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January2011 Volume 5 | Issue 6

Dear CSU Parents and Families:

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The snow is breathtaking, reminding us to be thankful for living and working in such an amazing place.  We hope your students are equally thankful for your love and support to allow them to live and go to school at CSU! We frequently hear stories of parents and family members eager to trade places with their students to have the opportunity to take classes at Colorado State.

We do hope you have had a nice time with your student over the Winter Break and know that many of you may be VERY ready to send them back to us (five weeks is a very long semester break!).  Some of you may have celebrated your student’s academic and personal growth achievements from fall semester and others may be helping their students make plans for a MUCH improved spring semester.

If you and your student were not necessarily pleased with the grade point average from fall semester, there are numerous resources on campus to assist.  Several articles in this month’s e-newsletter highlight these resources and, as always, students are challenged to be assertive and take initiative to access these campus support systems. Assertive communication and self-advocacy are important life skills for personal happiness and professional success. Faculty, staff, and student peer role models are partners to help your student navigate the collegiate environment.

You may remember the five factors for student success mentioned during Summer Preview Orientation: 1) Live on campus; 2) Work on campus; 3) Have friends on campus; 4) Have an adult mentor on campus; 5) Be academically engaged.  It is critical for students to be active participants in their education, to be excited about their learning, to exhibit curiosity about a particular professor or topic.  As a parent or family member, we encourage you to celebrate your student’s new interest areas, engage in conversations about their learning and support the concept of lifelong learning.

Speaking of supporting students’ learning, we’re excited about the DC/Maryland/Virginia Hometown RAMFAM Club events. In early December, a group of area CSU moms and dads gathered to meet one another and put together care packages. During the gathering, they made plans to meet again in the New Year with their students to help them connect and discuss travel plans back to campus.  Flat Cam even showed up!  We’re planning future RAMFAM Club events in California and Texas this spring and encourage others to let us know if you would like to host a Hometown RAMFAM Club gathering in your neck of the woods.

In closing, we have a lot of exciting happenings on campus, including the MLK Celebration on January 17, the “I AM” film sneak peak on January 26, and reaching $400M toward our $500M Comprehensive Campaign through so many generous donations (gifts to the Parents Fund count toward the Campaign goal!). We have much to be thankful for and, at the same time, we know we have much work to do to make Colorado State University the best place to live, learn, work, and support.

Take care,

Jody & Kacee

Jody Donovan, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Students
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312
jody.donovan@colostate.edu

Kacee Collard Jarnot, M.S.
Assistant Director of Parent & Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312
kacee.collard@colostate.edu

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Spring 2011 Payment Due Date
 E-Billing and Financial Aid Credits

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rolled one hundred dollar bills credit:  luigi diamantiBy Christie Leighton, Student Financial Services

Electronic Billing

  • Electronic billing (eBilling) e-mail notifications are e-mailed to students at their University e-mail address when monthly billing statements are ready to view on RAMweb.
  • Students can add additional e-mail addresses if they would like parents or other interested parties to receive eBilling e-mail notifications and view the billing statements online.  To add additional e-mail addresses, the student goes to RAMweb and selects Change My eBilling Information.
  • Parents/other interested parties can view billing statements on the Bursar's website.  To access the billing statements, the parent e-mail address must have been added by the student.

Spring Semester 2011 eBilling and Financial Aid Information Available Online in Early January

  • Spring 2011 tuition/fees, residence hall charges, health insurance, and other University charges can be viewed online starting in early January.  College Opportunity Fund credits can also be viewed.
  • Students view billing statements on RAMweb and parents view billing statements here.
  • Spring financial aid, for which students/parents have met all requirements, will show as “authorized” in early January and will show as a credit to spring University charges on January 10.

Spring Semester 2011 Payment Due Date

  • Spring 2011 eBilling e-mail notifications will be sent mid-January.
  • The spring payment due date is February 10.
  • Any charges billed on a subsequent billing statement will be due on the 10th of the following month.

Spring Semester 2011 Financial Aid Refunds

  • The first batch of spring semester direct deposit refunds will be in personal bank accounts on Thursday, January 13.  Mailed refund checks will be received starting Tuesday, January 25.
  • Students can sign up for Ram Refund Direct Deposit on RAMweb.

Online Payment Site

  • Students make online payments on RAMweb and parents/other interested parties make online payments through the Bursar's Office.
  • Electronic check payments are accepted on the payment site.  There is no charge for an electronic check.
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit cards are accepted on the payment site.  A Portal Administration Fee of 2.25% and 75¢ fee per transaction will be charged for each credit card payment. 

For more information, visit Student Financial Services in Centennial Hall or call 970-491-6321.             

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Celebrating
Martin Luther King Day 

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Woman with a headache Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.netBy Helen Kang & Martin Luther King Planning Committee

During the week of January 17, Colorado State University, Fort Collins and Loveland communities come together to honor and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, and the contribution he has made toward our lives, our country, and our world. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Educating the Heart and the Mind” and several events have been created to reflect the spirit of this year’s theme.

January 17, 2011

  • 9:30 am - Poudre School District students will read poems and essays selected as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay and poetry contest. 
  • 11:00 am - Community march starts in Old Town Square.  The march continues toward the Lory Student Center where the official Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration is held.
  • 11:45 am - The Celebration begins featuring keynote speaker Irene Vernon, Department Chair of Ethnic Studies.  Dr. Vernon specializes in Native American studies, multicultural studies, and theories of ethnicity.  The event also features performances by the Cache La Poudre Elementary RiverSong Choir, Slam Poet Panama Soweto, and Dance Express.

Immediately following the keynote speaker, community members are invited to participate in the volunteer fair to learn more about how to get involved in the community and make meaningful change through service.

January 20, 2011

  • 6-8 pm - Students and community members are invited to come to the Lory Student Center to learn about The Hidden Story of Hurricane Katrina: A Community Stands Up for Change. The event features a powerful documentary and discussion with New Orleans Alternative Spring Break and Asian Pacific American student leaders.

January 21, 2011

Preacher Moss, an American Muslim convert, comedian, and writer, presents his End of Racism workshop and comedy tour. These events feature discussions on issues of racism, multiculturalism in post-9/11 America. Students and community members are invited to the events, as follows:

  • 2-3:30 pm - End of Racism Workshop in the Lory Student Center
  • 9-10 pm – End of Racism Comedy Tour in the Lory Student Center

Please visit www.mlk.colostate.edu for updates on events.

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Want to Help Your Student With
"Getting to Year 2 @ CSU"?

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Picture of Getting to  Year Two Conference

By Jordan King, Graduate Assistant, First & Second Year Programs

Orientation & Transition Programs in the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) is dedicated to assisting first year and second year students as they transition to CSU.  We strive to create quality and impactful programs including Orientation, Ram Welcome, The First Year Mentoring Program, and the Getting to Year 2 @ CSU Conference.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011, the 4th annual Getting to Year 2 @ CSU Conference will be held in the Lory Student Center.  Getting to Year 2 @ CSU is a one day conference for first year students (in the second semester), which provides them an opportunity to select breakout sessions to attend throughout the day.  Sessions provide students with information and resources to assist with their transition to a second year at CSU. 

These breakout sessions discuss topics such as:

  • Off-Campus Living
  • Exploring Career Opportunities
  • Strategies for Academic Success
  • Choosing a Major
  • Financial Management
  • And Much More!

Additionally, for students who have yet to declare their major or are interested in the sciences, we have identified specific sessions that may be particularly helpful for these students.  These sessions are noted with a UD (undeclared students) or S (science students) on the student schedule.

Students who attend the Getting to Year 2 @ CSU Conference are more likely to be prepared to begin a second year at CSU because this conference provides students the opportunity to gain tools, knowledge, and skills to make their second year the best it can be. 

As parents who are engaged in your student’s academic success, this is a way in which you can provide support and encouragement for your students!  Registration and additional information is available now .  Make sure to encourage your students to register!

For more information, contact Orientation and Transition Programs at (970) 491-6011 or e-mail Keith Lopez, Coordinator, First & Second Year Programs at keith.lopez@colostate.edu.

 

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What a Difference a Year Can Make

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Mantel Family By Dan, Marcia, Katie & Lindsay Mantell

As parents of a CSU sophomore, we felt very well prepared for having our daughter, Katie, home for the Christmas holiday break.  We’ve already done this once.  We know what to expect.  We know the changes in household dynamics.  What we did not know to expect, was that the daughter we dropped off at CSU just five short months ago would be so much more grown up by December.

Something very transformational occurred the first semester of Katie’s sophomore year.  We can only relate it to the same type of monumental, rapid development changes that you see in your children when they are very young.  We didn’t expect to notice an almost instant and impressive entry into adulthood.  Honestly, the student we dropped off in Edwards Hall in August is gone! 

In our little girl’s place is a young woman who is confident, excited and so self-assured.   This new young woman, who looks just like our daughter, brings a new, refreshing awareness that she is not the center of all things, but rather, that she is an important and integral part of something much larger.  We expected that at some point Katie would make the transition to adulthood - - we just didn’t think it would happen so fast!

The first big, noticeable change was Katie’s proactive doing what needs to be done.   She would just look around, assess what was going on and jump into things that had to be done around the house.  With the holidays right around the corner, she willingly pitched in to shop, bake, cook, clean up, wrap gifts, run errands.  She actually noticed that all of these things were going on around her and just pitched in to help move the family’s agenda forward.  In our first article, we mentioned that last year we found that “Ask. Don’t Tell.” was a key to success.  This year, we didn’t have to ask at all!  Katie was just there and automatically pitching in.

Katie’s confidence made a quantum leap since August.  She’s always been a quietly confident kid, but would look for approval or ask as a “double check” before taking an action.  But now, from the way she carries herself, to the way she answers questions and tells stories about college life, to her new ability to make all kinds of independent decisions – she is truly a transformed young woman.  And, it is a thrill to see her in action!

Last year it became apparent that younger sister, Lindsay, felt the pain the most when her best friend and older sister left for college.  This year has been much less stressful for Lindsay, but she still counts down the days all semester until Katie comes home.  Then, Lindsay showcases her less desirable behaviors when Katie gets home!  The difference this year is that Katie recognized the issue and became the solution.  She found new ways to help Lindsay cope with the changes in the routine brought on by her homecoming.  Katie was much more patient with Lindsay.  She helped Lindsay with her algebra homework, picked Lindsay up from school (without being asked), and accepted a lunch invitation at the high school with Lindsay.  The level of understanding that Katie showed toward her little sister has moved to a totally new level, and the adjustment time for Lindsay was much improved this year.

It is once again time to say good-bye to our college daughter and resume our adjusted routine.  It was a terrific few weeks with our daughter home from CSU.  We are still getting used to the arrivals and departures.  And, now we know that we have so much more to look forward to.  We now realize just what a difference a year can make!

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RAMFAM Association Meeting

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RAMFAM logo

Who: All Parents and Families of CSU Students
When: Saturday, January 22, 2011
Time: 10:00 am – Noon, Mountain Standard Time
Where: Lory Student Center, Room 214-216 on campus or online via the webcast and RAMFAM Blog
Cost: FREE!!

Tentative Agenda:

  • Welcome
  • Important Information for Financial Aid
  • Getting to Year 2 @ CSU Conference
  • Post Winter Break Discussion
  • Parent and Family Calendar Feedback

On-Campus Logistics:

Webcast:

  • Just before the meeting, please click on this link and it should take you directly to the streaming video with the blog capabilities below the screen.
  • If you run into trouble with the above link, just go to the live video to participate without the blog capabilities. Internet Explorer is the ideal browser for this system.

Blog:

  • If you are participating via webcast, we'd love your participation, questions, and comments! To participate, click here, type your name and comment in the white boxes provided, enter the non-spam code, and send! We'll do our best to weave your comments and questions into the live conversation, and if we are not able to include the comments, we will post the comments and Q&A online after the meeting.

Please note, if you have had trouble logging on to view the webcast and need technical support, please contact Jason Rogien at 970-491-8728 and he can assist you in 'working out the bugs'.

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Managing Roommate Relationships

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By Ariela Canizal, Residence Director

Living with a roommate is an opportunity for students to develop solid, long-lasting relationships during their time as college students. However, when roommate relationships are not given proper and consistent maintenance, they can result in unnecessary stress for all parties involved.

In my position as a Residence Director at CSU, I often hear about the "roommate situation from hell;” relationships ruined by lack of communication, accountability, and follow-through on the part of one, both, or all individuals sharing a living space. After working in a number of schools, within various residence halls, and with a variety of students, I can say from personal experience and observations that the work put into the creation and upkeep of a roommate relationship can be a life-enhancing experience – particularly through expanding one’s social network, improving communication skills, and enriching the college experience as a whole.

Although there is no sure way to guarantee the ideal living situation for university students, on- or off-campus,  here are some tips to help students “smooth the ride” when the roommate road gets a bit rough:

  1. Communication: Be direct about issues that have the potential to cause conflict, such as having overnight guests in the room/apartment or using each other's belongings. Find out what the roommate is comfortable with and establish mutual expectations.  Roommates are not mind-readers, so open communication is key.
  2. Be Realistic: Don’t expect a roommate to instantaneously fill the role of “best friend.” If friends are rooming together based on a previous relationship, know that sometimes friendships will change for a variety of reasons. All relationships, including those with roommates, are not static; they will constantly evolve depending on individual growth, situational factors, etc. Recognition of that fact is important.
  3. Write it Down:  Sharing a space with roommate can work well if guidelines with mutual input are created. Compose a WRITTEN roommate contract/agreement and post in a visible area. Make sure both/all roommates have a copy for their records as well. This document should be created on the foundation that edits can always be made, should the need of any roommate shifts. However, if/when changes occur, buy-in from all parties is important for the agreement to be respected and upheld.
  4. Be Positive: When talking with a roommate about a concern, listen and pay attention to how each expresses themselves. By participating in active-listening and truly trying to understand the speaker's message, it will allow a more comfortable, welcoming living environment to be created.  If students live in the residence halls at CSU, have gone through the aforementioned steps, and still feel unable to resolve roommate issues, they can speak with their Resident Assistant who is trained in mediation, or connect with the Assistant Residence Director or Residence Director of the hall if further assistance is needed. If living off-campus, the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services can assist as well.

Living with roommates, CSU students can ‘expect the unexpected;’ but by committing to open and honest communication, setting mutual standards, accountability, and using resources available, students can learn the steps of roommate/relationship maintenance—a real-world skill not taught in a campus classroom.

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Scholarships and Other Financial Aid Opportunities

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Books with an apple

Spring semester is the time to start working on scholarship applications.  Connie Jaime-Lujan of Student Financial Services visited our RAMFAM Meeting to provide tips for families to share with your students. 

Create a Foundation

Study core questions asked in applications and write a few essay answers to use (and reuse!) in applying for scholarships.  Please note, if you are applying for a scholarship for the second time, it is important to change your essay.  Many committees will recognize a ‘repeat’ application. 

Scholarships 101

  • Create a resume to be used for employment and/or scholarships.
  • Create an essay template of questions and answers and update it every year.
  • Create a filing system to keep track of scholarships for which you’ve applied.
  • Have someone else proof your applications for grammar, neatness, and spelling.
  • Market yourself!  While humility is important, you must promote your skills to be considered for a scholarship.

Key Things to Include in an Application:

  • Community service – committees tend to value these experiences.
  • Leadership opportunities – spell out acronyms; include the goals and mission of the organization, as well as your position description, to give the committee an idea of your role.
  • Opportunities to give back and be “green” – these are things that will make a student stand out!
  • Academic excellence – do your best academically and note successes in your application.

Scholarship Tips

  • Apply!
  • Follow all requirements and directions.  Not doing so can lead to automatic elimination.  
  • Follow-up with the committee to ensure they received your application.  Keep a copy for your records, just in case it wasn’t received.
  • Don’t pay for anything you can do for free!  Use available free services, such as www.fastweb.com.  Students should also talk with faculty members for additional opportunities.

Create Your Own Scholarship

  • Each of us can work to save money.  Examples include: 
  • Latte Scholarship – Skipping a $4 daily latte from August through May will save $630!
  • Electronic Scholarship – iTunes, cell phones – what can you cut to save money?
  • Car Scholarship – parking permits, gas, registration, insurance, and oil changes take away from financing college.
  • For Colorado residents, utilize The Colorado Opportunity Fund.  
  • The Overdraft Scholarship - A $1 movie rental can turn into a $30 rental with an overdraft fee. 
  • Look into new laws that prevent debit card overdraft charges.
  • Parking ticket scholarship – these can add up! CSU knows who the car is registered to and, if not paid, the ticket cost doubles and posts on your student’s account.

Connie also shared interest rates on student loans are lower than the interest rates on credit cards, or the late fees charged by CSU.  She recommended stopping by Student Financial Services to apply for student loans, rather than using credit cards. 

Can Completing College in 4 Years Save $50,000?

The total cost of tuition, food, living, and books costs about $20,000 per year.  Add this to the $30,000 in salary students lose from not working, and it equals approximately $50,000!

Important dates

  • December – April: deadline for most scholarships
  • February 1st:  priority submission date to submit a complete admissions application to be considered for admission-based scholarships
  • March 1st:  priority date for FAFSA - If your student applies for a need-based scholarship at CSU, you must fill out a FAFSA
  • March 1st:  deadline for CSU Scholarship Application (CSUSA) on RAMWEB
  • March:  students are notified about individual financial aid packages
  • March –June:  scholarship committees will let you know if you have been selected

RAMFAM Questions

Families participating in the December RAMFAM Association meeting asked many helpful questions.  Please see the  December RAMFAM Video to hear the conversation and dialog. 


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Developing a Budget With Your Student

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By Christina Berg, Director of Health Education & Prevention Services, CSU Health Network

Finances can be a major stressor for students.  It is important to have a frank conversation with your student about his or her budget. Setting a plan will better direct smart financial practices. Student Financial Services has a sample student budget worksheet that can assist in this planning .   If this is not one of your strong points, encourage your student to learn these skills by talking to a financial counselor or have them check out online tutorials. Look for future financial planning tools on the Student Financial Services website.

Things to consider:

  • Determine how much your student will contribute to his/her education.
  • Decide on how the bills are going to get paid (tuition, health insurance, rent, phone, etc).  Your student's university bill will appear on their RAMweb account.  If you are assisting with payment, make sure your student adds you as a designated individual to receive notification that the online billing statements is available to view and make payments. 
  • Semester  due dates are listed below:
    • Fall- University charges billed in August & due on September 10th
    • Spring- University charges billed in January & due on February 10th
    • Summer- University charges billed in May & due on June 10th
  • Encourage your student to check their RAMweb account and email frequently for important information (at least twice a week). The RAMweb and e-mail are the main venue of communication for the university.
  • Encourage your student to establish a checking account, if they do not have one already. Does your student know how to manage their expenditures to prevent overdrawn charges?
  • If your student has a debit card it is helpful to consider that they opt-in to not allow a debit card transaction if their account does not have sufficient funds.  Choosing this option can prevent costly insufficient funds charges.  Have your student contact their banking institution to find out how they can choose this option.
  • Talk with your student about credit cards. They will most likely receive offers for credit cards with very high interest rates. Consider setting limits if your student is using a card that you provide and spell out your expectations about using it. Excessive credit card debt can be a large stressor for students.

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RamCash: Feeding Your Student On Campus

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Pasta credit to Michal Marcol

By Kris Folsom, Director of Marketing, Division of Student Affairs

Parents and families often wonder how they can be assured their student is eating well while at school. A simple way is to provide them with an easy-to-use account that is accepted at a wide variety of dining venues right on campus. Now is a great time to open a RamCash account or to add to an existing one because for a limited time with every $50 put into a RamCash account, you will receive an additional $5. RamCash accounts can be used to buy food and beverages at the Lory Student Center, any Residential Dining center and more. Accessing the account is simple. All your student needs to do is show their RamCard (student ID card) to purchase items and the receipt will tell how much money is left in the account. In addition, the account balance as well as transactions can be viewed online.

RamCash accounts can be opened with as little as $25 and there are no set-up fees, transaction fees, or minimum balance fees. RamCash accounts remain active and rollover as long as your student is enrolled at CSU.

Food and Beverage Locations:

Aspen Grille

 

Residence Hall Dining Centers

Bagel Place

 

Smoothie Bar at Student Recreation Center

Cam's Lobby Shop

 

Spoons

Carl's Junior

 

Subway

Durrell Express

 

Sweet Sinsations

Morgan’sGrind (in Morgan Library)

 

Sweet Temptations

Panda Express

 

Taco Bell

Ram's Horn Express at Academic Village

 

That's a Wrap

Ramskeller

 

Villa Pizza

 

4 Easy Ways to Add RamCash:

  • Online- visit the website to add RamCash with your credit card
  • Add-Value Station- visit any of the 10 add-value stations on campus to make a cash deposit
  • RamCard Office- stop by the RamCard Office in Room 31 of the Lory Student Center to use cash, check, or credit card
  • Via Phone - call the RamCard Office at (970) 491-2344 to add money via credit card

Remember, bonus dollars are only available until February 2, 2011.  Go online, call the RamCard Office or stop by before February 2nd to get an additional $5 for every $50 you put in a RamCash account.  Then rest assured, your student will have access to convenient dining right on campus whether they are grabbing a bite between classes, working late in the library or meeting friends for dinner.

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100+ Employers Looking to Hire at the Spring Job Fair

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The Career Center graphic

By Summer Shaffer, Assistant Director of Marketing and Guest Experience - The Career Center

Spring is in the air and students can already sense the end of the semester approaching. Some students look forward to graduation and summer internships. Many others begin looking for summer employment to gain skills that will help build their resume. The Career Center at CSU is committed to helping students connect with employers, as well as discover career and internship opportunities. This year, the Career Center’s Spring Job Fair has grown to include organizations seeking seasonal, full and part-time employees, in addition to employers pursuing candidates for career positions and internships. 

There is no time like the Spring Job Fair for students to find meaningful employment possibilities. “With the recent addition of summer camps, our Spring Job Fair is the ideal place for students of all years to explore employment and networking prospects. Students who wait until the end of the semester are often surprised to discover that job opportunities are more difficult to find. Encourage your student to start now and prepare for the Spring Job Fair,” suggests Career Center Director, Ann Malen. 

“With over 100 employers attending this semester’s Fair, students have so many opportunities to take advantage of” Career Center Marketing Intern, Tadar Puakpaibool offers. Puakpaibool also stated, “as a graduating senior, I see the Job Fair as one of the best places to network with employers looking to recruit CSU students for internships and career positions. I am really looking forward to it.”

The Job Fair is on February 2, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. Students are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes, which can be reviewed by an employer panelist or career counselor during Resume Rush from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. January 26, 27, 28 and February 1 in the Career Center located in the lower level of the Lory Student Center – Room 26. 

The Career Center also offers students Job Fair preparation through their Noon Hour Workshop series where students can get first-hand advice from a career counselor and get all their Job Fair questions answered prior to attending the fair on February 2. 

For more information including a list of employers attending the Job Fair visit the Career Center online

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