How to Dress for your Interview!

You’ve just been invited to interview! You’ve identified your strengths, you have excellent stories that highlight your skills and experiences as they relate to the position, and you’ve fully researched the organization. BUT you look at your closet and panic– what to wear?!

If you’re not sure what to wear in any situation try using these three steps:

  1. Ask
  2. Ask
  3. Ask

You can start with low stakes and ask google, but, I daresay your best resource is a real person. For any situation you can ask: 1) friends and family, 2) professors, 3) the Career Center, and 4) the interview site (Yes, for real!). Try this phrase: “What attire is appropriate?”

What if they respond with: business casual OR business professional OR snappy casual? So many different interpretations! The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to be a little overdressed. Overdressing shows that you respect  the opportunity/event. 

Here is a guide that I have found to particularly handy:

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Put on something that feels comfortable, that you know is appropriate through researching and talking with others, that shows you respect the opportunity, and then focus on what you want to say, because it’s more important to be remembered for your content than your style!

Being Unapologetically You in the Work Place – Office of Multicultural Affairs

Written by: Megan Pugh, Office of Multicultural Affairs

In the spirit of social justice, it’s important to first mention that the concept of professional dress is firmly rooted in the hierarchy that places men — particularly wealthy, cisgender heterosexual white men — at the top of the social pyramid. In other words, your appearance is equated with your status, which reinforces the idea that those outside of business professional attire, are not as valuable to an organization. However, as folks have become more empowered to show up authentically and unapologetically, the landscape of work attire has changed tremendously.

For example, more Black women than ever are wearing their natural tresses (as well as beautiful braided and twisted protective styles) into their work spaces. No longer subscribing to Eurocentric standards of beauty, these women are showing that natural hair — curly, coiled, kinky, or loc’ed — are professional, PERIOD! We’re also seeing non binary folks and those whose gender presentation is not aligned with others’ assumptions, to wear what feels most natural to them. Additionally, folks in fat bodies are styling in their professional wear, uninhibited and unafraid of others’ discomfort with how their shapes and curves fit in their clothes. Stepping into a new space and challenging what others’ perceive as normal or attractive is a huge risk for those who do it, and it’s important to honor and respect the courage of those willing to do that work!

 

UNCA’s Residential Education offer students their Top 10 Tips in order to be successful!

Happy New Year!

 

January is often a time for fresh starts!  If you had a bad semester last semester, now is the time to begin again.  We, in Residential Education, are here for you and want to walk alongside you to support you in your educational goals.  Below is a “Top 10” list of tips we’ve created to assist you in making this semester a success:

 

  1.  You can’t do everything.  If you feel like you’re getting spread too thin, take a step back and reevaluate your priorities.  It’s easy to get run down by trying to do too much. Focus on doing the things you feel are most important and forget about the rest.

 

  1.  Communicate!  One of main reasons for roommate conflicts is a failure to communicate.  If you haven’t already, a great thing to do is complete a roommate contract (see your RA for details).  The contract is a tool we use to assist students in communicating what is and isn’t allowed in the room.

 

  1.  Stop by your Community Director’s office and talk with them! We love talking to our students!

 

  1.  Try to best to get a full night’s rest whenever possible.  Most students need between 7-9 hours of sleep to feel fully rested.  While this may not be possible every night, try to get a full night of sleep whenever you can.

 

  1.  Get involved! Get out of your rooms and meet new people, go to events, and try new things.  Speaking of getting involved, have you ever considered being a Resident Assistant? Being an RA is a great way to be involved in campus life!  Applications are be available at housing.unca.edu from January 22nd until February 18.

 

  1.  Don’t skip meals.  With the busyness of the semester, it’s easy to skip eating and run off to class, work or an important meeting.  At the very least, set up foods you can eat on the run so you’ll have the energy to keep going.

 

  1.  Schedule your time; I know it sounds boring and tedious, but if you don’t manage the hours you have in a day, they will manage you!

 

  1.  Reach out when you need help – Sometimes, it’s hard to reach out for help, whether you’re struggling in a class or not transitioning to UNC Asheville well.  However, there are so many resources for support at UNC Asheville who are committed to making sure you have the best experience possible!

 

  1.  Really get to know your Resident Assistant.  They are there as a resource for you and can assist with questions ranging from campus involvement to where you need to go to pay fees.

 

  1.  Step outside your comfort zone: Try at least one thing new this semester that you would have never ever done before!  Attend a concert with music you don’t commonly listen to, go hiking if you’re a couch potato, or something else exciting.  Who knows, you may create a new pastime!

 

We hope you have a wonderful semester!

 

-The Residential Education Team

 

Get Connected with Employers!

Did you know that your Career Center has dedicated staff who works specifically with employers who want to recruit you?  Hi, I’m David Earnhardt, and I’m the Associate Director for Employer Relations in the Career Center here at UNC Asheville. Every day I talk with employers, internship sites, service year opportunities, and volunteer organizations; and each one is interested in learning more about you! These folks are actively looking for students/alumni who are critical thinkers.  Folks who can work with other people. Employees who are motivated to make an impact on their organizations…and every day I get the chance to share stories about the great work our students do both inside the classroom and in the community that helps build those skills… it’s a great job!

 

I also meet with students and talk with them about what their goals are and how we can best connect with organizations of best fit in the community. This gives me the opportunity to help students network with professionals, get introductions, and find out #What’sNEXT.  

 

So how can you make sure you’re making the most of this semester? Start with a conversation with a professional in the Career Center. They can help you identify what you’re passionate about, how to align that with your goals, and can offer guidance on your professional documents to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

 

Employers tell me all the time that they can tell who’s come through the Career Center, and who hasn’t. It’s tempting to put off thinking about your time after UNC Asheville, and delay working with the Career Center until after you’ve completed your senior year.  I’ve seen that temptation lead to stress and anxiety that’s completely avoidable! Some small time investments now will pay big dividends when you graduate…so come on in, the Career Center’s a great place to be!

 

Jennifer Hibbert, ATMS ’09, found peace in the most unlikely of places

russiaSenior year at UNCA, Joe Phillips and I found ourselves dreaming of adventures around the world. He ended up at the South Pole with NOAA Corps, and I ended up working for private industry in Singapore.

Graduating in 2009 meant that jobs for recent graduates were scarce. I applied for a few jobs around the world, but most companies were not keen to sponsor the visa of someone with no experience. One application, for a position as a marine forecaster in Aberdeen, Scotland was sent back to their main office in Houston, and they made me an offer. My only offer. My entire UNCA ATMS career learning the arguments why climate change is real and how I, personally, am going to save the planet, now faced the reality of the only industry willing to make me an offer: Oil & Gas.

I went to Houston. My company, Wilkens Weather Technologies (WWT), provided me with excellent training to forecast marine conditions anywhere in the world. My spirit for adventure meant I was the first to volunteer for any opportunity, bringing me offshore for rig construction projects in the Gulf of Mexico and later off Sakhalin Island, Russia. Turns out, Dr. Miller’s final ATMS project, “Seasick in the Pacific,” would be my actual job every day. I discovered I love working offshore. I find profound mental peace out at sea.

My thirst for adventure was not satisfied by just moving to Houston. I wanted an international life, to live as an expat, and I wanted to forecast for the southern hemisphere (to vindicate my unpopular choice to study a southern hemisphere storm during the very last week of our education. It was an unwelcome curveball!). When a job opportunity for a marine offshore forecaster opened in Singapore with Fugro, I applied immediately, and was clearly the right fit. Three weeks later, I packed up my apartment and blindly moved to Singapore.

Now I have been here for nearly five years. I was promoted to manager of the weather forecasting operations, leading 5 forecasters from Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Greece and Brazil. I’ve had the chance to travel all around the world, and started a charitable organization, Waybright Foundation, to support organic farming, basketball and eco-tourism in Philippines and Indonesia. In 2017, I have built two bungalows so far: one at Villaconzoilo Compact Organic Farm in Leyte, Philippines; one at Bubble Addict dive & yoga center on Pulau Weh, Indonesia. I’ve launched a business to sell custom-printed basketballs to support Waybright projects, and plan to sponsor students from Philippines to learn from a similar farm in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. I am so inspired by the folks in these developing countries building businesses sustainably, caring for the environment, and striving to make a better world for their children. A little help goes a long way on this side of the world. The simple bungalow in Philippines (a traditional “bahay kubo”) was built from local materials with a budget of $1,000 in 30 days, and the income they now generate allows their village school to cover up to grade 6 when previously it stopped at grade 3. Many kids ended their education after 3rd grade, because the 7km walk to the next village is too difficult.

Despite the tragic Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia, and the devastating Typhoon Yolanda in Philippines, these two places maintain an unwavering positive spirit, and have rebuilt their communities to be stronger and safer than before. It’s so easy to lose perspective of what is important when you live in modern convenience. Singapore is so clean, safe and efficient that I have grown impatient! I visit these places to remind myself how to be patient, and that instant gratification and comfort do not create happiness.

I credit UNCA for setting me up to thrive in multi-cultural settings. One elective course I took for fun- Food in Arab Culture- is one I now refer to daily. My entire life is a Humanities Cultural Event! American education heavily focuses on independent critical thinking and problem solving, which are unique and valuable traits in an international context. Classes in rock climbing, dance and volleyball at UNCA gave me the confidence to try all sorts of other new physical activities, and recently I’ve learned to sail, SCUBA dive, and Zumba. Taking extra time for fun classes at UNCA is the way to go, you never know what skill will come up later. I wish I had taken Meditation.

While my career is going great now, before I found the job in Singapore but wanted to leave Houston, I was discouraged by the amount of computer skills sought by employers. Getting promoted to manager meant learning lots of code fast (VBA, GrADS, DOS batch). Now I write programs (poorly) and wish I had taken some more computer courses while in University… or rather, I wish I had put more effort into Fortran!

My advice is to takes risks while you are young. Move out. Take a chance. Explore somewhere different, either with friends or solo. Life slows down eventually, priorities change, many peers will be content starting families and buying houses in the suburbs and it becomes harder to find adventurers. Not everybody has wanderlust. But if you do, go for it. You can travel for less money than you think. Home will always be there, but the time in your life where having an adventure and seeing something new beats being comfortable are magic years to be celebrated. American culture has a fear of traveling that does us a disservice. There is nothing to be afraid of! Hostels are the place where your new friends are waiting to meet you. Traveling will broaden your perspective in a way that will benefit your career for the rest of your life.FugroonAegir

Stefan Walz (’16) shares his lessons on how to job search and have fun

I came out of school with a career doing exactly what I set my heart on and that is something for which I am grateful. I am the Videographer/Multimedia Producer for GoTriangle, the local transit company for the triangle area of North Carolina. I make promotional video content that encourages people to take a new mode of transportation such as the bus, vanpools, carpools, biking, or walking.  I work with a great team that allows for a lot of creative collaboration and simultaneous freedoms and I love every aspect of my job. However, looking back, I wish I had approached the job search differently.

In May 2016, I graduated from UNCA with a degree in New Media and concentrations in video art and interactive web/design. I was still recovering from my last semester of college and attempting to grasp the fact that after 18 years of education, I was finally done with that chapter of my life.  I made an agreement with myself upon graduating that I could slack off and just have fun for a few months. Throughout the summer following graduation, I went on adventures to new and old places, visiting  friends and having a blast. I had completely pushed the idea of looking for jobs or writing applications to the side.  This was a mistake.

I realize now that it is possible to have fun while simultaneously writing cover letters, completing applications, and actively job searching.  During my trips, I could have easily looked at job sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Beyond or requested informational interviews with people in my field. I vastly recommend that you engage in informational interviews because you can learn a great deal by asking questions and gaining insights about your career options and your future that you wouldn’t normally think of.  It also gives you great practice and confidence in an interview setting, making it that much easier when you are finally called in for a real job interview.

Informational interviewing also improves your network of contacts exponentially.  Every time you connect with a new person, you have the possibility of getting connected with their contacts and it grows from there.  You never know; it may lead to an eventual job offer or nice referral. I connected with and am still in contact with five people I met during informational interviews.  One of them even allowed me to shadow them on a video shoot and was incredibly encouraging in the process leading up to me getting my job.

My advice to students still in college; please, please build up your resume.  Most jobs have a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree in the field of interest.  It is your job as a college student to pursue internships or have an impressive portfolio made to showcase that you are above and beyond the competition.  It will give you great insights into what you will expect in the job field and looks so much better to employers come application time.

Lauren Glennon (’15) Gets a Firsthand Look at Sports Marketing and Management With the Asheville Tourists

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My name is Lauren Glennon and I’m a senior at UNC Asheville majoring in Management with a concentration in Marketing. I’ve always been interested in the entertainment industry and worked several street teaming and promotional internships in music. When I was offered an internship with the Asheville Tourists Baseball Club I jumped on the opportunity to experience the world of sports management and marketing.

I began working a month before Opening Day with a small group of about 15 full time staff members. While gearing up for the season I would sit in on sales meetings about sponsors of the team, seeing first hand how all the sponsored portions of a sporting event come to be. I would also be sent into the community to do grassroots marketing including prospecting local business that would be willing to display promotional schedules for the season or taking the mascots, Mr. Moon and Ted E. Tourist, out to various community events.  One of my favorite opportunities was going to ESPN Radio and getting to voice the commercials for our sponsors that air during the broadcasts of our games!

About a month into the season, I can say that the sports industry is an exciting roller coaster and you have to be prepared for anything that could happen. On a game day there is so much that needs to be done to be ready to open the gates in the evening to up to 4,000 fans.  First thing in the morning I will go set up flags along Biltmore Avenue in Downtown advertising “Game Today”. I will also go through our inventory to make sure the store is fully stocked with merchandise, answer phone calls regarding ticket sales, and prepare all promotional materials that are to be distributed including jersey giveaways, t-shirt gun t-shirts, gift cards, etc.

Once gates open, I supervise a group of employees called the “Jade Bombers” with the Promotions and Community Relations Manager. The Jade Bombers are basically our baseball cheerleaders and energize the crowd as well as execute all of our in game promotions from kids races, t-shirt tosses, and other giveaways. Every promotion is scheduled for a specific moment of the game, whether it’s top of the fifth inning or middle of the eighth.  This part of my job is extremely fast paced; you cannot stop paying attention to the game for a split second or you can miss an event you’re supposed to do. I have been continuing to develop my management skills in delegating tasks to the Jade Bombers to ensure a successful run thru on any given game day.

Through my internship I’m getting a great mix of opportunities to utilize my management skills and marketing tactics. The staff at the Asheville Tourists is great at giving me opportunities to try all different aspects of the sports industry, from allowing me to manage the store, supervise part-time staff, and interact with both clients and customers. They place a lot of trust in me, which I appreciate because it gives me a chance to accept new challenges and rise to the occasion.

My advice to any current students interested in working in sports management is to do an internship, or even two! Almost every single person that is a full time employee at the Asheville Tourists began as an intern and it’s a great opportunity to really understand the logistics of all that goes on behind the scenes. I can definitely say this job has given me invaluable experience in customer service, communication, and leadership that will be transferable no matter where my professional life ends up. I’m very excited to continue throughout our 2015 season!

Adam Pryor (’14) Synthesizes his UNC Asheville Experience at Moog Music

My name is Adam Pryor. I graduated in the Fall of 2014. The first time I visited UNC Asheville’s campus I knew the first place I wanted to see was the music hall. Lipinsky hall, with its unique architecture, immediately told me that something interesting lay within. Down in the basement was where all the magic happened; 3 separate studios each with their own type of functionality with loads of nice toys and gear to play with. The main studio was comprised of 2 isolation rooms and the main control room with vintage mics, tape machines, high end mixing console, and vintage outboard processing gear with a patch bay for easy routing. Next door was the mixing and mastering room, acoustically treated, with surround sound capability, and loads of mixing software.

The final studio was where my dreams were fully “synthesized.” Dr. Robert Moog was a professor for some time at UNC Asheville after moving to the area to build his synthesizer company, Moog Music, back up. After his death, the university commemorated his legacy by opening the Bob Moog Electronic Music Studio.Inside this studio housed several (understatement) Moog synthesizers and various other Moog electronic effects and processors. I had always been interested in electronic music, but at the time where I was from no one listened to electronic music and talking about synthesizers was like speaking a foreign language. I didn’t care about its popularity or what I could potentially do with these instruments, I just knew I wanted to be there, to experience what those machines had to say and offer. I hadn’t even been accepted yet and I was already making connections.

Getting accepted meant becoming determined, I had 4 years to figure out what I would do with my degree and how it could be something I knew I loved doing. Failure was not an option for me personally for there was nothing back home for me to make a living at or any other thing that gave me such impetus as these electronic instruments did. I went to class, took in as much as I could, and most importantly, I had discussions with my professors and peers to help me decide what path was right for me after graduating from college. I discovered Moog Music was operating out of Asheville and was opening a new production facility close to downtown. Even better, I came across a company in very close proximity called Make Noise, who made modular synthesizers. Here were my opportunities to make something of myself. I immediately started building a connection with the staff at Make Noise.

That connection gave me the opportunity to land a summer internship with the company. Around this time I started to become more fascinated with electronics. These synthesizers were spurring my further curiosity into the science behind the machines. Jude Weinberg, who I was fortunate enough and privileged to have as a professor was just the mentor I needed. He helped to broaden my interests and understanding of electronics, synthesis, and the physics of sound. He helped keep me motivated and would help whenever I couldn’t quite grasp a concept. He even gave me a temporary job in the music department helping maintenance old equipment and digitally archive music on outdated playback formats (reel to reel, ADAT, etc.). Professor Weinberg encouraged me to reach out to Make Noise and eventually would help lead me to my ultimate end-of-college goal, land a job at Moog.

This picture was taken one afternoon when we were given free time to patch and experience the modular synthesizers made by Make Noise. From left to right: Asher Hill, Matt Sherwood (in the back), Safarii Urena, and me.

This picture was taken one afternoon when we were given free time to patch and experience the modular synthesizers made by Make Noise. From left to right: Asher Hill, Matt Sherwood (in the back), Safarii Urena, and me.

I knew I was taking a big step, a step towards the beginnings of a career in a field of work that I had since only dreamed of. I immediately made an appointment with Chris Hegg at the UNC Asheville Career Center. He was tremendously helpful with tuning up my resume, getting a cover letter written up, how to approach an interview, and even how to present myself as a professional on social media. He basically helped me find the right way to represent myself, bringing out my “A-game” so to say. Professor Weinberg put me in contact with Dean Cavanaugh, productions manager with Moog Music.

All that was left to do was put myself out there and hope for the best. I emailed Mr. Cavanaugh with a copy of my resume and cover letter attached and then waited. At least a month went by without hearing anything, but then one day I receive an email back telling me that a position is open and that they would like me to come in for an interview. By this point, I was ecstatic and a little anxious. Regardless of getting a job, I knew to make it this far was an accomplishment. I went to the interview confident in myself. Again, I held on to the belief that I had made it this far and I wasn’t backing down now. The interview went very well, my relationship with the music department, my internship with Make Noise, and my experience with building electronics scored well with Mr. Cavanaugh. I presented myself as professional with my resume and cover letter. I wanted Moog to know that even though I was young and not even out of college yet, I was determined and reliable, that Moog was where I wanted to start my professional career.

Several days passed when I received a phone call from Mr. Cavanaugh telling me that I landed the position. Instantly I felt this tremendous pressure lift off of me. I wasn’t sure if I was awake or dreaming. I had done what I set out to accomplish at the end of high school and through out college. What was even more incredible was that I hadn’t even graduated yet and they were already wanting me to start working. When my parents found out, they were so proud of me for sticking with my dream and working hard to graduate and land a job right out of college. Its an opportunity that doesn’t come along often for many college students these days. On my graduation day, I was able to hold my head high for I knew I had already accomplished so much, my degree was icing on the cake.

Anatomy Professor Jillian Davis (’06) Shares Some Advice on Doing What You Love

I'm holding an eastern pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavus) that was caught during a bat conservation workshop run by Bat Conservation International. I got to go on a UNCA undergraduate research grant!

I’m holding an eastern pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavus) that was caught during a bat conservation workshop run by Bat Conservation International. I got to go on a UNCA undergraduate research grant!

I graduated from UNCA with a BS in biology in 2006, then worked as a vet tech for two years before starting grad school. I graduated from Ohio University in 2014 with a PhD in biology and began a tenure-track position as an anatomy professor at a small, undergraduate university in NC. I feel incredibly lucky to have a position at a university that emphasizes excellence in undergraduate education, where I am supported in investing most of my time in teaching. I also have the opportunity to continue independent and collaborative research (I am interested in understanding patterns in evolution of mammalian craniofacial morphology in response to trophic shifts, and I have gotten to work with some incredible animals including bats, kinkajous, alpacas, and howler monkeys!).

As I doubt many of you are likely pursuing a career in mammalian craniofacial morphology, I’ll focus less on specifics and more on some advice that I feel is pretty universal, which I think essentially boils down to two main points:

  • Whether you’re applying to grad school, med school, or a job, the decision to admit you won’t come down to how many things are on your resume. Rather, schools and employers will focus on whether you’ve done the things you’ve taken on well and whether those things have reinforced your decisions to pursue your intended career. Sure, there are gregarious go-getters out there who seem to take on everything and shine at everything they take on. I’m not one of those people! When I take on too much, I get frazzled and do bad work. For me, the most important factors for getting into grad school were coursework (I tried different things and identified what I loved. A semester in mammalogy and human anatomy helped me pinpoint an interest in mammalian functional morphology), undergraduate research (You’re at one of the best undergraduate research institutions in the country! Find someone who does what you love and align yourself to learn from them. I did a project with Chris Nicolay, and he was a phenomenal mentor who, above all, helped me figure out how to turn my interests into a career. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons—interest—and not just to pad your resume), and working as a vet tech (not only did I gain invaluable experience, I also learned that I did not want to be a vet. To me, it was tremendously important to be able to find a career in which I had the freedom to ask questions). Ultimately, both the experiences and the confidence in my decision were important factors in my acceptance to grad school. The most important factor was that I knew specifically what I wanted to do and chose a lab that was a clear fit.

    I'm holding a cane toad (Rhinella marina) found in Costa Rica while doing field research on chewing in howler monkeys during grad school. The picture doesn't do him justice--he was enormous--hence my excitement.

    I’m holding a cane toad (Rhinella marina) found in Costa Rica while doing field research on chewing in howler monkeys during grad school. The picture doesn’t do him justice–he was enormous–hence my excitement.

  • Be sure to choose a path in which you love what you do enough to keep doing it on days when you hate what you do. If there’s one thing that will make you stand out as a student or employee now and for the rest of your life, it’s being willing to complete tasks whether or not you feel like it or see their merit. To be successful in grad school, you’ll likely be pushed to change the way you write, think, and even feel. This sort of transformation can be, well, miserable. You’ll have to stare right into the face of not knowing what you’re doing and the creepy and unfamiliar prospect of utter failure. Meanwhile, your friends will start getting jobs and buying houses. You’ll wonder why you’re doing this to yourself (your mom might even ask you why you’re doing this to yourself–mine did). You’ll read discouraging statistics about grim job prospects after grad school and drowning in student debt. You may not always feel like you love what you do, but you have to keep showing up and doing things, whether or not you’re successful or sure, because with time, you start to gain perspective, and the ups and downs get smaller. Ultimately, people who love what they do stand out, and so it’s important to remind yourself a little bit every day that you’re doing what you love. It’s good for you and for your career to nurture and express the love that got you where you are, and remember that that love will get you where you’re going.

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    Me and my 3-year-old son, standing beside a fellow UNCA biology grad-turned professor, Dr. Jen Hamel.

There is no doubt in my mind that I have a PhD and a career that I love because of the creativity, devotion, and investment of the UNCA faculty.  My career goal is to be like them, for my students.

Alesia Griesmyer (’14) Teaches the Art of Science

msgThe decision to attend UNCA was one of the easiest choices I have made. I knew that I wanted to live in the mountains and Asheville offered the perfect environment for my interests both inside and outside the classroom. I started as a freshman at UNCA in 2010 and after my first year I declared my major field of study- Environmental Studies with a concentration in Earth Science.  I later decided to add the teacher licensure program to my academic path. I graduated in May 2014 with my B.S. and NC Professional Educators License for Middle Grades Science and Grades 9-12 Science.

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The lab equipment I used at UNCA while doing my Undergraduate Research.

One of the most influential experiences I had at UNCA was conducting research through the Environmental Studies Department. My research was focused on the corrosion minerals that form on coin currency when exposed to different environmental conditions. I had the opportunity to work in the lab using the SEM (scanning electron microscope) and other equipment to conduct chemical analyses and identify minerals. It was an eye opening experience to view a world unknown to the naked eye. Creating and analysing these microscopic images revealed a new connection between the disciplines of art and science that later became the focus of my career.

Up close and personal with a coin, using the SEM.

Up close and personal with a coin, using the SEM.

Another experience that was highly influential in my career path was my ARTS 300 class. I took an interdisciplinary class called “The Art of Science and Science of Art” with Dr. Nancy Ruppert. This class helped me explore the deep connection between the areas of art and science. I knew that I wanted to continue my study of the intersection between art and science and when I accepted my first teaching job in Asheville I was given this opportunity.

My first job experience after graduation was as a founding faculty member at a brand new charter school in Asheville- The Franklin School of Innovation. Starting a new school provided me with leadership and collaboration skills that are important in any job. I was fortunate to be able to design my own elective course aligning the Earth/Environmental Science curriculum with the Art curriculum for 9th graders. I credit my ARTS 300 class at UNCA for the foundation of knowledge necessary in designing and teaching this innovative course.

My time spent at UNCA taught me how valuable community engagement is to an authentic educational experience. Advice I offer to current students and soon to be UNCA alumni is to never turn down an opportunity. Every person you meet and experience you have is an open door to new opportunities and you never know where they might lead you. I want to leave you with some words of inspiration that have guided me through the first year of my career…

“Don’t look further for answers: be the solution. Make a promise to stop getting in the way of the blessing that you are. Take a deep breath, remember to have fun, and begin.” — Jonathan Ellerby

I wish you all the best!

Sincerely,

Alesia Griesmyer