Check it Out!

[slickquiz id=1]

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How Much Plastic Waste Are You Making?

Take some online surveys and discover how you can reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce (click on the ‘omni’ to be redirected to their site):
Bag Footprint Calculator
Plastic Footprint Calculator
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Dr. Elif Guler receives the best article award from the Popular Culture Association in the South

Dr. Elif Guler’s Studies in Popular Culture article, “The Symbolic Restoration of Women’s Place in Turkey’s Resurrection” (2018) is the winner of the Whatley Award, given in memory of a founder and early president of the Popular Culture Association in the South. According to the editor’s letter of recognition, “The editor and editorial board select one article that best represents the scholarly values Professor Whatley sought for the organization and the study of popular culture. In addition to the award, the winner’s name and the article’s title are listed in the Fall and Spring 2019 issues in recognition of the achievement.”

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#TTT: 3D Printing Basics

As one of the main features of the DIGILab, our 3D printer is a tool enabling us to create real physical forms of designs and ideas. While 3D printing has become more popular over the years, many people still are unsure of how it actually works.

In basic terms, 3D printers have two main components: the extruder and the build plate. The extruder is where the filament is fed through, and it places the material on the build plate.

The extruder heats the filament at a very high temperature (can be upwards of 260 degrees celsius), melting it into a softer, more malleable state. This allows the printer to essentially place layers of filament along the build plate, which is heated as well (often between 60-90 degrees celsius). The layers of filament are laid on top of one another in the shape of the desired object.

PLA filament is layered to create objects with width, depth, and height.

The materials of the filaments can be anything from plastic to metal. The DIGILab uses PLA and ABS, both of which are plastics.

Users can create designs themselves or find existing ones on websites such as Thingiverse, and download the .stl file of the design. If they prefer to start from scratch, or modify an existing design, they can use websites such as Tinkercad, which like Thingiverse, is free to use. After the user is satisfied with their design, they can load the .stl file into a printing software. The DIGILab uses Cura, a free program that connects with your 3D printer. After importing the file to Cura and adjusting the print settings, you can begin printing.

However, before you begin, you should keep a few things in mind. First is the type of material you are using. Even similar materials such as PLA and ABS have different settings that should be used. ABS requires higher temperatures than PLA. One way to keep the temperature high is by placing your printer in a glass box, to contain the heat.

There are other adjustments you can make before printing, such as setting the height of each layer, and the speed of the extruder. Another involves the build plate – some people choose to cover their plate with masking tape or specifically made printer bed covers, while others print directly onto the plate. Outside materials, such as hairspray, can also be used to help objects stick to the bed during printing.

The most important thing to remember with 3D printing is to keep trying. Your first few builds may not turn out how you hoped, but with time you’ll get exactly what you want. Keep printing, make adjustments, and find what materials, settings, and styles work best for you. And if you need any help, drop by the DIGILab or contact us at or 434-395-4332.

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10 Tips to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

  1. Fix Your Caffeine Fix: carry around a reusable cup for all your caffeine needs!

2. Bring Your Own Bottle: bring a reusable water bottle (or just use your reusable coffee cup from tip #1!)

3. Say No To Plastic Cutlery: bring your own spork with you when you get fast food.

4. Straws Suck: stop using straws, get a reusable straw or ditch them altogether.

5. Ditch the Cling Wrap: Use aluminum foil instead!

6. Teabags: use loose leaf tea instead of pre-packaged tea to cut down on waste.

7. Give up Gum: use plastic free alternatives like Glee or Chewsy 

8. Glitter, the one member of the party that NEVER leaves: glitter is tiny in size and causes a large amount of damage to our oceans, buy biodegradable glitter for all your party needs.

9. Bring back the Milkman: consider getting your milk delivered in glass bottles, it cuts down on plastic.

10. Become a wine bottle sommelier: buy wine with corks to reduce the amount of metal screw caps in your trash!

For more in-depth information, check out  the site below.

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The Inside Story on Midterm Grades

My daughter is now in the spring semester of her senior year, and, for the first time, she sent me her midterm grades—without my asking. I’m sure the reason is that she had all A’s for the first time.

Looking back, her explanations for previous less-than-stellar midterm grades probably contained at least a grain of truth: not much work graded yet, not all grades factored into the midterm average, forgot her calculator for her first accounting test, etc.

Some of those explanations (with the notable exception of the forgotten calculator) are echoed in this Q&A with Dr. Emily Heady, senior director of student success and retention. Dr. Heady provides insight into midterm grades, which are due out this week, including
*What you shouldn’t worry about
*Red flags
*How to deal with low midterm grades

I hope you find the information below helpful.

—Sabrina Brown

Dr. Emily Heady is the senior director of student success and retention at Longwood.

What is the purpose of midterm grades?

They’re sort of like split times in a long race—they let you know what your progress is at the halfway mark. They can be encouraging, or they might be an indication that you need to pick up the pace.

Do all faculty report midterm grades for every class?

No. They’re required for all freshmen, as well as for some other populations (ROTC and students in academic difficulty, for example). Otherwise, midterm grades are optional.

Why should parents ask to see midterm grades?

Every semester, I get calls from parents who weren’t aware their students were in trouble in particular courses. My first move is to check the midterm grades, and, most of the time, the student had plenty of warning.

Here’s what I tell students about midterm grades, and I’d love for parents to overhear it:

If you’ve got all A’s and B’s, that simply means that what you’re doing is working—so keep it up! If the grades aren’t what you hoped for, it’s still good to have the information. If you want to stay in the class, know that there’s still time to regroup.

In most college classes, the majority of the points are awarded at the end of the term. A grade of C or lower at midterm would be an indication that you need to use your resources: Visit the professor during office hours, use the Writing Center or Center for Academic Success, and/or make changes to your study habits.

If you’re simply lost in a class, you may want to think about withdrawing and trying it again at a later point. If you want to withdraw, be sure to speak to your academic adviser, as lowering the number of credit hours you’re taking below 12 might have implications for your financial aid.

What should students keep in mind if they’re considering withdrawing from a course?

Withdrawing may be a good option if the student can afford to hit the “pause” button and take the course again at a later time. But there may be consequences. First, if the student’s credit hours for the semester dip below 12 hours, their financial aid may be affected. Also, if they withdraw from a course that they need to stay on track for their major, they may not be able to graduate at the time they originally planned.

Is Longwood able to provide parents with access to their student’s grades?

Students’ records are protected by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), and we follow those policies. That means we can’t give out grades unless the student has signed a release. If students have signed a release for their academic records, we are able to discuss their academic progress with parents, but we have to do so in a way that’s in the student’s academic interests.

Typically, if a parent calls wanting grades, we’ll respond by asking the student to share them, or we’ll offer to serve as moderators in a conversation in which the student and parent discuss the grades together. We won’t simply tattle, as it’s not in the student’s best interests.

We honor the students as the legal adults that they are and help them learn to have the grownup conversations that will continue to be part of their lives.

At what point are midterm grades a red flag?

A grade of D or F is definitely something to worry about. A C might be something to worry about, but isn’t necessarily, depending on the types of assignments that the grade includes. If the grade mostly reflects one big exam and the student is a better writer than test-taker, a C might turn into a B—but it’s still worth watching!

Especially in “make-or-break” classes—those typically challenging courses that students need to complete as requirements of their major—we want to see strong performance. Grades in these classes usually indicate whether a student will succeed in a particular major.

What can parents do to help students whose midterm grades are of concern?

*First, ask your student if they’re going to see their professor during office hours (which are designated times when faculty are in their offices and available to talk to students). The faculty member is the first and best resource.
*Ask your student if they’ve used tutoring resources, and encourage them to reach out.
*Ask your student how they’re spending their time, especially if they’re doing their work BEFORE they socialize.
*Ask what their plan is to get back on track.

Personnel in the Center for Academic Success are always ready to meet with students who need to make a game plan.

What questions should a student ask themselves to determine whether or not they’re able to recover from a low midterm grade?

*How may points are left?
*Can I get the grades I need on the remaining assignments?
*Can I commit to increase my study time?
*Can I make some life decisions that enable to me set a new course?

What steps can students take before midterm to be sure they’re on solid ground academically?

Students who do well typically go to class, turn in all their work in a timely fashion, use office hours and other resources as needed, and make healthy life choices.

The fastest way to get off track is to skip class. There are attendance policies, and students will often miss important instruction and even opportunities to earn points if they skip. The second-fastest way is not to ask for help when you need it. Longwood is a very success-minded place. We want students to do well, and we have all kinds of resources to help this happen. But if students don’t use the resources, we can’t help. Encourage your student to ask.

Why is it better to drop a course earlier in the semester than to withdraw after midterm grades?

Dropping has fewer consequences than withdrawing. If a student drops during the add/drop period, they have a chance to add another class in place of the one they dropped. Dropping has no financial implications, and the student will receive a full refund for the class—though they still need to be careful to maintain the required number of credit hours and to be mindful of their progress toward degree.

What’s the most important thing for parents to remember about midterm grades?

They’re not the final word. They’re a helpful indication of progress thus far, and that’s how they should be taken—as something that’s meant to help. Ultimately, the burden is on the student to take action. Longwood stands ready to help, but the student needs to ask.

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Plastic Problems

In the mid-1950’s there was a movement called “Throw-away Living”, where buying something and only using it once before dumping it in the garbage wasn’t seen as being wasteful, it was seen as a novelty. Single-use household items were marketed towards American families and they were received with excitement, which might cause some confusion now. The excitement stems from the idea of  progress and leaving the past behind, after all, this was the next big thing!

Now, we have our children learning “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle”, and a sense of how important it is to reduce our output of waste, but before you feel like we’ve made any progress from the era of frantic 50’s housewives, remember that nearly half the food produced in the U.S. gets thrown away annually. 91% of plastic isn’t recycled, and we are producing 300 million tons of plastic every year (and that’s only single-use products!). We might have moved into a different mindset about how we treat our plastic trash, but we are still living in the 50’s when it comes to the practice of reducing, reusing, and recycling.


The Facts

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Webinar Basics

Webinar. You’ve probably heard the term, but do you truly know what a webinar is? Do you know how webinars can benefit instructors and students?

A webinar is a meeting that takes place online where participants from various locations come together and interact as if they were face-to-face. Students are able connect with each other or meet with faculty during office hours or for content instruction. Webinar tools provide communication through audio and video, as well as through screen-sharing.

Webinars include a host (the faculty member) who organizes the online meeting and invites attendees. Attendees can include only one or two students or can include fifty or more students. Attendees can be located all over a college campus, in various cities and towns across the state or in various parts of the world. Webinar participants can join the meeting from any location with Internet access.

Webinar Tools All webinar programs are slightly different, however, they all have the same basic tools to help you meet your meeting goals and objectives. These include:

  • audio and video communication
  • screen sharing
  • virtual whiteboard
  • text chat
  • session recording

A webinar is an excellent way to engage with students and support interactive learning. However, as with any technology, webinar use has both benefits and limitations in the teaching and learning process.

Benefits of Webinar Use

  • introduce new content
  • review content
  • assessment feedback
  • 1:1 or small group support
  • Q&A sessions
  • live presentations (by faculty and students)
  • guest speakers
  • office hours
  • session recording for later viewing

Limitations of Webinar Use

  • setting a common meeting time
  • technical issues (by faculty and students)
    • Internet connection/speed
    • required equipment (headset/speakers)
    • technical support
  • preparation time (for faculty)
  • learning curve (both faculty and students)

Webinar Programs Longwood University offers our community two webinar solutions: Canvas Conferences and WebEx. Contact the DEC to learn more about these tools and get started with your online meeting today!

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CSD ‘Brings Home The Gold’ at the 2019 SHAV Conference

At SHAV, first-year graduate students present their research projects and compete against other graduate students from CSD programs throughout the state of Virginia. Longwood students, Shannon Graham, Courtney Kaczmarek, Lizzie Llewellyn, and Payton Yates were awarded first place during the research poster presentations. Their award winning research was titled, “Effects of Instruction Method on Competency and Perception of Proloquo2Go.”

In addition to winning first place in research, another Longwood CGPS student received an award. Lucy Wallace, a senior in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program, was recognized with the SHAV Outstanding Student Leader Award. “As a Longwood student of the CSD program, I had an array of opportunities and experiences available to me…highlights include serving as an executive officer in the Longwood National Student Speech Language Hearing Associates (NSSLHA) chapter for four years, collaborating with the Farmville Lions Club and Longwood Student Government Association to establish a Longwood Lions chapter, and working with the Infant and Toddler Connection of the Heartland’s annual Christmas Giving Tree program,” Wallace stated. Wallace attributes a large part of her success to the faculty and staff in the Longwood CSD program, stating, “They are committed, passionate, and genuinely interested in preparing students to succeed.”

Dr. Mani Aguilar, Clinical Audiologist at Longwood’s Speech, Hearing, and Learning Services, received the State Clinical Achievement Award at the 2019 SHAV Conference. She was recognized for her partnership with the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, offering a Technology Assistant Program at Longwood. Longwood now serves as a demonstration site for assistive listening devices for persons with hearing loss. This partnership has generated over 200 patient visits, with the dispensing of such devices as personal amplifiers, visual alert systems, and captioned telephones. “Mani created a support group for persons with hearing loss that has a regular participation of 25 members in each monthly meeting,” stated Dr. Lissa Power-deFur. “The persons with hearing loss in Southside Virginia are so fortunate that she is here.” In response to her recent achievement, Aguilar recognized the amazing support she has received from her department at Longwood. “The award I recently received from SHAV was possible because of our wonderful leader, Dr. Lissa Power-deFur, as well as the efforts of our entire team of faculty, staff, and students!”

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Dr. Elif Guler facilitates a workshop, presents scholarship, and co-chairs a SIG at CCCC 2019

Dr. Elif Guler, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Longwood’s Professional Writing Program, recently facilitated a pedagogical workshop, presented a paper, and co-chaired a special interest group at the 2019 Conference on College Composition Communication (CCCC) which took place from March 13-16 in Pittsburgh, PA. Since 1949, CCCC has been the world’s largest professional organization for researching and teaching composition, from writing to new media.

Dr. Guler facilitated a workshop entitled, “(Un)veiling Mediated Texts for an Intercultural/International Performance of Rhetoric,” which modeled the use of cross-national mediated texts (e.g., translated television debates and social movement sites), in order to expand students’ perception of non-Western cultures. The unit introduced an instructional unit which aimed to help students explore non-Western women’s dress styles (often stigmatized in Western contexts) and the surrounding discourses as rhetorical artifacts. The unit aims to hone students’ critical thinking skills through a cross-cultural understanding of rhetorical action.

Dr. Guler’s paper entitled, “Recovering Turkish Principles of ‘How to Perform Rhetoric’ from Yusuf’s Wisdom of Royal Glory,” examined non-Western principles of rhetoric evident in the aforementioned text (1069) and how the text aims to educate an ideal agent who has to study language so s/he can effectively communicate with and utilize authority and power. By sharing the writing assignments developed for her rhetoric/writing courses at Longwood, Dr. Guler also discussed how Yusuf’s text can help contemporary writing students explore different national cultures and a moral understanding of rhetorical agency. Dr. Guler presented her paper as part of a panel entitled, “Defying the Rhetorical Tradition: A Multinational Performance of Rhetoric-Composition,” which she organized with a diverse group of scholars focusing on Ethiopian, Indian, and Chinese rhetorical traditions.

Finally, Dr. Guler also co-chaired the Special Interest Group on Non-Western/Global Rhetorics – a standing group which seeks to increase rhetorical knowledge globally, to create new kinds of collaborations, and to welcome “Other” rhetorical traditions (Middle Eastern, Indian, Chinese, Asian, African, and indigenous American, and so on) to the disciplinary conversations at CCCC.

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