WorldWide Wildcats Newsletter
Volume 8, Issue 1
'Zoom' to the Future: Connecting to K-State Technology
Written by Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson, director of student and faculty services, K-State Global Campus
As we enter 2015, there are many discussions about the future of technology. Lately, discussions via social media have compared our technology today to the technology from the 1989 movie "Back to the Future II," which was set in 2015.
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Today, we don't have hover cars, pizza doesn't magically bake from a small tablet and fax machines have come and gone — but computing technology is more portable than ever. Our information comes 24 hours a day from wireless and cellular networks. One of the predictions in “Back to the Future II” that seemed futuristic in 1989 was videoconferencing our colleagues and family. Videoconferencing technology is heavily used today on our portable cellphones. At Kansas State University, we are seeing video technology alongside Webmail and course content.
Did you know that K-State also has a contract with a video-calling tool called Zoom? Zoom is a tool that is available to you and is used to share presentations on campus and to hold class meetings. Many of our staff use the technology to set up personal meetings with students from around the world. Who would have thought in 1989 that today I could hold a conversation in real time and talk “in person” with a student in South America? I want to share some resources so that you can use this technology.
Just as you can use the Connect page to access many online resources (Webmail, KSIS, K-State Online), you can also use it to learn about Zoom. An article about this was published in K-State Today. From Connect you can download the software and install it on your computer (Windows or Mac). You can also download the application “ZOOM” on your Android or Apple phone and tablets.
You can sign in with you K-State eID and password. Just be sure to follow the directions in the user guide and sign in using “SSO” with the URL ksu.zoom.us. Once completed, you are ready to use Zoom whenever needed. Most Zoom sessions have a number you can enter to join the session.
Later this semester, I will be holding a “Zoom Webinar” so you can connect with our office, learn about services available to you and ask questions. Look for an announcement via email from student and faculty services. We will talk about using the Connect page, checking your KSIS "To Do" list and getting transcripts in addition to discussing ways our office can help you. Information in the email will tell you how to enter.
Of course, you can always contact our office with any questions that you have about Kansas State University Global Campus and services for distance students. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 1-800-622-2578 or chat with us online. We even have a Zoom video chat sign up on our chat page if you are interested.
K-State Global Campus Hosts Graduation Reception
To celebrate graduation in December, K-State Global Campus hosted a reception for distance students completing degrees in summer or fall 2014. Twenty-five graduates and their guests from around the nation attended the reception, held at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan, Kansas.
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Willie the Wildcat attended the celebration, posing in photos and taking selfies with graduates and their guests.
Graduates enjoyed meeting some of their online course instructors and advisors face to face, as well as K-State Global Campus staff who helped them during their education.
Guests could post congratulatory messages to their graduate through the Virtual Commencement website. K-State Global Campus also utilized a tagboard for reception attendees to post their photos and comments using the hashtag #KStateGlobalGrad.
Student Spotlight: Rebecca Sombatchareun
Rebecca Sombatchareun, a mother, caretaker and recent graduate of the online family studies and human services bachelor's degree program, shares her winning essay from the K-State Global Campus celebration of National Distance Learning Week.
Through the short essay contest last fall, distance students shared what their K-State Global Campus experience has meant to them.
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What Distance Learning Means to Me
“I smell the coffee brewing in my kitchen and I know it's time to get up and study. In a few short hours my children will want breakfast and then it's off to school for them. I drop them off then head to my father's house, where I make breakfast again and begin the day's routine. Dad lives alone, but lately his health has declined. I'm glad that I'm able to help him with his medications and household chores while at the same time keeping up with my children and their activities and needs. Distance learning has allowed me to do all of this AND earn my bachelor's degree in family studies! The versatility of distance learning has been unbelievably convenient. No matter where I am, all I need is an Internet connection and I'm plugged in to K State; from my daughter's dance class to my son's basketball practice, even at McDonalds! A nontraditional student, mother of three and a classic example of the “sandwich” generation, I would have never even considered going back to school for my degree without the option of distance learning. I will graduate in December with my Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services and minor in conflict analysis and trauma studies. So, for me, distance learning means everything — for without it, it just would have never been possible.”
K-State Joins New Nontraditional Honor Society
Kansas State University Global Campus has developed its own chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, called Omega Xi, to recognize outstanding nontraditional students.
Alpha Sigma Lambda is a nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of scholarship and the recognition of nontraditional students pursuing higher education.
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The honor society and its member institutions recognize the special achievements of adult students who accomplish academic excellence while maintaining commitments to family and career.
“We are excited to bring students this new opportunity that expands resources for distance students while also celebrating their academic achievements,” said Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson, director of student and faculty services at K-State Global Campus. “Alpha Sigma Lambda will bring students another opportunity to network and apply for scholarships. Many of our distance students are returning to college to finish their degree online. They are now working parents, professionals and nontraditional students who attend school to better their lives and improve opportunities for their children.”
In partnership with its member colleges and universities, Alpha Sigma Lambda has made major contributions in the areas of student recruitment and retention of adult students. It is the only chapter-based honor society for nontraditional learners.
“I am exhilarated that K-State Global Campus and our office launched a new honor society for K-State nontraditional students who excel academically,” said Katie Morris, nontraditional and veteran student services coordinator at K-State. “These students had to balance their families and careers while maintaining their academic excellence. This new honor society recognizes their hard work and dedication for academic achievements.”
K-State Global Campus will invite student candidates to join its chapter, Omega Xi, over the next several weeks. To be eligible for membership, individuals must currently be enrolled as a nontraditional student with a minimum of 24 credit hours completed toward an undergraduate degree program at K-State, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.
New members will be recognized at the chapter's first induction ceremony at the K-State Global Campus Honors and Awards Reception on April 30.
Learn more on the Alpha Sigma Lambda website through K-State Global Campus.
Professional Development Available for Distance Graduate Students
The Graduate Student Council, part of the Kansas State University Graduate School, offers professional development opportunities for all graduate students. Many informational meetings, workshops and forums that enhance the professional development of graduate students are available online.
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K-State graduate students who attend/view at least five professional development events hosted by the Graduate Student Council each academic year will be eligible to receive a Graduate Student Council professional development certificate.
To participate, access the video recordings and use the code embedded within each video to verify participation. After attending/viewing a seminar, complete the following steps:
- Sign in to OrgSync with your eID and password.
- Once signed in, visit the Graduate Student Council group and request to join.
- Once granted access, you can return to the group's page to enter the verification code, record your attendance and complete a brief survey.
A recognition reception will be held in late spring, which you are encouraged to attend to meet fellow graduate students and receive your professional development certificate in person. If you are unable to attend, provide your mailing address to the Graduate Student Council via email and the certificate will be mailed to you.
Nominate a Distance Student, Advisor or Instructor
Know an extraordinary K-State distance education student, advisor or faculty member? K-State Global Campus is currently accepting nominations for the following awards, to be presented at the K-State Global Campus Honors and Awards Reception later this spring.
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Extraordinary Student Award
This award is given to a currently enrolled distance education student who has overcome an obstacle in the path of their education and who demonstrates academic excellence, focus and career ambition in their studies at K-State. View the feature story about last year's Extraordinary Student Award recipient, Karolyn Barclay.
Outstanding Advising Award
The Outstanding Advising Award is given to a K-State faculty or staff member who has demonstrated exceptional ability in assisting and advising distance education students. View the advising profile of Deanna Retzlaff, last year's Outstanding Advising Award recipient.
Excellence in Online Teaching Award
The Excellence in Online Teaching Award, new in 2015, is given to a K-State faculty member who has provided outstanding online teaching, course development, mentoring of students and service to the field of continuing education.
Nominations are due by March 20, 2015. To submit a nomination, visit the awards website.
Spring Semester Scholarships Awarded
Kansas State University Global Campus has awarded $35,100 worth of scholarships to distance students across the country for the spring 2015 semester. Scholarships include the Maurine Allison O'Bannon Memorial Scholarship, K-State Global Campus Scholarship and scholarships through collaborations with K-State colleges.
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These scholarships provide financial support specifically for nontraditional students pursuing their degrees online while balancing work, family, military service or other responsibilities.
“The distance education program at K-State is an education opportunity that works perfectly for me,” said Amber Morrison, senior in general business from Yates Center and a Business Administration Scholarship recipient. “Being able to do all of my school work from home is the only way I could at this moment in my life. This scholarship will help me tremendously, because I am funding my education on my own.”
New Coach Leads Women's Basketball in 2014-15 Season
The Kansas State University women's basketball program is finishing up its first season under new head coach Jeff Mittie. Mittie, one of the winningest active coaches in NCAA Division I with more than 450 career wins, 15 postseasons appearances, nine conference titles and five conference coach of the year honors in 22 years of coaching, was named the ninth head women's basketball coach at K-State after a national search last year.
Visit the women's basketball website to learn more about Coach Mittie and the team. For live coverage of K-State women's basketball games, follow @kstate_gameday on Twitter or visit the K-State Sports Scoreboard.