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Hi everyone!

This is the third and final video for the Dia de los Muertos event that I attended on campus. In this video, you will see two cultural dances performed in honor of the event. The outfits and the dance moves were wonderful and intricate. I hope you enjoy it.

CLA Student Ambassadors is a student group that provides an excellent way for students in the College of Liberal Arts to build leadership skills, share their thoughts and opinions with prospective students, and gain valuable experiences working with a diverse group of students and staff at the University and in the community.

CLA Ambassadors.jpgCLA Ambassadors get involved on campus in numerous ways, including participating in student panels, assisting with a variety of campus events, and blogging. As a prospective student, you can get to know each of the Ambassadors, stay up-to-date on happenings around campus, and find out what it's like to be a student in the College of Liberal Arts by following them on Facebook! (Make sure to check back frequently as new content is added weekly.)

One of my favorite things about Minnesota is the seasons. I like to tell everyone that "we get the most of all the seasons in Minnesota!" As the cold moves in and the snow begins to accumulate, winter fun in Minneapolis begins to blossom.

Nestled in the heart of the Twin Cities, students at the University of Minnesota have a wide variety of winter activities at their fingertips. Here are a few of my favorite things to do during these cold Minne-snow-ta winters: In my opinion, there is no better winter pastime than ice skating. All around Minneapolis, there are great places to show off your skating skills. Only a short bus ride from campus, The Depot Rink is a historic downtown Minneapolis train station that now houses a modern, indoor rink with floor-to-ceiling glass walls showcasing views of the downtown city skyline. According to their website, The Depot was named one of the Top 10 Best Places to Ice Skate by the USA Today and MSNBC. U of M students can purchase discount tickets through the University's Student Union and Activities office in Coffman Memorial Union.

Another one of my favorite cold-weater activities is winter's answer to the Minnesota State Fair. At the end of January, the city of St.Paul gears up for one of it's biggest gatherings, the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Going on 124 years, the Winter Carnival is a celebration like no other. With events like a parade, ice maze, and dog sled rally (to name just a few) the event has activites for all ages and interests.

Both the Depot and the Winter Carnival are just a short bus ride from campus, so students can check them out on a whim!

People say that your college years are some of the best years of your life. So far, I agree. Now that I'm a senior, I look back at my time in college...at all the great memories I have made and all the things that I have learned. I have learned so much about myself and about the world.

One of the most important things you gain while in college, of course, is your degree. Our campus culture supports and understands the importance of extracurricular activities, but it has always been made clear to me that academics must come first. As a student at one of the nation's top research universities, I've had the opportunity to learn from award-winning professors and attend classes in state-of-the-art facilities.

Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal noticed that the University of Minnesota's television advertisements "stand out from the crowd" because of their focus on academics. I think that the advertisements are an excellent reflection of the studious atmosphere I've experience here at the U of M. 

Massoud Amin, the director of the Technological Leadership Institute and an electrical engineering professor at the U of M, is working on developing a smart grid to deliver electricity to the U.S. The term "smart grid," which Dr. Amin coined 12 years ago, refers to using computer, communications, sensing, and control technology combined with an electric power grid to make electric power more reliable.

The Midwest contains some of the most reliable states which average only 92 minutes of power outages each year, but New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey average 214 minutes without power each year. Instead of just learning to cope with these power outages, Dr. Amin is trying to solve the problem. It is possible to have more reliable electricity - Japan averages only 4 minutes without power per year!

To highlight the work being done by Dr. Amin, the U of M created a 30-second advertisement to run during the halftime of college football games. Many colleges create these ads because they are free for schools in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. This year the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) finally settled the debate: Who has the best college ad?

WSJ created a four-person panel consisting of a representative from Ogilvy and Mather, an international advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, along with an associate professor from NYU's film school, and two high school students who are currently choosing where they want to attend college. They judged 112 of the 120 ads produced by schools.

The ad graded the highest overall by the panel was the U of M's which features Massoud Amin explaining his smart grid research. The panelists gave the U of M's ad top marks for its powerful images and words about academics.

Read the WSJ reviews for yourself!

I am proud to represent an institution that has such strong academics and produces innovative research. There are certainly a number of factors in choosing a college, some of which are not academic, but the reason you attend college is to learn! And at the U of M, you will learn from some of the best minds in academia and industry.

So....what do you think of the ad?


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