Food Feedback: A Towson Documentary

 

Hey guys, this past weekend I interviewed people about their views on Towson University’s dining options. Be sure to check it out!

We here at Towson University are very fortunate with our food options, but doesn’t mean our dining couldn’t use a little extra work. I caught up with two Towson University students to get their feedback on dining.

 

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Towson University’s New Burdick Gym

Hey Tigers! This week on Tiger Chat Podcast I interview Towson University students on their opinions of the new, free Burdick Gym on campus. Listen to find out their favorite features and more!

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Exterior of Burdick gym.

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Interior of Burdick gym. 

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Burdick gym’s rock climbing wall.

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Interior of Burdick Gym.

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Jennifer Brasfield, Towson University Sophomore, runs on treadmill. 

 

Studying Abroad and Broadening Horizons at Towson University

IMG_1806.JPGTowson University Student Loretta Grant reads a study abroad catalog.

As Loretta Grant pulled up to the airport her heart started to pound with overwhelming emotions of anticipation, anxiety, and fear. In that moment the reality of traveling out of the country for the first time became real, and as she cried she hugged her father goodbye seconds before she’d embark on her first journey abroad on her own.

Loretta Grant, a Towson University senior, had the opportunity to accomplished her longtime dream of leaving the country to explore the Dominican culture first-hand, study Dominican healthcare, and converse with Dominican locals all while studying abroad through Towson University.

Towson University offers different study abroad programs, and a wide range of destinations where students can study both outside and inside of the United States. Grant chose a Towson University Faculty-led program which can be taken as a mini-semester over spring break, summer break, or winter break. This specific program allows the student group to be accompanied by a Towson University faculty member. Prices vary on country.

Grant, a Nursing Major, spent two and a half weeks abroad at the end of her sophomore  year, observing hospital practices and taking courses on the Dominican Republic’s healthcare system. She also had the opportunity to experience Dominican culture by attending fun events, visiting cool attractions, and living with a host family.

Grant recalls her decision at first to travel abroad as “exciting, but scary,” noting that it was her first time out of the country.

“Having a Spanish background helped,” Grant, who is fluent in the language says. She was able to converse with locals and meet interesting people. “If I didn’t speak Spanish might be definitely more challenging, might have been more homesick or frustrated.”

Abroad, Grant had the chance to embark on many fun activities. She said there was a “fun festival with music and dancing” she got to attend. She also got to visit the Ecolodge and see cool caves, and explore the city through a fun scavenger hunt.

While there, Grant studied in Dominican Republic hospitals “They’re big on traditional medicine versus a hospital. We did a lot of observations,” she says,“some of us were allowed to see small procedures, they let us into the NICU.”  When asked about the workload Grant replied, “We had assignments but it was a more relaxed atmosphere.”

Grant said the idea behind traveling abroad is “to open your perspective and build cultural competency.” She says the experience helped her “better understand individuals.”

“I think it just taught me to be more grateful too the whole experience.” Grant was able to gain insight on what poverty in another country is like.“Seeing things first hand is more powerful than just watching those commercials on tv it becomes more real when your there, and when you know people from there. I learned about my own entitlement.”

As Grant said, studying abroad did help her adopt a new perspective. “I converted to Christianity.” Grant was able to find a church family in the Dominican Republic. “I really started to dedicate myself to god.” Grant comes from a religious family, but before traveling she wasn’t religious herself.

IMG_1807.JPGTowson University’s study abroad specialist, Kelsey Sobecki.

Kelsey Sobecki, Towson University’s Study Abroad Specialist, agrees that these programs are life changing for students. “I’ve been working in Study Abroad now for almost 5 years, and I worked directly with students. The changes that you see from students when they arrive to when they depart it’s definitely kind of mind blowing,” she says. “You see students grow not only personally but also academically and they get a much more culturally aware perspective on the world.”

It’s been almost 3 years since Grant has converted.“They made me feel really welcome in a place that was unfamiliar.” She even said they drove her to her return flight home.

“People were more open, more friendly,” Grant says. “More likely you can talk to someone randomly and strike up a conversation with them.”

While studying abroad “I earned 6 credits during my studying abroad program”. Grants trip abroad cost about $5,000 for two-and-a-half weeks and two courses. “I was able to condense my experience, and be in a place where I could learn cultural diversity

IMG_1804.JPGStudy Abroad office at Towson University.

Grant recommends studying abroad to those interested. She says at Towson you can apply to go anywhere. Towson can also partner with other study abroad programs, “If we don’t have a program ourselves, you can petition to go on that program and get Towson credit” she says.

“Just thinking about career, there’s so many doors to be open. Jobs will look at students coming out of college with International experience” Grant says.

With international networking Sobecki says it allows for career opportunities abroad. “Career wise they’re so many options for them. Having an abroad experience on your resume definitely makes you stand out.” She also says it’s really important for students to be able to talk about their experience abroad in a way that makes them stand out to employers.

Towson also offers specific scholarships for students looking to study abroad. Grant says there are also “priority scholarships for underrepresented countries like Greece, Czech Republic, China, Ecuador, and Morocco.”

“We really need more students to study abroad, particularly males, people of color,” Grant says. She includes that department is looking for people who have a focus in “math and sciences” as well.

Grant says, “Once you awaken the travel beast, you can’t really stop.”

Grant described how there’s nothing like traveling abroad. “My favorite part was probably just being somewhere completely different than what you are used to,” Grant says, “I wish I could’ve stayed longer.”

Sobecki praises Grant on maintaining her abroad relationships. “Relationship building being able to have friends in different countries, have connections in different countries, and depending on the program even, they’re able to network with companies or with other employers abroad.”

“Now I’ve met people. I’ve begun relationships. I still have friends, and people I know from the Dominican Republic,” Grant says. “Overall, I wouldn’t trade that experience at all.”

For more study abroad information check out https://www.towson.edu/academics/international/abroad/index.html

 

Exploring Asia’s Healing Arts at Towson University

Exploring Asia’s Healing Arts at Towson University  

By: Lauren Maiden     

 

Check out the popular medicine and healing techniques that derived from ancient Asia at Towson University’s Center for the Arts.

Towson University’s Centre for the Arts newest gallery Asia’s Healing Arts, invites everyone to learn about the historical healing arts of Asia which have now become modernized present day. The interactive exhibit features activities such as yoga, taiji, acupuncture, shiatsu, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and more.

The exhibit is available until May 19th, located on the second floor of Center for The Arts (Gallery CA 2037), and weekend workshops and classes are available for yoga, taiji, etc.  Asia’s Healing Arts, aims to provides an interactive experience that allows visitors to learn and try out techniques as they learn about them, as well as to relax the body, calm the mind, and to pull focus on self-health. There are also historical art pieces that show how ancient medicine has evolved overtime in modern day.

“We try to make it interactive for all age groups like the younger generation, and the older people too, and it’s just really open to anybody,” Gallery Attendant Maklene Bzadey says. “Yeah, with trends happening we tend to forget the roots like yoga is super trendy, but people don’t understand the roots. Most people were surprised that it was for healing, and not for fitness.” Bzadey, who plans on attending a yoga workshop agrees yoga has been americanized, and that it is important to know healing practice’s roots.

The exhibit greets it’s visitors with a soothing ambience full of relaxing music and dim, warm lights. Visitors will have the option which is encourage by staff to participate in their popular relaxation station where visitors are provided silk, pillows to sit and rest on while enjoying a short, colorful film on ancient Asian arts. Also, available is yoga mats for those interested in trying out some of the techniques showcased. There are art pieces that can be observed and touched while you learn the histories, philosophies, and global journeys of these traditions that transformed lives.

Each showcase has a lot of effort, preparation and intricate detailing put into it. “It takes a few years to create an exhibit,” says Nerissa Paglinauan, program manager for the exhibit, “we were recommended all these people in the community, and they came together for our planning meeting, and this was a couple of years ago.” Artist featured and workshop leaders include Susan Weis-Bohle who’s an Ayurvedic practitioner, Heather Johnstone whos an acupuncturist, Niya Werts who curated the shiatsu installation, and Melanie Lester who teaches Taiji and who’s husband is featured in the taiji showcase’s film and photos taken by Towson University student, Bryan Ho.

In effort to put together the theme, Paglinauan and Pecore worked together to figure out what students would want to see at their university’s art exhibition. “When trying to come up with exhibits we usually ask students what they’re interested in, or try to find out what they’re talking about, what they’re into, and so healing arts was definitely different topics of yoga, and Ayurveda, these were all kind of things that came up,” Paglinauan says. “A lot of research goes into it. So this has been a very popular, this topic, through all different generations.”

Paglinauan described the exhibition as a “group effort.” They were able to get volunteers like Bryan Ho, a Towson University Student, to help out with photography and videography. Lester suggested the idea of “a playlist or suggested music to add to the ambience of the exhibit,” and Pecore was able to provide CD’s they could select tracks from.

So what’s next after the Asia’s Healing Art exhibit? Paglinauan was excited to share the next upcoming seasonal exhibits, “The next exhibit we’re going to have is in the summer, it’s called Rootless Orchids.” The exhibit will be curated by a MICA University student who plans to feature Taiwanese artist. Paglinauan is also planning on having her own exhibit in the Fall, “I’m curating the exhibit which is called, Asia in Maryland: Expressing Cross Cultural Experience” which she plans to feature “Maryland based artist who are either Asian, Asian-American, or inspired Asian arts and aesthetic.”

“You start with all the research, and then you have to figure it out you know, it’s one thing writing a paper it’s another thing presenting it. Having like a visual presentation of what you want to teach, and something that is meaningful to people who are coming to visit the gallery,” Paglinauan says. Check out the Asia’s Healing Arts exhibit before May 19th, and get your health and relaxation on!

 

For more info on the exhibit hours visit: https://events.towson.edu/asian_arts_culture_center#.WpoJ_maZOqA

 

People and Their Stories

 

What do you enjoying doing the most in life?  

IMG_1571  “I enjoy most in life being with family, and being united, and being encouraging to one another. As well as, inspirational, and it’s just the little things in life. I couldn’t image life without them they’re like a constant support system to me. I like spending time with them.”- Denae Henry, Sophomore at Towson University 

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Contact: Dhenry9@students.towosn.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you love most about your job?

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What I love most about my job is getting to know everyone, just because I’m put in this space where I have 33 different, new people. I’m really excited because I would consider myself an extrovert, and so getting to know a lot of different people especially because I have a lot of different interest has always been like a thing that I’ve always enjoyed.”– Ezihe Chikwere, Resident Assistant for Tower A

Contact: Echikw1@students.towson.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you want to be when you grow up?  

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“Right now I’m studying to be a play wright, so I hope one day to have a big musical on Broadway. I’m also planning on starting a gaming channel on Youtube, so I hope that kind of blows up. I really want to be a good role model for younger kids no matter what I end up doing in life.” – Russell Ricket, Sophomore at Towson  University 

IMG_1569Contact:

Russellricket@gmail.com