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CUNY SPS is proud to present this year’s ePortfolio Student Showcase, which highlights student work in individual courses, programs, and capstone projects at both the bachelors and masters level!

tyoes of eportfolios

ePortfolio provides a window into our students’ lives: who they are and who they aspire to be. While reviewing nominations to this year’s showcase, we saw a lot of CSS customization and 2015_badge3_orangemultimedia integration; providing a richer experience for viewers while demonstrating students’ digital and communication skills.

Showcase winners received an Amazon gift card and a digital badge to place in their ePortfolio. Feel free to browse the showcase website or visit the featured ePortfolios directly below.

To visit the ePortfolio directly, simply click on a student’s name. To view additional information such as the course they created the ePortfolio for and why the ePortfolio was featured, click on the image.

Congratulations to this year’s winners! If you’re interested in submitting your ePortfolio for next year’s showcase click here.

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Marcy Lewis graduated from the CUNY School of Professional Studies with a B.A. in Psychology just last week. She shares advice for new students, and talks about how she overcame many obstacles on the way to completing her degree.

Marcy Lewis is a recent graduate from the Psychology program.

1. What was your motivation/inspiration for completing your bachelor’s degree? Why did you choose to continue your education at CUNY SPS?

I have had so many things that have motivated me to complete my bachelor’s degree. Coming from a broken family of low socio-economic status and having my first child when I was very young created a desire for me to show my children that stereotypes do not define who you are or what you can accomplish. I wanted to do better for myself as well as my children and to inspire them that even in hard times you can still achieve your dreams.

I chose CUNY SPS because it offered me the complete package of what I was searching for in a University: flexibility, accreditation, affordability, positive reputation for online programs and a strong background in the academic success rates.

2. What is it like to earn a degree fully online?

Earning a degree online has been a mixture of ease and difficulty. I find that I learn better using this method of instruction yet when speaking with those who attend “traditional” classes it seems there is often a greater work load in online classes. I have found that it is crucial to be somewhat ahead of the game; slacking is just not an option as it will pull you behind faster than you could imagine. It really takes commitment, self-discipline, and structure to stay on top of all of your assignments. Being late can really affect not only your work but the work of the entire class. However, despite these difficulties I would not have taken any other route in getting my degree as it truly was the best fit for me.

3. What is the greatest piece of advice you received while at CUNY SPS?

Many of the professors I had here at CUNY SPS offered a similar piece of advice that I found to be quite crucial throughout my college path; taking care of yourself is vital to not just the body but the mind as well. Being someone with a chronic illness, Multiple Sclerosis, this can be quite difficult but I was able to incorporate much of the knowledge and skills I gained through my studies in increasing my overall wellness. By doing so I was able to significantly decrease the stress of being ill, taking care of a family, and taking a full course load each semester. To me, this was crucial in completing my degree.

4. What advice would you like to extend to someone considering entering the Psychology program at CUNY SPS?

The greatest piece of advice I could offer someone considering entering the Psychology program at CUNY SPS would be to interact as much as possible with your professors and classmates as this is how you will get the most out of your academic journey. Asking questions for clarification or direction as well as checking in regularly and participating in the class or group discussions are all vital in achieving greater learning in the online Psychology program. One of the main focuses I found in my online classes was concept of learning not just from the professors but from fellow classmates as well; we learn from each other and we succeed with each other.

5. In which ways have you grown as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?

As a result of my studies at CUNY SPS I have grown intellectually through the new knowledge I acquired from professors and classmates. I have grown more confident in my abilities and with myself, not just in a professional manner but in personal matters as well. Most of all, I have learned that living with a disease that I cannot control does not mean I have to succumb to its disruption. It is empowering to know that you can take control over something so destructive and that is something that I do not know if I would have learned had I not continued pursing my education here at CUNY SPS.

6. What does earning a bachelor’s degree mean to you?

To many people earning a bachelor’s degree means a higher salary and greater prestige. Those, after all, were some of the reasons that enticed me to start undergraduate school. However, during my second semester I became ill and everything changed. I could have just quite when my doctor said I was unable to work. Why continue if I will never be able to use a degree? The answer is this; a bachelor’s degree meant so much more to me. It meant showing my children that no matter what life deals you to never give up. It meant keeping faith that maybe I can beat the illness and not let the illness beat me; maybe someday I CAN put it to use. It meant showing those nay-sayers that people can overcome adversity no matter how big or small and to never underestimate the underdog. It meant proving to myself that I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to.

7. What kind of impact do you think your degree will have on your professional and personal lives?

Having my bachelor’s degree will most definitely have beneficial impacts on my professional and personal life… if I am able to return to work. Before school I was a waitress, working long hours/weekends/holidays, constantly missing out on my children’s lives, living day to day on tips never knowing how much I would make; thankfully, those days are over. A bachelor’s degree in Psychology increases my job prospects in such a wide array of professions. Living in North Carolina I am able to take the needed exams to secure a teaching license or I can opt to work in my chosen field and assist with grief counseling for military families in my area… the options are quite plentiful as a Psychology degree is so versatile and can be beneficial in social work, business management, customer service, education, mental health etc. etc. etc… My degree has also benefited me personally because I have been able to incorporate skills I have gained to help family and friends during difficult times.

8. What do you hope to do after graduation?

After graduation I would like to work on getting stronger both physically and mentally so that I can return to work. I am hoping to either work with children and families in crisis or become teacher at the elementary level. Perhaps one day I will return to school; however, for now I would like to focus on my health and re-entering the work industry. But first I am going to take a little R&R and enjoy life, my family, and yes… the beaches of Coastal North Carolina.

The ePortfolio Showcase, which is hosted on a Digication ePortfolio site, highlights student work in individual courses, programs, and capstone projects at both the bachelors and masters level.

tyoes of eportfolios

ePortfolio provides a window into our students’ lives: who they are and who they aspire to be. While reviewing nominations to this year’s showcase, we were delighted to see much more multimedia integration; providing a richer experience for viewers while demonstrating students’ digital skills.2014_badge2_orange Showcase winners received an Amazon gift card and a digital badge to place in their ePortfolio. Please take some time to browse the featured ePortfolios below and feel free to leave the winners some comments on their work.

Here are a few highlights demonstrating the many ways our students are defining themselves academically or professionally while creating full records of their learning:

  • Both Joan Murray and Donna Harbans really dove into reflection. They included full reflections for each course listed in their academic sections as well as an overall program reflection.
  • Benjamin Miller delivers presentation and passion in his Business ePortfolio.  He included a great deal of video presentations and documents to support his business ideas.
  • Tobie Buford and Xian Edwards showed the many ways students can use multimedia to express themselves and compliment their course work. Both put a lot of work into their ePortfolios having shared much about themselves and their studies. Tobie used SoundCloud to make us hear the passion she has for disability studies.

To visit the ePortfolio directly, simply click on a student’s name. To view additional information such as the course they created the ePortfolio for and why the ePortfolio was featured, click on the image.

We’re thrilled to be able to share their work within and beyond the CUNY SPS community and send a special thank you to all of the showcase winners for the time and energy they put into their ePortfolios – they really are fantastic!

Show Your Work

Have you created one or more ePortfolios this past year? If so, we invite you to submit your ePortfolio to the CUNY School of Professional Studies ePortfolio Student Showcase for an opportunity to be selected as one of the “Featured Student ePortfolios” on the ePortfolio Showcase website and receive a $100 Amazon gift card!

Selections are made based on:

  • Design layout
  • Organization of materials
  • Best use of multimedia
  • Demonstration of reflective learning
  • Overall representation of academic skills, coursework, and extracurricular activities

To nominate yourself, please complete this form by May 24, 2014. Please help us recognize your great work with ePortfolio!

Resources

Last year, the ePortfolio Team and Career Services teamed up to create a webinar to explain the nature and uses of ePortfolios that gave students the tools they needed to build their own ePortfolio in time to participate in the showcase. Last month, we teamed up again to offer our first in-person workshop titled, “Transform your ePortfolio,” where we covered how to copy and move content between ePortfolios, finding Creative Commons images, and how to identify and showcase transferable skills. If you missed the workshop, here are the final tips we gave to students:

ePortfolio Tips

  1. Think hard about the organization, appearance and general layout of your ePortfolio.
  2. Be sure all relevant documents are uploaded to their corresponding sections of the ePortfolio.
  3. Avoid bright colors and stick to the more traditional business formatting and fonts.
  4. Use meaningful pictures to bring some life to your ePortfolio.
  5. Write good content and keep it up-to-date.
  6. Use reflection to create a narrative of your transferable skills.
  7. Connect your ePortfolio with social media sites so people can find you more easily.

transfer

 

SHOW YOUR WORK!

shieldNow that the fall semester has begun, some students have reported issues accessing content in their Blackboard course site and have reached out to the Help Desk to ask which browser is best for use with Blackboard. Firefox is SPS’s preferred browser; however, the most recent release of Firefox may impact your viewing of YouTube videos and other media from within Blackboard and Digication.

Both Firefox 23 and Google Chrome 26 have introduced “Mixed Active Content Blocking,” a security enhancement that prevents active content delivered through an unsecure (HTTP) connection from displaying on secure (HTTPS) environments such as Blackboard and Digication. This security improvement prevents active content added to courses  (JavaScript, embedded objects, Flash animations, streaming video or audio, and external hyperlinks) from loading automatically. However, this feature works similar to your browser’s pop-up blocker and is easy to “turn off” and unblock desired media.

If you have trouble viewing embedded media from within Blackboard or Digication, look for a small shield icon to the left of the web address in Firefox or to the right in Chrome. Click on the shield and follow the prompts to unblock the missing media. View videos for detailed instructions for allowing blocked content in Firefox or Chrome.

To access all of SPS’s Help Desk videos click here.

SPS is delighted to present our 2012/2013 ePortfolio Student Showcase! The showcase, which is hosted on an SPS ePortfolio site, highlights student work in individual courses, programs, and capstone projects at both the bachelors and masters level.

Types of ePortfolios

ePortfolio provides a window into our students’ lives: who they are and who they aspire to be. While reviewing nominations to this year’s showcase, we were delighted to learn that we have a published children’s book author and a video/film/TV producer enrolled in our programs.

Digital BadgeThanks to all of the instructors who nominated students for inclusion in the showcase and to the ePortfolio Team for encouraging students to self-nominate. This year we were able to provide $100 Amazon gift cards to students whose ePortfolios were selected for inclusion in the showcase and digital badges to display within their ePortfolios.

If you’re interested in submitting your ePortfolio for an opportunity to be selected as one of the “Featured Studies ePortfolios,” you still have plenty of time to do so – the nomination deadline for next year’s showcase is May 24, 2014.

Feel free to browse the showcase website or visit the featured ePortfolios directly below:

 

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Recently I read an FB status on a friend’s page that asked what a panic attack felt like and I smiled in sympathy. I wanted to reply and describe it, but I didn’t want to take up that much space. I recently experienced my first panic attack.CherylAtwell_Charlie

Now if you’ve been a reader for a while you are wondering, well why did you have a panic attack? Finding out you are the grandmother of a five day old infant can do that to you. Looking back, it’s a really funny story. It was about 8:30 pm on a Friday evening. I was puttering around my kitchen, wine glass in hand, when my eighteen year old son ‘S.’s seventeen year old girlfriend ‘A.’ called me up. We both said ‘hi’. Then she said, “S. said I should talk to you because you give really good advice. He said you gave him good advice about our dog a couple of weeks ago.”

“Sure,” I said, “I love dispensing advice, what’s up?”

A: “So we had this baby right, and I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “A baby what?”

A: “A baby!”

Me: “A puppy?”

A: “No a baby girl.”

Me: “Whose is it? Are you babysitting?”

A: “No, it’s our baby. Me and S. had a baby girl a few days ago.”

Me (sounding very stupid by now): “You and S had a baby girl a few days ago?”

A: “Yes, and I needed some advice from someone on what to do about it and S. wanted me to call you.” Here I think she said something else, but I couldn’t really hear her anymore.

Me: “Ok. Let me call you back. Just stay by the phone and give me a few minutes and I promise I’ll call you right back. In, like, a few minutes.”

Somewhere in the middle of that last sentence is when the panic set in and the attack began. My hand was shaking so hard I could hardly hold the phone. My heart felt like it would beat out of my chest, or be squeezed to a complete stop by the increasing tightness. My throat was closing up and I realized there were tears falling because I felt them scalding my face. Both my son T. and his dad J., my significant other, were staring at me with panicked looks on their faces. I hung up the phone and ran past them to the bathroom. J. followed me in and shut the door.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“S. had a baby girl!” I squeaked. I grabbed his shirt tightly with both hands and burst into loud crying. If he hadn’t been holding me so tightly I think I might have crashed to the floor, I could hardly breathe.

He let me cry for a while and when I finally began to wind down, he said, “You have a right to feel upset and cry, but you need to get it together and call those kids back. Can you imagine how scared they are right now? And they called you for help. Go call her back, and go get the baby if you need to, everything will be fine.” He was right of course and hearing him say it, I started to feel much better and calm down.

I washed my face and then as he walked out of the bathroom, my mother knocked on the door. He let her in and directed her to the bathroom. As soon as I saw her, I burst into tears again, having an ‘I-need-my-mommy-moment.’ And although that lasted all of about 90 seconds, it helped me get an immediate perspective on how it must feel to be a seventeen year old girl with an issue like this and no one to talk to. I told my mom what was going on and she said essentially the same thing J. had. I just felt all the hurt, anger, and disappointment drain out of me to be replaced by something like a steely resolve. I went back to the kitchen (and my wine!) and called A. back and arranged to pick them and the baby up the next morning.

CherylAtwell_KhevShe was with us for a few weeks until her parents got themselves situated. Now I am officially a grandmother to a beautiful baby girl named Charlie. Whew, I said it! I guess I’ll be writing lots of infant articles now, between her and my niece. I can’t wait to pick her up and meet up with my sister and niece to shop for baby girl dresses, shoes, hair bows and pink everything!

Cheryl is a student at CUNY School of Professional Studies and the mother of three boys.  A former office manager, she currently writes a blog about her adventures in parenting called UrbanMommys.com.  In her spare time she likes to check out fun new places and things to do with children for her readers. 

In September, SPS announced that Linda Key (’12) received a prestigious Fulbright award. Applied Theatre students and alumni continue to break ground. At elementary schools in all five boroughs, Leah Page (’13), Liz Parker (’11), Rachel Evans (’13), Amy Sawyers (’13), Anneka Fagundes (’11), Shamilia McBean (’13), Brisa Munoz (’13), and Sara Hunter Orr (’13) deliver “Alice’s Story,” an interactive theatre piece about bullying. The piece was created by J’nelle Chelune (’11), Ria Cooper (’11), and Anneka Fagundes for the arts in education organization Making Books Sing, with the organization’s Director of Education. TIME for Kids magazine covered “Alice’s Story” in a recent October issue—in fact, the publication featured Rachel Evans and Liz Parker on its cover, in TIME’s iconic red frame.

In Chelsea this summer, second- and third-year students interviewed seniors at SAGE, the nation’s first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender senior center. Led by visiting professor Tony Goode, our students wove the interviews into an original piece of theatre, and then performed the piece for SAGE and other centers. Chelsea Now covered the performance, acknowledging Carli Gaugh (’13), who had “channeled a SAGE member” and captured the spirit of the singular seniors.

The Applied Theatre program’s collaboration with SAGE began in 2011 as a thesis project. Sherry Teitelbaum (’11), Kevin Ray (’11), and Jenny Houseal (’11) led LGTBQ youth and members of SAGE in creating a theatre ensemble. Foreshadowing this summer’s work, the ensemble drew on its members’ stories to create a dynamic original piece of theatre. Now, the project, called Bridging the Gap, has won major funding to return to SAGE; Bridging the Gap’s second original piece, “The Quest for Love,” premiered Saturday, December 1 at The LGBTQ Center. Also working with seniors, Abigail Unger (’12) was recently hired as Recreation Coordinator for Project Find, a network of senior centers throughout the city.

Downtown at Judson Memorial Church, Wil Fisher (’11) and Michael Wilson (’11) produced The New Masculinities Festival, an evening of performances addressing what it means to be a man. See www.manquestion.org/festival or to watch the performance.

Hello friends,

I am writing to tell you about a Red Cross volunteer day to Far Rockaway, Queens, which you’ve probably heard about. The story of my last stint at the shelter in Long Island was posted on the CUNY SPS Community Blog, and I thank them for their initiative. It may also be on the Red Cross blog soon.

This stretch of land, Far Rockaway, is a peninsula on the south end of Queens/Long Island, just south of JFK airport, which was right in Sandy’s way and still has widespread power outages and fuel shortages.

The New York Red Cross organized a volunteer effort to cover some of the most affected areas, which are basically the last pockets without power. There is an info-graphic that compares three recent major storms.

This was also an interesting day. We met up with our Red Cross (ARC) friend and headed down to Floyd Bennett airfield where the National Guard, FEMA, ARC, etc., have set up with fuel tanker trucks, trailers, mass kitchens from the Southern Baptists, and so on. Anne and I were with an ARC member and we set out ahead of the volunteer bus to find the location where we were to meet the food trucks, and to let folks in the area know there would be hot food.

The drive to Far Rockaway over the bridge from the airfield was an eye-opener. Even big trees had toppled and the storm’s winds had spread the sand from the beach from the waterfront up to a few hundred yards inland. Written on a boarded-up McD’s was: “Nothing here 2 take. U R 2 late.” Some commentary on night-time activity. Smashed car windows told the same story.

People in those neighborhoods were tending to their homes, generating piles of rubble that sanitation crews were picking up here and there. Some streets were closed to traffic entirely, because of downed trees, downed cables, trash, or rubble. Utility crews, said to come from all over the country, were all throughout the neighborhood, working on power lines and assessing damage. Some unfortunate neighborhoods will always be the last to have services restored.

Much of the dislocation comes from the associated effects of not having power—no heat, communications, spoiled food, trash piling up, lack of fuel, totaled cars everywhere… The area has been without power since the storm 18 days ago, when the ocean water, 4 to 6 feet deep, rushed in and destroyed any electrical circuit it met—in cars, in fuse boxes on houses, street lights, garages. Generators were around by buildings, work sites, and on main streets and corners. Lines of hundreds waited in long lines for fuel trucks, carrying gas cans to fill up their cans and generators, all overseen by police officers.

We found that a church close by had clothing donation and distribution going on, and found people charging their phones on generators. The food trucks arrived soon, run by volunteers from California, Virginia, and other places. People soon started queuing up for a hot meal ready to go, but that didn’t compare to when the next truck, carrying a load of clean-up kits, diapers, and over 900 comfort kits (containing a blanket, flash light, batteries, wipes, hand sanitizer, hand warmers, and more) arrived. Since we had walked the neighborhood, we easily found three apartment complexes that lacked generators and the kits found their way into the crowds in less than an hour. Here a word about the volunteers. They came from schools and companies all over town and formed instant teams for canvassing, food prep, handing out supplies, and did it all with a compassionate and positive attitude.

There were bright spots. Some houses had remained dry and people had taken in others who had no place to go. Sometimes we were told that things were fine, or that neighbors were helping each other by sharing a generator. In another back yard we found a guy with a beer and a hearty “who cares”-laugh barbecuing.

The whole effort will have gone on for a few more days after the first one on Saturday, which we were part of. I am thankful for getting a chance to help, and that leads me, with a little smile, to a good opportunity to mention that a small donation to the Red Cross is a very easy and helpful way to support disaster relief, not just here, but all over the country.

One more thought. After Katrina hit New Orleans it became public knowledge that in a situation like this people really need to be prepared to get by on their own for 72 hours. Please consider checking a preparedness web site to make a plan. They say hindsight is 20/20, but sucks nonetheless, if enjoyed from a raft.

Best, as always,

Mike

PS: As always, these views are my own and do not reflect the views or positions of any other party, directly, or otherwise.

Michael Spieth is a graduate of the Advanced Certificate in Project Management program at CUNY School of Professional Studies.

To the students, faculty, and staff of the SPS community:

Much of this week we have been reaching out and hearing back. The stories of lives disrupted make it impossible to deny the enormous impact of the storm, even as it feels impossible to reckon fully with that impact. But we have also been reminded of how we are bound together as a community of mutual support, how feelings of isolation or disconnection are temporary as we pull back together and return to our shared work and purpose.

We acknowledge that some of you have suffered grievous losses, and we are deeply sorry. If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know. Please feel free to email me directly at John.Mogulescu@sps.cuny.edu with your concerns, suggestions or needs. We have been making (and will continue to make) adjustments that should make it easier for us all to get through what remains of this semester. And we are confident that, however bad things may seem now, we will get through this. Already, the impressive resilience of the SPS community justifies that confidence.

Sincerely,
John Mogulescu
Dean, School of Professional Studies

John Mogulescu is the Senior University Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the CUNY School of Professional Studies, and his responsibilities involve him in many different aspects of the University’s academic life. In addition to SPS, Dean Mogulescu has overseen collaborative programs between CUNY and the NYC Public Schools, CUNY Prep Transitional High School, the CUNY Language Immersion Program, CUNY Start, and the Adult Literacy and GED Preparation Programs. Dean Mogulescu also supervises the University’s Workforce Development Initiative, special training initiatives for City and State workers, and programs for welfare recipients, in addition to Adult and Continuing Education at CUNY and its non-credit programs, which serve over 250,000 students per year.