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RAIDS! GRAFFITI! (And these are good things!)

IUP is in its fourth year of incorporating a Common Freshman Reader (CFR) into the academic culture. Prior to this year, CFR activities were led by faculty colleagues, with structured academic exercises, group discussions in classrooms, required essays, and panel discussions and formal lectures. To introduce the CFR this year with a more student-centered approach, two of our very creative Student Affairs staff, Malinda Cowles and Julene Pinto-Dyczewski, brainstormed and worked out a plan to get students involved in some fun ways. The ideal time to do this is during the Welcome Weekend, to demonstrate to students that active learning can take place outside the classroom.

What Malinda and Julene Accomplished—

  • “Graffiti Boards” were built on which students wrote comments: 
       What is Success? 
       How will you make a difference? 
       What academic goal will you try to reach?

    Three Graffiti Boards were placed in the Library, Foster, and the Suites.  The comments from the students will be summarized in the Penn.
  • Bedsheets were transformed into Graffiti Boards for use by the colleges during other semester activities involving the CFR. These sheets, with the cumulative inspirational responses from students, will be hung out for all to see on November 17 when Bill Strickland speaks at IUP.
  • With over six hundred prizes donated from local business, Orientation Leaders (OL) conducted “raids” on the new students. OLs posed question related to the CFR and distributed prizes for correct answers.
  • For use by the Academic Colleges to incorporate into their initial college meetings with their new students, CFR Bulletin Board materials were designed and distributed.

These colleagues exemplify Bill Strickland’s words...

“Passion demands faith and creativity… It deepens motivation and sharpens one’s eye for opportunity.” 

—Story submitted by Rich DiStanislao

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