Tuesday, November 15, 2016

College Leadership and the 3Ws; When, Where and Why?

When starting at college, leadership seems like a far distant universe that is solely reserved for upperclassmen with extensive knowledge and experience. "I cannot be a leader because" is a phrase I often encounter when speaking to fellow students. The narrative that college leadership is reserved for a specific group of people is not only wrong, but it leads to a belief that you cannot by your presence influence people and your surroundings.
I want to write this to state that no matter who you engage with during your studies, you are a leader. You are a leader to your fellow students, to siblings, family and others. You are a leader to youth wanting to take a college education, to people who look at your example and want to follow. Leadership is not a hierarchical being that is only obtained if you have a certain amount of knowledge or experience, it is the act of wanting others to succeed and providing people with the resources to do so. You are a leader right here on your campus, from helping your friends with homework to have them join a club meeting.
How do you get out of this narrative that leadership is something reserved for others? You start by seeing the small things you do for others and recognize these acts when others are doing them as well. By acknowledging the good acts of others, you are working towards an environment of togetherness where you can express opinions and help others succeed. By your efforts, you are creating a better college environment and can continue making others` college experiences memorable. No matter your class standing, your grades or your background, you can make a difference. Why is leadership during your college years useful? If you develop as a leader and practically contribute the growth in others, you will also experience self-growth in terms of leadership, academics, personality and ability to cooperate with others.
These are the skills that employers are looking for, ability to work in teams, be successful academically and help others succeed in terms of organizational goals. You can be a leader wherever you put your thoughts and efforts to be. When others see your genuine want for them to succeed, they will do the same for you and you will experience opportunities of growth all around you. By doing these steps, you can see that leadership is within everyone, it is for everyone and by engaging with fellow students, you are simultaneously enhancing your own self-growth and development during college.


Monday, November 7, 2016

How to do this Holiday thing Washington Style

Hello to all and to all a good semester!

We are now officially in November and many of you might be asking yourselves "why are they playing Christmas music when we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving?"  Yeah, I have no answer for you on that one.

But for those of you who are ready for the holiday shenanigans here is a short list of fun activities and events in and around Tacoma.

 Winter Things to do in Tacoma/Seattle

Winterfest at Seattle Center

     -This fun event provides many fun and inexpensive attractions like ice skating, ice sculptures, a visit with Santa Clause and lots of music and food.
*More info here Winterfest Seattle Center 



Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo

I have personally been to this even and it is beyond beautiful.  The sprawling landscape of the zoo is transformed into a land of sparkle, color and shine.  The even runs from the 25th of November to the 1st of January and the Tickets are cheap.  Please don't miss out on this one!
*More info here Zoolights


Festival of Trees

Located on the 5th floor of the Tacoma Convention Center this event features over 65 decorated Christmas trees.  Enjoy a leisurely stroll through this festive tour and support the work done at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Center.
*More info here Festival of Trees


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Joel's Back!

Hey everyone!

Some of you reading this might remember me, I worked as an International Admission Intern from Oct 2014 until about January 2015! Prior to that, I enlisted in the US Army in June 2015 and then shipped off to basic training in February 2016 so that's when I stopped working here. However, I'm back now with ISS (YAY!) and you can read more about what's going on in my life ever since I left WA for half a year: http://pluinternationalstudents.blogspot.com/p/about-joel.html

Today's blog post will concern my time with the Army ROTC at PLU. ROTC is the Reserve Officer Training Corps and in a nutshell, participants in the PLU Army ROTC are called cadets and cadets will commission in their graduation year as 2nd Lieutenants in the US Army. Before I joined ROTC, I was a PFC (Private First Class) with the Army and my job title was a Unit Supply Specialist. Now, I'm a cadet and when I attend my monthly drills/training with my Reserve unit, I shadow other officers and essentially act as a platoon leader.

I personally think that ROTC is a great program. I took the GRFD scholarship, which meant that my tuition and fees were paid for by the Army. PLU also offers free room and board to scholarship cadets so that's another benefit. I was also promoted from PFC (E-3) to Cadet (E-5) and being able to commission in 2018 is the icing on the cake. 

So, what do we do in ROTC? Well, since the goal is to commission as a 2LT (usually a platoon leader position) in the Army, we're training and learning necessary skills and tools that will help us succeed as future 2LTs. We've done Land Navigation, Operation Order briefs and write-ups, Basic Rifle Marksmanship, Field Exercises and almost daily physical training. 

Here are some pictures of things I've done at ROTC so far for the past 2 months. I'm enjoying myself back working with ISS, and also with ROTC and I hope you're doing great yourself! 

A glimpse into our PT(physical training) sessions! I'm the one directly in front in the black uniform and shoes.

My MSIII Class Photo for Halloween 2016! I was dressed up as The Scream.

We were fortunate enough to visit an Aviation National Guard unit on Fort Lewis and took this picture in front of a Chinook.

Obstacle Course Challenge at Fort Lewis on Oct 15th for Operation Lute Forge!

Marking our Shot Groups after firing 5 rounds from our M4s during a rifle qualification session!

Joel Goh