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As a senior theater major at the University of MInnesota, I've spent a lot of time around all three of our campuses. From being a part of two living learning communities--West Bank Arts House and American Indian Culture House--to having a jobs that took me between East Bank and St, Paul campuses, I've seen a lot of what the U of M has to offer. The different campuses that make up the University of Minnesota only add to it's diversity and opportunities, offering a variety of options for all students.

When I was a freshman, I lived in Middlebrook Hall and therefore my first encounter with the U of M was with the West Bank campus. All theater arts majors claim to live in the Rarig Center on the West Bank, the only building on campus that is solely dedicated to theater arts courses. Other majors that spend a lot of time on the West Bank are musical performance majors, dance and art majors, and business majors because the shining Carlson School of Management resides on one of the furthest edges of University of Minnesota.

Also, known as the "West Bank Arts Quarter," this side of campus is a quieter side with less people, but it's also a very interesting part of the U. The calm atmosphere makes it a great place to study or relax, but there is also almost always something to entertain. It's usually privy to occasional musical acts or performances in the amphitheater between Anderson and Ferguson Halls, letting everyone experience the many talented individuals that are a part of our Gopher family.

A short ways off campus there are a host of great restaurants, most boasting delicious ethnic foods, such as Afro Deli & Coffee. Afro Deli & Coffee has some of the most incredible dishes, a mixture of different African, Mediterranean, and American cuisine, with a great variety of meals that cater to a vegetarian's needs. Jewel of India also has a large slew of vegetarian options, along with being a haven of spicy cuisine. The closest Indian restaurant in proximity to the University, Jewel of India will fulfill even the most particular of Indian food cravings. The Red Sea restaurant has amazing Ethiopian food and a nice musical atmosphere. All of these restaurants allow you to order take-out, so on a nice day you can lounge outside on the West Bank while enjoying your amazing food.

The West Bank is a special part of the University. With a pleasant environment, lots of creativity, and delicious food, the West Bank Arts Quarter has a lot of offer every student who attends the University of Minnesota.


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Hello, and thanks for stopping by our blog! My name is Drew Coveyou, and I'm a junior at the U of M from Ottawa, Illinois. I am majoring in Journalism, focusing on Strategic Communication and Advertising in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the College of Liberal Arts.

My path the University started when my older sister came to visit campus her junior year of high school. I was only a freshman but I got dragged along for the college visit with the rest of my family. Even though college wasn't something I was really thinking about, I fell in love with the Twin Cities campus right away and it was always on the top of the list of colleges I was considering.

During my senior year of high school I visited campus another two times and confirmed what I already knew - that the University of Minnesota was the place for me. I knew I wanted the traditional feel of a Big 10 campus, but at the same time I didn't want to give up attending school in a major metropolitan area; I knew that I wanted to have access to the arts/music scene and professional opportunities that a major city could offer me. The Twin Cities campus was the one place where I found both the Big 10 campus and the major metropolitan area.

I attended my first-year orientation session in the middle of June with my dad tagging along for a parent orientation session. There, I met some of my best friends to date. Looking back, orientation was the time when I really acknowledged that this place would be "Home" for the next four years, and I couldn't have been happier.

(Here's a video from my Welcome Week in Fall 2011!)

I lived in a Living and Learning Community my first year - the American Indian Cultural House. There, I met other American Indian students and was put into contact with many different resources on campus, including the Circle of Indigenous Nations, the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE), and many students groups such as the American Indian Student Cultural Center (AISCC) and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).

I got my first job on campus through these connections at one of the above student groups, the AISCC. I had such an awesome experience working with the group to run our Center and plan events that I ran for the governing board the next year. After two election wins, I am now entering my second term as the group's Treasurer. My responsibilities include creating a budget, applying for grants, and general accounting of finances for the group.

Although I live off campus now, the sense of community I built that first year hasn't left, and now I am getting even more involved in my academic program and other on-campus jobs. I'm sure I'll have more to share about my experiences and plans in future posts - thanks for reading!

Today I'd like to put the spotlight on a great opportunity for students who are interested in a career in advertising: the U of M's National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team, Chariot. Chariot recently won first place at the NSAC District Competition on April 13th, which means the team will be representing the University of Minnesota at the national competition in Phoenix this year! Read on to learn more about NSAC and how you can get involved.

What is the National Student Advertising Competition?
Each year corporate sponsors give the same case study to NSAC teams around the nation. The case studies relate to the company's product or service and advertising situation. The corporate sponsors are often big name companies--past sponsors have included Coca Cola, JC Penney, State Farm, and Nissan. Within each school's team, students are then responsible for researching, developing, creating, and pitching an advertising campaign to a panel of judges at a district-level competition. 

District competitions are held each spring in 15 districts throughout the U.S. The winners of each district then get to move on to the national-level competition and pitch their advertising campaigns to judges and the executives of the sponsor company. We're wishing the best of luck to Chariot when they compete at Nationals in June. Way to represent the University of Minnesota!

Getting involved at the U of M
Joining a student group can be one of the best ways to make your college experience a great one. If you're interested in advertising, joining Chariot can help you make friends and connections with other advertising and marketing students, network with professionals, gain relevant advertising experience, and make a difference in the advertising strategies of real companies!

Chariot doesn't only limit its members to students majoring in advertising. The club currently has students interested in marketing and graphic design as well. If you think you'd be interested in joining Chariot, you should definitely check out their website at http://umnsac.com or email them at nsac@umn.edu.


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Do you have a dream to someday write and publish your own book? Perhaps you are a fan of local authors? The First Books Reading and Discussion may be an event for you!

On Thursday, March 14, three MFA alumnae of U of M's Creative Writing Program will be speaking at the Weisman Art Museum on campus, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Here's the best part: all three of them have recently published their own books! At the First Books Reading and Discussion, the three alumnae will be reading excerpts of their books as well as speaking about their paths to publication. 

The event is free and completely open to the public, so bring some friends! Since you'll already be here, you can even schedule a campus visit, or just explore on your own to get a feel of what campus life at the U of M is like.

This is just one of many cool events offered on the U of M campus that cater to students' diverse interests. Click here to learn more about this exciting event and to read bios of the authors who will be there.


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What? It's the end of summer! How did this happen?!? Sadly, I guess it's my time to say farewell as your Gopher student blogger. 

Throughout the summer I've had the opportunity to work closely with amazing colleagues that have taught me about about good work ethic, teamwork, and dedication (especially to all things maroon and gold). I have never been more proud to be a University of Minnesota student as I have been this summer. Seeing high school students touring campus (and giving my very first campus tour!) brought back the excitement that I had just four years ago when I first stepped foot on Gopher territory.

I could give you a plethora of advice as you embark on your college journey, but instead I will stick to a few essential bits of advice to help you succeed as a student...

1) Never take anything for granted. Every class you have and every person you meet will shape you over the course of the next four years. Some of my closest friends today are people who I thought I had nothing in common with. Friends are like leaves, some fall away and some stay on the branch, but either way, the more you rake up, the more fun you will have! (Who doesn't love jumping into leaf piles? Right?)

2) Take pictures. I feel like someone told me this just yesterday as I began my college career, but college goes by way too fast! Take it from a soon-to-be-graduating senior who feels like she just moved to the U of M. (At least I'll always have this great photo of my Welcome Week experience!)

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3) Take advantage of your surroundings. Step away from the screen you're looking at (only after you have read the rest of this post...obviously) and remind yourself that you're in the Twin Cities! Anything you could ever want is at your fingertips! Go to the zoo, go to a Twins game, sip coffee on West Bank of campus, shop until you drop at the Mall of America, rent paddleboards on Lake Calhoun, and so much more! Students at the U of M truly have a great location to take advantage of. 

4) Always remember that dreams DO come true! This summer I lived my dream by going to a movie premiere in Hollywood, California. The U of M has given me infinite opportunities to grow as a student, a young adult, and a working professional. Take advantage of these opportunities. Whether it be through extracurricular clubs, internships, or volunteer positions, the U of M has the resources and opportunities that can help you achieve your goals and dreams too! 

5) Most importantly... don't spend all your Flexdine at Starbucks! Your funds will dwindle faster than you can say "orange mocha Frapuccino." But seriously, live like a college student now so that you won't have to later. There are many free and discounted opportunities for fun on and off campus, so you can have fun and not break the bank.

With that said, I will give you a digital tip-of-the-hat and hope that your college career unfolds as beautifully as mine did.

Ski-U-Mah!

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In today's digital age, people are continuing to trade in their flip phones for the latest and greatest smart phone on the market. Many people have returned their paperbacks to the library and are now operating Kindles, Nooks, and iPads. What makes these new devices so enticing? The wide variety of apps, of course!

In a world full of bloggers, Tweets, Facebook, and other fast-paced and technologically advanced programs, many institutions are now only a click away. If clothing stores and restaurants have apps, shouldn't art museums? 

Recently, I learned about a new course offered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Department of Art History, and College of Design at the U of M. The goal of the course will be to conceptualize an interactive app for the world-renowned Weisman Art Museum (WAM), which is located on the U of M east bank campus. The course will combine research, writing, design, observation, and discussion to create an exciting new app. 

I was so excited to learn about the amazing opportunity, and I signed up for the course right away. It's great to see the University constantly offering new coursework and opportunities that are following the trends of technology and society, and helping us stay ahead of the curve in our knowledge and skills. I look forward to learning a lot from this class next semester!

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This summer, I have not only been working as the Communications Intern here at the Office of Admissions, but I have also been interning at Allied-THA, a film promotions company in the Twin Cities.

Back in June I was partnered with another Allied intern (and recent U of M graduate), Brianna Morel, to compete in a nation-wide contest. For the contest, two interns from every Allied office (23 total) worked to promote the upcoming film "The Campaign" in the most effective and creative ways. The prize was a trip to Hollywood, CA, to attend the premiere of the movie. The film, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, is a comedy about two politicians--Marty Huggins and Cam Brady--competing for positions in Congress.

Our promotional adventures included holding up Cam Brady signs at a Twins Game and getting on the big screen (3 times!); distributing promotional materials to restaurants and shops around Dinkytown; hanging up posters on campus; handing out shirts at the Minnesota Aquatennial; staging a "protest" on Nicollet Ave downtown; visiting The Dave Ryan in the Morning Show in the KDWB studio; and holding promotional banners over Interstate 394 during rush hour.

Our hard work paid off! During a conference call with fellow competitors, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis told us we had won the contest and would be flown to Hollywood! One week later, I was on my way to Hollywood. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a fellow U of M graduate named Lisa, who works at the Allied office in Los Angeles as the Warner Bros. publicist.

We explored the city including the Hollywood sign, Walk of Fame, and the world famous Grauman's Chinese Theater, where we attended the premiere of The Campaign. We also stayed at the amazing Lowes Hollywood Hotel and had the opportunity to tour Warner Brothers Studios where we walked on the set of True Blood, Heart of Dixie, and Pretty Little Liars.

I have dreamed of going to a Hollywood movie premiere since I was a little girl, and I have been watching Will Ferrell since he was a Spartan cheerleader on Saturday Night Live. This experience was one I definitely would not have had without everything I've learned and all the opportunities that I've had as a student the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and the amazing internship possibilities that come along with living in a major metropolitan area like Minneapolis. Dreams do come true!

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Join us for a College of Liberal Arts Sneak Preview this summer and get an inside look at the University of Minnesota! 

Summer Sneak Previews are designed especially for future freshmen and their families, to give you the opportunity to learn more about the great academics and opportunities at the U of M. 

At a College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Sneak Preview, you will hear from current College of Liberal Arts students about their college experiences, meet faculty and staff, and attend a freshmen seminar. An optional tour of our historic Big Ten campus and state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities will be offered at the end of the day.

College of Liberal Arts Sneak Previews

July 27 and August 3

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

RSVP Now!

Whether you're interested in the social sciences, arts, humanities, and natural sciences--CLA offers 60 majors for you to choose from, in a variety of interest areas. U of M students also have access to a wide selection of great opportunities to enhance their experience both in and out of the classroom, including undergraduate research opportunities, study abroad, career services and more!  Learn more about these great academics and opportunities at a CLA Sneak Preview this summer.


To RSVP for a College of Liberal Arts Sneak Preview, 

please visit http://z.umn.edu/sneakpreview

or call our VISITLINE at 612-625-0000 or 1-800-752-0000.

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Just one year after her graduation, University of Minnesota alumna and former Office of Admissions intern Daisy Giles is putting her U of M education to work with her very own show at Homewood Studios, a gallery designed for local artists to display their contributions to the vitality, self-image, and coherence of community.

Daisy's exhibition opened June 1 and will run until June 27. It will display paintings and prints for sale, including a dozen that never-before-seen pieces that she created specifically for this exhibition. 

Daisy graduated in 2011 with a dual degree from the U of M: a B.F.A in art and a B.A. in African American and African Studies. "I didn't think I would end up doing art professionally when I first started," said Daisy. However, art is something that she has always been attracted too. "My mother was artistic, my family is full of hobby painters --it just runs in my blood."

Daisy's experience at the U of M allowed her to explore several visual arts media that she would not have discovered on her own. "I was able to take printing classes, photography, and dimensional painting," she says. Daisy also took an art seminar at the U of M that brought students to different museums and galleries and also had professionals come into the classroom to critique student work. "I never would have had the opportunity to learn so much outside of a university setting."

A family friend told Homewood Studios about Daisy's work, and she then received a request to do a portrait show. To prepare, Daisy grabbed friends and acquaintances and began painting. "I like doing portraits," Daisy says, "they give you a personal connection with the person you're working with, and each portrait has a different feel."

Daisy's story is definitely an inspiration to me as a current student. I hope to grow through my experiences at the University of Minnesota, like Daisy has, and pursue a career that I love once I graduate. After speaking with Daisy, I've realized that no aspiration is too small, no goal too far, and no dream too big.


Learn more about Daisy's art at http://www.facebook.com/daisygilesartist.


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Whether it's a five minute bike ride to your class or a five minute bus ride to your internship, transportation options are abundant and easy at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

While most classes are within walkable distance of each other, the free Campus Connector bus system connects the West Bank, East Bank and St. Paul campus to make traveling from class to class easy and convenient. Travelling on a three mile stretch for public transportation, emergency vehicles and bicycles, the bus connects students from the West Bank to the St. Paul campus within about 30 minutes. The Campus Circulators, including the East Bank Circulator and the St. Paul Circulator, each cover their respective campuses - getting students to any part of campus they need.

For those who bring a bike to campus, bike lockers are offered at various locations on each campus. For just $84 a year students can store their bicylces away from the elements in a sheltered locker. If you'd rather rent a bicylce, the new Nice Ride program offers students a quick and easy way to pick up and drop off bikes across the Twin Cities.

One of the great benefits of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is its location. Living and learning in the heart of a large metropolitan area gives students have great ways of getting connected to the Twin Cities community through jobs and internships, volunteer opportunities and recreational activities. To help students get around the Twin Cities, the University offers U-Passes, discounted bus passes through the Metro Transit. For just $97 a semester students can ride any Metro Transit bus or light rail as many times as they like! The city-wide bus system gets passengers nearly everywhere in the metropolitan area. The Hiawatha Line light rail travels from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America, with stops at both terminals of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

A new and exciting development to the Metro Transit system is the addition of the Central Corridor light rail. The new light rail line will run through the heart of campus and connect downtown Minneapolis with downtown St. Paul. Construction began just a few weeks ago, you can check out details about the project at the Central Corridor Web site.


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