Justina Kruser's J486 Blog

College Student Blogging her way to Success

Student-Athlete’s Responsibilities and Expectations


“These boys are student athletes.  ‘Student’ comes first,” said Samuel L. Jackson as Coach Ken Carter in the 2005 Coach Carter movie (Carter, 2005).  Out of the 12,034 students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, about 540 of them are student-athletes.  Between being a full time student taking twelve or more credits a semester, practicing three hours a day, lifting weights throughout the week, homework and studying, and having a social life, there is not much in between time in the life of a student-athlete.

Being organized, keeping a schedule and being motivated are key to being able to manage all that.  There are many policies, rules, and expectations each student-athlete must achieve to be able to suit up and play as a Warhawk. So how do student-athletes manage their time and keep up with the rules and policies of being a student-athlete?

Student-Athlete Handbook

The student-athletes at the UW-W must follow the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Intercollegiate Athletics Student-Athlete Handbook.  It explains the policies and expectations placed on them as a student-athlete.  The mission statement listed is:

“The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Intercollegiate Athletic Department will contribute to the educational process of our students by providing an environment that supports the mission of the University and a quality intercollegiate athletic experience.  An integral part of this mission is the development of accountability through personal commitment and choices with regard to the ongoing health of those in our care.  We support the Division III philosophy that student-athletes are indeed students first, athletes second and therefore, earning a baccalaureate is paramount.  Excellence in academics and athletics is an expected result of the Warhawk athletic experience” (Student-Athlete Handbook).

There are several sections to the handbook that break down every aspect needed addressing.  Under the ‘Team Rules and Discipline’ section, it states that head coaches may set own team rules while also being responsible for the rules provided by the Athletic Department.  As an enrolled student-athlete they are expected to adhere to both the coach’s rules and expectations along with the rules and regulations of the WIAC and NCAA (Student-Athlete Handbook).

The basic most important and common rules and policies each student-athlete much follow academically wise include:

  • Follow all NCAA, WIAC, and UW-W rules and regulations
  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits each term
  • If student-athlete drops below 12 credits during a term (during that term) they will become ineligible
  • At the end of first semester freshman year, he/she must earn at least 9 credits in order to participate in the spring
  • Reach and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA

While student-athletes worry about following and achieving these rules and policies, they also have many other stressful situations to control.


I had the opportunity to sit down and interview three of the women’s UW-W basketball players, Amy Mandrell, Katie Burton, and Mary Merg who are all seniors this year.  Mandrell will be graduating this year with a communications major and marketing minor.  Merg will also be graduating with a history major.  Burton has another year yet to finish her special education major.  These three girls are not just on the basketball team together, they have been together and roommates since freshman year.  Their bonded friendship continued on and off the court.

As being teammates, friends, and roommates, they shared common difficulties managing their time.  The girls had a large advantage of being on the basketball team and living together because they were able to help each other out achieve the goals and follow the rules of being a student-athlete.  They were all going through the same thing.

Merg stated, “If one student-athlete fell short of the requirements then the entire team fell short.  It tied into if one falls, everyone falls.  We are a team and we have to stick together, so we have to make sure that academics are definitely the be-all end-all of your athletic career.”

I also had the opportunity to sit down with Leah Harms, UW-W marketing coordinator for the athletic department.  Harms’ handles all the marketing for all twenty sports here at UW-W and was also a student-athlete for the women’s basketball team at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Harms was able to give all the policies, expectations, rules, and overall idea of what it exactly takes to be a student athlete.   She is not just the marketing coordinator; she is also another mentor for the student-athletes due to her background.

“I am here for these student-athletes to help them in any way possible.   If it is from helping them schedule out their classes and days or listening to being over stressed about something, I am always here” Harms told me.  She loves to travel whenever possible with the sports teams to the season games, regional games, final four games, and most of all the championship games.  Harms is a huge Warhawk fan.


“Having to first figure out your classes around a 2-5 P.M. schedule that you couldn’t run into anything, it was really hard  I had a lot of 8 A.M. classes and night classes are regular for student-athletes” Mandrell stated.   Student-athletes have a very stressful and important schedule to maintain.  When scheduling for classes, student-athletes must keep in mind and schedule around the allotted time their coach said for practices and lifting weights.  Practice is usually three to four hours a day.

Scheduling classes is very difficult when you are searching around the time frame of practice because some classes may run into practice or start towards the end of practice or are only offered during that time.  Being a Division III school, student-athlete’s do not have priority when it comes to scheduling for classes.  When a class is filled, it is filled and being a student-athlete does not give you an advantage to get into that class over other students (Harms, 2014).

Scheduling for classes to go around practice time slots is just one of the many struggles with student-athletes daily schedules.  They also face having to find time to do their homework, read book chapters, write paper, study for exams, attend group meetings, and any other outside class related work.

Besides classes, homework and practices, student-athletes want to fit time in for socializing and enjoying college with their friends (Merg, 2014).  On top of all those activities in one day, finding time to sleep is another struggle.  Burton stated, “Sleep a lot!  Sleeping is something that every student-athlete misses out on.  Sleep whenever you can, but don’t forget your homework.”

Most student-athletes days are consistently the same throughout the week and then week after week.  They wake up, have morning weight lifting, go to classes back to back to back where they grab a quick bite to eat somewhere between their classes so they aren’t late for practice.  They practice with the team for two to three hours to where they either have study table right after or run home to shower and start their homework.

By the time they are done with all that, it is usually late and time to sleep.  The next day they just repeat it all again.  Socializing with friends is hard for student-athletes; it is usually done during classes, between classes, at practice or while they are getting their homework done (Burton, 2014).

Not only are student-athletes required to attend all classes and no skipping without approval from their coach, they must sit in the front row of the class.  Mandrell talked about her coach and how she always said that ‘she has eyes and ears around this campus’.

Student-athletes are expected to keep their grades up, keep in touch with their professors, sit in the front of class and attend all classes throughout the semester.  If they fail to follow those simple yet demanding rules, there were punishments for the entire team at practice (Mandrell, 2014).

Missing classes for a sports related event is taken serious and there are measures taken to prevent student-athletes from missing classes.  At the beginning of each season, student-athletes are informed to advise their professors of possible schedule conflicts because of athletic participation.

If one student-athlete must miss class due to a contest, they must receive a written excuse from their coach so they may present it to their instructors and professors (Student-Athlete Handbook).  Student-athletes are also advised to meet with their professors before hand to discuss any work they may miss and how they will be able to make it up.  It is at the instructor’s discretion as to how the student-athlete can make up the missed work.

Failure to follow the procedures could result in the student-athlete receiving disciplinary action (Student-Athlete Handbook).  Student-athletes may not be penalized for missed class time if they follow these procedures due to it being an ‘excused absence’ in the UW-W faculty handbook.

GPA (Grade Point Average)

“GPA holds a lot of weight for student-athletes”, Harms stated.  There are many rules and specifications to a student-athlete’s GPA.  By the start of the student-athlete’s second season, they must earn twenty-four credits and earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0.  By the start of a student-athlete’s third season, they must earn forty-eight credits and earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 again.  By the start of a student-athlete’s fourth season (their final season), they must earn seventy-two credits and still earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 again (Harms, 2014).

The student-athlete will become ineligible if he/she fails to meet the credit or the GPA standards.  If a student-athlete becomes ineligible, he/she is still able to practice but may not compete.  The student-athlete will stay ineligible until he/she can obtain the credit or the GPA standard.

GPA is taken very serious for student-athletes.  As the NCAA or WIAC keeps the GPA standard to be a 2.0 throughout the student-athletes ten full time semesters (4 seasons), head coaches may set a different GPA standard for each individual student-athlete or a team GPA or both.

Mandrell stated, “Grade checks are twice a semester that the coaches ensure that the players are staying caught up and attending classes and doing their job.”  If a student-athlete drops their GPA below the 2.0 standard, they may take a winterm classes or summer classes to raise it back up before the season starts back up that spring or fall (Harms, 2014).

Study Tables

As a freshman student-athlete, they are required to attend weekly study tables for the entire semester regardless of their GPA.  As they continue their education and gain credits and have a manageable GPA, study tables become an option then and not mandatory anymore.

Study tables are helpful because it forces them to do their homework rather than procrastinating on it, although, it is usually right after a two to three hour practice where you have to sit for two hours working on homework.   “Sometimes I just want to go home, shower, eat, and take a half hour nap to just relax after practice before doing my homework.  But having mandatory study tables pushed all that back for two more hours,” Merg stated.

Burton joked, “Now I get to sit there in my sweat, starve, and try to focus on my homework.”   Study tables were helpful at the time but it mainly taught them to do their homework and keep their grades up so they were able to do whatever they pleased after a long night at practice.


Being a student-athlete has its pressures and stressful times, but overall it is worth it.  They are able to build a bond with their teammates that some call a family. They are able to experience championships that other students will never understand.  They also focus hard on their education forcing them to achieve more than some students may never be able to achieve.

Between scheduling their classes, sitting in the front row in each class, keeping in touch with professors throughout the semester, keeping up with homework, attending mandatory practices, traveling for contests, and having a social life with friends; student-athletes find a way to do it all.  Student-athletes may have a rough time scheduling their days and face some struggles keeping a certain mandatory GPA and gain a certain number of credits, but they learn how to manage it all.  Being a student-athlete is worth it all.

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Bill German shares his ‘Stones’ story with UWW students

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students listened to Bill German share his life experiences he had with the Rolling Stones on Tuesday, April 1 at 7 P.M.

German was brought to campus as part of the Visiting Artists and Scholars Program.  Carol Terracina-Hartman’s, professor at UWW, goal was to have German speak at UW-Whitewater to give students access to people who provide more interesting information than simply explaining how they do their job.

German began his speech by reading the introduction from his book titled “Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It)”.

“Under Their Thumb”, published in 2009, tells German’s peculiar yet exciting experiences working for the Rolling Stones as the writer, editor and creator of the Rolling Stones official newsletter called ‘Beggars Banquet.’

In his presentation, he explained that he was not an average teenager who mowed lawns, washed cars, or asked ‘you want fries with that’.  His only job in life was with the Rolling Stones.

“I was chasing after my favorite rock band and writing about it,” German stated to explain his job.

He was able to mix his hobby and profession.  His hobby being the love for the Rolling Stones and his profession was to be a journalist.

German began taking writing courses while starting the newsletter ‘Beggars Banquet’ which was featured specifically around what the Rolling Stones were doing at the time.

As he got better at writing and creating the newsletter, German decided to reach out to the Rolling Stones and allow them to see his newsletter.

Following the band around and getting stories for the newsletter, German realized college wasn’t ideal for him.

“School is interfering with my education,” German told his parents after deciding to drop out and follow the Rolling Stones on tour.

After awhile, German finally had the chance to personally hand an issue of the ‘Beggars Banquet’ to Ron Wood, the Stones’ drummer.

As he continued his pursuit to get noticed by the band, German would slip the latest edition into their hands every chance he had while attending performances of the Rolling Stones.

German finally got noticed enough by the Rolling Stones that they decided they wanted to take over ‘Beggars Banquet’ and turn it into the official Rolling Stones newsletter.  German would then be working full time for the Rolling Stones.

German shared many personal stories he experienced with each Rolling Stone member.  From spilling orange juice on Mick Jagger’s rug to getting Keith Richards to open up about his heroin addiction, German shared many hours with the band members.

Giving 17 years to the Rolling Stones, German realized it was time to quit.  Writing 102 issues, he finally quit in January 1996.

Looking back at his life, German doesn’t regret anything, not even quitting when he did.  He lived the life he wanted and has so much to show for it now.

“Persistence is key and don’t give up on your dream,” German gave UWW students to conclude his speech.

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Jefferson County Board Meeting – Tuesday, Mar. 11

Jefferson — The Jefferson County Board Meeting met at the Jefferson County Courthouse at 7 p.m. to discuss the highway shop, the new voting machines and the property on East Washington Street.

The Highway Shop

The members voted and approved the award precast concrete bid for the new Highway Shop Facility.  The Miron Construction’s base bid of $1,193,482 was accepted.

The Highway Shop Facility’s precast concrete bid was sought so that an early award can get Jefferson County’s material scheduled for production for delivery in June.

The bid approved came in about $205 under their estimated bid which made members of the meeting happier to approve the bid.

As the award precast concrete bid was approved, the geothermal system budget request brought much debate.

Supervisor Dick Schultz stated, “We have a responsibility to look down the road and look to the future. … We do have to look at green energy. That being said, geothermal doesn’t make sense. We are looking at alternatives in solar. … We should not take our focus off the future.”

The board was asked to approve the utilization of a geothermal system for the new Highway Shop Facility with an upfront cost approximately $35,000.

Many members disagreed and questioned the approval of this bid request.  Looking at the best case scenario of construction costs was estimated to be $15 per square foot or approximately $345,000, yielding a 69 year payback.

Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. It’s clean and sustainable. Biomass energy is fuel from organic materials.

Issues about not researching other methods of heating and cooling the new Highway Shop Facility came into debate also.

Supervisor Greg David stated “Biomass could be useful as a potential energy source. It would keep those energy expenditures right here in Jefferson County and give us local sovereignty. To just slap some money down and take natural gas is a huge mistake.”

Supervisor Jim Schroeder: “The intent is not to put natural gas on hold. Anything done would be retrofitting.”

The board members did not approve any bids; instead they sent the matter back to the Infrastructure Committee to have the committee look at energy-saving ideas.

The New Voting Machines

County Clerk Barb Frank gave her annual report where she announced the new voting machines the county received.

The machines will be used starting with the April 1 elections.  They are said to be very simple machines to use and make voting easier.

 The property on East Washington Street

The Finance Committee recommended buying the property located at 211 E. Washington St., Jefferson to demolition the house there and paving it for parking.

This property is bordered on two sides by a County parking lot immediately across Center Avenue from the Sheriff’s Office.

The request was to amend the 2014 budget to utilize the sum of up to $135,000 from the General Fund to fund acquisition and demolition.

As the board members discussed this, issues and concerns were brought up concerning:

  • The fact this property will give about 12 parking spots and it’s cost is very expensive,
  • The cost is not including paving for this spot, and
  • It’s just overall very expensive.

With little argument and discussion, the board members voted with 23 ayes, 5 noes, 1 absent, and 1 vacant; approving this purchase of the property.

Other Points Discussed

  • The organizational meeting time change of the Jefferson County Board Meeting changed to 5 p.m.
  • The county received Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Award for Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
  • The Daily Jefferson County Union is designated the County’s official newspaper for April 2014- April 2016.
  • Municipal elections are April 1
  • Resolution of appreciation for the three board members who will not be seeking re-election
    • Sarah Bregant
    • Gregory Torres
    • Pamela Rogers



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Whitewater Common Council Meeting – Tuesday, Feb. 4

The Whitewater Common Council met at the Municipal Court building at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4 to discuss several extensive topics.  The three main matters conversed included the announcement of the new K9 unit, rewriting the zoning issue, and the drainage/flooding problems all of which concern the students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the Whitewater residents.

K-9 Unit

The Whitewater Police Department was happy to announce the official achievement of the department’s first K-9 unit.

Chief Lisa Otterbacher spoke at the meeting to inform everyone that they have finally reached their financial goal thanks to a generous donation of $12,000 from Stan Kass this year.  Kass, owner of Skylark Automatic Vending Inc. of Milwaukee, has been a long time supporter of Wisconsin K-9 units.

Otterbacher stated “K-9 will mainly be involved with drug detections in search warrants, consent searchers in schools and businesses for locker and vehicle searchers, or other searchers related to arrests.”

Donations have gotten the department to where they are now, and donations will continue to keep the new K-9 unit program going.

The department selected Steinig Tal Kennels in Campbellsport, Wis. to purchase and train their canine.  The next steps consist of:

  • Wait for the arrival of their Labrador
  • Interview interested sworn personnel applicants to serve as the department’s K-9 handler
  • A two-week training course with both the canine and new handler
  • Order specially designed K-9 squad car
  • Hold ceremony to swear in the new canine

“The department has been working really hard; I cannot thank enough the community for its support from the businesses to local residents,” said Otterbacher.

Rewriting the Zoning Issue

In October 2013, the rezoning issue was brought to the Common Council meeting focusing on the same issue they are having today.

Larry Kachel, one of the largest landlords in Whitewater for DLK Enterprises, spoke at the meeting expressing the urgency to rewrite and pass the new zoning laws on the behalf of the students and other landlords.

Kachel used the UW-Whitewater students at the meeting to his advantage to get his message across to the members of the common council by stating, “Whitewater would not be what it is without these students.”

The new zoning laws would allow landlords to make more rental properties available for students changing the R-2A zoning.

R-2 district allows only three unrelated people in one structure.  The R-2A area includes West Center Street, South Summit Street, South Janesville Avenue, West Whitewater Avenue and Fourth Street.

With the zoning laws not being passed and resolved, homeowners of single-family homes and landlords are putting real-estate sales on hold.

If the zoning laws become successful, landlords will be buying more properties and owners of single-family homes will be selling properties.

The Whitewater Common Council has decided to hold a hearing on the industrial-commercial changes on February 25.  They will then hold a final hearing on the residential change to end the zoning discussion on March 10.

Drainage/Flooding Issue

As the rewrite of the zoning issue brought heated discussions to the meeting, residents of Whitewater are concerned about the flooding issue that has gone back for a few years now.

Local resident Richard James of Freemont Street spoke about his long-lasting flood problems.

“Why has nothing been done in 5 years?” James stated after explaining the flooding problems he’s had since his son’s graduation party years ago.

Other local residents came to speak about the same issue they have had with flooding and question why the common council hasn’t done anything yet.

The city of Whitewater has flooding problems all around the city due to insufficient storm city pipes.

In order to fix these flooding problems, Whitewater would have to install larger storm pipes costing the city a large expensive while sacrificing many of the trees.

The city council is faced with two options to improve the storm sewer problems.

Drainage Improvement Project Description

Opinion of Probable Constriction Cost (2014 $)

Option 1 – 25 year

Option 2 – 100 year

Whitewater St. / Church St. Storm Sewer



Engineering & Contingencies



Total Opinion of Probable Construction Cost



                    (Table Courtesy of C-2 in the Whitewater Common Council agenda Feb. 4, 2014)

Cameron Clapper, Whitewater city manager, promised the flooding issue is under investigation and they are “doing everything they can” to solve the issues.

Nothing was decided or put forth into action yet, further discussion will be issued to address it after reviewing the documentation provided and options discussed.

Other Points Discussed

  • Approving the vacation of alley at Jefferson and Main Street
  • Amending comprehensive plan to adopt Bike and Pedestrian Plan
  • Appointment of citizen member to Whitewater University Technology Park and Board
  • Discussion and possible direction regarding regulations relating to distribution of advertising material such as advertisers and shopper publications
  • Discussion regarding feasibility report for Wastewater Treatment Plant Digesters

The next Whitewater Common Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building on 312 W. Whitewater St.


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Senior year, Graduating in May…What’s NEXT?!

I’m currently 107 days away from walking across the stage and receiving my diploma for my bachelor’s degree in journalism broadcasting and public relations.  These past four years of college have been a roller coaster for me.  I can’t imagine how this semester will be any easier for me.  I have to finish strong in all my classes, start the big job hunt, and set up plans for my big move.  It’s going to be crazy!

As this spring semester narrows down, I’ll have a long list of things to do.

  • pack my house and bedroom up
  • load as much into my little car as possible
  • take all my finals
  • walk across the stage and receive my diploma
  • say the emotional goodbyes to all my friends in Whitewater
  • say the even more emotional goodbyes to all my family members back home
  • drive the 15 hours to North Carolina
  • move into the new apartment
  • start the new job

Throughout this semester, I will be looking at PR jobs in North Carolina.  I plan to spend my entire Spring Break doing informational interviews with several different companies looking for a job that is perfect for me after college.  My ultimate goal is to have a job lined up and ready for me to start as soon as I graduate college and move there.

It’s a long stretch with moving and starting a new ‘big girl’ career, but I have faith in myself along with my family and friend support.  It’ll be a challenge and life changing moment but I’m ready for it to begin.

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New Sweet Spot Location

Click to listen and watch the story.


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Public Relations Professional Development Night


IMG_5208IMG_5151IMG_5166 IMG_5170 IMG_5174 IMG_5187 IMG_5206  IMG_5247 IMG_5262 IMG_5282

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Too much business, not enough labor

 Uno due Go currently has 27 employees but many shifts are still left blank going into the ninth week of the semester creating a stressful environment for the workers to work in.

Uno due Go feeds many of the students at UW-Whitewater during the 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. meal plan but the labor needed to run the business smoothly seems almost impossible to have.

“I have applications posted and constantly telling my workers to send their friends that are looking for a job to me.  We are almost desperate” Uno due Go Manager Felisha Gilstrap said.

Each night during their ‘dinner rush,’ usually starting around 6 p.m. and lasting as long as 7-7:30 p.m., they will have a constant line to the stairs.  The employees try to take the orders and get the food out as fast as possible, but it’s hard with a small dinner staff.

“There’s times when I’ll have to jump on second register then run to pizza then back on register, just to help with the line and orders,” Amber Syzponik, student manager, said.

For a solid shift, student managers ideally want to have three workers on pizza, two register workers, one floater, one grille worker, two fryer workers and themselves.  What they are provided with is a total of six or seven workers to spread out and have all stations covered.

“I dread coming into work,” Ashley Platow, student manager, said. “I enjoy my job but not knowing if I have enough workers isn’t fun.”

Uno due Go is one of the most common and busiest food places on campus.  They struggle with not having enough employees to make shifts run smoothly. 

Gilstrap constantly worries about her employees and the stress they are under.  She wants to hire more people, but the people just aren’t there to hire. 

As the semester comes to an end, she’s hoping all her employees can hang in there a couple more weeks to end the semester strong.  As for next semester, Gilstrap will be gone on maternity leave but will leave her supervisor with a strong staff to run things better.

She wants to adjust the schedule, hire more people and make working at Uno due Go fun and enjoyable again.

“I want my workers to love their job and want to come to work,” Gilstrap said. 

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Jobs addresses the 2005 Stanford Commencement

Steve Jobs told 2005 Stanford graduates today to learn from every experience in life, find a job they love to do and live every day as if it is their last.

While Jobs was at Reed College in Portland, Ore. he attended classes for about six months then decided college wasn’t for him and dropped out.  He then spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes that he was actually interested in.

Jobs and his best friend Steve “Woz” Wozniak had created Apple Computer in 1976 in Jobs’ garage.  He realized that he would not have been able to make this happen if he was still taking classes as a student and not just dropping in on the ones that had interested him.

“It was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later,” Jobs said.

Jobs was then CEO of Apple Computer and had found marketing expert John Sculley of Pepsi-Cola to step in as Apple’s president.

Jobs and Sculley disagreed as to how to run the company which led to executives firing Jobs from Apple Computer in 1985.

Jobs took this chance to redefine himself.  Jobs said that the period after he got fired was the most creative period of his life.

During that time, Jobs created the NeXT computer and purchased Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas and created “Toy Story.” He also met his wife Laurene Powell.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle,” Jobs said.

Apple Computer had bought the NeXT computer and Jobs returned to CEO.

As things were looking up again for Jobs, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  The doctor told him to get his affairs in order and say his goodbyes.

Jobs then found out that it was a rare but operable form of pancreatic cancer.  This had opened his eyes once again and reminded Jobs to live every day as if it were his last.

Jobs left the Stanford graduates and their families with one last piece of advice.

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

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PRSA Young Pros Discuss: Crisis Communication Event

On Wednesday, September 25, fifteen students from UW-Whitewater attended the PRSA Young Pros Discuss: Crisis Communication in Milwaukee.

The purpose of this event was to inform, teach and help college students in the field of public relations understand how to handle a crisis in communication.  PRSA Young Pros hold several different events monthly for college students to attend to gain more networks and experience.

The people who attended were divided into three groups and given a different crisis communication case to work through as if they were the PR coordinator.

Wisconsin State Fair Communications and Social Media Coordinator Sarah Kikkert stated “We put this event on to get college students in the PR field to understand more about crisis communication and how to handle a crisis.  We want them to have a wider range of knowledge in all public relations fields.”

The PRSA Young Pros had three seasoned professionals that attended as well and jumped into the groups to help evaluate and understand the crisis communication process.

Carol Weber, Matthew Wisla and Alan Gaudynski, all PRSA members, led each group discussion.  They each had many years of experience in public relations and were happy to pass along their knowledge and advice.

“With all the years and knowledge I have, I love being asked to attend events such as this one.  I get to talk about my experience and why I love public relations” Carol Weber stated.

The event had excellent attendance and the students who attended all were able to walk away with new people to network with, advice to take home, and more knowledge about what crisis communication is and how to go about managing crises.

I didn’t know anything about crisis communication before attending the event but now I feel that I would be good at it.  I really enjoyed my time here tonight and glad I attended!” stated Dana Luisier, public relations student.


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