Hunter – EDGE (Part 4)

EDGEEDGE Residential College has plenty of social activities right inside the building.

We have had gaming nights, Halloween Costume Party, Ping-Pong tournaments, a Super Bowl party, a clue game night and plenty of other activities.

Language Corner is one of the weekly activities in EDGE Residential College. Language Corner is one of the activities that involve people of all ethnicities, cultures and beliefs from all over campus to get talking.

We even have had events in our building to help with the EDGE garden and courtyard. We have had programs on academic success plans, on how to study, how to adjust to college living and how to deal with roommate problems.

We have also had programs during Christmas time to decorate Christmas cards for the elderly in nursing homes. Going to these events have helped me make friends for a life time. I’m a little shy when meeting new people but EDGE has helped me become a social butterfly.

I believe each student in EDGE Residential College has a talent and it needs to be shown and it can be because of these fun activities in our building. I’m so thankful for the programs offered in EDGE Residential College because they have helped me open my eyes to my new way of life that I’m going to be experiencing for at least four years.  EDGE Residential College has a little something for everyone!

Kirsten – EDGE (Part 4)

In a wired world we are able to stay connected to more people than ever before. Unlike all of you, I am not the internet social butterfly. I only have about 100 friends on Facebook and 20 of them are my relatives. I only following 6 people on Twitter and I have only one follower on Twitter (sad I know). BUT I don’t feel like I am behind in the social world. I have connections; they are just in all the right places rather than in every place.

What are all the right places? Well there are a couple main ones, Victoria’s Secret and EDGE. For the purposes of this we will ignore Vicki’s (one of the 6 “people” I follow on twitter) and focus on EDGE.  I am going to be a little boring for awhile, but don’t stop reading – I get to the dramatic soap opera stuff soon enough.

Why is it so great to live in a residential college and why do I claim the connections are important? Because the best way to ace a test is to know what you need to study. Mrs. Jeffcoat our Resident Master and professor came to the classroom to help with my study group really prepare for her test the following day.  Connections with Tanya and other professors like her that work in EDGE are more important than just the grades. When you can establish a relationship with your professors they help you out later on by writing you letters of recommendation, recommending other professors to take and helping you find the right person to get you through the red tape. Res’ Colleges are the best way to form these connections because the classes are small and localized. You aren’t in a lecture hall with 60 people.

The new EDGE Labyrinth outside State Hall

The new EDGE Labyrinth outside State Hall

EDGE has TONS of programs in the lobby. This allows for networking. Networking gets your face and name into the minds of people who might be able to help you get ahead. They bring people from all over campus over to explain things about departments, services and sometimes just cool things like culture talks. It is through these that I was able to get connected with the Feminist Union and I sold vagina pops for charity. I have been informed about how to study abroad.  What I would consider the biggest social connection I have made is the associate dean of the college of liberal arts. I met him by volunteering for the courtyard project and I have really gotten to know him as we spent hours building the EDGE labyrinth together.

NOW onto the interesting more lovey-dovey stuff. Res’ college has given me more than just wonderful networking options. It has given me a family. I have made friends here that I know will last forever. When I came to college I didn’t have friends coming with me and all me and all my relatives lived hours away. But I have yet to be homesick. Because I have made a new home here. While I have numerous friends and acquaintances within the building I want to tell you about those I call my new family.

Chad and I

Chad and I

Sometimes we call ourselves the three musketeers and D’Artagnan. Chad, Nick and I are the musketeers and Hunter is D’Artagnan. This is not because she is lesser, but because she is different than us. If we were in The Big Bang Theory she would be like Penny to our Sheldon, Lenard and Raj.  Chad is the oldest in our little family. He is going to graduate this year, he is an advocate in EDGE (that explains his age difference). Chad helps out with all of our papers and such making sure we do well in our classes as well as introducing us all to new TV shows and music of a generation gone by.  Nick is the very calm one in the group. I may sometimes joke that if he was any more relaxed I would have to water him (house plant joke). He has a way of finding things on the internet that is hypnotic. His eye for art is outstanding. I am just me obviously; you should know me by now (if you have read all my blogs).  Hunter is the girly girl in our group. She likes crafts and bakes. She brings happiness and sunshine into our otherwise “living in the basement of their moms’ house kinda’ people”.

In conclusion (aren’t you glad I am finally shutting up?) EDGE or any res’ college really, is the place to be. It is where you can make connections for the betterment of your life. Professionally and informally. Friends and colleagues. My connections here are much more important than my Facebook friends or my one follower on twitter.

Kirsten – EDGE (Part 3)

I moved to UCA from a small town in Arkansas. My graduating class was a HUGE 74 people. My friend who lives only thirty minutes away in a “bigger” town frequently makes fun of my little town. She says, “I don’t stop when I drive through, because I fear I will end up in a situation like the movie Deliverance.” So, it is needless to say we didn’t have much diversity. I had a hard time working through the culture shock of moving to UCA. The population here is not all “white-back-woods-rednecks”.

To some this is going to sound ridiculous, but it is the sad truth. I had never seen a black person outside of the television before moving to UCA. I personally am very interested in people who are different than myself, but terrified of offending people by asking what may seem to be “stupid” or “racist” questions. So, after two semesters of taking classes with and becoming friends with a black girl was I finally able to say, “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but will you tell me about your hair? It always looks so perfect and I have always wanted to know how. I only hear bits of conversations and what I hear on T.V. and I am confused and intrigued.”

She laughed, “Girl, what do you want to know?”

I smiled, “Everything you want to tell me, I know nothing.”

Besides being a place to meet new cultures from here in America. There are people from all over the world, places I knew and places I have never heard of.  Have you heard of Guinea-Bissau?  I have now met two people from there.

One of my RAs (meaning Resident Assistant, not to be confused with “RA”s a noise Lady Ga-Ga uses as lyric fillers) is from Rwanda. His name is Robert. Living with Robert and others who come from such different cultures has been eye opening. He has told me some of his ideas and goals in life. He has an amazing passion to help people back home, a passion that is lost where I come from. Most of the people “back home” for me just want to leave town or be able to survive on minimum wage at the factory raising their children. Not often do they think about helping improve the town.


Living in EDGE has provided me with an even bigger insight than, I can assume (maybe I am true or maybe I am just very proud of my new home), any other Res’ College can offer. EDGE stands for Educating for Global Engagement. This means most of the classes offered in the dorm classroom are geared toward global awareness. What EDGE stands for also explains why there are several exchange students living in the dorm.

While there are many amazing facts to learn from exchange students, I am going to tell you one that is less important on a global stand point, but very interesting in my opinion. I was talking with one of the Chinese exchange students and she told me that she will not eat the cookies in the cafeteria. I asked her why, because I personally think the cookies in the caf’ are the best thing they serve. She then explained to me that where she is from cookies are all crunchy. The fact the caf’ cookies are soft and chewy made her believe they were expired.

To wrap it up, UCA has allowed me to become a cultured being. Not only is there a huge diversity on campus, but within my beautiful Res’ College home there is enough culture to learn more about the world than my high school geography class could have ever taught me.

Jackson – EPIC (Part 3)


When you initially hear the word diversity discussed regarding an institution or organization, what comes to mind?  Most people think of racial diversity, working together as one cohesive unit.  While this is found within all of UCA’s Residential Colleges, that is not all that diversity encompasses here.

We have a wide variety of Residential Colleges that fit multiple fields of interest.  This diversity allows for everyone who comes to UCA to find his or her perfect fit.  Diversity can be seen even within these individual programs, which is pretty remarkable if you think about it.  With EPIC, teams are created to tackle projects that nobody in particular is an expert on, so that everyone is able to contribute their points of view.  In the group for my most recent project, we had a Marketing major, Chemistry major, Music Education major, Physical Therapy major, and a Pre-Medical Biology major.  Because of this, we had methodological business minds, creative artistic minds, and analytical science minds all working as a unified group to complete our project.

Having projects with such diversity allows students in Residential Colleges to experience more than those who are not, both in projects than they can participate in, as well as the huge variety of friends they will inevitably make.  UCA’s Residential Colleges are an amazing way for people to meet and interact with others from all walks of life.

Hunter – EDGE (Part 3)

Hunter2When I think of EDGE Residential College the first thing that pops to mind is diversity. After all we are the international residence hall.

We have programs in our building to help students adjust from their small-town lives to big-city culture and diversity. One of the programs that I’ve grown to love is called language corner. It is a way for students to get to know each other from all over campus and to learn about different cultures and learn new words and ideas in different languages. Language corner is a way to have fun with games and to get students talking.

I personally grew up in a small town in North Arkansas that was filled with just a sprinkling of diverse cultures.  Now, I’m not going to lie when I came to UCA I did experience a little culture shock. I knew it was going to be a big change but I didn’t know how big of a change my life would have in store.

When I was welcomed on my freshman move-in day I remember one of the first people I met was Robert from Rwanda in Africa. I could tell by his accent he definitely was not from around here and I realize my life has changed completely. As the day grew on I’ve met people from all over the world including students from China and Japan and even Saudi Arabia.

I feel EDGE was the best thing that could have ever happened to me my freshman year because I became so open to different cultures and open to new ideas and experiences and has given me a totally different perspective.


Seneca – EPIC (Part 3)

EPICEPIC Residential College is all about diversity. I would go as far as to say regardless of what major you are you can make a difference here in EPIC.

I am living proof of this because I myself am a nutrition/dietetics major. We live by the “think wrong concept” which I would think to some extent would indicate a theme of diversity. We have biochemistry majors, psychology majors, physical therapy, (you get the hint) the list goes on and on.

So don’t let your major stop you from being part of EPIC Residential College.  We have diverse majors, diverse people with diverse personalities. That is our makeup here in EPIC and it all comes together to work out pretty well I might add.

Are you nervous about fitting in? Don’t worry, I was too. No need to be concerned. You will find who you mesh up the first week you are here, especially when you get in your teams. Not only do we have diversity in students we are diverse with our projects as well.

We are approaching the end of the first full school year of EPIC Residential Colleges inception and since that time we have done a few different activities. We have done a create your own app contest, a best game at tailgate contest, recruitment/retention ideas and community enhancement projects and I see no end to the activities during my time here.

Step away from the normal college life and do something that’s fun and different at the same time.

Come find your niche, all students welcome!!!

Kirsten – EDGE (Part 2)

They say honesty is the best policy. I personally think a little white lie here and there is sometimes the best policy. Nothing good comes out of telling your friend they look fat in their favorite outfit or that their new haircut makes them look like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber.

In all your classes your professors tell you that Academic Integrity is not only morally right, but it is the only way to pass your classes. This makes all of those long hard essays I talked about in my last post seem even more grueling. How is it possible to write five or eight pages with only your own words?!

Easy, when you truly understand what it means to have Academic Integrity. You can use other people’s words! Just quote them. My learning assistants help me name drop long meaningful quotes into all of my essays.  These quotes not only take up space, they allow you to use other people’s ideas and words to support your own claims. Another important thing to remember when you work so hard on spinning out those pages is you can still tell a lie. You just cannot lie about statistics or use other people’s works as your own.  But! You can actually tell five pages worth of lies, if they are your own lies. I have done it.

An essay for my communications class required me to explain a failed relationship I have been in and analyze why it failed. Just between you and me, I haven’t had enough relationships to talk about how they failed. A week isn’t enough relationship to analyze for a five page paper. Like I said in my last post, I enjoy sitting in the classroom and complain to my LA’s and advocates (advocates are like mini LA’s, they only work a few hours a week rather than all week like LA’s). I believe my droning went something like, “I don’t know how to write this paper! I haven’t even had a relationship since fifth grade and I don’t remember that one well enough to analyze it for five pages.”

“Make a relationship up,” said one of the Advocates.

So I did. It was five pages of why my relationship with Jimmy failed. It analyzed all the stages of ending a relationship, just as our instructor wanted. I got a high A on the essay. It turns out my imaginary relationship which came to a terrible imaginary end, was a beautiful relationship with my GPA. My Res’ College staff help me out so much.  They keep me inspired to do more and better yet they informed on what is safe to say and what would get me into trouble.

Hunter – EDGE (Part 2)

Hunter1Academic integrity is probably the most important part of success at the University of Central Arkansas. Academic integrity means not plagiarizing and being creative in your own work but giving credit where credit is due. Students who fail to achieve academic integrity through their work can get kicked off campus, banned from the school, and even worse it follows you everywhere with your permanent record.

EDGE residential college helps students achieve academic integrity through the help of the Learning Assistants and Advocates. As an Advocate my specialty is helping students with APA format. I make sure students cite their sources carefully so that they do not fail at academic integrity.

We encourage students to use plagiarism checkers online and to use the Purdue owl website to make sure they are citing correctly in their papers. Professors in the classrooms can help students in EDGE Residential College to go over their papers with them when needed and take the time to personally read the students papers and to go over there citations with them even if it means outside of classroom time.

EDGE Residential College professors are really awesome to have especially as a freshman in college because they’re willing to work with students one-on-one even in their free time in their very busy schedules. If a Learning Assistant or Advocate is not able to help a student then they will send them to the Academic Success Center for help in the Torreyson Library. Hunter2

If a student needs math or science help then we can send this student to the math and science building for tutoring if help is not available in the classroom. The tutors can help to make sure that their scientific papers are written in the right format and are cited correctly as well to make sure students achieve academic integrity.

EDGE Residential College will help residents achieve academic integrity when they ask for help.

-Hunter, EDGE Residential College Advocate

Hunter – EDGE

When looking up what it means to define vitality according to vitality means the capacity to live grow or develop.


UCA’s acronym for the school motto is AVID. AVID means Academic Vitality, Integrity and Diversity. Academic vitality means to me the ability to continue to learn and adapt to learn in different styles and be open-minded about learning techniques. In EDGE residential college we have tons of different classes to take and in the same place that we live in.

With so many diverse classes each professor has a different way of teaching. In EDGE Residential College it doesn’t matter what your major is there’s a class for every student.

 In EDGE there is a way to get help in your building that you live in. Professors in EDGE have a way of explaining things and concepts in a whole different way than you’re used to in high school. If you do need any help they try to explain in a different way and adjust to your learning style so that way you can understand and comprehend the material and they go out of their way to help you to make sure you succeed.

In EDGE it’s a really good way to get to know people from all over the world that go to school with you on campus. EDGE Residential College stands for education for global engagement and with the global engagement theme there is a way for students to be open-minded and to learn about worldly cultures and to continue to want to learn.

Academic Vitality in EDGE Residential College is very important for your future successes. I feel EDGE Residential College is a way for students to want to learn about the world in different cultures and aspects of different ways of life and using academic vitality is one way to want to continue to learn and be open-minded about the world at UCA.

Kirsten – EDGE

I am Kirsten.  They classify me as a freshman, whatever that means, and tell me that I am a member of the residential college, EDGE. What does this mean? It means I live with one of my professors and the members of my class and my other professors come to my dorm for class.

My thinking face.

My thinking face.

Sounds cool right?

It totally is when your alarm clock didn’t go off and you have two minutes to get to class. Running down the stairs in my pajamas and making it to class on time feels like an epic win.

I am just about to finish my first year of college. Exciting right? Only somewhat when you know, like I do, that you have about eight more years to go. That doctorate seems a long way off right now, but baby steps are what will get me there. These baby steps don’t feel very baby at the time. They are long hard weeks of long hard essays.

How do you get through these torturous essays?

The answer is something I never would have come up with without the wonderful classroom and Learning Assistants (known as LA’s, they have a fancy name, but they are really just tutors) in my residential college.  The classroom isn’t the most prestigious. To be honest it is a long rectangle that if you are sitting in the back you might think your professor is about a mile away.

The LAs seemed a little scary and unapproachable for the first few weeks, but after you watch your “superiors” wander to the kitchen in their pajamas a few times the new wears off.

SO back onto topic, how I learned to write an essay. I was sitting on top of one of the desks in the classroom, because I am a rebel.  I was complaining, like I always seem to be doing, about how I had no idea where to start on my essay.

A guy who has now become a friend of mine stood up and walked to the white board.  “To write an essay you begin with B.S., then you lie, then you B.S. some more. After that you support your B.S. and lies with some facts and finish it up with some more B.S. And you get an A,” As he said this he wrote on the board, which I photographed.

Essays 101.

Essays 101.

While this is not a good method for actually writing essays it was very humorous. This laughable concept about lying got me writing. This is how I found the true way to write an essay, actually sit down and put words onto the paper, even if they are terrible lies. Because your sloppy words can be edited by your LAs, but an empty page cannot.

Without this humor and help I am not sure if I would have ever started that essay. I have to say that I love all the help and humor that comes from living in EDGE and using the classroom to study. Bouncing ideas off of others is, in my opinion, the best way to keep good insight and good grades.