- I still want to travel the world! I want to dive with whales; I want to get to the Galapagos!

Why did you choose teaching?
Teaching changes people’s lives….seeing someone finally get it – lifts your spirits! You know you made an impact in some way in this world and to this person.

What differences have you noticed between online education and face-to-face classes?
It is harder to teach students to be accountable for their comments; their actions as well as inactions… but on the other hand it frees students to express themselves who may otherwise have been intimidated in a classroom setting.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

60 Seconds With Professor Diane Wright: It's All About the Students

Diane Wright is an assistant professor of adult and career education at Valdosta State University and teaches eMajor online courses. Often sought out by her colleagues for her expertise in online teaching, Dr. Wright contends that studying and teaching online takes more time than learning or teaching in the classroom.

In spite of the challenges, Dr. Wright says, "the 
main reason I teach online is for my students.  The majority of my students are taking online courses to meet their work or life schedules.  I have some students who are holding several part-time jobs so the only way they can take courses is online."

One of the most challenging aspects of teaching through eMajor is videoconferencing.  "We use Wimba for our video conversation, but it still can’t replace the experience of face-to-face interaction," she says.  "Students who like a quick exchange of ideas typically like a classroom environment.  On the other hand, students who experience anxiety when they are called on to speak during class typically enjoy the time to reflect on their responses offered by online courses."

Dr Wright gains inspiration for her virtual teaching through non-virtual experiences. For example, she and her grandsons have recently taken on a project of learning to do magic tricks. Presently, she's coming up with ways to incorporate some magic tricks into her lesson plans. She explains that when she teaches adult and career education majors, she shares with them the great importance of creating an exciting and memorable learning environment.

This summer, Dr. Wright will teach Contemporary Skills for the Workplace though the eMajor program


Monday, February 11, 2013

eMajor's Dr Whisler Brings Fun and Passion to Online Teaching

As an Associate Professor in the Adult & Career Education Department in the College of Education at Valdosta State University, Dr. Whisler teaches on-campus and online undergraduate and graduate VSU courses, as well as eMajor classes.

In addition to teaching eMajor classes, Dr. Whisler is the Associate Professor & OAT-OBC Advisor in the Adult & Career Education Department in the College of Education at Valdosta State University.

Teaching through eMajor has made her a better face-to-face teacher because of her online teaching experience. "Teaching online has taught me the importance of pre-planning and communicating instructions clearly," Dr. Whisler says.

"Interacting with online students needs to be a priority for online instructors, and it presents unique challenges", she says. Some online students call her, and those on campus stop by her office - but most communication occurs through email and discussion forums.  Dr. Whisler tries to communicate clearly to the entire class through announcements and assignment instructions. She also provide a CyberCafe where students can post questions so that the whole class can benefit from seeing them and the responses. When students do have questions, she makes it a point to respond to them the same day, if possible.

Dr. Whisler says students need connections with other students, so so she uses Wimba in most of her online classes as a place for them to meet in small groups. "They are usually a little apprehensive at first, but quickly become 'hooked'," she reports. Online learning provides convenience not only for students, but also faculty.

Whisler loves giraffes, travel, and nature. Something interesting about Whisler is that she learned she was expecting her second child (who is now 27) during an 800-mile bicycle trip (Ragbrai) across the state of Iowa. She rode an average of 100 miles a day, in 100+ degree temperatures, and slept on the ground (in tents) at night.

Learn more about eMajor's elite instructors and programs at emajor.usg.edu.