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Meet Jen


Jen Atwell


Year: Spring 2011
Hometown: Apopka, FL
Major: Organizational Communication/Business Administration

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Jen's E-Journal Archives:

June 18, 2010
November 29, 2009
September 9, 2009


The End.

June 18, 2010

It is the middle of June, and I have about five weeks of summer under my belt, with about eight or nine headed my way faster than you can say “summertime.” I am finally getting to the point of wrapping up the 2009-2010 year. Between work and school, and extracurricular activities, it is quite a feat! And so, without further ado, I say toodle-loo!

But wait, I will share with you what I see upon my horizon for the next couple of years. After about six years coming, I hope to be graduated by 2012, have successfully led the Holt Student Government with my fellow president and friend in the 2010-2011 year, compiled a grand choice of graduate schools, and taken part in some great learning experiences, work experiences, and strengthened some friendships for myself to carry on into my life.

First off, here is your opportunity to laugh AT me. Graduate school. Yes, I know. Many of my friends who have asked me about this never would have expected this to come out of my mouth as a part of my future plan. But I recommend pondering the thought. I had an epiphany a few weeks ago, realizing that in order to better achieve my career goal, more education is needed! My goal? To administer a successful and passionate fine arts “something” into bettering the community and to better those involved. Pretty much, the grunt work to making something happen (through public relations, advertising, design, creativity, paperwork). It is something that I have loved my entire life, thanks to my family and my community. So, I figure, why not stick to what you love and know, and help others to have the same “passion” as you? I am currently interested in the programs at Boston University, Metropolitan College, Drexel University, and a few more that I will be adding to my “interesting” list in the next couple of months. Wish me luck!

So how does my graduate school, and my final career at Rollins relate to this entry? Well, I figured I would share where my steppingstone has pushed me off to. You might run into me on a bus, or train, or a subway (or mass transportation), cracking a book open, or maybe even coloring an ad. This E-Journalist opportunity, though, is highly recommended to anyone who can sit at a computer for a few minutes to share some experiences, opportunities and friendships with those interested. I might not have covered everything that should have been covered in my blogs, but, hopefully, my entries will show you that you CAN work full time, go to school full time, and be involved in the Holt School in every way, shape, and form.

Please, don’t hesitate to create your OWN Rollins College Math Equation!

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Anthropology and Pop Culture

June 14, 2010

Summer A Term has arrived, and, as a matter of a fact, it’s almost over. A six-week course flies by faster than imaginable when all this learning is shoved into a tight little corner. With only two weeks left, there is still much to be done! Now, in my last entry I went through the “perks” of Blackboard and how I feel it is an incredibly effective learning tool. This entry, though, I want to describe my interesting experiences between my two courses, their reiteration of lessons, and the FIELD TRIP.

My favorite thing during a semester is when the lessons coincide in both of my courses. Currently, I am taking two Summer A classes that both meet twice a week, Cultural Anthropology on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with CJ Brown), and Topic: Pop Culture & Communication on Mondays and Wednesdays (with Natalia Cherjovsky). On the first day of my classes, both lessons were about language, the definition of language, the definition of semiotics, and the application into both fields. Two nights in a week my brain soaked up this information, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better! As anyone knows, getting into the swing of things is difficult, where “brain soakage” is a challenge, so I LOVED that this happened, and that it still happens. Beyond language, class discussions were about the Venus figurines, their meanings through anthropology and their meanings through communication. OK, so that’s the coolest part of class, right? NOT.

On this upcoming Thursday’s Cultural Anthropology class we are going on a field trip to Ten Thousand Villages on Park Avenue to learn about the culture of fair trade and the many things that the store symbolizes. As it states on the website: Ten Thousand Villages is “one of the oldest and largest fair trade organizations in the world. Ten Thousand Villages is a global network of social entrepreneurs working to empower and provide economic opportunities to artisans in developing countries.” Now who would have imagined that a store would benefit the anthropological learning environment to this extent? We go into a shop where the volunteers re-open the store to share with us knowledge of fair trade and how organizations like this benefit us and other countries, and we even get a few moments to check out some of their greatest items for purchase! Now as if this college field trip wasn’t enough, we are even let out of class when the lesson is done!

So I’m guessing you are wondering why I am sharing with you about my two classes, the necessary “brain soakage” and my first field trip of college? Well, to let you know that A) you MUST take Cultural Anthropology with CJ Brown, B) you must sign up ASAP for Cultural Anthropology with CJ Brown (because there is evidently a two-year wait for her course) and C) be prepared for the highest and greatest form of a liberal-arts education at Rollins College. Nothing is out of the ordinary, and everything in the curriculum benefits you, enhancing your own personal learning curve.

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The Perks of Being a Blackboard

May 23, 2010

One of my favorite things about the start of classes and the start of a new term is logging into Blackboard and seeing all of the happenings that will be going on for me in the upcoming semester. Now I know that the Blackboard system is a common technology tool for students on most campuses, but it is important to know the impact that Blackboard has on the Rollins campus, and how it serves its purpose for Rollins students. We’ll get into the perks more specifically in a little bit, but I am writing this blog on a common technology, because I think that it is THAT functional and THAT awesome!

As you can read in my bio for the Hamilton Holt Student Government Association, I believe that “if the HHSGA can reach out to all students and serve as a centralized jumping point to get involved in ways that they choose … we, as the HHSGA have served our purpose.” What greater spot than an already common location? While serving on the Holt Student Government for my second year, I have played an essential role in making Blackboard a part of our common system. As a Holt student, whether undergraduate or graduate, you can find information about the current Executive Board, meeting minutes from E-Board meetings and general HHSGA meetings, a location for important announcements, and a discussion board, where suggestions, comments or recommendations can be voiced. Now, if that isn’t enough, for those who live a distance from campus, but still want to be involved in the meetings, we have set up the “Virtual Classroom” function in Blackboard as well, so an IM-type chat + audio will be able to keep students “in the loop.”

If the HHSGA section wasn’t enough of an explanation as to why Blackboard is such a necessity, maybe my Summer A term classes will help “show you the way.” My Summer A term classes, Cultural Anthropology and Topics: Pop Culture and Communication, are both on Blackboard and show a variety of tools to help you “Find Your Purpose, Find Your Place.” In my anthropology course, I have available at my fingertips my online short exams, as well as the PowerPoint presentations and reading assignments for each class, the discussion board, and last — and my favorite part — the grade book! It’s great having the grade book online. I am able to see how many points I have accumulated, plus the total available, and then I can calculate my average on my own. For my pop culture course, I have my course information, staff information, course documents, assignments, and external links all easily available. Now what can Blackboard not do for me? Nothing! It’s perfect.

Besides the popular Holt groups and the Holt class information, Blackboard provides a convenient e-mail tool so you can reach out to fellow classmates or fellow Holt students. I think of Blackboard as being the social networking tool for educational purposes that truly and greatly serves its students and community to the greatest extent!

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Procrastination and Pretty Flowers

May 12, 2010

It is so fascinating to me seeing the endless Facebook and Twitter updates, reminding me that it is the end of the year and that I still have so much to do.

Currently, I am sitting in a doctor’s office, writing my E-Journals blog, thinking about my upcoming quiz for my Southern Women Writers class at 4 p.m. and the paper that I have due next week. On top of the paper and quiz, I have a monstrous statistics exam on things that I cannot confidently say that I understand!

My purpose in telling you all of this is to reiterate the importance of not procrastinating toward the end of the year! In the past few weeks, the flowers have been blooming like there is no tomorrow, and these gorgeous trees have been dropping these vibrant-yellow flowers on the ground between the bookstore and the English building. All of the stressed-out students though are missing out on this beauty by instead enjoying our laptops, the Olin Library site, Google Scholar, or a dark room without any windows. How boring for us!!!

It’s slowly turning into the last few weeks of school, and beyond my procrastination, the Holt School is currently going through its Executive Board elections for the 2010-2011 year. It is such an exciting time of the year, full of procrastination AND transitions.

And I’m sure you are wondering why I am sharing this with you. Well, I want you Rollins E-Journals readers to understand how my math equation is beginning to come to a close. But the beginning of a new year — and a new equation — is about to show its face.

Life is filled with those day-to-day moments, but nothing is better than time spent doing things that you enjoy. For me, that’s learning new things, and meeting new people in my classes and around campus.

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The Not DURING Spring Break, Spring Break?

April 22, 2010

Most students go to the beach for spring break, or go somewhere fun with family and friends. I (as usual) went against the grain and went to work, choir practice, and prepared for my trip to Germany the following week for what I like to call my “Not During Spring Break, Spring Break.”

One of the greatest opportunities of a lifetime is getting to go to a foreign country. My church choir (FPC of Orlando) tries to travel every few years to different places to sing in music festivals. We have gone to Austria, Czech Republic, New York and now Munich, Germany, to sing and to try to brighten peoples’ day. Unfortunately, opportunities like these require missing school and missing midterms.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s always okay to miss school, but that is one of the greatest things about Rollins College: the flexibility! I told my professors of my plans to travel within the first couple of weeks of meeting, and they were both very flexible and accommodating with me, allowing me to e-mail homework, get midterms proctored at another time and allowing constant back-and-forth e-mails with any questions.

Besides missing school (and still catching myself up with everything), I don’t think that a trip like this could have happened anywhere else! No matter the professor, the time frame, etc., everyone is willing to make this a great Rollins experience!

Getting back to my trip to Germany: It was such a wonderful experience, where I could freeze and snap a few photos at the same time. Are you prepared to relive the trip with me? I promise I have a few cool pictures to show off!

Day 1 (Monday):

At around 10:45 a.m., the group arrived at OIA with luggage in hand. Everyone received ticket confirmations, checked-in through Delta’s automatic check-ins and headed toward the chaos of security. Unlike the rest of the bunch, I was pretty exhausted because I had intentionally not slept the night before in hopes of sleeping on the 9-hour flight from Atlanta to Munich.

With our laptops and plastic baggies in hand, we moved through security, onto the monorails and toward our gate in the Delta terminal. After dumping my stuff with a group member who was camped out by the gate, I went to Outback with fellow choir members whom I would soon “pal around” with for the rest of my trip.

Soon enough it was time to board the flight to Atlanta, which would then lead to our long flight to Munich.

:: Insert Jeopardy theme here ::

Day 1 – Extended, Sort of Day 2 (Tuesday):

We arrived in Munich at 7:45 a.m., which was really 2:45 a.m. Florida time, with a day full of activities. Don’t you worry, though. I took my naps in every possible moment in between the city tour and taking some great pictures!

We began Day Two with a bus tour of Munich and a few opportunities to walk around the city.

This McDonald’s was one of the prettiest McDonald’s I’ve ever seen; it didn’t have plastic, it had pleather! Besides this McDonald’s, we were shown some great landmarks, some bridges and some restaurants where our tour would lead us in the next four days.

These pictures were in the shopping district of Munich called Mariensplatz.

After returning to the hotel from a long day, we were then able to check into our rooms, take a quick nap before our dinner in the hotel.

My favorite picture from that day? A picture of a 4-door Porsche Panamera… (HIDEOUS!!)

Day 2 (Wednesday): On Wednesday, we traveled (on a tour bus) to Salzburg, Austria, where The Sound of Music was taped. We saw the outside house of the Von Trapp family, the inside house, the gazebo (“Sixteen Going on Seventeen”), and the cemetery where the Von Trapp family hid.

When traveling to a place like this, I expected it to be a place where everyone knew The Sound of Music. WRONG!! Our tour guide informed us that Austrians don’t care about the movie. Most haven’t seen or heard of the movie, and everyone else doesn’t understand why Americans freak out when they see a scene from the movie. Comical, eh?

After a long journey to and from Salzburg, we were able to watch The Sound of Music on the bus, and stop through a few more cities on the way back.

Day 3 (Thursday):

Besides “Sound of Music” day, another one of my favorites was when we were given some free time to explore around the city and visit some of the museums. About ten of us went to the BMW Museum in the heart of Munich. We took the subway three stops away from our hotel, and BANG! Hundreds of cars, motorcycles, and BMW learning opportunities!

For more pictures you can check out my web album: http://www.gallery.me.com/jenatwell

Thanks for taking the time to relive my NOT During Spring Break, Spring Break!

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Find Your Purpose. Find Your Place.

March 22, 2010

I know that it has been a while, readers, but I am happy with where this blog is going and how it will help interested students make a wise decision for college.

For many people, this is a time of rushing through college applications, or re-applying to a new school for what a new place and environment have to offer. Well, Rollins College is the place to be!


In the past few years, Rollins has undergone a “face-lift” — aka “massive rebranding” — changing the logos, colors, website, and motto so the college could unify its message to the Rollins community and interested students. For my positions in the Post Office and Print Services, these changes are part of everyday tasks for me. One of my biggest work-related challenges is to update the website within the rules of Strategic Marketing. But for school, I sort of put all of these changes to the side to focus on my school career and all of my commitments. By doing this, I never really took to heart Rollins’ new motto of “Find Your Purpose. Find Your Place.”

As you can easily see when you scroll down, I have had a theme in my previous blogs of my Rollins College Math Equation. Well, it’s now a new semester, with new positions, and it’s time for an update!

([Awesome] Friendships + Goldfish + Communication Classes + The Sandspur + [Brand New] MacBook Pro + Goldfish) + Holt Student Government + Communiqué – Communication Classes + Gen. Ed Classes + XBOX 360 + My Near Future

As many people young and old are searching for their purpose, I have been fortunate to find my purpose and my place while at Rollins in the Hamilton Holt School. I never knew how much that slogan could apply to my life and how I plan to spend the next few semesters sharing my personal growth on campus. Once you get here, come and find me!

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B, Involved, B-B-B Involved

November 29, 2009

([Awesome] Friendships + Goldfish + Communications Classes + The Sandspur + [Brand New] MacBook Pro + Goldfish) + Holt Student Government + Communiqué *the last two are an addition to the previous entry

As I wrote in my previous entry, my favorite semester is like a math equation. Utilizing my excellent addition skills, I took the liberty of adding my two most recent extracurricular activities to the equation. Is my plate too full? That would have been an appropriate question about five months ago. I have been proud of my involvement in the Holt program, as well as on campus in general.

One of the first events that I was truly involved in was the Holt Student Government Car Wash. The Events Director, Hillary Roviaro, myself (the Publicity Editor), and one of our fellow Senators coordinated the event on November 14, a beautiful day for members of the community to get their cars washed for a minimal donation. While standing on the corner trying to be a human advertisement, I got the opportunity to meet David (the Car Wash Committee Senator) and get to know his interests in addition to other things we have in common.

Another great opportunity to be involved with the Holt SGA and the Holt community was TARnival on November 22.

As the Publicity Editor for the SGA, I had the opportunity at  TARnival to welcome the attendees to the event while also working the Holt-hosted table. Besides the SGA sponsorship, TARnival was also sponsored by the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, Residential Life, Fox Funds, All Campus Events and Rollins Outdoor Club. Everyone came together and hosted events such as the rock-climbing wall, a bungee-jump trampoline ride, numerous bounce houses, as well as similar tables to the Holt-hosted bean-bag toss. It was such a great event that truly brought the entire Rollins community together for a day of fun and delicious food.

Bounce Houses against Bush Building

Bounce Houses against Bush

These are two of the stands for TARnival

These are two of the stands for TARnival

This is one of the awesome events for TARnival

This is one of the awesome events for TARnival

Besides being involved in the Holt Student Government, I am a part of Communiqué, the student chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association at Rollins. While currently serving as the Vice President of Community Service, I am responsible for planning the Networking Roundtable & Professional Development Luncheon that is in March 2010. This luncheon will give fellow Communiqué members and the Rollins community the opportunity to learn about careers and lifestyles in their future.

Apart from my Rollins College math equation, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be involved in Rollins. This is my first year being this involved on campus, and I have found so many excellent opportunities for myself, and I’ve made amazing friends through all of this. In a recent Communiqué meeting, we discussed the importance of being involved on campus and being a part of your community. It is a goal that I am striving to meet!

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A Winning Formula

September 9, 2009

What is my most memorable semester?  This one, right now, Fall 2009. As I sit down to write about my most memorable semester, all I can think about is the one that I am living right now. I think of it like a math equation: Jen’s Previous Semesters (added together) = Fall 2009. Now those things in my Rollins College math equation are what make this semester so worth it to me. It’s like these unforgettable experiences and opportunities are just waiting for me to pick them out of the cookie jar!

[Awesome] Friendships + Goldfish + Communication Classes + The Sandspur + [Brand New] MacBook Pro + Goldfish = Most Memorable Semester [Fall 2009]

Let’s start with the friendships (and the Goldfish addiction). When walking around campus, it is the best feeling to scream at someone and wave, and ask how classes are going. You are given the opportunity to come into contact with role models who will shape your college career. Being an Organizational Communication major, you are given the opportunity to work in various group environments for your classes, where you truly get to know your classmates – which can benefit all in the future. These group assignments have given me the opportunity to make many friends with whom I have bonded over past and present experiences. Cookies and Goldfish have been shared; no worries! While the classes have changed, I find it so comforting to wave to someone in the hall, and feel like I have made someone’s day.

Next in my math equation are the communication courses that I am taking, and have taken. One of the courses I am taking is “Mass Media & Society,” and it is, without a doubt, my favorite class. Currently, we are depicting 24-hour news programs and their transformation from Ted Turner/CNN to the multiple different stations available now. In the second class, I found that everything Dr. Gombash was saying coincided with my opinions on news and media. I felt the importance of “the purpose of the work.” You take these communication courses, and they impact your life, and you don’t even realize it. In Spring 2009, I took Dr. Bommelje’s course, “Listening,” and he emphasized the “purpose of the work,” and “life application.” And every semester, the simple lessons of that class have impacted me more and more every day. I feel like I have the “purpose of the work” etched in my brain. In the communication courses, you truly grasp the importance for life application and how each lesson learned ties in with the lessons that you will be learning in the future.

As we near the end of the Rollins College math equation, we come to the newest addition in my Rollins College involvement, The Sandspur. Currently, I am the Public Relations “Creature” on staff, which has given me the chance to work with other students on campus. It has also involved me in Rollins College in other ways besides just work and school, and helped add something excellent to my resume. Recently I wrote my first article (which is hopefully going to be a column): I interviewed E-Journalist alum Leslie Capobianco. We ate Goldfish, and played Peggle (in addition to our real work)! Did you know that The Sandspur is the oldest college newspaper in Florida? www.thesandspur.org

Now, here is the end of my equation, the MacBook Pro. I believe that all things of value deserve a name; my MacBook Pro’s name is Kevin. “Kevin” is brand new and came from the laptop repair shop in Bush. I’m pretty sure those guys think I am crazy, but everyone should be crazy over a brand-new MacBook Pro! Oh, and how do Goldfish tie in with my MacBook Pro? Well, they don’t, but, hey, both relate to events at Rollins College, and me!

[Awesome] Friendships + Goldfish + Communication Classes + The Sandspur + [Brand New] MacBook Pro + Goldfish = Most Memorable Semester [Fall 2009]

Who could ask for anything better?

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Read more about... Jen:

In her junior year, Jen is majoring in Organizational Communication with a Business Administration minor. In addition to school, Jen works in Print Services and the Post Office during the day, and is the Communications Director for Mijen Press Music Publishing. Besides work and school, Jen is the PR and Advertising Manager for The Sandspur, Publicity Editor on the Holt Student Government, and Vice President of Community Service for Communique. Besides all of that, Jen finds time to make up silly nicknames for her friends, eat as much sushi as possible, and buy as many purses, wallets, and journals as possible.

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