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Finding Success at Salisbury’s Schools: Choosing the Appropriate Path, and Thriving


Staff Writer

Life is full of choices. Going to college and selecting a college are two big choices. But, even after getting into a college, the choices still continue, including a course schedule and eventually a career.

There are four schools on Salisbury University. These schools include the Fulton School of Liberal Arts, The Henson School of Science and Technology, The Perdue School of Business and The Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies.

Each school offers a vast array of majors, which can seem overwhelming at first, but is doable if students use resources and advisors on campus.

“Don’t be afraid to jump in,” sophomore Andres Roa said. “It seems scary before you get into it but everyone is really nice.”

Roa is an aspiring film director, and a double major in theater and communication arts. However, he says his advice applies to all college students.

“College is a time for growth, exploration and fun,” Dean of the Fulton School Maarten Pereboom said, “Think of the next four to five years as an experience, a chapter in your life. It is a great time because you are young and relatively unencumbered, I’d say explore. Think globally.”

Salisbury’s Fulton School offers courses in the liberal arts. These include performing arts, visual arts, humanities, social sciences and more. A hallmark feature of these majors is they carry on the general education experience for students.

Research and communication skills are also stressed, according to Pereboom. He also notes the importance of general education courses, even if a student is only taking the course because it is a requirement.

“It should not just be ticking off boxes,” Pereboom said.

In other words, seek to understand why a course is required. Take something away from the course. All courses provide valuable knowledge.

Additionally, Pereboom stresses three keys to success in college: personal growth, professional growth and growth as a citizen. Personal growth is learning about oneself. Yes, employment is important. But, it is not the only thing.  Pereboom advises to be mindful of the opportunities available at SU.

“If you want to be a scholar of Medieval Islamic Philosophy, and that is truly your passion, obviously there are not a lot of employment opportunities, so you have to think about what is out there, are you ready to put in the time, sweat and effort to make something happen?” Pereboom questioned.

Another important factor for success is developing professional goals in order to provide direction and vision. Lastly, Dr. Pereboom advocates the importance of citizenship.

That is, think about the big picture.

Think about making the community, country and world a better place. Pereboom is also a big fan of travel, emphatically supporting studying abroad. He believes that it enables one to learn about oneself, a global culture and to develop an excitement about the world.

For students interested in the sciences and mathematics, The Henson School offers a multitude of majors. These include biology, physics, chemistry and health sciences.

Henson graduates go on to many different careers. Students become analysts, teachers, actuaries, scientists and more. Research is also a key component of the Henson School.

“Relative to other universities, what is unique about the Henson School is the level at which undergraduates engage in research,” Dean of the Henson School Karen Olmstead said.

She points out that this is a trademark of Salisbury University, in general. Additionally, Olmstead recommends students improving time management, building a strong foundation, and becoming connected on the campus community.

Olmstead said students should focus on managing their time wisely and to invest eight to ten hours a day in going to class and homework. Treat school like a job. She also notes that taking foundation classes seriously is very important. Do not just “slide by” in the intro courses, for this will make the upper level courses much more difficult and to build connections with faculty members. Go to their office hours and become part of the campus community.

The Perdue School is Salisbury’s business school, offering seven majors including accounting, marketing, management, economics, finance, international business and information technology.

Accounting, marketing and management are the top majors in the business school. Although, Christy Weer, Dean of the Perdue School mentions that all majors are pretty popular.

“Start each day ready to learn something new,”  Weer said, who is always stressing personal development. “Get involved. Do multiple internships. Get experience that sets you apart from other students.”

Finally, the Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies offers a diverse group of professional majors.

The majors at Seidel include education, social work and physical health. Majors also require a field component where students must do work in the community as a part of their course requirement

Dean of the Seidel School, Cheryl Parks’ main piece of advice is to get involved with the community. That is, prepare for different future careers, engage in practical, real world opportunities and experiences.

Salisbury provides students the opportunity to pursue any career and have fun.

“Find something that you are passionate about,” Weer said. “Whatever you choose, give it your all, work hard, be persistent and make a difference.”

Living away from home for the first time is exciting, yet, scary. There is a lot  to prepare for when living on your own for the first time such as roommates, making new friends,  dealing with an RA and bringing the right things from home.

Most freshman students are not fully prepared or know what to expect when living in a dorm for the first time.

Everyone survives it.

However, it’s a different experience for everyone, and it can be a wonderful time if you make it one.

Having a residential assistant (RA) in the dorm should be used to the resident’s advantage. RA’s are there to make sure the rules are followed and the residents have someone to go. RA’s also greatly impact your experience living in a dorm.

Megan Mahedy is an RA in Wicomico Hall, which is located in the quad. Mahedy became an RA because she looked up to her RA who helped her as a freshman and knew she could offer a lot as one herself.

“RA’s and students can be friends,” Mahedy said. “Residents should feel comfortable approaching RA’s for advice or to get some lunch, RA’s are here to help.”

Mahedy recommends that incoming freshman put in their housing applications as early as possible and try to apply for a Living Learning Community or an LLC.

LLC’s are located in all dorms. When part of the LLC, students take classes with those who they are living with. Living in an LLC can give students great opportunities academically and socially.

“I highly suggest putting in a housing application as early as possible and look into trying to get into an LLC,” Mahedy said. “Living in an LLC really helps you to get to know people in your major because they are in a few of your classes and you live close to them. It also gives you a different experience than people who don’t live in LLCs.”

Mahedy advised to pack as little as possible, getting here as early as you can on move- in day, and making sure to talk to your roommate before moving in to decide who is bringing what to the room.

Residence Director, Foliba Lima strongly urges freshmen to get involved within the dorm and try to take every opportunity to get to know someone new.

“College is all about networking and getting to meet people that lead to new experiences,” Lima said.

“Every freshman comes from a different background, whether  you lived with other people or not, some find it difficult to adjust at first. I think communication between roommates is crucial in order for the year to be successful when sharing a room,” Lima said.

Alex Reynolds, lived in Severn his freshman year and enjoyed it.  He found living in a dorm easier to meet a lot of people and liked always having someone to hang out with.

“Try to enjoy your time,” Reynolds said.  “If you happen to not be in the building you want or not rooming with a friend, make the best of it. It’s your freshman year. Sophomore year is when you can live with friends. Enjoy the experience.”

Reynolds learned that he didn’t need to bring as much stuff to the dorm room as he thought.

“You don’t need as much as you think,” Reynolds said. “A dorm room is not the biggest thing, so bring the essentials. Clothes, snacks, cleaning supplies, and bed stuff is the most important. TV, games and other stuff is something to see if you can pack.”

Freshman Connor Truitt is almost done with his freshman year of college and enjoyed his experience living in the dorms, making many friends.

“I wish I knew not to worry so much; whether you’re in the best dorm or not, you’ll find a way to enjoy living in the dorms,” Truitt said. “I really enjoy being so close to my friends and the bonds that were formed with everyone in my cluster and across the hall.”

A difficulty that Truitt found in the dorm room was the size of the bed but he learned to adjust to the new living conditions. He also felt comfortable approaching his RA.

“I enjoyed my experience, some adjustments were harder than others, but overall I’m pleased I was able to experience dorm life,” Truitt said. “I really liked my RA; he was down to earth and easy to approach. Don’t come in with unrealistic expectations, be willing to adapt and you will love this new transition.”

Living on your own for the first time is so exciting and being in a dorm for the first time with new people contributes to the college experience, so relax and enjoy your new home.

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