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By Matt Coakley

On August 25th, the new Princess Kay of the Milky Way was crowned at the Minnesota State Fair. The winner was none other than our very own Katie Miron! Katie is a student at the University of Minnesota studying Agricultural Education. 

Katie was awarded the title of Princess Kay based on her knowledge of the dairy industry, communication skills, personality, and enthusiasm for dairy promotion. This is important, because she will now be the goodwill ambassador for all of Minnesota's dairy farmers.


Photo courtesy Midwest Dairy Association                         

Princess Katie's first task was to have a likeness of her head carved out of a block of butter. The evening of the first day of the fair, I happened to wander into the dairy center and caught a first-hand look at the newly carved head of butter. It is rotating on a large stand that is protected by large panes of glass. It was surely a sight to behold. If I had known that I was going to see this pasteurized piece of art, I would have definitely brought a camera. 

If you're local, I encourage to to go to the Minnesota State Fair and see it for yourself! For those of you who can't attend, check out this interesting article on butter sculpture making.

Click here to read more about Katie and the Princess Kay of the Milky Way competition.

By Hilary Baril

It's that time of year: Campus is bustling with new students moving into the residence halls. Seeing the first-year students moving in this week brought back such fond memories of when I lived in Territorial Hall my very first semester at the U of M. It was such an exciting time!

Have you ever wondered what a residence hall room is actually like? Check out the video below of U of M student reporter "Minnesota Miles" touring Middlebrook Hall....MTV Cribs-style!

One of the new facilities on campus this year is the Science Teaching and Student Services (STSS) Building. This is an amazing new facility which houses lecture rooms, active learning classrooms, and many student services, including the U of M's One Stop Student Services office. I recently attended the grand opening of the STSS building and took some pictures to share with you!

Upon entering the building, students are greeted by staff at an information desk. 

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One Stop Student Services is located behind this desk. One Stop brings all student services together in one place. If you have questions about finances, class registration, or your student record, One Stop counselors can help you.


STSS Grand Opening15.jpgThe windows facing the Mississippi River provide beautiful natural lighting and use a natural convection system to heat the building in the winter. Ceramic window dots cover every window to acheive maximum convection effect.

There are amazing views of the river from both inside and outside this building!

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Of course, there are also classrooms in the STSS building. There are lecture halls as well as a new type of classroom called an "active learning classroom."

The lecture halls are comfortable, functional, and look pretty snazzy with multi-colored seats!

STSS Grand Opening28.jpgMy favorite feature of this building is the active learning classrooms. These rooms have really neat technology that facilitates group problem-solving. Rooms are filled with circular tables which can seat about eight students.  Students can work on projects on their computers, then connect their group's computer to a monitor and display their work to the rest of the class.

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The professor is able to take one table's monitor, and send the image to every monitor in the classroom. This enables peer review on the fly! Some assistant admissions counselors were eager to try out the new technology:

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I am excited to sit in on some of these classes this fall. Check out this video to see what a class will be like in this type of classroom!

By Matt Sabongi 


Above is a photo of me atop a mountain in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado during spring break of my senior year.

Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities not only spend their time studying the natural world but playing in it, too! As a student, I was an avid participant in the University's Center of Outdoor Adventure. Throughout my life, I have had a passion for the outdoors and adventure sports. I enjoy backpacking, kayaking, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, and biking--to list a few. When I began as a student at the U of M, I was determined to continue pursuing my passion for adventure sports and the outdoors, even though I was moving to a metropolitan city. The Center of Outdoor Adventure helped me experience the best of both worlds: exploring the great outdoors while living the city life. 

The Center for Outdoor Adventure (COA) provides student with alternative recreation experiences revolving around the outdoor activities. Throughout the year, COA hosts clinics and trips that introduce both beginner and experienced adventurers to the fundamentals of outdoor adventure skills and environmental ethics. Activities range from backpacking to ice climbing, both locally and nationally.

No matter if you are a experienced outdoor enthusiast or simply a learning the ropes, COA can provide students with the information and equipment needed for any outdoor adventure. COA has a great rental center full of equipment for every season at very reasonable student rates. Also, if you're looking to buy or sell some gear, the COA Gear Sale is a great way to get your hands on quality equipment at a student-friendly price.

Climbing is another great way for members to get involved with the Center for Outdoor Adventure. The climbing walls were actually the resources I used the most as a student. After my classes, I would walk over to either the Minneapolis or St. Paul Recreation Centers to climb either one of COA's two bouldering caves and full climbing wall.

The Center for Outdoor Adventure office is located in the lower level of the Minneapolis recreation center (or simply "The Rec," as students refer to it!). If you're visiting campus for a campus tour or simply in the area, make sure stop by and see the great resources COA provides for students interested in exploring the outdoors.

For me, this week marks the beginning of fall. Though our calendars still say August, this week the U of M's freshman class moves onto campus and starts Welcome Week.

During my freshman year, I lived in an Honors Living Learning Community in Middlebrook Hall. Living Learning Communities are groups of students with similar interests within our residence halls. The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) students often find special interest in these three Living Learning Communities: Science and Engineering Explorations House, University Honors Housing, and the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) House.

Living Learning Communities are optional, but I can tell you from experience that participating in a Living Learning Community made me feel more confident moving to campus because I knew I would be living around other students who shared my same interests--it was a built-in community.

Even if you're not interested an Living Learning Community, I highly recommend that you consider living on campus (it's not required, but most first-year students do). It's such a fun experience to be around so many other students who are going through the same transition. The U of M has eight residence halls and three apartment buildings. High school seniors: the freshman housing application will be available early November 2010 at www.umn.edu/housing. Housing preferences are granted based on the date of submission, so fill out your application early! (You don't have to be admitted to the University to apply for housing.)

You may also want to check out video tours of our residence halls and apartment complexes. This is a great way to get a feel for all our housing options without touring campus 11 time! 

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