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Chelsea Beck

by | Posted June 27th, 2014

Chelsea Beck
Name: Chelsea Beck

Graduating Year: 2012

Majors/Track/Minor/Specialization: Marketing; Professional Writing: Editing & Publishing

Current Job Title: Marketing Content Specialist

Employer: TechSmith

Location: Lansing, Michigan


Summer School Tips

by | Posted June 27th, 2014

Regardless of the polarizing aspects of the American education system, the ever-present pause of summer vacation is an inarguable luxury; however, for many college students, particularly those who wish to expedite their graduation process, taking the summer off from school isn’t an option. A large portion of the country’s college student population will take courses over the summer, choosing to sit in a lecture hall rather than play Frisbee on a sunny day.

Those of you who have been enduring the summer semester already understand the unique pressures and expectations of the shortened schedule, but it’s not over yet. Here are eleven tips to supplement the winding down of the shortest semester in college; not only are these tips helpful and realistic, but they’ve been provided by fellow college students attending Berkley in California.

Generally useful tips like ‘attend your classes’ and ‘drink cups of coffee’ are included, but some more pertinent information regarding stress management and gaining Gen-Ed credits stand out. Even though these students attend a university on the west coast, their insight is ubiquitous.

Hang in there!  Only a few more weeks of summer school to go.

Trending: World Cup

by | Posted June 26th, 2014

Once many Professional Writing students realize that managing social media outlets can be a tangible form of making a living, thinking about becoming an adult doesn’t seem so scary. We spend a lot of time (probably more than we’re willing to admit) perusing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites, absorbing and posting information. Judging by what’s trending, social media users have the ability to find, learn, and promulgate popular events; and according to Forbes Magazine, the greatest influx of social media attention is on the horizon.

We’re talking Futbol, people. Soccer. That ninety minute game played with a ball with a zebra color scheme. As soccer transcends sport to become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, one can expect the social media platforms to be inundated with updates, hashtags, and stories.

So, look alive, social media socialites! Pay attention to the trends; this is an interesting event that only happens once every four years, and social media is at its peak of popularity. Sure, your Pintrest might be blown up with images of soccer players and their fanatic followers, but it’s a nice change of pace from wedding pictures and overused memes.

Kristen Byers

by | Posted June 25th, 2014

Kristen Byers
Name: Kristen Byers

Graduating Year: 2008

Majors/Track/Minor/Specialization: Professional Writing; Editing & Publishing and Technical Writing tracks

Current Job Titles: Web & Graphic Designer and Freelance Designer

Employer: Columbia University Department of Epidemiology

Location: New York, NY


No Place To Hide

by | Posted June 25th, 2014

Mr. Greenwald’s new book

Rhetoric is a powerful tool. Ubiquitously used as an insult, the term “rhetoric” simply translates as the art of effective persuasion. Typically, claims of harmful and misleading rhetoric are found in the ideological realm of politics, where the name of the game is persuasion; however, in some cases, the intended audience can be difficult to sway.

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist (among other professions), who has written for numerous publications, particularly the US version of the Guardian news outlet. He is currently famous (or infamous) for breaking the story on the National Security Agency scandal, wherein fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former systems administrator for the NSA, divulged information about potentially illegal standards and practices. Since Greenwald’s original exposé in the Guardian US, a deluge of rhetoric has been written, videotaped, published, and shouted on or against Snowden’s behalf.


Net Neutrality Feedback

by | Posted June 23rd, 2014

Just in case you forgot, Net Neutrality is still an issue.

An organization that rarely has a high approval ratings, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reinvigorated supporters of Net Neutrality by unleashing a series of guidelines for the Internet. In response, anti-FCC activists let out a giant groan of frustration. If the rules were to be instated, some claim that discrimination based on content, opinion, and commerce would commence, thus signaling the end of Net Neutrality.

Luckily for those of us who enjoy participating in our wildly uninhibited Internet, the FCC has encouraged users to fill out comment forms with their thoughts regarding the Neutrality issue. By clicking this link, you will be able to inform the FCC of your own personal, unbiased, thoughtful opinion.

You may begin typing furiously now.

Tina Ray

by | Posted June 18th, 2014


Name: Tina Ray

Graduating Year: 2005

Majors/Track/Minor/Specialization: Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing (MA)

Current Job Title: Communications Editor
Additional: Writer & Editor

Employer: Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business
Additional: Freelance

Location: Lansing, MI


Making Games: A Different Approach To Learning

by | Posted June 17th, 2014

Kids shouldn’t sit in front of television screens all day, but they do. Since we can’t get them away from the television set, why not use games as tool for teaching. Using games as an educational tool provides opportunities for deeper learning, such as the increase in memory, performance, social interaction, and classroom engagement. In addition, there is more than one way to teach using games. Mind Shift shares an article about how making games can be used as a form of learning. Game making is one way to create a space where students are empowered to freely experiment with their own way of framing ideas and choosing perspectives.

Gamestar Mechanic is a great example of a game-making tool that can be used for learning. Gamestar Mechanic is a web-based software platform with a drag and drop interface that makes it simple for kids to make their own games. Kids can take the content they have learned and turn it into a game that they can use or other classmates can use. If a child can turn their classroom notes into a fun, engaging and exciting game, this is reassurance that they know the material.


Source: http://www.chron.com

Gamestar Mechanic continues to grow and is becoming widely used in the classroom. Gamestar Mechanic is currently used in more than 7,000 schools, with over 600,000 youth-created games published and played over 20 million times in 100+ countries.

Game design shows kids that coding is ultimately a semiotic system. Coding has become very popular, and can be challenging to understand and learn. Gamestar Mechanic involves language and can make coding easier for kids. Teachers are encouraged to step away from the traditional methods of pedagogy and bring gaming into the classroom.