Date: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Location: Chapel of Christ the Teacher
Every Wednesday, the music department hosts an event featuring musicians from a variety of different musical disciplines. See the schedule below or visit the music department’s website for more information about music at midweek events.
Music at Midweek Schedule for Spring Semester:
The College of Arts and Sciences is happy welcome fourteen new CAS faculty members into the UP community.
|Louisa Egan-Brad, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychological Sciences
Louisa Egan received her Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University in 2009. She then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and taught as a visiting assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College. Her research focuses on everyday morality and rationality. She is particularly interested in the evolution and development of mechanisms that promote immoral and irrational behavior, which she investigates through research with nonhuman primates and young children. Louisa is a California native who is delighted to finally return to the west coast after too many years away.
|Daniel Foster, Ph.D., Lecturer, Communication Studies
Daniel Foster brings to the University of Portland a deep passion for teaching and an abiding love for communication. One area of his scholarly focus centers on democratic rhetoric and rhetorical democracy as derived primarily from the implications of Symbolic lnteractionism and the practices of the ancient Athenians. He received his doctorate in rhetoric and communication ethics from the University of Denver, and completed both his master’s degree in applied communication and his undergraduate
degree in history and speech communication at Northern Arizona University. Daniel is an Oregon native who is happily returning to the Pacific Northwest.
|Rachel Hutcheson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Before joining the University of Portland’s chemistry department, Rachel Hutcheson served in the chemistry department at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University as an adjunct assistant professor, where she taught chemical biology, xenobiotic metabolism, and various labs. Her research is focused on furthering the understanding of radical reaction mechanisms that are catalyzed by iron sulfur clusters. She received her doctorate in biochemistry from Montana State University, where she focused on investigating enzymes that employ metal centers to accomplish the reactions they catalyze. Her undergraduate degree was completed at Seattle University and she is happy to be returning to the Northwest. Rachel enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and exploring the outdoors, and reading and crafting with her children.
|Carolyn James, M.S., MBA, Instructor, Mathematics
Carolyn James is completing her doctorate in mathematics education at Portland State University. Her research interests include leveraging justification for deeper conceptual understanding and better teaching through use of technology. She holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Oregon State University, a master’s in international management from Johannes Kepler Universität in Linz, Austria, and a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She is an Oregon native and is happily settled in Portland with her husband and daughter. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and playing competitive ultimate Frisbee.
|Patricia (Paddy) McShane, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Patricia “Paddy” Mcshane received her Ph.D. and master of arts in philosophy from Georgetown University in 2015 and 2013, respectively, and her bachelor of arts in philosophy and economics from DePauw University in 2007. For the past two years, Mcshane has been a full-time faculty member in the Norlin Scholars Program, an interdisciplinary honors program at the University of Colorado Boulder. While in graduate school at Georgetown, Paddy held fellowships at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and the School of Foreign Service, and prior to matriculating at Georgetown, she worked for the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw. Her research, while primarily grounded in normative ethics, substantively intersects with other philosophical sub-specialties, particularly analytic epistemology, philosophy of religion, and bioethics. Born and raised in Oregon, Paddy is happy to return to her native state and to join the UP community.
|Ashley Mikulyuk, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Sociology & Social Work
Ashley Mikulyuk completed her doctoral work at the University of Miami in 2014, and joins the University of Portland faculty as a visiting assistant professor of sociology. In the past she has taught Introduction to Sociology and Social Research Methods at the undergraduate level, and at UP she will teach Introduction to Sociology and Sociology of the Family. Her primary research interests include racial and ethnic diversity in society and the sociology of education. In 2015, Ashley was recognized as a 2016 Emerging Diversity Scholar by the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. In her most recent research endeavor, she is exploring the dynamics of gender and parenting in the family, with a new project that examines parents’ perspectives on gender-diversity and gender-neutrality in their approaches to raising their children. Ashley is an avid reader, and enjoys traveling and the outdoors. She lives with her partner in Northwest Portland, and is happy to call Portland home.
|Elizabeth Morton, Ph.D., Instructor, Chemistry
Elizabeth Morton joins the University of Portland as an instructor in the Department of Chemistry. She spent the previous two years teaching chemistry at George Fox University and Portland Community College. Prior to moving to Oregon, she was a Department of Energy Office of Science graduate research fellow at Pennsylvania State University, where she also gained teaching experience as a substitute lecturer and teaching assistant for various chemistry classes. Elizabeth earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Penn State in 2013, and holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and forensic science from the University of New Haven. She currently resides in Hillsboro with her husband and two cats, and enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix/Hulu.
|Aristides Petrides, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Aristides Petrides has had the opportunity to teach math and science to students of diverse backgrounds and varying objectives. He studied statistics and mathematics education as a Ph.D. minor and has worked as an adjunct instructor at Washington State University, Portland Community College, and the University of Portland. Prior to teaching, Aristides worked at an environmental consulting company in Portland, Ore. His work as a consultant involved mathematical modeling of flow and transport of contaminants in groundwater. Aristides finished his Ph.D. dissertation in 2012 through Oregon State University, developing and calibrating a regional hydrological model forthe Walla Walla Basin. He currently serves as an advisor to the UP Lions Club and serves as a volunteer mathematics instructor for Latinos and agricultural workers in the Willamette Valley. Aristides enjoys bicycling and outdoor pursuits with his wife, three kids and “Bouncy,” a three-year-old golden retriever.
|Giannina Reyes-Giardiello, PH.D., Assistant Professor, International Languages & Cultures—Spanish
Giannina Reyes-Giardiello joins the Department of International Languages and Cultures as assistant professor of Spanish. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a specialty in contemporary Mexican literature and cultural studies. For the past two years she has been assistant professor of Spanish at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind. She also taught at Middlebury College and Middlebury Language School, the University of Wisconsin, New Mexico State University, and the Instituti Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Mexico. Giannina’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between national discourse and masculine representation in Mexico, particularly the relationship between the economic and political crisis of the Mexican state during the 1990s and emerging discourses that questioned the construction of normative masculinities during the same period.
|Sarina Saturn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychological Sciences
Sarina Rodrigues Saturn received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from New York University under the mentorship of Joseph LeDoux. Her dissertation focused on molecular, cellular, and behavioral studies of the amygdala, the key brain structure for emotional processing. She was then a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, under the guidance of Robert Sapolsky, where she investigated the role of stress hormones on the brain’s emotional circuitry. At the University of California Berkeley, Saturn was a postdoctoral fellow in Dacher Keltner’s lab, where she began to bridge neuroscience and social psychology. Her research investigates the biology underlying prosocial emotions and behaviors, including moral elevation, compassion, and attachment. Sarina is a Portland native, and both of her parents are University of Portland alumni. She was an assistant professor at Oregon State University before coming to The Bluff and is excited to return to her hometown and UP roots. She enjoys spending time with her family in the great outdoors, traveling, cooking, eating, and sampling microbrews.
|Laura Schacherer, M.A., Visiting Instructor, Chemistry
Before coming to the University of Portland as a visiting laboratory instructor in organic chemistry, Laura Schacherer was a content editor for general chemistry at Altius Test Prep and a research intern in the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University. During the previous three years, she headed the organic chemistry teaching laboratory at Columbia University in New York City. Her responsibilities there included teaching eight sections of students per year, choosing appropriate experiments to teach, and designing course material for the undergraduate students. Laura earned her master of arts in chemistry from Columbia University, master of science in chemistry from Yale University, and bachelor of arts in chemistry from Reed College. Her academic skills include basic molecular biology techniques such as cell culture, enzyme assay and protein purification techniques.
|Joshua Swidzinaki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, English
Joshua Swidzinski recently completed his doctorate in English and comparative literature at Columbia University. Prior to this, he pursued his master’s degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and his undergraduate degree at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. He has published articles and book chapters on eighteenth-century British literature and culture, and the history of literary criticism. As a graduate teaching fellow, he led courses on a wide range of literary topics, including poetry and poetics; literature and film; eighteenth-century literature and Enlightenment thought; and college composition and the contemporary essay. Joshua has been pleased to serve as a faculty advisor and member of the editorial board for The Morningside Review, a journal of undergraduate writing at Columbia University. He and his wife are eager to explore Portland and the Pacific Northwest.
|David Turnbloom, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Theology
Before joining the theology department, David Turnbloom received his doctorate from Boston College, his master’s degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. His primary areas of interest are liturgical theology, ecclesiology, and theological ethics. Specifically, his research engages the relationship between liturgical celebrations and the ethical identity of individuals and communities. His doctoral work engaged the relationship between the sacraments and the virtues in the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Most recently, he co-authored an article with Lutheran theologian Benjamin Durheim, entitled “Tactical Ecumenism,” which appeared in the journal, Theological Studies. His current research examines how the historical uses of bread in liturgical worship can be a source for constructing an ecclesiology that is grounded in concern for the ethical lives of Christians. He grew up in northern Minnesota and spent the last ten years in Boston, Mass. He and his wife, Katie, enjoy watching movies, reading, hiking, and trying to satiate their unending desire for desserts
|Kathryn Van Hook, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
Kathryn “Katy” Van Hook was born and raised in Helena, Mont., and is a proud graduate of Carroll College. As the daughter of two educators, she grew up with a strong sense of the value of education and the excitement that comes from lifelong learning. She fostered her passion for science and discovery by doing basic research at both Carroll College and Indiana University before attending Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland for her graduate degree. At OHSU, Kathryn quickly connected with cancer research being done on campus and she became the lead researcher on two collaborative projects aimed at understanding the regwlation of an important tumor suppressor known as ASPP2. After receiving her degree in cell and developmental biology, Kathryn worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the prostate cancer division of the Knight Cancer Institute on a project aimed at understanding the mechanisms of resistance to traditional anti-androgen therapies. Concurrent with her research, Kathryn has developed a true passion for teaching. After developing and teaching classes for Portland State University and Chamberlain College of Nursing, she is eager and excited to join the biology department at UP. When she is not working she
enjoys traveling, baking, camping, binging on Netflix, and relaxing with friends and family.
Information about these professors came from the 2015-2016 new faculty handbook
The Student Leadership & Advisory Council (SLAC) is composed of students representing each department in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Council meets approximately twice a semester to provide advice to the dean about the programs of the College and assist with projects. SLAC welcomes the new 2015-2015 Advisory Council:
| Talbot Andrews: Psychological Sciences
Hometown: Portland, OR
Prospective Career Path: Evolutionary Psychologist
Fun Fact: She hosts a punk rock radio show on KDUP
| James Paul Gumataotao: Theology
Hometown: Hagatna, Guam
| Nikki Carter: Mathematics
| Christian Doles: Philosophy
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Prospective Career Path: Veterinarian
| Brooke Holmes: Environmental ScienceYear:
Hometown: Puyallup, Washington
Prospective Career Path: She hopes to spend time abroad before heading to graduate school. She plans to be a researcher and university professor
Fun Fact: She loves riding motorcycles, and appreciates the lowered gas consumption.
| Jacqui Howard: Communication Studies
Hometown: Bellevue, Washington
Prospective Career Path: Health Care Administration
Fun Fact: She studies abroad in London during the summer of 2014
| Eva Klos: History
Hometown: Richland, Washington
Prospective Career Path: Museum Curator
Fun Fact: She is scuba certified
| Anne Luijten: Sociology & Social Work
Hometown: Rijswijk, The Netherlands
Prospective Career Path: Journalism? Working for the European Union? Not sure yet!
Fun Fact: She is part of the XC/Track team
| Rachel Macklin: English
Hometown: Tupelo, Mississippi
Prospective Career Path: Librarian
Fun Fact: She has a cat that does tricks like sitting and “standing” for treats
| Haley Mukensnabl: Performing & Fine Arts
Hometown:Battle Ground, Washington
Prospective Career Path: Continuing onto law school
Fun Fact: She enjoys making her own ringtones
| Emily O’Loughlin: Chemistry
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Prospective Career Path: High School Chemistry Teacher
Fun Fact: She loves to knit.
| Trevor Peralta: Political Science
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Prospective Career Path: Army Officer
Fun Fact: His favorite soccer team is FC Bayern Munich
| Bridget Sloat: Biology
Hometown: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Prospective Career Path: University professor
Fun Fact: She loves the ocean
| Jason Smith: Physics
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Prospective Career Path: Permaculture Farmer
Fun Fact: His lifelong hobby has been the profound art of Stop Motion Animation
| Hannes Zatzche: International Languages & Cultures
Hometown: Reedsport, Oregon
Prospective Career Path: Agricultural water lawyer and advocate for sustainable irrigation interests of agriculturalists.
Fun Fact: His name is difficult for strangers to pronounce, so growing up his mother used to tell people that ‘Zetzsche’ rhymes with ‘you betcha,’ a clever oral reminder that I often still use today.
Written by Nicola Plate, class of 2015
Students, faculty, and staff packed the UP Bookstore on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 for the first Integrative Conversations Event hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, the McNerney-Hanson Endowed Chair in Ethics, and The Catholic Studies Program. Dr. Russ Butkus (Theology), Dr. Greg Hill (Mathematics), Dr. Steve Kolmes (Environmental Studies), and Dr. Anne Santiago (Political Science) gathered in front of the fireplace to discuss the implications of climate change on the environment, society, and the entire world. This panel, and the student-lead Q&A that followed, drew over 100 UP students, faculty, and staff members.
“Integrative Conversations is about integrating disciplines,” said Dr. Michael F. Andrews, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the host of the event. “What we are doing tonight is learning to hold the tension between multiple lenses when exploring a complex issue. Integrative thinking is both method and goal of liberal arts education.”
Though climate change is often viewed as an environmental issue, the discussion proved that its effects reach much further. The topics discussed included environmental impact, political implications, gender issues, economics, power disparities, theology, ethics, anthropology, and many more.
Dr. Butkus focused primarily on the theological aspects of climate change, noting environmental justice is about living with and taking care of God’s creation. He said it is an example of the intersection between ecological justice and social justice. According to Dr. Butkus, many people in the theological discipline have reached a consensus that climate change is human-caused.
Dr. Santiago, though she focused on the political aspects of climate change, echoed this same sentiment. She discussed how political power disparities often results in a lack of effort to stop climate change. But the climate, as she noted, is a collective good. “It is an obligation of all states to handle the problem,” she said.
Dr. Hill noted that the change will start from the ground up, first with local communities before moving into the government. Though he thinks there are many changes that need to happen, he is more hopeful about the future. While gesturing to the students in the audience Dr. Hill said that the younger generation is going to motivate positive change.
Dr. Kolmes also discussed the future of climate change. “My generation failed,” he said, taking a more negative tone than Dr. Hill. Dr. Kolmes said that we have to ask if we have a right to destroy the planet, noting that climate change is not only an environmental problem, but also an ethical one.
Though the panelists started the event, the rest of the UP community got involved during the student-lead Q&A. Many students asked questions on a variety of topics such as gender studies, ethical practices, and the political implications of climate change. Rachel Macklin, an English major who attended the event, said that she enjoyed the Q&A. “I was impressed with the student engagement,” Macklin said.
Matthew Chavarria, a UP senior and a member of the College’s Student Advisory and Leadership Council (SLAC), said that the event was well received and helped bring the different CAS disciplines together. “We are the largest college yet we seem to have the smallest identity,” Chavarria said. He hopes that events like this will help build CAS identity. The SLAC members helped plan and host the student Q&A section of the event.
The Integrative Conversation on Climate Change was the first of its kind, but it will not be the last. In his closing remarks, Dean Andrews said that he hopes to have more Integrative Conversations in the future.
Written by Joanna Monaco, class of 2017
For the past few months, students, staff, and faculty have been reading and discussing Alice McDermott’s novel Charming Billy as part of the University of Portland’s first annual ReadUP event. Large and small reading discussions have taken place in the library, study rooms, and residence halls across campus in an attempt to relate to the words of Alice McDermott. On February 26, McDermott visited Buckley Center Auditorium on the University of Portland campus as part of the Schoenfeldt Distinguished Writers Series to read and discuss her writing.
Charming Billy details the struggles of loss, grief, and addiction while also describing the power of love and the implications of human relationship. It takes place in an Irish Catholic community, and although McDermott is described as being a Catholic novelist, during her time on campus, she explained that although she is titled as a Catholic writer, that title does not define her identity as a writer. She describes this title as a “means to an end, not an end itself.” She was raised in a Catholic household, but sees herself as a “mediocre Catholic,” explaining that she practices the morals and values of the faith system but is sporadic about the amount of Sundays she spends at mass. Her honesty and transparency about her experience as a Catholic made her evermore relatable to both the Catholics and non-Catholics in the audience.
During the reading, McDermott read an excerpt from a current work in progress. She read just enough to acclimate us with the story, and in the small
sample of this piece, much like in Charming Billy, she was able to write fictional characters that were much more than just ink on paper. She made her characters and scenes relatable and wrote with such detail that it allowed the reader to feel transported in to the scene in which she was describing. She took us back to our childhoods, a place of comfort and relief, which was very much welcomed during the stress that takes place in the mid-semester crunch.
McDermott writes with such relatability that both entertains the reader and forces them to reflect on their own experiences. McDermott’s art of words is one of the main reasons why human to human relationships and dialogues have taken place about Charming Billy— it is her collection of words that has brought the University of Portland together as a stronger and more connected community. While answering questions about her writing, McDermott stated that she “sees story as a meeting place for us to figure out what our lives mean.” I believe McDermott’s novel exceeded this expectation and was the perfect choice for the University of Portland’s first annual ReadUP.
Working in the UP athletic department and helping with their sports medicine, as well as shadowing physical therapist have played a role in preparing senior pre-physical therapy student, Brennan Hogan, for his future career. As he now focuses on applying to graduate school, this wide variety of experiences already places Hogan a step ahead of many of his peers.
Although Hogan initially experiences physical therapy from a patient perspective in high school after requiring therapy for an injury, Hogan became passionate later on in college by volunteering in clinics.
“There is so much to do in physical therapy. Every day is a new challenge and you are constantly trying to help people rehab to meet their goals while personally interacting with them,” says Hogan.
Having the opportunity to shadow physical therapists has provided Hogan both the chance to ask questions about a career in physical therapy and discuss different techniques. It has also allowed him to see a variety of PT settings, which has given him “an idea of the different directions [his] career could go once [he graduates from PT school.”
Recently Hogan invited the geriatric, sport therapy, and woman’s health physical therapists he shadows to come speak about their careers and specialties at UP, providing a wide range of the different options that once can take within the profession.
For now, Hogan awaits a response from a number of graduate schools, with Creighton being his top choice.
“I love their emphasis on clinical hours along with their opportunities of where the clinical rotations can be done along with their commitment to get their students employed within six months of graduation,” says Hogan.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers students the opportunity to complete an internship to count towards fulfilling academic credit. Here are some CAS student experiences:
Her Internship: Dentistry Shadow
How She Found Her Internship: She was referred to the position by a UP Alumni who is currently attending dental school.
Her Experience As A Student Intern: Through this internship experience there are numerous new skills and knowledge that Jillian acquired. She feels she could have learned a lot more if she would have shadowed other specialty offices that were in the same building as the office she interned at.
What Has This Experience Taught Her: About a year and a half ago Jillian had some reservations about whether or not she wanted to pursue an education in dentistry. This internship and work done through the summer with this company were definitely large factors that helped solidify her decision to become a dentist. One way that she has changed as a result of this experience is that she is not only interested in dentistry as a career but she has also become interested in the different research aspects pertaining to the field of dentistry.
Major: Secondary Education & Spanish
Her Internship: Spanish Teaching Assistant
How She Found Her Internship: Through expressing interest in sitting in on classes in order to maintain her Spanish and observe effective and overall excellent professors to gain an insight for the field of teaching. Dr. Regan and Dr. Warshawsky not only let her sit in on classes, but helped her set up an internship where she was involved and taught parts of Spanish classes here at the University of Portland. Her responsibilities include designing lesson plans and activities and being involved in constant dialogue with the professors about teaching decisions and techniques.
Her Experience As A Student Intern: Kim’s biggest challenge was becoming comfortable transitioning into a teaching role while being surrounded by her peers. On the other hand, the internship has provided her with an accepting space where she could receive consistent feedback and encouragement, and have the constant support of the professors she worked with. The best part of the experience for her has been developing connections with the professors and students she has had the opportunity to work with during this experience.
What Has This Experience Taught Her: Although explaining concepts in Spanish at a university level was challenging for Kim, it cemented her understanding of the concepts that she taught and has given her invaluable experience for teaching Spanish at many different levels. She has also been able to build on her knowledge of teaching techniques and philosophy. After she graduates she will use the skills she has learned through completing this internship and use them as a language teacher
Major: Environmental Ethics and Policy
His Internship: Working in Congressman Blumenaur’s office
How He Found His Internship: Kyle found out about his internship through an email sent out to Environmental Studies students by Dr. Kolmes.
His Experience As A Student Intern: Kyle developed more professional skills during this internship. He also learned a great amount about the political landscape in Oregon. The only way he could have made this experience more valuable is by putting himself “out there” more and getting more involved with office meetings and such.
What Has This Experience Taught Him: Working in Congressman Blumenauer’s office has given Kyle the opportunity to learn about the different dynamics of politics, including relationships with constituents, co-workers, and the members of various organizations in both the Portland area and nationally. This internship has also influenced him to potentially pursue a career in politics.
It is with tremendous sadness that we learned of the death of our friend and colleague, Dr. Kate Regan, on July 23 2014. As all who know and love her will attest, Kate was an outstanding teacher and scholar. Her boundless energy, enthusiastic leadership, and keen insight were tremendous gifts that benefited students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Portland for two decades. Her work with the Center for International Studies and Global Outreach (CISGO) has had a particularly strong and positive benefit for international competency in the University’s curriculum. From across the globe I have received numerous emails from many of Dr. Regan’s colleagues, expressing intense sadness at her untimely death and joy at having had Kate enrich their lives. I know that I speak for all of the CAS faculty and staff when I express my condolences to all of Dr. Regan’s students — present and former — who have lost, not only an excellent teacher, but a life-long friend and mentor. We in the College are diminished by our loss; yet we remain hopeful in our faith that Kate’s generosity and joy-filled spirit will continue bear much fruit.
Kate’s loss to the College of Arts and Sciences and in particular to the Department of International Languages and Cultures and her loss to each of us, personally, is without measure. On behalf of the faculty, students, and alumni of CAS, please know that I share your sorrow at our personal and collective loss. In talking with so many of Kate’s colleagues, it seems clear to me that our tears are not merely for losing Kate, but for realizing that we have lost a part of ourselves. There are no words to describe the joy and love and sheer energy by which Dr. Kate Regan has (and continues) to inspire us and all that we do here on The Bluff. As we in the College try to come to grips with Kate’s passing and our own personal and collective grief, let us commend her to God, trusting that Kate’s work continues to be our own.
May the angels lead her to paradise, and may Kate’s soul, and the souls of all our faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Vaya con Dios, nuestra amiga.
With warm regards, Michael F. Andrews, Ph.D. Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Let’s face it. When most of us hear the word networking, our palms get clammy and our hearts beat a bit faster.
It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert: chances are, the idea of making small talk with complete strangers in the hopes of landing a job, internship or simply making connections for the future can be a little intimidating.
I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine—we ALL have a network. The kicker is that many of us fail to recognize those closest to us as a valuable resource. Your professional network can include everyone you know.
We ALL have a personal network of friends, family and extended family that we can tap into for information. Chatting with Aunt Kathy is much less intimidating than trying to impress a CEO at a stuffy networking event.
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to utilizing the network you already have. True story: I landed both of my major summer internships through personal connections.
Step 1: Make a List (Check it Twice)
In order to take full advantage of your personal network, you first need to figure out who constitutes your network.
Take out a piece of paper, write your name in the center (that’s right, we’re going back to elementary school) to make the beginnings of a tree diagram. Each line you draw as you create the diagram should connect you to someone you know (friends, family, etc). This constitutes your first level of connections.
Step 2: Time for Some “Recon”
Hopefully, by now, you’ve created a Linkedin profile. If you haven’t, I urge you to check out Career Services’ AWESOME workshops. Don’t have many connections yet? No worries! Use this opportunity to connect with the people you do know, such as professional acquaintances and family members.
After you connect, take a peek at their connections. (Visit Career Services or check out this resource if you need help.) Search for companies or jobs that you are interested in finding more about and add any names you discover to your tree diagram. These names become your second level connections.
Step 3: The Art of the Informational Interview
Now that you have a good idea of the people you already know (and who they know), seek out opportunities to meet with a few of them. In other words, carry out an informational interview! Keep in mind that informational interviews don’t have to take place in a traditional office setting. They can be a one-on-one at a coffee shop or a casual conversation at an upcoming family dinner or reunion.
Chances are, your family is going to want an update on how school is, what you are majoring in, future plans, etc. Hone in on those who made it on the tree diagram you created earlier—I won’t judge if you bring it along for reference—and start by asking this one, simple question:
“Can you suggest the names of two or three other people I might contact for more information? May I use your name when contacting them?”
I am 100% certain they will happily respond with advice for you, and potentially connect you with people they know (second-level connections) who can give you even more advice. Immediately after you chat with a family member or friend, write down any names they drop into your tree diagram, this time, connecting their name to the connection’s name. Make sure to write down any relevant information that goes along with the connection (where they met, if they work together, etc.)
Step 4: Follow Up With a Thank You Note
By now, your tree diagram should be full of first level and second level connections. Look at you, master networker! Ready for the next step? It’s an important one.
Follow up with a thank you note! I prefer hand-written, but a personal email will work as well. Include information about the conversation you had and the contacts they mentioned. Taking the initiative shows that you valued the conversation you had and that you are serious about taking their advice.
Step 5: You did it! (But don’t stop.)
Look at you, networking ninja! That wasn’t so bad, right? You aren’t done yet, though. Use this newfound networking confidence to continue building your network outside of your friends and family through informational interviews with your second level connections
You don’t have to go for the top right away. Start by seeking out young professionals in your area of study or even UP alum, who will most likely be willing to talk with you.
My best advice? Take advantage of EVERY opportunity you have to network with your classmates and professionals on campus. Join clubs in your area of study. Listen to guest speaker and attend career events on campus. Here are a few I’m planning on attending:
Wednesday, November 5th at 4:15pm in Career Services
Wednesday, November 12th at 4:15pm
Wednesday, November 12th from 6-7pm in BC 163
Thursday, November 13th from 6-7pm in Franz Hall 214
Whatever you do decide to do to expand your network, do it with confidence!