Free Events at Purdue

The theme of this past month was free events. There was an ice skating event to kFree Events 1ick off homecoming on Memorial Mall. Even if it was warm, it was fun to celebrate the beginning of November with a little winter fun. They also had chili and hot chocolate for us to enjoy, and a few little crafts to pass the time.

Another event that my roommate and I attended was the Health and Wellness Fair. This event was also a lot of fun. We learned about the programs that Purdue and other local organizations have to offer, as well as about general health issues and what we can do to prevent them. The highlight of this event was the free chair mFree Events 2assages that were offered. We also got several other free items including stress balls and lip balm. While we walked around, we were treated to free frozen yogurt. It doesn’t get much better than that. In addition to the chair messages and other freebies, they also allowed you to pick up a prize if you stopped at every single booth. We walked away with a new t-shirt and a water bottle. It was worth taking an hour to stop by.

Definitely check out the free events on campus if you are able. It’s nice to get some free food and other goodies simply for showing up.

— Alyssa Walther, Junior, Psychological Sciences

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Thanksgiving Break

November is a great month because that means it’s time for Thanksgiving and it’s getting closer to Christmas! These are two of my favorite holiday’s to spend with my family, because they make great food! I know everyone probably says this about his or her grandma, but my grandma makes the BEST food. One of my favorite feelings is waking up in the morning and getting dressed up to go over to my grandma’s. I walk into her house and I smell all of the delicious aromas of what she is cooking in the kitchen. I don’t even know where to start on what my favorite Thanksgiving entrée is, but I definitely would have to settle with my grandma’s famous sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows and pineapples. My other favorite dish would have to be turkey and cranberries together. It may sound strange to some, but it’s delicious!

For me, I love tradition and that’s one reason why I chose to come to Purdue. When I was younger, it was always a annual tradition for me to stay the night at my grandma’s house on Thanksgiving night while my mom went out Black Friday shopping. My Grandma and I would always make ice cream sundaes and watch movies until we fell asleep on the couch. Now that I’m older and found a love for shopping, I venture out with my mom at 2 A.M. to go Black Friday shopping and start buying Christmas gifts. Although I have taken on this new tradition with my mom, I will always love the memories of staying the night on Thanksgiving night at my grandma’s. Thanksgiving is always a great time to see my family, eat delectable food, and enjoy the time I have at home with my family.

— Kamri Nixon, Sophomore, Dietetics

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It’s November Already?!

November is one of my favorite months! Not only is it the perfect weather for hoodies, boots, and leggings, but a time for hot chocolate and snuggling up in a blanket. November is also my favorite month because not only do we have Thanksgiving Break, but we also have Thanksgiving!! Which is time for the best food of the year and to gorge myself until I feel like I am going to explode.

I love going home and celebrating with friends and family. However, the hardest part is trying to finish out the semester on a good note. I sometimes get too excited about coming home and being with friends and family that I forget to stay focused on what is really important, school. I have a countdown until I get to leave for Thanksgiving Break and it could not come sooner!

— Emma Foster, Junior, Public Health

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Undergrad Research

This year I have been able to participate in undergraduate research. I work as a lab assistant in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) lab which studies patient-doctor communication. I get to do a variety of tasks like edit audio files, code transcripts, and input data from surveys that participants have completed. It’s definitely a very different experience from any of my other classes at Purdue and is much more hands-on. It’s been a great opportunity and I’ve been able to interact with one of my favorite professors on a more personal level. I would highly suggest trying to get involved in research as an undergrad at Purdue. You get to see your field in an entirely different way and it may spark in interest that you never knew you had!

Boiler Up!

Margaret Foutch, Senior, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

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Senior Nursing Project a Success!

quality improvement team 2This semester I was part of a team that made a difference. Senior year in nursing, we form teams of about 6 students and complete a semester long quality improvement project to solve a specific problem within the healthcare system. Quality improvement has become a buzzword in healthcare and many nurses are involved in these projects on their units to decrease costs and improve outcomes in our ever changing healthcare system. In other words, nurses are learning to do more with less! Our focus was on prevention. My team and I worked with nursing management and informatics specialist at IU Health quality improvement teamArnett in Lafayette to encourage nurses to use a graphing tool within Cerner, a commonly used charting and electronic health record system. This project started when a patient fell and nursing management at IU Arnett examined the root of the problem. By graphing the patients’ lab values, they noticed that the patients’ blood pressure had steadily been dropping, which lead to his fall. IU management realized that if nurses could catch these trends early, they could prevent falls and many other adverse events, improve patient safety and decrease costs. We followed a quality improvement model called the DMAIC (A3) which is commonly used in healthcare to define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) the problem. We conducted surveys and identified that most of the nurses were not aware of the graphing tool. We developed a 15 minute training module with a pre- and post-test, case study, and step-by-step instructions to complete the simple two-step process of graphing trends. We also designed a poster following the A3 model including graphs, snapshots of our training module and implementation and control plans for IU Arnett so they will be able to incorporate the module into their training. We dedicated many hours and late nights to this project and felt discouraged at times, but we agreed that looking back on college, this project is something we’ll be proud of.

— Laura Mangan, Senior, Nursing

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Celebrity Sightings!

When you’re a Boilermaker, every day is an adventure. There are so many fun activities you can be a part of around campus when you’re not in class. My friends and I love to get involved in the amazing opportunities Purdue offers its students, and the past couple activities we have pcelebrity sightings 1articipated in have included some famous faces!

A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I got to attend a Hunter Hayes concert at the Elliott Hall of Music! Hunter was performing his “21 Tour” in celebration of his new album, The 21 Project. We had a blast—the show was so energetic and fun! Hunter is a talented artist; he’s truly a rock star when performing live. We were dancing all night long to his new music and his classic songs, and he even performed an encore wearing a Purdue hat, which I thought was the perfect touch! Here is a picture of my friends and I after the show (I’m on the right!) master hiphop

A few nights later, a couple of my girlfriends and I attended a free master hip-hop dance class at our rec center hosted by Jeffrey Page. Jeffrey is an Emmy Award nominated chorographer that has created dances for MTV Music Awards, BET Awards, Fox, and Beyoncé. YES. You read that correctly. He is Beyoncé’s choreographer! The class was such an awesome workout and I loved learning more about hip-hop, funk, and soul through dance. Of course, after the class we had to take a picture giving our fiercest poses. I got to learn some of Beyoncé’s dance moves from the man who taught them to her. Checking that one off my bucket list!

— Ellie Boyer, Junior, Hospitality and Tourism Management

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Feeling Right at Home at Purdue

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp, and of course going to home football games. There’s nothing quite like sitting in the student section at a football game. Doing all the chants with the students and seeing our All American marching band. It’s even more fun being at the game when we win! Our campus is beautiful in the fall. One of my favorite places on campus during this time of the year is by the clapping circles. There are so many trees over there with leaves of so many different shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown. At home, we have a ton of trees in our yard that turn the prettiest colors. And even though I don’t get to go back much, walking by there makes me feel right at home.

— Courtney Emerick, Junior, Psychological Sciences

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What Will November Bring at Purdue?

I cannot believe October is already over! This semester is going by so quickly, and I still have a lot to look forward to. Midterms have finished up and now is the time to get back to balancing school, work, clubs, and relationships. Midterm week (or sometimes weeks for some people) is all about school and studying, so other commitments are put on the back burner for a little bit. I like to have the “Purdue Work Day” setup for myself, not that I always stick to it, but it tends to help me accomplish a lot of my tasks and not stress out. I schedule time for school and studying for all day 7-5, then comes time for dinner and meetings after. I live in Hilltop Apartments, which is a nice in-between for on campus living and apartment style living, therefore I decided to opt out of a meal plan this year. I have been enjoying cooking and trying new recipes for myself, but it helps to have a job that feeds well.

Last week I was able to invite a friend from home, which is Portage, Indiana for me, to come see Hunter Hayes with me! I saw Hunter a few years back, but these seats were better and the fact that he came to Purdue made it much more special of an experience! For his encore he even wore a Purdue hat the whole time. My phone doesn’t take the best photos, but it was something I won’t forget.

exploration acresThat same week, I was able to organize an event for my building that I live in. I am a senator in my res hall club, so I can propose events and budgets that get voted on by the whole council. The event I helped put on was a trip to Exploration Acres, which is here in West Lafayette that has corn mazes and other fall activities. I didn’t know most of the people too well before I went, but I am so happy I went anyways! It was a blast going through the maze, which had coupons to some of my favorite places to eat and shop, and hanging out with my fellow Hilltop residents.

Homecoming is this weekend, which means Purdue will be even more lively than usual with a lot of alumni coming back and tons of events going on. I am excited to see what November will bring!

— Gabriela Olguin-Flores, Sophomore, Dietetics

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Grab Some Friends and Enjoy!

Fall is my favorite season. The temperature starts dropping, and it’s finally time to pull out the hoodies and boots. This past weekend I got to go down to a small town in Kentucky and spend the weekend around a bonfire. Nothing beats that feeling of being outside with the leaves changing and falling to the ground. I highly recommend going out and enjoying the season before it gets too cold and snow starts falling. Some of my favorite activities include: carving pumpkin, drinking hot apple cider, jumping in a pile of leaves, visiting corn mazes, and taking hayrides. Grab some friends and go enjoy all that the season has to offer!

— Alyssa Walther, Junior, Psychological Sciences

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On the Other Side of the Research at Purdue

As an undergraduate student, I have very much enjoyed my experience doing research with professors in the Speech Language and Hearing Sciences Program. It has allowed me to grow as a student giving me hands on experience and learning more about my future field.

In my research experience with Dr. Sivasankar, we are studying how hydration affects vocal quality. The graduate students in the lab were about to start a new study and they needed a participant to practice on before collecting results. I was lucky enough to be the guinea pig for this study.

This was my first time being on the other side of the research. Instead of collecting and analyzing the data, I was the data. It was a very unique experience. For this study, it tested how vocal fatigue affects the phonation threshold pressure. The phonation threshold pressure (PTP) is the soft vocal sound, just above a whisper. It is measured by holding a mask that covers the mouth and the nose. For the weeks prior to the experiment, I was analyzing the PTP from previous studies. I had not realized how difficult it was to make the noise at the same volume and pitch 50 times. After the initial measure was made, it was time for the “challenge.” This challenge was to read out loud for one hour in infant directed speech. Infant directed speech is essentially “baby talk.” I needed to speak dramatically changing my pitch and volume while reading a story. It was exhausting.

After the challenge, the graduate assistance retested my phonation threshold pressure and overall vocal quality. I was very tired and happy that the hour reading was done.

Being the subject for research gave me a new perspective on research. In order to get results, participants need to be willing to volunteer their time for the experiments. It made me very grateful to the generous volunteers who come in the lab just to further research in our field.

After this experience, it made me excited to start running my own studies and experiments one day. Research has given me many opportunities and I am looking forward for the opportunities to come.

— Sara Loerch, Junior, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

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