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Name:  Megan Odom 

Hometown:  Savage, MN

Major(s):  Spanish and Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance

Year in School: Freshman, Class of 2014

Colleges and universities she considered: Last year as a high school senior, Megan's top choices for colleges included the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Yale University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Bethel College.

Why she chose the U of M:
Megan ultimately chose to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities based on the quality of academic programs as well as value: low cost of attendance and great scholarship opportunities.

Campus involvement:

Getting involved in research: "My current research project includes working with the speech-language-hearing sciences department to research effective language interventions for children and adolescents with both Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome."

Highlight of her freshman year at the U of M: "Meeting a group of friends who are like family! We made 'family dinners' on Sunday nights a tradition. We even celebrated 'fam Christmas' together before going home for winter break."

Her advice to high school seniors: "Stay in touch with friends once you go off to college - everyone loves to get mail!"

I remember as an undergraduate in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), walking around the St.Paul campus and seeing signs about STEM on the student bulletin boards. "STEM? What is that?," I thought as I continued on my path to class. Later, I learned all about STEM, and I'd like to some share information with it about you!

STEM, which stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math," is the name of the Education Research Center located in the College of Education and Human Development. The center's purpose is to research learning and cognition of students in a k-12 environment utilizing a integration of the STEM concepts. The faculty, staff, and students involved in STEM are studying the long-term effects of combining science technology engineering and math to help prepare students in the Teaching Initial Licensure Program for their post-graduate years.

Recently, this research was applied at the White Earth Reservation with a group of students grades 4-8. The students of the White Earth community learned about atmospheric changes through the use of a camera, sensors, and a weather balloon! The lesson was not only fun; it also clearly demonstrated to the students the correlation between science and technology. The lesson plan was a success!

STEM exciting venture for anyone interested in working in education or youth studies. Learn more about it here: STEM Education Research Center 


Do you remember my blog post back in November about Goldy Gopher making it to the National Mascot Championship? 

Well, I have great news: Goldy Gopher is officially the best mascot in the land! While University of Minnesota students were relaxing over winter break, Goldy was busting his tail at the 2011 UCA/UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, held at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Over 150 colleges and universities competed in dance, cheerleading, and mascot competitions. Goldy took home the mascot trophy and the U of M dance team got first place in the jazz and pom divisions. I am so proud of my fellow Gophers!

Check out this video of Goldy's stellar performance:

And here is the dance team's winning routine:

The College of Biological Sciences is a small, close-knit college community with all the benefits and resources of a major research university. Students and faculty are able connect with their students both in and out of the classroom and will see familiar faces in their classes throughout their four years at the University.

Each year, the College of Biological Sciences sponsors events that bring students and faculty together. For first-year students, the Nature of Life program is an excellent opportunity for the CBS community to spend some time together before classes even begin. During the academic year while everyone is on campus, the College of Biological Sciences Student Board hosts an event in the spring called BioDayz. This is a week jammed packed with fun-filled activities, seminars and social gatherings that bring students, faculty and staff together. These are just a couple examples of the many events and activities available to CBS students.

Take a minute to check out the College of Biological Sciences events slideshow and see for yourself how students, faculty, and staff are connecting outside the classroom and sharing their CBS pride!

University Dining Services (UDS) opened four new restaurants over winter break: Topio's Pizza is in Coffman Union's Marketplace; Papa John's and Subway in Blegen Hall; and Cone 10 Cafe in the Regis Center for the Arts. I cannot wait to try some of these new on-campus eateries!

I love going out for dinner, and some of my favorite restaurants are right here on campus. Restaurants scattered across the East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul Campus in very convenient locations. Some of my favorites are:

Panda Express
Panda Express offers Chinese favorites in Coffman Memorial Union's Minnesota Marketplace. There are a bunch of different places to eat in the Minnesota Marketplace (which is set up food-court style) but I crave the orange chicken and fried rice whenever I am at Coffman.

Wise Owl Cafe
I spend a lot of my time studying at Walter Library, and sometimes I need a little extra fuel to help me complete a paper or get through some dense readings. The Wise Owl Cafe is conveniently located in the basement of Walter Library and offers coffee, espresso drinks and smoothies, freshly baked pastries, and a selection of sandwiches, salads, sushi, and parfaits.

Nolte Restaurant
Nolte Restaurant is located in the basement of Nolte Hall. It is a quick walk through a tunnel from the Office of Admissions where I work, so I ate here a lot during while working full days during the summer. It offers delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, and entrees. 

Pioneer Hall
I have not been to the Pioneer Hall dining center for a while, but I miss its famous made-to-order sandwiches and pastas. When I was a freshman and lived in the 'superblock' (a block with four residential halls on it), I went to Pioneer Hall just about every day for lunch with my roommates from Territorial Hall.

Bleeker Street
Bleeker Street is my favorite place to eat on the West Bank. It is in the basement of the Carlson School of Management and offers great coffee and Panini sandwiches. I like to stop there before my classes on the West Bank.

Check out the University Dining Services website to learn more about good eats on campus!

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