The Real Dr. Seuss Story

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”


If no teacher gave it to you at the end of high school, give Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go” a read-through.  Acceptance letter in hand, brains in my head, and feet in my shoes, I still remember the summer portion of my new student orientation. This year, all incoming students will come to TU over the summer and begin their orientation journey.

But orientation isn’t just a day where you pick up a bunch of informational pamphlets then go home and never read them. As cheesy as it may sound, it’s the day you become a part of the Towson story, and Towson becomes a part of yours. It starts with you, the new student, taking advantage of the opportunities laid before you to learn more about what the campus has to offer you.

Even if the person you hang out with all day doesn’t become your best friend, they are the person whose friend they introduce you to is in a club on campus you end up joining. For me, a great first experience with my Orientation Leader lead me to become one myself, and through that I met one of the most important people in my life.

The resources you learn about at orientation could be the ones you use to start your business, or write your book (The Writing Center is AWESOME!). The conversations you have will teach you about the world and how you are a citizen in it. You’ll talk about who you are as an individual, as an incoming class, and who we all are as a University. You’ll get your academics in line so that when you graduate you’re ready to take your degree and show everyone what you and your fellow tigers can do.

You’ll be guided along the way–not just by Orientation Leaders and your Guidebook App, but by professors, staff, and the generations of tigers that have come before you. So take your OneCard and wear your lanyard with pride. At the end of your summer orientation day you’ll feel like your blood is a little less red and a little more black and gold.

Arriving in the fall, you can re-connect with the classmates and friends you met over the summer (If you haven’t been sliding into each other’s DMs since). There’s a little more business to make sure you’re set up for classes to start, but there will also be a whole lot of FUN! You’ll meet more people and learn about organizations to get involved in and have plenty of time to get your Tiger Pride on.

I hope you’re getting ready to ride the rollercoaster I’ve been on these past few years. Sometimes I can’t believe it all started there at orientation.

“And then things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.”

Liesl Wegand

Student Director, New Student Programs

From a fishing village to Towson

This week the Thriving Tiger takes a slightly different focus. We asked Kanji Takeno, our beloved University Photographer, to share his words of wisdom and encouragement with our students as they ramp up for finals. Enjoy his storytelling and photos.

KANJI1 I was born in a small, quiet fishing village. When I was a kid, I used to go to the concrete harbor and look down into the water. I enjoyed looking at the creatures living there. One day I went there with my brother and friends. During low tide time, seaweed and shellfish attached to the concrete wall are exposed. They were fascinating to me.  High tide came back swiftly.  I noticed my shoes were getting wet. I got up quickly and started moving to the stone steps to go up. The wet seaweed was very slippery. So I fell. I immediately panicked. My brother and friends did not know what to do. I struggled to get out of the water in vain. All of sudden I saw an elderly fishing man trying to grab my hands. I still have the vivid image…my aimlesslyKANJI2 struggling hands, the man’s face, and his hand, trying to grab my hands. He saved me. I stood drenched on the edge with my face up. I saw the blue sky.  I learned something from the experience. When you are in trouble, struggle, struggle and struggle. Do not give up.  If you keep trying hard, you will be pulled out of the trouble.  

My father worked for the Japanese railway system after he graduated from middle school.  My mother was a dressmaker. She was also a hard worker.  I am the first one who went to college among all my relatives. My parents worked hard for my college education. My mother used to tell me, “Find out how far you can go.” The village had two huge attractions: the ocean and mountains. I always wondered what was beyond the horizon.   While I was a student, I started working as a freelance photo assistant for many established photographers.  The experience made me pursue my career in photography.   During these days I met several “fishermen” who saved me and led me in the right direction.

On Sept. 23rd, 1996, my life at Towson University started. It was a beautiful day. I looked up at the blue sky. A year later I started teaching Japanese language.  My two major dreams came true. I was not very much of a “people” photographer then. I set my goal: “happy, positive, smiley” images. I struggled. Then I realized I needed to be “happy, positive and smiley” first, before I could translate that into my photography. My photographs now are very close to my goal. I will never forget good photographs are the result of wonderful TU students, our beautiful campus, and helpful faculty and staff. I know I am no “fisherman” to you, but I would love to make you smile and make this day a little easier to live. By the way, do me a favor. When you travel to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, meet a little kid and you hear him saying, “One day I will study in your country and make a difference to the world”, you say looking at the eyes, “You have everything you need to make your dream come true. Good luck”.

Have a great day. Keep smiling. Thank you all.


Preserving the Earth, Preserving your Grades

Are you getting ready for the end of the semester? Start thinking of when you should be studying, what resources you need, and how to finish your semester strong with everything from the beginning of your semester to now!

Plants grow from seedlings when nourished consistently over time. Your brain retains information better if you provide it a steady flow of information throughout the course of the semester rather than trying to cram everything into it in one week. Slow and steady always wins the race. The path to success is one of consistent attention and time commitment. It is not achieved in a week or overnight. This is the take home message for approaching finals or the next school year. The best way to prepare yourself for exams and for life is to start early and water your brain with the knowledge needed to succeed!

Tired of spending money on ink, paper, and printing fees for printing articles assigned for your class? How about toting around three notebooks so you can hectically take notes for each class, only to find them illegible when you look back to review them? It’s time to #recycle that paper and start using your resources! If your professors allow it, take notes on your computer or tablet during class.  You can compile your notes by subject, topic and/or day (side note, if you bring your computer to class, TURN OFF THE INTERNET-it helps with the internet browsing temptation).  Sign up for Evernote, where you can take notes and share them with others in order to make quick, easy, effective study groups. Finally, download your textbooks and articles onto your computer or tablet. Look into software that is compatible with your device so you can make notes on specific readings and save them to your computer. At the end of the day, you’ll have your notes and readings all in the same place.  With that said, don’t forget to back everything up! Whether you use an external hard drive, the “cloud”, or any other device, make sure you have things saved in multiple places.  Not only will you feel more organized, but you’ll save your back the trouble of carrying all your materials around campus.

With the excitement of finishing classes, it’s easy to be tempted to throw all your notes in the trash. However, take a moment to think about what might be useful for you in the future before throwing any notes away. If you are planning on going to graduate school, some of your undergraduate notes may be useful to save as a reference. If you are taking a course relevant to your future career, those notes also may be worth holding on to. You never know when you are going to need this information again! Another important reason to recycle your notes is because you can reuse them again to study! Save your notes for all your classes during the semester as they will come in handy when studying for finals and cumulative tests. At the end of the semester, go through all your notes and decide what is worth keeping and what you can afford to get rid of. You worked hard all semester to take good notes, don’t forget to reuse and #recycle them!

The end of the semester is right around the corner and this is the time to sharpen up any habits you may have lost. Look over your notes, develop new habits, and start studying now!

Fact or Fiction? Swimming through the world of Politics.

Scroll through your Facebook timeline right now – somewhere there is at least one passionate novel length status from someone who claims they are the end all guru of political wisdom.

It’s that time again, friends. Happy election year!

With this being such a vital year in American politics, there’s a wave of messages flooding media channels withpolipic ‘vital political information’. But how do you navigate the madness? How can you figure out who to vote for with confidence when one source about a candidate contradicts another source?

Never fear! Political literacy is here!

Political literacy, first and foremost, should not be confused with political ideology. While political ideology is great in directing you in seeking sources based on your values, political literacy and being politically literate is being able to evaluate information that is appropriate, credible, and overall reliable. You see it in Facebook statuses, biased media sources, and even just word of mouth – there is so much information out there but not all the information will be reliable because, well, anyone can produce ‘information’. A good rule of thumb is to spot C.R.A.P when you see it!

When looking at resources, you should consider the following things:

Currency – How recent was this resource published or updated? This is especially important when you are researching political candidates because a statement that they said in a speech ten years ago may be brought up for debate. That statement might not have the same meaning or reflect the same beliefs the candidate holds now.

Reliability – What kind of information is included in the resource? Does the author provide citations/ references for quotations and data? Where are you getting this information from? A lot of articles will use numbers to make their point. Figures like 43% of this or $2 billion of that are easy to throw around, but where are the citations?

A great resource for those who are seeking to be politically literate is the site This site has a user-friendly “truth-o-meter” where journalists have researched “political facts” and statements as a reference for voters.

Authority – Who is the author/ creator of the resource? Are they credible/ reputable? One of the best ways to ensure whatever information you are getting has a reputable authority behind it is to simply go towards the source! Go to a candidate’s site and research what they have been working on/what they value. Go talk to your local politicians – often times you will be able to actually visit their personal office! Being politically literate is about much more than just choosing a president and you can’t get more authentic than the politician themselves!

Additional sources that would be helpful would be the NYTimes guide to the candidates,, and Baltimore Sun Voting Guide, since the information is specifically compiled from the survey information that politicians filled out themselves.

Purpose/Point of View – Is the content primarily opinion or is the information provided with as minimal bias as possible? Why was the article written in the first place? If there is one thing you must be wary about is the tidal wave of bias. Often, the purpose of a political message is to share a specific point of view – even if that means exaggerating/manipulating information. Taking the initiative to be politically literate sometimes means leaving your ideology at the door. We’ve all been susceptible to the phenomenon of the “filter bubble” – surrounding ourselves with people and following social media that reflects opolinemour own ideology. While aligning with a political ideology has its perks don’t forget to ask for the facts!

Wow, it seems like you have to navigate through a lot of C.R.A.P to become politically literate right? Don’t worry! You’re swimming your way towards political literacy by just questioning the sources of information you find!

Student On-Campus Employees–It’s All About YOU!

Happy National Student Employment Week Tigers!

Did you know that there are over 3,000 jobs available on-campus for students and all departments are now required to posstudentemploymentweekt open positions on Hire@TU?

Students who hold on-campus jobs often have higher GPAs than their peers who work off-campus or don’t have a job at all. On-campus employment allows for flexibility in scheduling and convenience both of which aid in successful time management for class work and studying. As outlined by the NACE Core Competencies for Career Readiness (PDF), there are specific competencies employers in all industries look for in a candidate, which students should develop to be best prepared to transition to the real world post-graduation. On-campus student employment allows students the opportunity to develop these career readiness skills.

In addition to attaining desirable skills that can be translated into the real world after graduation, working on-campus has many other benefits. Rachel Ungvarsky, a marketing intern at the Career Center, shared with me how she benefited from working on-campus and how you, too, can benefit.

  • Career Ready Skills:

 “I’ve held jobs on-campus in departments like Housing and Residence Life, New Student Programs, and the Career Center. These experiences have helped me develop valuable time management, communication, and organizational skills. I’ve also had a chance to work as a team with peers and learn from others,” said Rachel.

  •  Convenience:

 Rachel explains that her favorite part of working on-campus is that on-campus employers “…understand that you are a student first. I’ve been able to juggle classes, involvement, and work schedule much easier because of this.”


  • Makes Finding an Internship/Full-Time Position Easier:

 Reflecting on her on-campus experience she said, “I’ve also had a much easier time getting my first internship since I’ve had these work experiences on my resume. I highly recommend all Towson students to consider being an on-campus student employee. There’s a lot you can learn and experience by working on campus.”


dochireTo the students who are currently on-campus employees, join the Career Center this week for the following events (with lots of free food and giveaways) in order to celebrate and recognize your hard work and dedication:



Make sure to wear your department t-shirt/nametag or be prepared to pull up your online timesheet, as these events are only available to current on-campus student employees. If you are not yet a student employee and are interested in available positions, check out Hire@TU to find your on-campus job today.

Thank you for all of your continual hard work and dedication, TU student on-campus employees!

Amanda Sands
Marketing Intern
Career Center

Who’s Got Time for That?

As college students, you have multiple things that you are juggling all at once. Whether you are a student-athlete, in the marching band, a member of a campus group or organization, or just an involved student within your degree program; finding time to fit EVERYTHING in seems almost impossible most days. The purpose of this article is to help you find that balance and provide you with a few time management strategies that could alleviate some of the stress that comes from being so busy!

  1. Prioritize your time: Make a list of all your obligations and prioritize them how you see fit.7
  2. Find an organization method: Write all of your obligations in a weekly or monthly calendar/planner so you can see where all of your time is being spent. Heck, you could go a step further and even color code the different commitments so you know how much time you’re spending per area. Include your school assignments.
  3. Reminders: If you have a smartphone or electronic calendar, make sure to set up reminders to go off either 30 minutes before or a day before, depending on your short and long term memory.
  4. Limit distractions: How often do you find yourself taking a break from studying to check out what’s going on in the social media world? Next thing you know, an hour or more has passed. Put a timer on your phone for 10-15 minutes and then start looking through your social media apps or shopping websites. When the alarm goes off, you know it is time to get back to work! Also, put 10your phone on airplane mode when doing school work so you don’t get distracted by emails, texts, social media notifications, etc.
  5. Just DON’T do it… naps: It can be very tempting to take a nap for an hour in between your two classes. Although this sounds good at the time, there is sometimes room for error. Maybe you forget to set an alarm, or set it for PM when it was supposed to be AM. If you skip the nap you can maximize your day time hours and get your work done. Ideally you should be able to get to bed at a decent hour in order to get a solid 8 hours of sleep at night.
  6. Online classes: It is easy to forget sometimes that you have to be reading or doing assignments for online classes since you aren’t physically going to a classroom to be taught the material. Make sure you schedule designated times and days to focus on those online classes so you don’t fall behind.
  7. Get in the habit: Imagine waking up to go to class and when you get there, nobody else is there. At that moment, you decide to check your email and Blackbtimeoard. Sure enough, your professor sent a last minute announcement saying class was cancelled. Doh!!! Checking your email and Blackboard at certain times throughout the day could help you avoid added stress like this.

These are just a few suggestions for managing your time and obligations as a busy college student. Good luck!

Elysa Newman, Director for Athletic Academic Achievement

The Rookie and The Veteran: Reflections on Campus Jobs

While many students decide to work on-campus for the financial benefit, there are even more reasons to do so. We wanted to share those benefits with you as we reflect on our experiences of serving as Student Academic Advisors.hero-friends

The Rookie:

In seventh grade, my life changed completely when my social studies teacher, Mr. Deering, told me that I could become great if I channeled my energy in the right direction. Mr. Deering expressed to me that I had an enormous amount of potential. “There will always be time to play, but these next few years of your life are very critical to where you will end up in the future,” he advised.

Since that moment, education has grown to be one of my greatest passions. The following year when I was in the eighth grade, I earned straight A’s all four quarters. Mr. Deering saw potential in me that I did not see in myself. I carried this motivation from Mr. Deering into college.

From the conversation I had with Mr. Deering many years ago, I was inspired to become a Student Academic Advisor. Through this role I have become a positive role model academically, motivated other students to achieve their academic goals of obtaining a competitive GPA, and connected students with on-campus academic resources to sharpen their academic skills.  I want to impact students in the same way Mr. Deering impacted me; I am blessed to have this opportunity. Being in this role as a Student Academic Advisor has enhanced my personal educational interest and allowed me to be successful academically.

The Veteran:

Reflecting on my freshman year at Towson, one of the best decisions I made was to become a Student Academic Advisor. From the moment I started the position, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and began attaining experience that I would be able to translate into the real world. As a Student Academic Advisor, I am no longer afraid of public speaking and have developed essential interpersonal skills.

Within my role as an SAA I have really discovered myself. My high school counselors are the reason that I was able to attend Towson University, and I knew I wanted some type of career in which I could repay their support. While advising at a university is different than counseling in a public school setting, this position allowed me to determine that my ideal career would be in an academic setting and that Psychology was the best major for me.

Although I love working in a university setting and providing college students with academic guidance, I have decided on becoming a professional school counselor to help low-income students become college bound. After graduating this May, I will be attending Johns Hopkins University to obtain my Master’s in School Counseling and applying the conversational and interpersonal skills from my time as an SAA. I would not be who I am or where I am today without my education at Towson University or my experience as a Student Academic Advisor.


Alex Alli, Student Academic Advisor

Amanda Sands, Student Academic Advisor

Academic Advising Center


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