Learn about New Student Orientation and Academic and Multicultural Services at UAA on the next Informania, Thursday at 5pm, on KRUA 88.1.

On June 17, Deb the Librarian interviewed Theresa Lyons, Interim Director of  UAA’s Academic and Multicultural Services, and Director New Student Orientation on Informania.  This interview will be replayed on Thursday, June 20, 5pm-6pm, and will be available as a podcast soon after.

New Student Orientation = HOWL Days!

What is New Student Orientation?  New Student Orientation, otherwise known as Howl Days, is a one-day opportunity for new students to become familiar with services, opportunities, and advisers at UAA.  There is an online orientation, but in-person attendance is recommended for students transitioning between high school and college, and other in-coming students that have never attended classes at a university before.  When Theresa Lyons began leading these orientations about seven years ago, approximately 500 students attended.  Today, approximately 1000 students attend, and  this number is expected to increase.  Because it has been shown that students who have attended orientations are more likely to stay on track to graduation, there is the possibility that New Student Orientation will become mandatory at UAA.  For now, it is simply a great opportunity to get informed, inspired, and connected as a new student at UAA.  Students who go through New Student Orientation, also have the opportunity to participate in service learning (volunteer) opportunities.  All around, it is a worthwhile decision for new students to register for, and attend a New Student Orientation at UAA.

Who are the Wolf Pack Leaders at New Student Orientation?  They are successful, enthusiastic UAA students who have been trained in the wealth of information and leadership skills required to lead groups of students during Howl Days.  Are you interested in becoming a Wolf Pack Leader?  These student job opportunities are posted on uakjobs.com around March.  There are many other student jobs posted at uakjobs as well, so if you are interested in getting a job as a student at UAA, check it out!

UAA’s Academic and Multicultural Student Services

Theresa Lyons shared an abundance of information about the many departments that support student success at UAA.  Following are the departments discussed on Informania, with links to their web pages:

UAA has been responsive to student’s needs, both academically and socially, by increasing the opportunity for, and awareness of the incredible services offered through these departments!  In fact, Student Affairs is organizing a third division to increase support for first-year students, and help students overall achieve success in their academic endeavors.  Theresa shared that Dr. Lacy Karpillo is the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Access, Advising & Transition, and will oversee this division.  Meet the rest of the Student Affairs Team and discover the many resources available to students, staff, and faculty from the Student Affairs Team web site.
Songs played on today’s Informania show included:  Information, by Dredg, and That’s What Friends Are For, by Dionne Warwick.

Seawolves Debaters share strategies and experiences on Informania, Monday at 9am, and Thursday at 5pm on KRUA, 88.1.

Listen to the interview with Seawolf debaters Matt Fox and Matthieu Ostrander.

Guests on the May 6, 2013 Informania radio show were senior Seawolves debaters (and participants in national and international competitions) Matthieu Ostrander and Matt Fox.  Matt Fox, a graduating senior, shared the steps he took from Cabin Fever Debates to international debater.  Matthieu Ostrander, now a sophmore, began debating for the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) as a freshman, and quickly rose to international debate team competitor.  These accomplished members of UAA’s Seawolf Debate Program talked about the debate program, the academic debate style, strategies for debate success, experiences from debate travels, and examples of controversial topics that they have been tasked with while debating at international competitions.

Getting Started in Debate at UAA

All University of Alaska Anchorage students are welcome to attend Seawolf Debate practices.  Practices are Tuesdays from 5:30-8:30 and Fridays from 9:30-12:30 in room 266 of the ADM/Humanities building.  The students that end up traveling on the competitive debate teams prove their ability to debate competitively while participating at practices.  According to Matt and Matthieu, it is necessary for debaters to create a written brief about the topics that they debate.  Sources they have used to build their brief on a topic include the Council on Foreign Affairs, the Economist, and Wikipedia (although they acknowledge it is not the best scholarly source; it is a good place for background information).  Deb the Librarian also mentioned CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints Online as potentially useful sources for debaters that are available through the Consortium Library.

When it comes to debating, it is likely that there will be challenges and losses along the way.  Debaters learn to overcome the floundering moments (like debating a topic related to Sesame Street, when you have never seen Sesame Street (true!))  These become strength-building exercises.  To succeed in debate it is necessary to see the failures and challenges as the essential learning experiences they are.

British Parliamentary Debate

The UAA Seawolf Debate students participate in an academic debate, based on British Parliamentary style.  When participating in national and international competitions in British Parliamentary style debate, competitors are typically given their topics fifteen minutes prior to the debate.  Debaters are given seven minutes to make their case.  After one minute a bell rings, alerting the debater that the opposing team has the opportunity to request Points of Information (POI) during the next five minutes.  The bell then rings again at six minutes, alerting the debater that there is one minute left, and no more POIs can be presented by the opponents.  Matt shared that it is good practice to take up to two Points of Information from the opponents during your presentation.  It allows you to hear the opposition’s arguments and deal with them at that point, versus learning their opposing strategies later in the debate.  The judges also look favorably on teams that take POIs from their opponents.  Debaters tend to take the POIs when they have said something controversial (a hot button), and they can deal with the opposition then instead of later; or when they have that moment of pause when they are thinking of the next point to make.

In some competitions, there are more than one team debating each side of an issue.  It seems like it might be better to go first, but debaters appreciate the opportunity to wait to take their turn, and listen to the opposing teams.  This gives them additional time to think about strategy, and then argue a stronger case for or against their topic.  Typically in competition, every team gets the opportunity to debate in each different order.  These orders are selected by computer.  There was one competition that Matt and Matthieu attended that allowed the higher ranked teams to select their preference, but these UAA debaters find the computer generated assignments preferable.

Debate Strategies

When asked about debate strategies, Matt and Matthieu gave an example, and then summed up the strategy.  There are different levels of thinking about a topic, from impacts that are global to national to local to personal.  There are also the theories and philosophies associated with particular topics.  The fact that debaters can open their minds to argue a point they may or may not agree with is an impressive exercise in critical thinking.  Although traditionally, the debate topics have tended to be more liberal, their is an effort to include more conservative topics in the debate competition.  Whether the topic is arguing against the Pope as ruling Catholic Authority, or that a certain religion is to blame for a war, the debaters need to think of it in terms of academic debate, using the best of their critical thinking skills to do so.

The Seawolf Debate Program also offers UAA students the opportunity to help with the Middle School Public Debate Competition.  Matthieu spoke favorably about this experience, and the benefit of involvement for UAA students and middle school participants alike.

It was also mentioned during the show that there are states exploring the requirement of debate as part of elementary and secondary education.  The opportunity to develop critical thinking and communication skills that allow a person to see both sides of a controversial topic; and participate in respectful, engaged communication on difficult topics is a skill worth developing!

The UAA Seawolves Debate Program, directed by Communication and Discourse Studies Professor, Steve Johnson, is leading the way to popularizing critical debate in Anchorage.  In doing so, the community  has also been encouraged to think about the topics being debated; audience members asked to question their own beliefs on these topics; and encouraged to look at the other perspectives, in a safe, respectful, educational venue.  For this critical thinking, community building endeavor, Steve Johnson deserves a big thank you.  The Seawolf Debate Program is popularizing critical debate; and in a day when media is continually streaming turmoil and world problems, the popularization of productive critical discourse deserves to be celebrated.

Informania is  repeated on Thursdays from 5:00pm-6:00pm.  This interview will also be available online at www.kruaradio.org as a live-streamed program or podcast through QuickTime.

Study tips and inspiration from Deb the Librarian and KRUA Station Manager, Audri Pleas, Thursday on Informania, 5-6pm, 88.1FM.

Listen to the interview with Audriana Pleas.

Audri Pleas, Station Manager at KRUA, and University of Alaska Anchorage student, talks about study habits, her experience at KRUA, and her evolution as student and leader from Walmart to KRUA.

Deb the Librarian also reviews study tips from earlier shows:

If you create study cards, write them, and then when you review them, say the information out loud.  This engages more energy in remembering the information (kinesthetic engagement). (Dartmouth College Study Skills handout)

Paraphrase information from your textbook in your mind, instead of just remembering it word-for-word. This will help you identify answers on a test if they are not word-for-word according to the textbook. (Dartmouth College Study Skills handout)

Dan Bonin, Math Learning Specialist, shared that research findings showed that it was more successful to study in the physical/mental state that you will take the test.  If you have an exam right after lunch, get in the habit of studying right after lunch.  Your body will take these cues on helping you remember the information in that physical/mental state.

Audri Pleas shared that listening to music without words, like classical music, helps her to study.  Music with words can be distracting, so find music without words that you can study to, if you like to listen to music while studying.

Also, pick a location that allows you to focus on what you need to learn.  The Consortium Library has quiet study areas that support this endeavor.  The Library stays open until 2am for students needing a quiet place to study.



Lemonade Day? AmeriCorps opportunities? Learn about these programs and more offered through the Center for Economic Development, Thursday at 5pm on Informania, KRUA, 88.1, The Edge.

Listen to the interview with Katie Abbott, Program Coordinator for the Alaska Center for Economic Development.

This is Money Smart Week!  These words linger in my mind, urging me to take money-smart action. And I don’t think that means spending all I have!

The action I’ve taken begins with an interview with Katie Abbott, Program Coordinator for the Alaska Center for Economic Development, on the Informania radio show.  On April 22, 2013, Katie shared about the impressive range of educational and volunteer opportunities related to the smart management of money offered through the Center for Economic Development (CED).

“The Alaska Center for Economic Development is one of 52 University Centers designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (http://ced.uaa.alaska.edu).”  Their programs range from entrepreneurship (education and support for small business owners and inventors), to municipal economic development programs, to AmeriCorps Vista, to Lemonade Day!

Speaking of Lemonade Day, this national event to educate children about small business development, will take place on May 11, 2013.  The Alaskan Center for Economic Development will support Alaskan children who register for Lemonade Day, by providing a backpack with information on how to get started, and have a successful experience with their small business (lemonade stand).  In preparation for this event there are workshops that children can attend, like a Financial Literacy class sponsored by Wells Fargo, or a Home Depot class on How to Build a Lemonade Stand.  The business partnerships that CED has established benefit the university and program participants.  Some companies have offered to sponsor their storefront as a lemonade stand location on Lemonade Day.  Lemonade Day provides an opportunity for children and their families to learn about smart money management when pursuing a business opportunity.  But CED doesn’t only offer this at the youth level.

There are educational programs for cities (aka municipalities) that help, for example, Assembly representatives learn about economic development or business retention and expansion.  People elected to a governing Assembly may have a passion for helping community, but may not be knowledgeable about economic development, so the Alaska Center for Economic Development is there to help.

To learn more about the Center for Economic Development, check out their web site at  http://ced.uaa.alaska.edu/ .  Interested in volunteering, or would like more information about an upcoming workshop? Contact Katie Abbott at 907-786-5444.



Need help finding a job or writing a resume? Listen to Informania on 88.1, and learn how UAA’s Career Services Center can help. Monday at 9am or Thursday at 5pm on KRUA, 88.1.

This week on Informania, Deb the Librarian interviews Diane Kozak, Director of the Career Services Center at UAA.  Diane talked about the different types of resumes (chronological, factual, or a combination of both).  Diane shared good advice about resumes, cover letters, interviews and job search etiquette.  Following are a few tips:


When developing a resume, volunteer, internships, and fast food work experiences count!  If you have worked at a fast food restaurant, you likely have the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and may have significant experience with customer service.  It is all in how you word your experience.  The Career Services Center can help with this!  You have to have a resume created for them to review, but are glad to help you rephrase statements to help your experience to shine.

Word your experience (honestly) to match the job description.  Diane has created four  versions of her resume to speak to different industries or types of positions.

Start developing your resume early in your college career.  Why wait until your senior year?  If you begin your resume as a freshman, you will be able to see what added experiences you need or want to develop by the time you graduate and are ready to go to work in your desired industry.

Cover letters

Your cover letter should not include work experience not covered in your resume.  Remember, your resume is the experience story you are sharing with your potential future employers.  The cover letter will highlight relevant experience, but not replace the resume.  Diane said some employers may not even look at a cover letter.  The length of cover letters range from a half of a page to two pages.  Include the job you are applying for in the introduction, highlight a few reasons you are the best candidate, and thank the committee for this opportunity.


When you interview, meet the employer with the confidence that says, “I really want this job and I am the best candidate for it!”  You need to be the best salesperson you can be for yourself.  I, personally, like to picture that positive outcome before the interview, or event, even to the point of feeling what it would be like to have that success.  Stay positive, and attentive during the interview.  The Career Services Center can help you practice interviews, record and critique interviews, and help you think through answers to interview questions like, “Tell me about a time you had to deal with a conflict at work.  How did you resolve it?”

After the interview, send a thank you letter!  It is good to send a thank you email message, but great etiquette to send a thank you card in the mail as a follow-up to an interview and thank you email message.  Yes, I mean a Thank You card sent through snail mail!  A bland, simple Thank You card is sufficient.  You don’t want to show too much personality (with a frilly or decorated card), until you get the position.

Any talk before, during or after the interview meetings all count as part of the interview.  Are you going out to lunch with other employees from the business?  Be on your best behavior here as well!  Job candidate conversations and behaviors that occur during formal and informal (lunch or dinner) scenarios will leave an impression with job search committee members who are tasked with reviewing the candidates.  Many times, it is more important for an employer to hire a teachable person with the personality and attitude that fits well with other employees than it is to hire the person with the most experience.

If you didn’t get the position this time, it is okay to ask why.  Not all employers can tell why a candidate didn’t get the position, but it is okay to ask!  Perhaps sending an email that asks, “How can I improve my ability to get a job like this in the future?”  Career Services Center employees have developed good relationships with Alaskan employers, and will, on occasion, get feedback about the credentials of students who have applied for jobs.  Checking in for guidance on how to improve your skills and strategies as a job candidate is worthwhile!

How do you find out about jobs in your field?

Career Services Center has a database of local, national, and international jobs.  Other resources Diane mentioned include the Department of Labor, craigslist, and industry associations and trade publications.  It is expensive to post job announcements in certain publications, so craigslist is as viable an option as others to attract employees.

Learn about UAA’s Center for Human Development on Informania, Monday at 9am or Thursday at 5pm, on KRUA, 88.1FM, The Edge.

Deb the Librarian interviewed Richard Kiefer-O’Donnell on Monday, April 8, 9-10am to learn about the Center for Human Development (CHD).  The Center collaborates with Alaskan organizations working to support people with disabilities in their life development needs from infant to student to adult.  Programs currently in process are TAPESTRY, a mentorship program for students with disabilities at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Capacity Building in Autism Intervention, and LEND, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities, a program that supports cross-disciplinary collaborative educational opportunities for research and experiential learning in helping people with disabilities.  The Center for Human Development has a list of Projects A to Z where you can see the range of ways that this unique department is making a difference. 

Student opportunities at the Center for Human Development range from scholarly to experiential.  They include research assistantships, mentorships, opportunities to work as a trainer or in a support position for programs.  When asked about qualifications, Associate Director Kiefer-O’Donnell identified the importance of a heart-felt interest to help as a foundation for becoming involved.  If you are considering the pursuit  of an internship or volunteer opportunity with CHD, please note that you are making a commitment to a project.  This may be a semester long project.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Richard Kiefer-O’Donnell at 907-264-6259, or rakiferodonnell@uaa.alaska.edu.

Songs played on today’s show include Information by Dredg, and Help by the Beatles.

Learn about the Alaska Medical Library this week on Informania, Monday at 9am and Thursday at 5pm on KRUA, 88.1, The Edge.

On April 1, 2013, Deb the Librarian interviewed Kathy Murray, Head of the Alaska Medical Library.  Professor Murray shared historical information about the Alaska Medical Library, the clients they serve, health-related resources available, and tips for evaluating medical-related web sites.  Listen to this podcast using QuickTime software at www.kruaradio.org.


The Alaska Medical Library (AML) began as part of the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in 1968.  AML has gone through a series of funding changes (from ANMC to Alaska State Library to University and fee-based) and name changes (including Health Sciences information Center and Health Sciences Information Services), and is now located on the second floor in the Consortium Library.  The name, Alaska Medical Library, was adopted in 2002.  There are currently three medical librarians and three support staff that help with AML services.

Who uses the Alaska Medical Library?

Medical Professionals, University Students, Community Members

The Alaska Medical Library is the primary library for most hospitals and medical practitioners in Alaska.  There are only two other medical libraries in Alaska:  one at the Alaska Native Medical Center and one at a Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University, and those involved in the WWAMI medical school program have access to AML resources online using their student user name and password (also used for Blackboard and university email access).  Students studying nursing, biological sciences and allied health areas (dental assisting, emergency services, dietetics and nutrition, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, radiologic technology, etc.) are common users of Alaska Medical Library resources and services.  The medical libararians provide subject-related research instruction for courses in these subject areas.

Any person who comes to the Consortium Library can access databases paid for by the university and state.  These unique databases include Anatomy and Physiology Online, GIDEON Online, and Natural Standard.  Visitors to the Consortium Library may also ask for assistance in using any of the Library’s resources.  The Alaska Medical Library will do the research for people, but this is a fee-based service.  In other words, it costs money.

Evaluating Medical Information Online

Kathy Murray provides health literacy instruction, and provided great tips for evaluating health- and medical-related websites online.

1)  Look at the date – Is the information current?  Whas the web site updated recently?

2) Look for the author – Is the author of the web site listed?  Are their credentials (background schooling and professional experience) listed?  The Alaska Medical Library has a book that includes the board certifications of health professionals that they used to check the qualifications of medical web sites’ authors.

3) Look at the list of references / research resources that they claim support their statement about the health topic.  Does the site include a list of resources?  Can you find these resources?

4) Look for advertising on the web site.  Advertising gives a clue about who is paying for the web site.  There will be a bias (a certain perspective or an opinion) about the topic included on the web site, and when you see a large amount of advertising, be aware that the products paying for the web site might be recommended more frequently than others, even though they may not necessarily be better.  WebMD is an example of a medical web site that includes advertising.

What sources for finding medical information does Professor Murray recommend? 

It depends on the point of information needed, and the background of the person looking.

MedlinePlus is the source that Professor Murray will begin her research given a general health topic.  MedlinePlus is a source created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.  The Mayo Clinic produces useful reports also, and these are searchable through MedlinePlus.

The next step up would be a search through CINAHL, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, a database available at the Consortium Library, but not accessible through the Internet without a subscription.

For Alaskans unable to come to the Consortium Library, and alternative might be the Health databases available through sled.alaska.edu/databases, which include Academic Search Premier and Health Source:  Nursing Academic Edition.

Finally, PubMed, is a comprehensive database of medical research, but is technically advanced.  This is the source used by medical professionals in their research.  It is available online through the Internet, but not all the articles are available in full text (so that you can read them).  Professor Murray said that if you search PubMed through the Consortium Library’s web page, the articles that are available in full text through the statewide databases will be identifiable.  For other titles, you could check for the title of the journal in the Consortium Library’s journal database.

Subject web pages created by Alaska Medical Librarians include:  Health Sciences, Nursing, Dental Assisting and Technology, Dietetics and Nutrition, and Medical Laboratory Science.  These web pages include subject-specific databases, web sites, books, and other sources.  A link to these Subject pages can also be found at www.consortiumlibrary.org, under the Subjects

Music played on Informania, April 1, 2013:  Information, by Dredg, and Help, by the Beatles

Do you need help writing papers, calculating math, or practicing a language? Learn about UAA’s Learning Resources Center on the next Informania radio show, on KRUA, 88.1, Monday at 9am or Thursday at 5pm.

March 25 on Informania, Deb the Librarian interviews Jonell Sauceda, Director of the Learning Resources Center (LRC), Dan Bonin, Math Learning Specialist/Tutor Trainer, and Cameron Nay, MS, Writing Specialist/Tutor Trainer about the services provided for UAA students at the Learning Resources Center.  You can listen to this podcast using QuickTime software at www.kruaradio.org.

The Learning Resources Center is located in the Sally Monserud Hall on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.  The following biographies are from the Learning Resources Center Directory.

Guest Bios

Jonell Sauceda LRC Director Office: SMH 125E Phone: 786-6829                         E-mail: jfsauceda@uaa.alaska.edu                                                                             Jonell Sauceda began working for the University of Alaska Anchorage over 20 years ago, joining the LRC as their Director in 1998. As Director, her focus has been on creating a student-centered environment that assists students in achieving their personal academic goals. Through providing access to educational resources and tutorial services that enhance the college learning experience, Jonell has created a setting where students can gain the help necessary to achieve their personal and educational dreams.

Dan Bonin, Math Learning Specialist/Tutor Trainer                                                  Office: SMH 121A Phone:786-6855 E-Mail: debonin@uaa.alaska.edu                    In 2009, shortly after graduating from New Mexico Tech with dual B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Physics with an Atmospheric Physics option, Dan Bonin began working for the LRC as an athlete tutor in math and physics. In 2010 he began tutoring in the math lab and became the math learning specialist in 2011. As both an adjunct faculty member and math learning specialist, Dan tries to instill his enjoyment of mathematics into his students. His primary goal for the math lab is to help students transition away from anxiety about math towards a genuine interest in it.

Camerson Nay, MS, Writing Specialist/Tutor Trainer Office: SMH 118A Phone: 786-6918 E-Mail: cgnay@uaa.alaska.edu Cameron Nay has been working with the Reading/Writing Center since October of 2010.  He has a Master of Science in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management and earned his Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Restoration Ecology.  Both of Cameron’s degree programs were research-based and focused heavily on scientific writing and analysis.  Aside from working as the writing specialist in the RWC, Cameron also teaches online environmental science classes.  He has lived and worked in various locations including Washington State, Utah, Hawaii and Portugal.  Cameron is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and truly enjoys working with students who are acquiring a new language.

How does tutoring work at the Learning Resources Center?

The Learning Resources Center math and writing tutors are available on a first come, first serve basis each day.  You schedule an appointment online once you arrive at the LRC.  For writing, students can sign up for 20-30 minutes of time with a writing tutor on the same day they come to the LRC.  For math, tutors are available in the math lab to answer questions, which typically take 3-5 minutes per math problem.  In these labs, they may have three tutors available at a time.  The tutors have subject experience, and are coached and mentored to assure they are patient, helpful and are comfortable in the role of coaching students (versus doing the work for them).

Online resources to help

Live Homework Help – a SLED (Statewide Library Electronic Doorway) online chat tutoring service, paid for by the State of Alaska.  Live Homework Help, provides access to tutors using computer technology as the mode of communication.  They can help with a range of topics, including writing and math.  If you are an Alaskan, go to sled.alaska.edu, and select Digital Pipeline.  You should stumble across a link to Live Homework Help here.  There is an 800 number to call for the user name and password, if the database doesn’t already recognize your computer IP as Alaskan.

The UAA Learning Resources Center writing tutors get questions about all aspects of writing papers, from the beginning to the bibliography, and some need assistance with learning the computers as well.  They refer students to classes or online lessons for learning the computer.  In exploring this option online, I discovered that Goodwill Community Foundation has a web site with basic tutorials on a range of topics from reading and math to learning about the computer, internet, and Microsoft Office.  Check this source out at http://www.gcflearnfree.org/ .

Also, there are specialized math resources available.  Khan Academy is a popular online math resource, with short videos and practice math problems to help students of all ages learn math.

BrainPop is another resource that the state of Alaska pays for throush SLED.  BrainPop offers short animated videos on a range of topics from history to music to writing to math.  You would need the Alaskan user name and password to access it.  The 800 number to call for this can be found at sled.alaska.edu.

Tips for Students

Will you be taking a test after lunch?  Study for that test after lunch!  Research has shown that it benefits a student to study in the same state of mind and body that you will be in when taking the test.  If you have a test at the end of a long work day, make sure you study the material for the test at the end of your long work day.  Your body and mind may be more likely to remember the material if you are in the same state of mind studying that you will be taking the test.                *Note to self:  find research sources to include here!

It helps to get in the habit of doing 30 minutes (or more) of homework a day instead of waiting until the day before the assignment is due, and then struggling with an abundance of work, and a great deal of stress!

Look at the due date of an assignment, and then the number of steps it will take to complete that assignment, and schedule a timeline including dates when you need to complete each step in the process.  This can help you focus on each step in the process, and assure that assignment gets done on time, without the added stress of procrastination.  There are many online tools that help with this.  One example is the Research Project Calculator, created by Minitext, An Information and Resource Sharing Program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries.  The University of California Los Angeles has also created an Assignment Calculator  that includes recommendations for resources on your subject as it defines and sets the steps needed for project completion.  By doing an internet search for assignment calculator, or homework calculator, you will see a wide range of options.  Those that are affiliated with a college (have .edu in the website address) would likely be more credible sources.

I recall learning from an author, if you write a bit everyday, your body and mind get used to writing.  Working on a paper may not be as painful if you write a little bit everyday as when you attempt to write a paper all at once the day (or night) before it is due.

Reflections on this interview

When a student has questions about writing a paper, figuring out a math problem, or needs support in learning English or another language, I will be referring them to the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Learning Resources Center with confidence.  People like Jonell Sauceda, Dan Bonin and Cameron Nay are examples of why the University of Alaska Anchorage is a great place to work and study.  They care, they know their subjects, and they assure that others in their department treat students with the dignity, patience, and support they deserve.  To me, this is an equation for success.

Deb the Librarian shares study tips this week on KRUA’s radio show, Informania, repeated Thursday at 5pm on 88.1, The Edge.

This week, Deb the Librarian began the hour talking about the path she took to become a librarian at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Business from Florida State University, and a Masters degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her path included experience at a variety of libraries.

Academic libraries she has worked at include:  University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Superior (as a volunteer), and University of Alaska Anchorage.  She has also worked at public libraries, including the Duluth Public Library in Minnesota, Minneapolis Public Library (INFORM fee-based research service), and Anchorage Public Library (Branch Manager for Samson-Dimond Branch Library).  And finally, she has also gained more online and varied research experience working in special libraries, including, James J. Hill Reference Library (privately funded business library open to the public), Teltech (fee-based research firm), and Minnegasco/Reliant Energy/Centerpoint Energy (the library at a gas company (that experienced name changes over the years).

What Lessons from this experience can she share with students?

As she reflected on her path from Florida to Wisconsin to Minnesota to Alaska, Deb shared the following with students (now in an expanded version):

Getting involved in the professional association student chapter in graduate school paid off.  Being the Chair of the Special Libraries Association Student Chapter at University of Wisconsin-Madison helped her expand her leadership skills and build her resume.  Lesson:  Looking for opportunities to connect with professional groups, even as a student, can be beneficial.

Taking opportunities to volunteer or intern while looking for a full-time position provided helpful experience, and allowed Deb to develop relationships with others who could be mentors, and references.  Lesson:  While deciding what career path to follow or while looking for a job, consider volunteering or interning as a great way to build experience, network with people in the field, and explore that particular work environment to see if it is a good fit.

Focusing on the positive contribution helped Deb overcome fears.  (This wasn’t mentioned on the show, but I’m mentioning it now.)  Do  you think Deb has experienced insecurities related to hosting a radio show?  If you guessed yes, you are right!  When taking on new challenge, Deb has developed the habit to take time to think about the positive outcome for that challenge, and, in the case of hosting the radio show, the contribution that she wants to make to the community.  Lesson:  When feeling shy, insecure, or incapable, rephrase the thoughts to be positive.  I make a positive difference.  My radio show is a success.  I have a good memory, and can do well on this test.  I am capable.  I am a good student/librarian/presenter.

Tips for Studying

The majority of the Informania radio show on Monday, March 18, was spent discussing successful study habits, which Deb found in documents from Dartmouth College’s Academic Skills Center .  The particular documents she shared information from include an Active Study Handout, which was adapted from:  Ann Algier’s Everything You Need To Know About Learning.  Topics covered in this handout include, the use of mnemonics, study cards, and effective strategies for memorization.  There are also other helpful handouts on the Dartmouth’s Academic Skills Center web page.

Deb shared two tips from another handout titled, How to Retain Information.  The first part of the How to Retain Information handout talks about why we forget.  Highlighted at number one is that a negative self concept impacts our ability to remember.  Basically, “we think of ourselves as forgetting things.”  Reading this reinforces my belief that it is important to think positively (and rephrase those self criticisms)!  On this handout, I also found a discussion about changed cues helpful.  What does this mean?  When you have changed cues, it means that even though you memorize the wording from the textbook, when the information is presented differently on a test, it may be difficult to remember, because the cue (presentation of information) has changed.  This Academic Skills Handout recommends that to remember material for a test, a person studying should rephrase the ideas in his/her own words to help them remember the information when it is stated in a different way on the test.

There are also video tutorials as well as handouts on this information-filled web site Dartmouth College web site.  For those interested, the url is http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/study.html

The music played on Informania this week follows:  Information, by Dredg;  With a Little Help from my Friends, by the Beatles; The Long and Winding Road, by The Beatles; What’s on Your Mind, by Information Society; Learning to Fly, by Tom Petty, and That’s What Friends Are For, by Dionne Warwick (and Friends)