Alumni Memories Sought; Centennial Student Union Plans 50th Celebration Homecoming Day, Oct. 7


The Centennial Student Union invites students and alumni to join its 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration on Homecoming Day, Saturday, Oct. 7.

Highlighting CSU reunion festivities during Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming Day 2017 activities will be an afternoon reception starting at 3:30 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Other days activities will be a morning light breakfast, an invitation to participate in the Homecoming Day parade, and an evening “family friendly” event.

Mark Constantine, director of the Centennial Student Union, said activities celebrating the student union’s 50th anniversary will begin at the start of the Fall 2017 semester and continue through Homecoming 2017.

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate,” Constantine said. “We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.”

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate. We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.” – Mark Constantine

Photos and memories can be shared on the CSU 50th Anniversary website, www.csu.mnsu/50thAnniversary. Shared memories will be displayed in a CSU Art Gallery exhibit from August through the Homecoming celebration.

“Maybe the CSU is where you met your life partner, found a lifelong Greek community or discovered a personal passion,” Constantine said. “We want to share your CSU memories.”

The CSU also is creating a 50th anniversary display that will be used in the CSU throughout the 2017-18 academic year as well as with the University’s planned Sesquicentennial traveling display. The CSU display will include a video timeline featuring CSU directors, key staff members and special guests.

Faculty Focus features GUARIONEX SALIVIA

For Dr. Guarionex Salivia, the family business is teaching.

“My mom is a high school teacher, my father was a university professor and most of my uncles have taught at university level,” Salivia said. “My grandfather was a medical doctor and he was also a teacher. I have a brother who is finishing a doctorate who will be a professor, and two of my brothers are elementary schoolteachers. Everyone in my family is a teacher!”

Becoming a university professor was a natural result of growing up around so many academics, but his love for teaching goes deeper than tradition.


“Standing in front of all those people and having them somehow learn something from me; that is really exciting.”
– Guarionex Salivia


“Standing in front of all those people and having them somehow learn something from me; that is really exciting,” Salivia said. “That’s why I love teaching. Even if it’s only 10 percent of the students that get something out of the class. That’s what motivates me.”

Outside of school, Dr. Salivia likes to mountain climb, cross-country ski and catch up on the many Netflix series he has started. He also loves to play soccer.

“I used to play soccer in college so I’ve been trying to stay in shape for when the next opportunity arises,” Salivia said. “I try to connect with the students as much as I can, and in the context of sports, it would be nice to connect with a group of students that play soccer and would be open to involving faculty.”

Dr. Salivia is on the brink of getting his tenure promotion. He is excited to continue expanding his research and teaching spectrum at Minnesota State, Mankato.


Find out what his spirit animal is and why plus more in 10 questions with Guarionex Salivia.

  1. What is your favorite music? I listen to anything from Spanish rock to reggae. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Marley.
  2. Where is your hometown? I’m from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  3. What is your favorite movie? Star Wars, but only the original trilogy. Not the prequels and not the enhanced versions. I read recently that Disney is going to release the original untampered with trilogy, and I cannot wait until that happens so I can get my hands on it.
  4. What is your spirit animal? The dragon. I was born in 1976, which is the year of the dragon in the Chinese calendar.
  5. What word best describes you? I like to think of myself as a highly collaborative person. I don’t know if that’s how people perceive me, but that’s how I would like to be perceived. I do my best to collaborate.
  6. If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you want? If I can choose anything, then a boat. A knife, a rope and a boat.
  7. Where in the world would you like to live? There is this one town I visited in the northwestern part of Italy where my ancestors from my mother’s side are from called Genoa, Italy. I loved it. It’s a port-town and it’s interesting because the town is built on a hill. It’s beautiful.
  8. Do you speak any second languages? My native language is Spanish, and I also speak Italian.
  9. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Catch up on all my Netflix. I’m watching too much stuff and it’s hard to catch up.
  10. Do you have a hero/heroine? I look up to my father a lot because he was also a university professor. I think of him as a figure to emulate. I rely a lot on my wife, not just for support, but also because we compliment each other. It’s not about heroics, it’s about life experiences.

Trends in College Programming

What’s Trending At Minnesota State?

Programming Director Sees Millennials

As Wanting To Be ‘Part Of The Event’

By Lenny Koupal, Centennial Student Union Communications Coordinator

A recent EDM Concert hosted in the Centennial Student Union by the Student Events Team provided a multimedia production with live streaming as techno-savvy students seek more interactive entertainment.

Part of the continuing effort for keeping higher education relevant is adjusting the university experience to ever-changing trends.

University campuses such as Minnesota State University, Mankato continually seek greater diversity among faculty and staff to meet the expanding cultural demographics of its student body. Other challenges and opportunities involve responding to the needs of distance learners as online classes appeal to students across the state or just across campus.

For Bill Tourville, assistant director of campus programs, his Student Events Team within Student Activities at the Centennial Student Union must balance events between a generation of students that either wants to get an education and get out – or those that want to interact.

“The days of sitting and watching are over,” Tourville said. “Today’s Millennials and Gen-Y’ers want to interact. They want to be part of the event.”

Tourville said 15 years ago, the entire lineup of campus programming would have been performances.


“The traditional performance style is outdated. Students want to be part of something bigger” – Bill Tourville


“That’s not okay anymore. The traditional performance style is outdated. Students want to be part of something bigger,” he said.

Among the most popular traditions coordinated by the Student Events Team is the annual CSU Haunted House. Much of the entire 215,000-square-foot student union turns into Halloween Spook Central as various student organizations put together their idea of scary. Hundreds of students line-up to be engaged and engrossed in the moment.

Campus versions of game shows and cosmic bingo, exotic animal day and even organized snowball fights are on the students’ wish list of events.

Tourville said another balancing act is national name recognition versus unique experiences. Students on one hand are most comfortable with “national prepackaged stuff” whether its movies or concerts or lectures.

“Unless it’s a national name, most students are not interested,” he said. “Unless a friend is in a band or it’s a national name, they won’t go.”

On the other hand, students are drawn to unique, interactive experiences. Many of those involve some level of technology whether it’s smart boards in student union meeting rooms or spaces that are flexible, communal gathering places.

For concerts, Tourville said the trend is to direct dollars to production as well as performance. A recent Electronic Dance Music performance in the CSU blended music with a multimedia experience.

“Some schools are spending a third of their concert budget on production – lights, sound, décor – students are wanting that experience,” he said. “It’s not only about the performance but about the experience they had.”

Within those type of interpersonal events is the growing trend in live streaming. At Minnesota State Mankato, Tourville said Facebook live streaming at concerts starts in the morning and continues until they contractual must shut down the site.

“Two of the artists at our EDM concert were Facebook live streaming the entire concert,” he added.

When, where and how live streaming is allowed is now creating issues that need to be addressed.

Tourville adds that social media continues to be a trend that needs constant attention. Even then, organized programs or departments are viewed as outsiders in students’ social media circles. Snapchat is the latest trend in the social media landscape.

“Snapchat is not going away,” Tourville said. “It’s how (students) are connecting with their friends. That is how they are communicating on an interpersonal level.”

While Facebook is a popular communication tool, it doesn’t reach into a student’s inner circle.

“Facebook is your public persona, Snapchat is more private,” he said. “Today’s students seek a place where they can just be personal and we can’t reach them. They can be private on Snapchat.”

Tourville said the trend is to take a different Facebook approach by providing good content that they can use personally.

For student life professionals, these changing trends for the Millennial generation means – perhaps now more than ever – the continuing trend of vigilance, flexibility and creative ideas that keep the college experience fresh and memorable for a diverse, individualized and interactive array of college students.

Maverick Bullpen’s manager: Kyle Bischoff

Maverick Bullpen manager, Kyle Bischoff, has a knack for bowling.

Before transferring to Minnesota State, Mankato, he bowled competitively at Wichita State University.

“I bowled there for 2 years and won one national title my final year, which is one of my biggest accomplishments in my life sportswise,” said Kyle. “I eventually ran out of money and decided to transfer to Minnesota State University, and they have the only competitive program in Minnesota, so it was an easy choice.”

His love and knowledge of the game has helped him to coach the men’s and women’s bowling league at MSU, which is one of his dream jobs. He jumped at the chance when he was informed that Scott Anderson was leaving.


“It is kind of a bowler’s dream job to be a bowling coach at a bowling alley.”
– Kyle Bischoff


“I never thought Scott, the guy before me, would leave because it is kind of a bowler’s dream job to be a bowling coach at a bowling alley,” said Kyle. “He said he thought I should give it a try, and I was like, ‘yeah of course.’”

Working with students and coaching them in the sport has made his dream reality. In the future, Kyle hopes to host a collegiate bowling tournament in Mankato.

 

 

Bullpen – What’s New?

Students playing ping-pong left, Saujanya Kafle and right, Saroj Bhetawal

The old pizza was good. The Maverick Bullpen’s new pizza is the popular perfect treat between study sessions.

“It’s one of the best pizzas I’ve personally tasted,” said Kyle Bischoff, Bullpen manager. “I can say I would personally buy it and I’m proud to serve it. We just introduced a brand new cheesy garlic bread with marinara dipping sauce that’s been a hit too. We are still looking to continue to grow and get new things as we keep expanding.”

In addition to the menu upgrade, there are new things to do on the gaming floor. There is a ping pong table, an extra foosball table and a new video game system.

“We just got a PS4 put in yesterday,” said Kyle. “We have FIFA 2017 which is our number one biggest hit game. I won’t say exactly what I’m going to buy, but I’m aggressively looking to purchase lots of new recreational gaming systems along with more hands on games to add to the Bullpen. That’s my goal. Get as much fun activities in this place as I can.”

If video games aren’t your thing, you can grab one of their 30+ board games from the front desk.

The Bullpen also hosts a variety of different events throughout the semester, including concerts.

“The Mocktail parties are ongoing,” said Kyle. “They actually bring a band and it’s free for anyone. Free billiards and free drinks for students. They can play billiards and listen to live music in the background. That happens every semester usually once a month.”

The Bullpen is the perfect place to have a snack and drink between classes. Or, if you closed down the library the night before, the TV room in the back is a great place to catch some z’s.

All information regarding the Bullpen hours, food, prices and events can be found at csu.mnsu.edu/MaverickBullpen/.

 

 

 

RSO Takes Fill-in-the-Blank Approach When Recruiting Student Members

EWB Officers, from left, Jordan ZumBerge, Michael Seffren, Sam Stoffels and Yoseph Ukbazghi.

EWB Officers, from left, Jordan ZumBerge, Michael Seffren, Sam Stoffels and Yoseph Ukbazghi. See more photos at end of story.

Leaders with the Engineers Without Borders chapter at Minnesota State University, Mankato seek to expand their membership to all students on campus. Trouble is, the group’s name tends to scare away students.

Named the March 2015 Recognized Student Organization of the Month at Minnesota State Mankato, the club is finding that lifting typecasts is the first phase of recruitment and growth.

“We talked with the marketing club and they specifically said ‘the Engineers Without Borders name scares me off’ because it’s engineers,” said Michael Seffren, vice president of programs for the Minnesota State Mankato chapter of EWB.

The group now takes a fill-in-the-blank approach to recruitment that offers students opportunities to contribute and benefit from the group’s community focus.

“What we came up with was Underscore Without Borders,” Seffren said. “So if you’re a nursing major – if you’re a business major, marketing, finance, anthropology, history – whatever, put you’re major right in front of Without Borders. That’s the type of club we want to have.

“This club is open to every single student,” he added. “We will find a spot for you that you will enjoy doing.”
Seffren, along with EWB Chapter President Sam Stoffels and Jordan Zumberge, chapter secretary, shared the past and future of their student organization that traditionally focuses on international projects while transitioning toward more local community involvement.

Granted a campus chapter in 2009, EWB is part of an international Engineers Without Borders organization offering 140 professional and student chapters. EWB chapters partner with communities throughout the world to develop sustainable, reliable infrastructure that improves quality of life.

Since its inception, EWB at Minnesota State Mankato has been working with the community of Santa Rosa Senca, El Salvador, to improve the community’s water distribution system. The group is currently preparing for a week-long visit to Santa Rosa Senca in May.

“It is a student-led, student motivated, student-driven organization,” Stoffels said. “All aspects of the trip have to be student organized.”

To assist all areas of project development and delivery, Stoffels said the organization is working to expand its membership by recruiting students from across the curriculum who want to make a difference.

“Not only do our projects benefit the communities we work with,” Stoffels said, “they also benefit students by giving valuable skills that aren’t picked up in the curriculum. Especially the soft skills – planning, teamwork, leadership, presentation, fundraising and networking.”

Zumberge added that engineering students are needed for the technical work, but the group primarily seeks students ready to help others.

“Any student that really wants to do humanitarian work, make a difference and do more than just go get free pizza, those are the students we want – who are motivated to help people,” he said. “When I see the perfect vision for EWB, it’s walking through the CSU (Centennial Student Union) and saying ‘Hi’ to five or six non-engineering students that I know because they are in EWB with me.”

For the three club leaders, this spring’s trip to El Salvador will be their first international assistance venture. No members who made the trip two years ago will be joining them.

“We know the effects of having an upperclassmen-heavy organization,” Stoffels added.
As a result, the chapter concentrates on attracting younger students.

“A lot of our recruits are sophomores” Zumberge said. “At that age they know what they want to do with their life. They’re not new to campus anymore. That’s what we find is the ‘sweet spot’ in our recruiting.”

Along with student members, the EWB chapter also partners with a professional engineering mentor from SEH Engineering in Mankato. Dr. Stephen Druschel, P.E., from the university’s engineering department serves as the group’s advisor.

The three also gave “assistant advisor” honors to Ashley Strom, assistant director of RSOs at Minnesota State Mankato, for her help in networking with different RSOs and community groups.

“Ashley is a great connector,” Seffren said. “She’s linked me up with at least five different student leaders that all want to do things with us.”

While the international project is EWB’s primary focus, the group slates guest speakers and presentation to introduce students to useful information for sculpting their lives and futures. Another recent focus seeks opportunities for local volunteer work.

“We are looking at short-term, local volunteering events because the international travel only occurs at most twice a year for our student chapter,” Stoffels said.

Seffrens added some students have simpler goals for involvement.

“We want to do local stuff so that people who don’t want to travel can still participate,” he said. “Or they just want to put in an hour a week doing local volunteering with us.”

While proud to advance their international Engineers Without Borders affiliation, the three chapter officers remain committed to crafting – and exemplifying — a club that grows by helping others.

“It’s really what you want out of it. If you want something that will occupy a lot your time, it can occupy a lot of your time. If you don’t you don’t have to,” Stoffels said. “A lot of use are putting a lot of time and effort into this club because we truly believe in helping people. I can’t stop, basically.”

MavSync: https://orgsync.com/66916/chapter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Minnesota-State-University-Mankato-Engineers-Without-Borders/325841984225?fref=ts
Web Page: http://www.ewbmankato.com/
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Pay It Forward Is the Lasting Legacy Envisioned for Students Today, Leaders Forever

Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow YouTube

Members of Students Today, Leaders Forever believe their Pay It Forward tour during spring break is best summed up as: “Nine days, six cities, one life-changing experience.”

Since officially becoming a Registered Student Organization at Minnesota State University, Mankato this past year, STLF joins a national association of nearly 23,000 students committed to leadership growth through community involvement.

At Minnesota State Mankato, STLF has rapidly established its organization as it reaches out to potential new members. Thus far, 31 students have registered to join this year’s tour that runs during Spring Break March 7-15.

Stops for their first tour from Minnesota State Mankato include Rapid City, S.D.; Casper, Wyo.; Rock Springs, Wyo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Grand Junction, Colo., before meeting with other STLF tours in Denver for a leadership gathering.

Among STLF’s founders at Minnesota State Mankato, Bradley Rod and Jessica Farah said the group’s mainstay PIF tour provides real-world experiences through community service seeking to make a difference.

A transfer from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Bradley participated in his first PIF tour after he was “sucked into it by my roommate.”

Last year, Bradley and fellow Minnesota State University student Abdollah Shaferi joined the tour from the College of St. Scholastica. The experience from a distant campus was bittersweet.

“You make all these friends and then you don’t see them for a year,” Bradley said.

Afterwards, he petitioned the national STLF organization to start a chapter here.

Jessica, who participated in her first of six tours while a student at the U of M, is now a MBA graduate student at Minnesota State Mankato and serves as STLF’s graduate advisor. Like the other five founding members, Jessica remains constantly energized by STLF and the PIF experience.

“I talk about it 24-7,” she said.

Her motivation grew from her first experience with PIF when she participated in her first tour eight weeks after arriving from Lebanon.

“I was the last one on the bus so I sat alone at the very front of the bus,” Jessica recalled.

Just as she was thinking she made an awful mistake that would last for the next several days, another student on the bus sat down next to her.

“She said you want to watch a movie with me?” The two became “buds” by sharing Jessica’s ear buds. More friendships grew during the tour. “I came back and I had 40 new friends.”

During the nine-day tour, students spend a portion of their time assisting community projects in five different cities. Time is also set aside for sightseeing. At night, the group participates in various leadership building activities.

In each of their visits, actions by PIF participants are demonstrating that “these young people are making a difference.”

Jessica remembers a stop during her first tour where their work in a small community involved painting fire hydrants from yellow to red. The local school dismissed classes so students could assist PIF members in the community project. At day’s end, the appreciative community hosted a huge barbecue for the touring group.

Bradley recalls a darker memory from Indianapolis, Ind., where the group was helping a not-for-profit group reclaim what had become a neighborhood flop house. Among the needles and a bed frozen to the flooded basement floor was a collection of children’s toys. The scene imprinted the reality of life and how simple acts can make a difference.

Jessica and Bradley agree that leaving a lasting legacy on campus and across the nation is an important part of starting their STLF chapter at Minnesota State Mankato.

“I definitely have a lot of pride,” said Jessica about her STLF involvement. “To have a lasting impact on campus is huge for me.”

Bradley added he hopes what he helped create will remain part of the campus culture for years to come.
“Maybe my kids will come here,” Bradley added. “It would be great to say, ‘Oh, there’s still an STLF chapter here.”

If the growing number of students committed to Paying It Forward is any indication, the STLF should enjoy a long run at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The national Students Today, Leaders Forever started in 2003 after four University of Minnesota freshmen sat in their dorm room brainstorming ways they could make a difference in the world. Their grass-roots dreaming has evolved into 582 PIF tours-to-date from campus chapters across the country. Participating students join alternative spring break adventures to various communities to assist with philanthropy events and community projects.

Students Today, Leaders Forever MavSync
Students Today, Leaders Forever Facebook
Students Today, Leaders Forever Website

How To Finish The Semester Strong

Perspective from a Seasoned Veteran

By SAM THOMPSON

I’ve been there and done it all. In a couple of weeks I will be completing my undergraduate studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Though the senior slump has set in for me and my senior counterparts, there is still work to be done before the conclusion of the semester. I wanted to hand down my experiences to you on how to finish the semester strong like a torn hand-me-down shirt from your older sibling…

1. START NOW

Don’t wait until the week before finals to begin that 20-page research paper or start studying for that test worth 33 percent of your grade. It’s just not worth it, and quite frankly, it AIN’T cool. Start the process of studying and researching now. This doesn’t mean you have to do it all at once, but make a dent now compared to later.

I have found that if I work incrementally on my large assignments, I become more productive, have a higher quality of work and have less stress in my life once I am done. Give it a try. Start the process now and continue to work on it day-by-day instead of the night before. You will have more free time to enjoy you favorite activities and will have less stress coming up to finals week.

2. SAY HI

If you haven’t introduced yourself to your teacher yet this far into the semester or haven’t gone into his or her office to ask a question, go now. It doesn’t matter if it’s an obvious (stupid) question, the fact that you are going to an instructor’s office to advance your understanding of the course is huge.

Teachers greatly appreciate a student who makes the effort to come in to ask questions or seek help on an assignment. It shows your commitment to absorbing and understanding the knowledge they offered

Another reason it is beneficial to stop by and say hi is that it gives them a face and a name to remember. You aren’t the most important person in their world (sorry to break the news to you). By making a concerted effort to go in multiple times to just say hi or to ask for help, you form a relationship. I have done this with every instructor I have had since I was freshman.

As my senior year is coming to an end, I am seeing the rewards. By working to be more than just a face in the crowd , I have received great letters of recommendations from teachers, a grade boost if I’m on the edge and a lifelong relationship with some brilliant individuals.

3. THE WISE ORGANIZE

Frequently it feels as if all your teachers have collaborated to stockpile big projects and tests towards the end of the semester. OK, so life’s not always fair. This is where organization becomes key in successfully dominating the end of the semester.

With all of these assignments being due around the same time, you need to organize your notes, work and time accordingly.

Most important of these three is time. We all have a calendar on our phone or computer, so use it. Set aside time each night of the week, time permitting, to tackle assignments.

This not only helps you visually realize the time restraints you have in completing your assignment, but it is also a vehicle to keep you accountable in doing your school work.

Next, organizing your work is important. Create note cards, retype your notes in a word document, get colorful pens or whatever makes your organizational heart flutter.

Using these type of organization tools will take some time, but will be beneficial in the heat of studying. It will allow you to quickly find what you are looking for.

No one likes to have jumbled heap of papers on a table at the library. Instead, be that cool, calm and organized person when studying. I think the saying goes, “If you organize your study material good, you feel good.”

4. GET OUT!

The last couple of weeks in the semester can be daunting. I can attest to this. The library and studying constantly can soon consume life like Joey Chestnut throwing down hot dogs at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

It happens really fast and it seems impossible to escape the confines of the depressing library. And this is why this next step is the most important to do….

We all need to get out.

College students all over the Midwest – and especially in Minnesota – have subtle signs of seasonal-depression. This winter has been horrifying.

When you have a chance to get out go to the volleyball courts by Carkoski Commons, play frisbee on the football practice fields, go run around the trails or head down Stadium hill to Rasmussen Park. We have amazing outdoor complexes at this university. Taking advantage of them is essential to having a successful semester.

Go out and do what makes you happy and then get your butt back to studying.

AND FINALLY…FACING FAILURE

I’ve been through a lot during my four years here and have met a lot of amazing people. I have also learned a couple of life lessons that I would like to end with.

The greatest lessons I have learned here involve failure and love.

I started college at a sports management major intent on becoming an athletic director. That dream failed when the field of public relations grabbed my interest and I became a mass media major. Again, the dream failed when I realized being a lawyer was my path in life. I applied, was accepted and am attending law school in the fall (let’s hope this dream doesn’t fail because it will be a very expensive failure).

You see, we all fail. Whether that be in our dreams, our relationships with loved ones, in a paper or in an entire course. We have all had minor and major failures in our life. How we face failure helps shape our character.

Here’s how I see failure. I have learned to fall in love with the process of failing, because I get to wake up each morning knowing that I am human, that I am not perfect and that I need to evolve with the world.

I chose this way of thinking because if I learned to fall in love with the process of succeeding I would become complacent in my relationships with others, my work and how I treat those around me.

I hope you all finish the semester strong. Start the process now, stick your head in your professor’s office, organize your material and get out. Finally, know that the course in each of our lives rests in our reaction — and our resolve — in the face of failure.

New Campus Cupboard Offers Shelves of Food for Students in Need

This week, Kassie & Sam introduce students to the new Campus Cupboard located in Crossroads Ministry along the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus. This by-students-for-students program facilitated by Crossroads serves as a food pantry for students in need.

Campus Hub Offers Convenient Help With College Finances

Campus Hub 3by Kassie Hanson
CSU Public Relations Intern

Outside the classroom, perhaps the toughest quizzes students face are questions surrounding college finances. That is where that long, newly-remodeled counter on the main level of the Centennial Student Union – home of the Campus Hub – plays a vital role in a student’s successful college experience.

Short lines, prompt phone calls and good customer service are some of the things students hope for on their side of the counter. But what is it like for the seven financial aid specialists when the tables are turned?

“We are here to help,” said Karen Bunde, Campus Hub and MavCARD operations director. “No question is a dumb question. Keep in mind the more you know, the better questions you’ll ask, resulting in more helpful answers. It is refreshing for everyone working in the Hub to be able to help guide students through their questions.”

Bunde said her staff seeks to provide day-to-day professional assistance to make student lives a little bit easier. She also touched on things that students can do, prior to asking questions, to get the most out of their visit.

“One of the most important things students should be aware of is timelines and deadlines. If deadlines are missed, we can’t do anything to help the situation.” Bunde said.

Bunde stressed the importance of thoroughly reading emails and letters sent to students about their financial aid. Answers to questions students often have can be found by reading all of the information in front of them.

“Students can help themselves a lot if they read and do their research,” she said. “It’s like taking out a mortgage and not knowing what you’ve signed up for.”

Bunde noted that the financial aid process has come a long way in last ten years. The Hub constantly analyzes problems that students face to provide quick and thorough responses.

“It is a cleaner, easier-to-follow process today,” she said.

Much of that involves intense training to prepare Hub specialists to give students the best help possible. Staff complete weeks of preparation and real-life scenarios before working with students. Bunde said that training includes working with Dr. Kari Much, staff psychologist at the Counseling Center, to understand student behavior when tackling their financial uncertainties.

“It is important for us to know the difference between a frustrated student and an angry student so we can better understand where they are coming from when asking their questions.” Bunde said.

Bunde suggested that students visit the Campus Hub Website. From Hub TV to the “Did you know box” – where students and families can apply for loans and grants, there is a lot of information provided to keep students up-to-date on announcements, financial information and deadlines.

Maverick One Stop, the university’s online help site, is another help site when questions are not urgent. Requests for information are redirected to the Hub where a specialist who provide quick replies via email.