Table of Contents Introduction ........................................................ 3 Creative Writing ................................................. 4
Alien (poem) ........................................................ 5 To Elliot (poem) ................................................... 6 Moving On (QEP) ................................................ 8 Shutdown (short story) ....................................... 16
Grant Package .................................................... 27 Cookbook ........................................................... 32 Madie Lin Letters (Blog) ....................................34 HCI/UX Need-Finding Evaluation .................... 36 HCI/UX Process Overview ................................ 40
UNA’s Collier Library Selected as Site for National Library Workshop ....................... 43 University of North Alabama to Crown New Miss UNA Jan. 26.............................44 UNA’s Annual Black History Month Speaker Series to Welcome Poet Nabila Lovelace..............................................45 UNA is Making a Name for Itself in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program................46
Technical Writing .............................................. 26
Communications (Internship) ............................ 42
I have been obsessed with putting pen to paper for a long as I have been able to hold one. The mere act of watching that tool leave marks in its wake was enough to calm me down -- if only for a moment -- within hours of anxiety. My tears turned to black ink. I found an outlet to try and express the overwhelming feelings within me. I wrote everything down. I wrote out my prayers. I wrote what happened during my day. I was materializing my own paper trail in the hopes of understanding where along the timeline I became so scared. I wrote to understand myself and the unreachable world around me. I made my own answers to questions I could not find answers to: why I was so much shorter than everyone else, why I was born with a body too small for the amount of anxiety inside, why I couldn’t see my friends as often as I wanted, why I couldn’t see God, why He couldn’t see me when I felt like I needed him most, why my mother hit me when she drank. I often found myself sitting next to windows, watching the shadows of a pen in my hand create the words in my notebooks, as if the stories I was writing about all of my questions were reality to another, freer version of myself somewhere out there. Unfortunately, I was not who I was in my stories, and I was still clouded with unease. I was worried about everything from the ways my words looked to the stories they told. Terrified of wasting ink, I was tasked with something perhaps easier said than done: to write, and to do it well. I waited 17 years to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression. By that time, my home remedy had become a part of me. Writing had been woven into the very fabric of who I was. Full of designs and stories yet to be poured out, I was as much an inkwell as the small glass bottle stationed upon my desk. I had begun developing my individual style, both in the ways my words looked and the stories they told. I fell for combining the old with the new, traditional with modern. By age 17, I was expected to know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and it was luckily just as easy said as it was done. Five years later, I am still combining the old with the new, traditional with modern, technical with creative, science with art. I am still writing to understand myself and the unreachable world around me. I am still learning to write, and to do it well.
Creative Writing Creative writing came to me young, before I really had a name for it aside from “stories” and certainly before I understood that there were other kinds of writing. I had a hyperactive imagination. I saw stories in everything. I wrote stories before I could even write letters. Whern I was a little kid, writing was my way of being whatever I wanted to be. Writing was, and still is, my strongest form of escapism. When I created stories, I could write myself somewhere new. I could write myself somewhere safe. As I got older, my love of creative writing evolved. For various reasons, mostly for privacy and safety, I became more abstract with what I wrote. I fell in love with poetry. I found stability in stanzas. I found a way to say the things that I couldn’t quite express by just writing what was happening to me in a narrative. Over my years in college, I have had multiple professors tell me that I had “poetic” way of writing. Youth sticks you -well, at least with me. Although my creative writing content has become more mature, that youthful spirit remains, constantly reminding me when and why I became the inkwell that I am now. Through my time at UNA, I have been given the opportunity to refine my creativity into something powerful. I have been taught how to combine purpose with poetry and prose. I will forever carry that with me I continue to write to understand myself and the world around me.
Alien I believe she is an alien. Alienated at the least, An actual alien at the most. Though she mimics the Earthâ€™s layers Right down to the fiery core, The storms inside her Rival those of Jupiter. The pressure she places On herself is atmospheric, But her tears resemble Earthly currents Forcing their way down The plains of her face No matter how hard she tires To keep them from flowing. When she speaks, Stars light up in her eyes, And she deserves every diamond That rains on Saturn Presented in the planetâ€™s rings. Her secrets span deeper than oceans Further than galaxies. I believe she is an alien.
Alienated at the least.
to E Dear Elliot, I am forever grateful for the time we have spent together. Over the past three-hundred seventy days We have lived only four minutes apart; However, the already minor travel time became more and more Insignificant as the year went on, for we grew So close that we began to spend every possible moment together. We changed with the seasons. We met in the summer. Soon after watching new films on old screens, I realized the severity of your youth. We celebrated your eighteenth year. Autumn was light, fun, fresh, and calm. I discovered that your passion was at its peak When you were elevated and keeping a beat. You learned that mine was behind a desk With white paper and black ink. We celebrated my nineteenth year. In the winter, the sun began to set Earlier and earlier as the days went on. You came to find that my moods worked in the same pattern. You moved my stress from blue to green to yellow Using nothing but our hands for brushes. We painted our subconscious across a makeshift canvas And met in the middle. We went home for Christmas
Yet had no idea that come spring, We would find home in one another. Our friendship blossomed more rapidly than any of us knew possible. We rose with the sun To find flowers in bloom. We climbed trees, And you always went higher. You climbed everything. You tried – and failed – To help me overcome my fear of heights. Summer came back around, And we knew in the back of our minds We were only distracting ourselves from the inevitable, Only letting those feelings show on the surprisingly comfortable asphalt Of an apartment building parking lot in the darkest hours of the night. We revisited the childhoods we did not know each other for. We slept in pillow forts surrounded by those who know us best. We witnessed a collective forty-five hours’ worth of live music In one loud yet perfect summer break. We celebrated your nineteenth year. We visited the water and watched the sky fall around us, Looking to our origins and our future all at once, And everything was silent yet everything was comfortable Because in that moment we lay flat against the world. I hope you never forget about the stars flowing through your veins And the galaxies behind your eyes. You are loved, dear Elliot, And you are revolutionary, And you are missed. Until next time.
How do adolescents cope with bereavement?
There were only three boxes left to take to the car. The first was the largest and carried yet another load of clothing. The second contained supplies for the upcoming semester: notebooks, pens, highlighters, and textbooks which Hayden found to be ridiculously overpriced. She had always heard that college was expensive, but now it was staring her in the face in the form of a rented biology textbook. The third box was to be kept in the front of the car. It was marked with pale pink
duct tape and had memories written across its side. Hayden took the packing tape and carefully placed a strip across the first two boxes, closing them. She stopped at the last box, and rather than seal it, poured its contents onto her bed.
Upon the bed now laid a number of photographs, letters, and miscellaneous objects which marked
bright times in a very dark year. Hayden picked up a stack of pictures held together with a rubber band. The top picture was taken on her “last first day.” She was dressed up as usual, her hair curled just the way her mom had taught her, with one parent on either side. Hayden had always looked identical to her mother; they shared the same round face, petite frame, and light hair – though in those days, Mrs. Wicker didn’t have much hair left. She placed the stack of pictures back in the box and grabbed a t-shirt that had become unfolded as it fell out. The shirt was pink with white scripted letters spelling out “Best Dressed” across the front. Mrs. Wicker received the same superlative twenty-four years before her daughter. Mr. Wicker told them they became more alike each day. Hayden folded the shirt once again and placed it inside, along with a rather ornate crown and a white sash which read “Homecoming Queen.” Sometimes Hayden wondered if her classmates still would have chosen her had things gone differently.
“Hayden?” She heard Mr. Wicker calling for her from down the hallway. She quickly began to pack her
memories back into the third box.
“Yeah, Dad?” She yelled back, still attempting to fit the items back into their designated spaces. Her
bedroom door opened and her father appeared in the doorway.
“Need any help with these last few?” Mr. Wicker asked, already grabbing the remaining boxes
before she had a chance to answer. He looked down at his daughter and noticed the open box in her lap, the word memories facing him. He gave his daughter a soft smile, set down her belongings, and took a seat next to her on the edge of the bed. Hayden looked up at her father.
There was no way for her to thank him for the role
he had taken on over the past few years. There was no way to apologize for the distance she kept when her mother passed. He was by his wife side throughout her illness, and he tried to be by Hayden’s side through her loss. Now, as Hayeden looked up at her dad, she could not imagine losing a soulmate and raising her self-proclaimed look-alike all alone.
“You don’t have to carry everything, you know?”
Hayden, attempting to break through distance she had felt between them all day. Hayden had carried very few boxes
1. “…when the family system is disrupted by a death, family members will tend to react in a manner they believe to be least disruptive in the move toward a new homeostasis. As a result, it is not unusual for families to distance themselves from death by avoiding direct discussions about the deceased with other family members or with friends in the months following the loss (Rando, 1983)” (Koocher 625).
out to her vehicle. Mr. Wicker always seemed to grab more and move them at a faster rate than she could keep up with.
“I know, but I want to,” Mr. Wicker said as he put
his arm around his daughter. “Besides, in a week when you’re walking from class to class with a backpack full of Hayden returned her father’s hug. For a few moments, the two of them sat in silence. Though she had her relationship with her father faded after the first few months, the pair eventually got closer. They went to therapy together. They relied on one another through heartbreak.
2.“The need to be engaged in sports or creative activities is an aspect that emerges… an opportunity to express a talent, showing themselves to adults and peers as people particularly competent in something, but also as a way of fulfilling the aspirations of the deceased parent” (Cinzia 368)
Mr. Wicker did everything he could to give his only
child a normal end to high school. He escorted her when she was crowned Homecoming Queen and assured her that she had always been royalty to him. He bought her senior prom dress, took her picture countless time, and repeated how much she looked like her mother. He recorded her speech at graduation and cheered for her as she accepted her diploma.
Finally, Mr. Wicker broke the hug and raised from
Hayden’s side. He knelt down, picked up the boxes, and said, “I guess we better get moving. I don’t want to get caught in traffic and we’ve got a little over an hour’s drive ahead of us.”
“Let me tape this one up and I’ll be right out.” Hayden
removed the open memory box from her lap as she stood up to retrieve the packing tape. She sealed the box, put her backpack around her shoulders, and slipped her feet into her shoes. She looked around her childhood bedroom one last time. What had almost always been a mess of clothes, books, and friends now seemed so incredibly empty. It no longer felt like it was her space, a bittersweet necessity in her “moving on” phase.
As she walked through the front door for what was hopefully
the last time that day, Hayden was met with the trunk of her car opened and filled with boxes and suitcases. She placed her backpack and final box in the passenger seat and heard Mr. Wicker close the trunk with one forceful pull. She walked around the front of her vehicle, opened the door, and started the engine.
“Got everything?” Mr. Wicker asked one final time.
“Everything.” Hayden replied.
Mr. Wicker moved to the driver’s seat of his vehicle and pulled
out of the driveway. Hayden followed close behind. The entire way out, she played no music. Her thoughts were far too loud for that. She thought about her first eighteen years, her mom, and her dad. State had been a dream of theirs for a long time. Her parents were alumni. She had visited campus and football games since she was old enough to hold a pompom. Over the summer, however, she couldn’t help but feel guilty for leaving her father so soon.
Hayden’s thoughts were broken up by the field of white and gray
3. “...coping with bereavement is a dynamic process of confrontation and avoidance of stressors associated with bereavement” (Rask 141).
in front of her. She followed her father’s trunk down an unpaved path through the gates and parked behind him. Hayden reached into her backpack and grabbed a pale pink envelope before getting out to meet Mr. Wicker.
They joined hands and walked through the cemetery until they came upon a white grave, much newer
and better kept than many others around them. Mr. Wicker laid down a single pink rose at the base of the tombstone. They were sure to multiply as the years went on.
Hayden took a step forward and sat on her knees in front of her mother’s grave. It suddenly became
impossible to herself from crying. She took one last look at her envelope and set it beside the rose, quick to set in down before her tears ruined the paper.
She shifted her knees out from under her, sitting on the grass in front of her mother’s name engraved
into a memorial. Suddenly, Hayden realized that she could not come visit her mother they way she used to once she was moved. After a hiccupped cry, she felt her dad’s hand on her shoulder and looked up to see tears forming in his eyes. She smiled weakly at him before reaching for the envelope once more. It wasn’t sealed, and Hayden wanted to read her parting words one last time. She poured over the paper in silence for short time. Once she got to the end, she sealed the envelope, placing it next to her father’s rose once more. She got back to her feet, turning to her father.
“I think we’re ready to go.” Hayden spent the next hour allowing the tears to fall as
they wished. She cried to herself. She let it be ugly because no one was there to know she was ugly crying but herself. She let it be loud. She wiped her tears frequently, trying to focus on the road instead of the empty feeling in her gut.
By the time they pulled up to her residence hall, she
couldn’t remember a single song that played on her way there.
The actual moving process was a blur of upperclassmen
helping Hayden and Mr. Wicker take things from her car to her dorm and show her the easiest place to park. In just another hour, Hayden had transformed her small empty room into a
“With regard to daughters of breast cancer patients, studies report greater adjustment difficulties among women who were younger at the time of their mother’s breast cancer diagnosis (Wellisch, Gritz, Schain, Wang, & Siau, 1992) and whose mothers died of breast cancer at a younger age (Erblich et al., 2000)” (Wellisch 254).
rectangle of pink and gold decorations. She sat upon her new bed and stared at her new room for the next year. She’d done everything she physically could to make it seem like a home. All that was left was to mentally settle in. Mr. Wicker sat and joined his daughter.
“Put this somewhere safe,” he told her as he handed
Hayden her memory box. Hayden chuckled slightly as she took
it and opened the box. Hayden’s homecoming sash covered the rest of the box’s contents.
“Can I ask you something?” Hayden asked,
glancing at her father.
“Do you think I still would’ve won if Mom hadn’t
Mr. Wicker looked at his daughter, slight shock
on his face. He put an arm around her as he spoke, “Hayden Rose, your classmates always loved you. You had so many friends because you were a friend to everyone. You were in the top of your class and so involved.
“In psychodynamic terms, intrapsychic factors that might predispose a mourner to particular difficulties include ambivalence toward the deceased, pre-existing personality problems, and the activation of latent negative self-image” (Koocher 624).
You got to represent your class at Homecoming because you deserved it.”
“I’m afraid everyone is going to treat me differ-
ently when they find out. I didn’t want to win things in school just because I had a hard start to the year. I don’t want to get a bid just because all the girls hear my mom died,” Hayden confessed.
“You won’t just get a bid because you lost your mom,” Mr. Wicker said, attempting to lighten his
daughter’s mood. “But you will just get a bid because you’re a legacy.”
“You know what I mean.” Mr. Wicker’s tease successfully earned a grin from Hayden.
“..maternal death from breast cancer, by itself, did relate to significantly greater cancerrelated depression” (Wellisch 259)
“I do,” Mr. Wicker said matter-of-factly, “but I also know
my daughter, and I know that you’ve always made friends easily because you of who are, not what’s happened to you.” Hayden relaxed into her dad’s side, whispering a “thanks, Dad” through tears. She was so tired of crying, but had a strong feeling she was no where near done with the emotional rollercoaster she was facing. “I have one last going away present for you,” Mr. Wicker said quietly. “I think it will be your favorite.”
Mr. Wicker shifted his weight and reached into his back
pocket. He pulled out two identical, square, pale pink envelopes. He turned them over in his hands for a few seconds, looking
down and shuffling them again and again. His eyes were filled
with thought, searching his mind for just the right string of words. The envelopes continued to trade places with each other as he said, “Hayden Rose, you are so much like your mother.”
“I know, Dad,” Hayden began.
“You have no idea, baby girl. You look more
like her as you grow up, of course, but it’s more than that. You practically have the same mind. Seeing you lay down that letter today really proved that. You’re just as smart, and just as kind, and just as determined. Once your mom decided on something, there was no stopping her. She worked for what she believed in, and so do you. I know that right your head is looking towards the future – going to State, finding a sorority, making new friends. I
“Despite the results relating to poor psychosocial wellbeing, there were reports of high levels of belief in a meaningful future, which, from a social constructionist perspective, could imply a connection to the large extent in which the young adults reported that they had good relationships with the still living parent” (Lundberg 37)
know you’re already thinking about getting into med school. I know you’re ready to be an oncologist and help women like your mom. She would be so proud of you. She had never been prouder of anything in her whole life than she was of you. She loved you. She missed you every time you left the hospital for school.”
“I missed her, too,” Hayden whispered, tears streaming down her face.
“I know. I know you were thinking about her. She was thinking about you, too,” Hayden’s father
assured her. “She thought about the future a lot in that hospital bed. She thought about all the things she knew her baby girl could do. She had a lot of time in there, too. She used that time to write to you, for times when she knew a mother should be there for her daughter even she couldn’t be physically. Even with all that thinking ahead, I don’t think any of us considered two of these would come at the same time, but since they did, these two are for today.”
Mr. Wicker spoke quickly with tears welling up the corners of his eyes, hoping he could get the
words out before they fell. He held the envelopes out for Hayden. She took a deep breath and slowly reached forward. The pale pink paper moved from Mr. Wicker’s hands to his daughter’s, where they were meant to be. Hayden turned them over.
The back of each one contained just two or three words in her mother’s handwriting. The first read
move-in day; the second, the anniversary.
Bereavement is undeniably a life changing experience, especially during one’s formative years of adolescence. We see this in Hayden’s journey as she moves through physical and emotional stages of bereavement. While depression is evident, Hayden’s ability to reconnect with her father and short amount of time since her mother’s passing present potential for her to return to normal - although that normal will not be who she was before bereavement began. As for coping with this loss, the story explains many of her past, very common stages of grief, such as the months she spent distant from her father, overcompensation in extracurricular activities, and her attachment to material things from the time of her mother’s passing. Hayden also plans for a “meaning future” as an oncologist.
Works Cited Cinzia, Punziano Antonella, et al. “Losing a Parent.” Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, vol. 16, no. 6,
Aug. 2014, pp. 362–373. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1097/NJH.0000000000000079.
Koocher GP. Coping with a death from cancer. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology [Internet].
1986 Oct [cited 2019 Dec 1];54(5):623–31. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
Lundberg, Tina, et al. “Bereavement Stressors and Psychosocial Well-Being of Young Adults Following the
Loss of a Parent -- A Cross-Sectional Survey.” European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 2018. EB
Rask, Katja, et al. “Adolescent Coping with Grief after the Death of a Loved One.” International
Journal of Nursing Practice, vol. 8, no. 3, June 2002, pp. 137–142. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1046/j.1440-
172X.2002.00354.x. Wellisch, David K., et al. “A Retrospective Study Predicting Psychological Vulnerability in Adult Daughters
of Breast Cancer Patients.” Families, Systems & Health: The Journal of Collaborative Family Health
Care, vol. 30, no. 3, Sept. 2012, pp. 253–264. EBSCOhost, doi:1 (Wellisch) (Wellisch)0.1037/
White shoes hit black pavement in small, languid steps. Vanessa felt as though she was forcing her legs
to move across the parking lot and the backpack on her shoulders felt fifty pounds heavier than usual. Still she moved, determined to get in her vehicle and out of the cold. It was a two-minute walk at most, but it felt two hours long after a night on the job. By the time she was across the lot, her keys were out, and one arm was desperately reaching for the black, frost covered handle of the CR-V. Vanessa pulled herself into the car and dropped her backpack into the seat.
Once inside, Vanessa took a moment to breathe. She put the keys in the ignition and fell back as the car
roared to life. The air began to heat up, setting to work defrosting the windshield. Now off her feet and out of the cold, her body felt lighter and she could feel the blood circulate through her veins as the car’s temperature rose. She sat for a few minutes, contemplating whether she should give into sleep or fight through for the drive home. One look at her backseat gave her the obvious answer, and once the windshield was clear enough to move, she was off.
The sun was rising, shades of orange and pink dancing through the dark blue crowding the sky above the
city. Towers of concrete and steel were dim, ready to take in the sun’s rays as the day began. She pulled out of the lot, dreading rolling the window down to scan her keycard. One freezing arm later, the lot gate opened, and the car was out on the city streets.
It was not until her third red light that Vanessa realized that she was driving in silence. She glanced
down at her stereo. The screen read 6:54 a.m. Her left thumb pressed a button on the wheel. She held down the button directly below the first, a man’s voice getting louder as the volume increased. Determined to keep herself awake, Vanessa held the button until the speakers were blaring: ...been fighting for longer than the shutdown has been official. Who knows what will make the president compromise at this point? I mean, we’re at least – Vanessa pressed another button on the wheel. The light turned green and she inched the car forward.
Another voice came through the speakers. Anxiety is washing over federal employees across the nation. Some are even worried – Vanessa pressed the button again. A pop song met her ears, playing much louder than the talk shows on the last two stations. Music would keep her awake and was better than politics. It was far too early for politics. The clock read 7:10 by the time home was in sight. The sun was up, and she knew the same would be said for everyone inside. As soon as she made it through the front door, the air was warmer. She sighed out in relief, ready for the embrace of her soft pillows and warm blankets just a few rooms away. Her thoughts were interrupted by the deafening volume of the blender springing to life in the kitchen. Vanessa dropped her bag on the couch as she went, careful not to crush the two, much lighter backpacks already there. Once she was in the kitchen, the blender’s continuous roar made it impossible to call out to her husband across the room. Lucas was reacting quite like his mother. He stood on a step stool in front of the sink, using both hands to cover his ears rather than wash his cereal bowl. Using the harsh noise to her advantage, Vanessa crept over to the sink and placed her hands over her son’s. He jumped and spun around to look at whoever had scared him. “Mom!” He yelled with a beaming smile. Vanessa took her hands off his ears and gave Lucas the chance to turn around. “Good morning!” She spoke close to her son’s ear as she wrapped him into a hug. The small yet powerful blender died down, giving the kitchen a much more comfortable silence. “Dad! Mom’s home!” Lucas announced. Daniel followed the young voice, his eyes landing on his wife and son exchanging hellos at the sink. He smiled before turning back to counter. “So she is!” He replied before turning his attention to Vanessa. “How was work?” “I don’t want to talk about it just yet,” Vanessa sighed out, still far too exhausted to begin explaining her night. Daniel mumbled an “understood” as he poured his aggressively blended smoothie in a travel cup. Lucas hopped off the step stool and ran, not stopping until he was down the hall and in front of the first bedroom. “Mom’s home!” He shouted again before taking off further down the hall and disappearing into his bedroom. Vanessa took to the lunch boxes sitting on the island, making sure they were zipped tight before placing each one with the matching backpack sitting on the couch. Moments later, small, quick footsteps and a high-pitched voice bounded down the hallway towards her.
“Hey, Mommy!” Sadie squeaked out. “Good morning, sweetie!” Vanessa cooed back to her daughter. Sadie stopped just beside her, one arm in and one arm out of a thick winter jacket and a hat tightly pulled on her head. She had two tiny boots in hand and mismatched socks on her feet. Vanessa took the boots and helped Sadie get both arms into her coat. “Did you get dressed all by yourself today?”
“I don’t like the noise Daddy’s breakfast makes so I picked out my clothes in my room and I stayed
in there and then the sound wasn’t loud,” Sadie rambled confidently. Vanessa took the hat from Sadie’s head, gently smoothing down her hair then placing the knitted cap back over it. She placed Sadie on the couch next, making sure each boot kept the correct foot from the cold. She would overlook the socks this time. “Sadie, where’d your brother go?” Daniel asked as he raced through the living room. “He’s in his room,” Vanessa informed him. “Lucas! Let’s go!” Daniel called to his son. He got a distant “Coming!” in response. Vanessa helped Sadie slide down the couch. She kissed her nose and held her in her arms. Daniel, now in his own shoes and coat, handed his wife their daughter’s things. Lucas came running down the hall once again, thankfully ready to go. Daniel rushed everyone out the door and into the car Vanessa had arrived in just minutes earlier. Vanessa helped Sadie into her car seat. She gave her daughter one last kiss then moved around the car to give Lucas the same. “Have a great day! I love you so much!” She told them both before closing Lucas’s door. She moved to the front of the car where Daniel was waiting for her. He gave her a quick kiss and wrapped his arms around her. “Thank you. Now, please get some rest.” Vanessa laughed. No one had to beg her to go to bed at this point. “I will. Be careful.” “Of course. I love you.”
“I love you, too.” The car slowly backed out of the driveway and onto the street. Vanessa made her back into the house.
She removed her white shoes by the door and hung up her coat. After that, no stops were made on the way to
her bedroom. She slipped out of her red scrubs and replaced them with a t-shirt and sweatpants. She got into bed, falling asleep in mere seconds after covering her body with too many blankets to count. The sun was still shining over shining when she rose. She lazily walked through the house to wake herself up. The laps were complete once she found herself in the living room for the second time. She grabbed the remote and turned on the television. The screen lit up, displaying a newsroom with cutaways to politicians debating the same government shutdown Vanessa had tried to escape that morning. She did not change the channel. Politics were just fine in the afternoon. Rather than sitting, Vanessa moved to the kitchen with the remote in tow. She had not eaten all day and needed to prep the after-school snacks for the kids and during work snacks for herself. She turned up the volume on the television, letting the latest despairs of the shutdown make their way into the kitchen: ...being forced to use their paid time off with no sign of an end coming from Washington. This may no longer affect just families that are not receiving income, but those across the country… Vanessa grabbed a cutting board from the cabinet and a knife from the block on the counter below it. She turned to the fridge and found a bag of carrots. She placed them on the counter, keeping them out of the way as she continued her search. Parents have been voicing their concerns as the FDA has not been properly regulated for weeks. Many are worried buying fresh foods will become a risk as less workers are able… Vanessa jumped at the sound of the front door slamming. She moved from her crouched position at the fridge to inspect the sound. She rounded the corner slowly, only to sigh out in relief as Daniel came into view. “You scared me to death,” she breathed out. With a second to register her husband’s appearance, Vanessa noticed the large box Daniel was quickly carrying into the kitchen. She got out of his while asking, “What is that?” “I didn’t think you’d be awake just yet,” Daniel said as he set the box on the counter, “and it’s groceries.” “That’s a lot of groceries,” Vanessa commented. Daniel turn his attention to the sound of the television and moved back into the living room. “Is this all you’ve been watching?” He asked as he watched the screen.
“It’s awful, Dan,” she replied. “So many people were panicking at the hospital last night.” “They’ll learn soon enough that you can’t just -” A loud, alarming beep sounded off from somewhere in the room. Vanessa followed the noise to her backpack. She pulled her cell phone out of the side pocket, the noise louder and more annoying once the device was no longer muffled. Her charge nurse was calling her. “Nora?” Vanessa answered. “Vanessa,” the voice replied. “We need you to come in as soon as you can.”
“It’s only three o’clock,” Vanessa replied, glancing towards the kitchen for a clock. “Why are you
“We’re way too busy and way too short staffed,” Nora explained. “Four nurses called in sick and it’s
chaos down here. Please.” Vanessa caved. She assured her supervisor she would be on her way. As soon as the call ended, Vanessa tossed her phone onto the couch and groaned in frustration. She made her way towards her bedroom, loudly announcing, “I just got called in!” “Four hours early?” Daniel called back. “Apparently it’s an emergency,” she explained. “Well it is an emergency room,” he suggested, attempting to better her mood. Vanessa reappeared from the living room, dressed in a fresh pair of scrubs and searching for her shoes and coat. “I didn’t have time to make anything for Lucas and Sadie,” she complained. “I’ve got it. I’ve got it. Don’t worry.” Daniel held out his wife backpack, allowing her to slip one strap over her shoulder and pull her keys from the side pocket. “You’re the best,” she told Daniel before giving him a quick kiss and heading for the door. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” When Vanessa arrived at the hospital, the staff lot was emptier than she had seen it in quite some time.
She made it to the entrance in no time and was immediately hit with the sense of panic. All doctors were on their feet. Nurses were rushing around with medication and patients being moved from room to room. An older nurse noticed Vanessa enter and stopped in front of her. “Find Nora.”
She was off immediately. Vanessa rushed to the break room to set down her bag and check for any sign of her charge nurse. The room was empty. Vanessa placed her bag on the shelf and trotted out of the room pulling her up as she went. She searched for Nora in the adjacent offices, but she was nowhere to be found. Deciding she must be on the floor, Vanessa braced herself for the chaos and went back out to main section of the emergency room in search for instruction. She moved down the wide, white hallway swiftly, glancing into rooms to see nurses giving various patients fluids and others being turned on their side to vomit. She grimaced but kept moving. “Vanessa!” She turned around at the sound of her name. Nora was coming towards her, followed by two other night shift members. Vanessa looked them over and thought aloud, “Are we all here?” “Might as well be,” Nora replied, pale face disrupted by sweat and deep bags under her eyes. “Follow me.” Nora never stopped moving. Vanessa followed. There was barely any time to think before she found herself a long room with medications lining the walls. Nora turned sharply towards the three nurses she rarely saw during the light of day. Vanessa could see the stress coursing through her body. “We have an influx of patience claiming severe stomach pain,” Nora explained sternly and quickly. “Most of them are whole households. A lot of them are young kids. We don’t know what it is. We don’t have time to figure it out. Get them fluids and stop the vomiting until Dr. Thomas can get a specialist in. He’s here. So is Lott. I’m going to call around find somewhere to transfer the first few we get stable.” The next hour was spent trying to stabilize as many patients as possible. Rooms were being prepped with more liners that made each patient’s room smaller in case they needed more room before the first group was transferred. By 4:45, two ambulances were ready, and Nora had convinced the charge nurse at Northeast Medical Center to take four Lakeside patients. Careful not to split up families, the newest family of four was transferred. It was a young, panicked mom with children younger than Lucas. Vanessa felt as though her heart would break if she watched them any longer, and she thankfully was pushed to a new room. The same older nurse who first met her shoved a small container of raw carrots, broccoli, and other vegetables in her hand, informing her that she looked light headed and should eat before going back on the floor. Vanessa sunk into
a breakroom chair and ate slowly, savoring some time off her feet. A small, flat television hung on the wall displaying a news station with volume too low to hear. By 5:30, Vanessa and her partner witnessed their first death. A nurse shrieked for help, and the two of them ran in find a man admitted hours before vomiting up blood in his sleep. It took less than a minute of panic and IVs for the makeshift room to filled with the flat buzz of the cardiac monitor. Over the next few hours, more nurses shrieked, and more patients were gone. The nurses left the final room to over two dozen people in wandering, whining, and hunched against the wall. Five new families and four independent patients came in. Every single one complained of severe stomach pain. One was lurching and breathing as though he would vomit any second. Parents held crying children. Two teenagers were slumped over garbage cans. Vanessa’s partner dropped his head, then looked up and asked pleaded with any deity he could think of to send them somewhere else. Vanessa instructed him to find at least two more nurses and start moving patients. By this point, the rest of the night crew would be in soon. Vanessa took off down through the emergency room and down the hallway. She was nearing the first office when a sharp pain in her stomach stopped her. Her hand grasped the wall as she doubled over. You’re fine. You’re fine. She blamed it on her empty stomach and kept moving. You. Are. Fine. She barged through the door of one office, then another, then another until she finally found Nora. She was behind the desk, only lit by the harsh light of the computer screen and her hand covering her face. She slammed the phone back on the desk, strings of curses leaving her mouth. “Nora,” Vanessa spoke to get her attention. Nora looked up to find her scrubs darkened and arms splattered red. “We’re losing it. We’re losing patients. There are like thirty new patients here. We have to transfer them somewhere. We can’t do-”
“We can’t transfer them,” Nora argued. “I’ve been trying for hours. Every hospital I’ve talked to is
having is overrun with this. Five have had patients die in the last eight hours.” “Well, make that six,” Vanessa said. Nora stared at her again. “What do we do?” “How many?” “Eleven that I know of.” “I’ll call downstairs. We have to get them out before we can bring anyone in. I’ll be on the floor in a
minute.” Vanessa made it to the main desk and found the phone, calling help from any floor that could spare it. In the span of half an hour, she had a team of nurses to crowd control and technicians to clean up blood. Once instructions were given, she ran out again, ignoring the stabbing feeling in her stomach and the nausea creeping her body. Back on the floor, Vanessa found her partner on the ground beside a crumbled body dressed in scrubs. They were doubled over, on their knees and shaking. Getting closer, Vanessa realized it was the older woman who had been helped her all day. She was wheezing, breaths short and closed shut. One hand had curled into a first around the front of her scrubs. She looked the same way Vanessa felt. The body language screamed stomach pain. She grabbed her on the side opposite her partner and they lifted the nurse to her feet. She stumbled in between them as they desperately searched for a room. Every bed they encountered was taken. Some held two children in one. Some still had blood on the floor with nurses desperately cleaning around patients who were barely aware enough to notice, but too in pain to care. “This way,” Vanessa instructed her partner, and they shuffled the woman across the wide-open hallway and back to the office area. If anyone saw them, they were too busy to realize a staff member had gone down. The two of them were practically dragging the woman between them. Vanessa’s arms felt heavy and her stomach pain had only increased. Still, she directed them, “Left! Left! In here!” She kicked the break room door open and they laid the woman across the long, rectangular table. As soon as the nurse’s weight was off Vanessa’s body, she fell to the ground. Her knees were flush to her chest and her arms wrapped around her cramping abdomen. She stopped to take a few deep breaths and tried to spring to her feet, only to forced back down by her partner’s hands on her shoulders. “What are you doing?” She snapped at him. “We have to help her! I have to get her an IV started a cart in here now.” “No,” he replied firmly. “I can get them. You’re feeling it, too. I can tell.” “I’m fine,” she lied. “I just haven’t eaten much.” “Neither have the rest of us,” he countered. “Whatever it is. Stay in here with her. I’ll be back as soon as I can. I’m going to tell Nora a nurse is down and find a cart.”
He ran out before Vanessa could argue any further. She jerked her back and groaned in pain and frustration. The feeling in her stomach was almost unbearable. She could feel her eyes watering at the pain. Defeating and miserable, she rested her head on a chair and looked up at the television. The news was still playing. A bright red banner reading STATE OF EMERGENCY took up at least one third of the screen. Vanessa stumbled to her feet and found the remote on the counter. She inched closer to the television and turned up the volume. “A state of emergency has been declared following the mass amounts of deaths and illness sweeping the country,” an anchor spoke. The television cutting to scenes of hospitals overflowing with patients as her voice continued. “Nightmares have come true for Americans concerned about the safety of fresh food in the wake of the month-long government shutdown. Millions across the nation have been affected by tainted food supplies.” Vanessa froze. Her mind flashed to her home. To Lucas and Sadie. Daniel. To the mass amount of groceries he brought home hours ago. Adrenaline kicked in. Vanessa grabbed her backpack and sprinted out of the break room. She made it to the medication storage that she started her day in and closed the door. Opening her backpack, Vanessa forced herself to ignore the pain as she grabbed needles and bags and vials and stuffed them inside. It was well past dinner time. There was no way her family hadn’t eaten already. She pushed the door open and ran along the corridor in the opposite direction of the floor she had spent the last seven hours at. She found the back entrance and ran across the lot to her car. With no time to wait for it defrost, she poured a bottle of water on the windshield and jumped in. She pressed the gas pedal to the floor board and took off, only stopping to scan her card. The iron gates opened, and Vanessa felt a pain so sharp her entire body lurched forward. “You. Are. Fine.” She spoke it aloud this time, no one around to hear her but herself. The radio was on. Every station covered the same state of emergency. Official reports are calling the event an act of domestic terrorism… Vanessa lurched again. Her eyes threatened to close with the force of it. She gritted her teeth and widening her eyes to keep her attention off the pain and on the road in front of her. ...widespread panic of what appears to be a planned attack on Americans by Americans…
The car was swerving along the street, although it did not appear out of place. Drivers ignored stops and speed limits. Police were attempting to redirect emergency vehicles around various crashes. Officials are working to decipher what message this was meant to sendâ€Ś Vanessa could no longer fight the pain. She was shaking, sweating, and wheezing. She lurched forward again, tears streaming down her face and blinding her vision. The sound of twisting metal filled her ears and she heard herself scream. She was disoriented. There was no way of knowing what was up or down. Glass from the windshield and windows covered the interior of the car. Too shocked to control it, Vanessa gave in to the nausea during the crash. She looked down and saw blood seeping into the fabric of her scrubs. She had no clue if it came from the pain or the accident. Her vision was still blurred. She felt her consciousness fading in and out. In the light of these horrific events, the shutdown has officially come to an end.
While creative writing was my first love, technical writing quickly became my
strongest passion. Before college, I thought I had little to no experience with technical writing, but I felt that in order to turn writing into a stable career, I had to leave the creative behind. Through my time at UNA, however, I have discovered both of those to be untrue. Though it is no longer my desired path, writers can find success and stability through creative writing, and technical writers like me exercise just as much artistry, just in different ways. Rather than strip me of my creativity, my work in technical writing has helped me integrate my artistic loves into a variety of styles such as grant writing, multimodality, and user experience studies. Not only does it allows me as a writer to bring creativity to places it may not have resided otherwise, it allows me to bring understanding to those places as well. Through the same inkwell that I use to understand myself, I am able to able to bring larger audiences to a world that seemed otherwise unreachable.
Grant Package Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Board 3391 Daniels Road Winter Garden, FL 34787 Dear Board Members: Winfield is a small town on the southern edge of Marion County, a rural area located in northwest Alabama. The town is located at least one hour away from any of Alabama’s major cities or universities. Winfield has a population of about 4,500. The average annual household income is $36,691 according to datausa.io, and Winfield’s poverty rate is 12.2%. Winfield’s financial standing is evident in Winfield City School System’s above-average number of subsidized lunches. According to the school’s annual reports, 53 percent of the elementary school students qualify for free or reduced lunch, 43 percent qualify in the middle school, and 30 percent qualify in the high school. However, these numbers do not decline as the ages increase due to a change in household income, but rather the students’ comfort levels with their family situation. Faculty believes the 13 percent difference stems from students losing willingness to admit they are in need. The Winfield City School System is the only school system within the town. It takes sole responsibility of educating and providing opportunities to 1,266 students in Winfield. WCS is taking steps to equip its students with the education and skills necessary to expand what is currently available within Winfield’s limits. In efforts to make students feel less disadvantaged by finances or location, Winfield City Schools began to transition to a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) based, cross-curriculum learning style. In October of 2017, Winfield City Schools became the first school system in the United States to be completely AdvancED STEM certified. These efforts a way to get students excited and prepared for further education and careers in engineering fields. According to indeed.com, engineers in the state of Alabama make at least twice the income of the average Winfield resident. Because of its location in the state, Winfield City Schools pursues extracurriculars for students in rocketry and robotics fields. No matter the certifications, Winfield City School System is still a rural Alabama public school system with the funding to match. The continuation and advancement of Winfield’s efforts to aid its students requires the proper funding for materials. The school system is simply unable to undertake such a project on its own. The Lowe’s Toolbox for Education $5000 small grant would allow for a software subscription renewal and access to materials needed for Winfield’s robotics and rocketry teams. Thank you, Madison Goodwin WCS Writing Intern firstname.lastname@example.org
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant Application Review Contact Information First Name: Madison Last Name: Goodwin Email: email@example.com Title: Other Home Address: 1603 Bridlewood Drive City: Florence State: AL Zip Code: 35630 Phone: (205) 495-9878 Group Information School: WINFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL 481 APPLE AVE WINFIELD AL 35594-5428 Principal’s Title: Mr. Principal’s First Name: Scott Principal’s Last Name: Goodwin Principal’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lowest Grade: Grade 5 Highest Grade: Grade 8 School Type: Public Number of Students: 363 School Ethnicity %: Caucasian: 91% African American: 4% Hispanic: 2% Asian: 1% American Indian: 1% Other: 1% % of Subsidized Lunches: 43% Distance to closest Lowe’s: 20+ miles School’s Website: www.winfield.k12.al.us Group Acronym: WMS Money Raised Last Year (or in a typical year): less than $5,000 Your school’s EIN (or tax ID # - 9 digits in length): 63-4004414
School Name: WINFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL Project Name: AdvancED STEM Grant Project Contact InformationÂ First Name: Madison Last Name: Goodwin Phone Number: (205) 487-6901 E-mail: email@example.com Project Short Description With the beginning of a STEM curriculum came the need to keep in-class technology up to date in order to give students the most realistic and educational experience. Money granted by Loweâ€™s will aid WMS in the purchase of a needed software subscription update and construction tools to be used in rocketry and robotics courses. Project Budget: $7,850.00 Grant Amount: $5,000.00 Raised Budget: $600.00 Budget Details TARC Parts $1,500 Routing System $3,000 Solidworks Software Renewal $2,400 Labor $0 Robotics Construction Tools: Air Compressor $99 Tool Chest $249 Jig Saw $42 Circular Saw $70 Drill Press $129 Drill Press Vice $49 Drill Bits $16 Hole Drilling Set $21 Wood Drill Bits $11 Tap Set $35 Grinding Wheel $45 Vice $50 Belt Disc/Sander $119 STEM team student and faculty is working on additional fundraisers, some individual and some of which would also showcase other hands-on learning experiences at WMS, such as horticulture or home economics. Winfield is also researching others grants and donors at this time.
Project Schedule Grant will be applied for September of 2018. If WMS is selected to receive funding from Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, this project would begin with ordering all necessary materials. Seeing as TARC requires a set amount, TARC would be ordered in January/February of 2019. Robotics Construction Tools from Lowe’s and the routing system will be ordered in March 2019, leaving April and May for materials to arrive. Once the regular school year is complete, summer of 2019 will be used to install new equipment in Winfield Middle School’s main building. Solidworks Software subscription will be renewed at the end of July 2019, ready to be used by eager students once the 2019-2020 school year begins. Project Mission The mission of this project, as well as the overall mission of Winfield City Schools, is to give students the ability to reach their maximum potential by giving them an educational experience that is more about activity and memorization. Students who have the ability to take a hands-on approach to their learning are much more excited about school than those who are simply taking notes and taking tests. This sort of excitement and eagerness to be an active student promotes both a stronger ability to retain the information a student is learning as well as develop the attitude needed to be successful in higher education and the workforce. Being such a closeknit community comes with both its pros and cons. While the cons include knowing both the data – such as over half of our elementary students qualifying for subsidized lunches – or the heartbreaking personal stories of various students, the pros provide compassion, community, and drive to help that far outweigh them. Success in this project means another step towards toward success in our students’ futures and ending the poverty cycle that we see too often in our home community. Project Grant Reason Winfield Middle School believes we are a deserving fit for this grant because we are making strides in fields that are and will continue to be vital to our country in upcoming years. STEM job openings are at all time high. At the rate in which our nation is developing technology, the rate of STEM-related will only continue if not increase. Jobs needed in the future may not even exist now. That is why we are starting our students out now with hands-on classrooms mimicking the freedom and activity level one is given in the workforce. Students are in charge of working together and developing their own team building tactics whilst getting the job done. Allowing students to continue in a classroom that matches the attitude of a workforce simulation will aid in their readiness from a young age to contribute to their fields. This readiness is undeniably necessary to have students escape the financial situations from which they come. Project Volunteer Plan True to Winfield’s spirit, several community members are involved and have expressed sincere willingness to volunteer for material installation. These community members include parents as well as trained Winfield residents. Winfield Middle School faculty, staff, and administration have also undergone necessary training to properly install all materials that will be acquired through this grant. Lowes’ help: Yes
Lowe’s help description? Winfield Middle School intends on purchasing all Robotics construction tools (listed in the project budget details) from the closest Lowe’s location. Advice on the best quality materials from Lowe’s staff would be of great assistance. Any Lowe’s employees willing to assist in installation during June and July of 2019 would be appreciated as well. Students would also enjoy and greatly benefit from equipment demonstration from Lowe’s. Will publicize: Yes Will report: Yes Has school approval: Yes
Cookbook SOUTH KOREA Chef: Seung Hyeon Han Writer: Madison Goodwin Photographer: Andrea Belk
Home for Dinner
Seung Hyeon-Han, who goes by Stella in the United States, came to America three years ago. She couldn’t quite explain why but knew she had a longing to come overseas. While still in South Korea learning English, her instructor recommended the University of North Alabama for their culnary program. At UNA, Stella has the opportunity to perfect the very thing that makes her feel closest to home: food. Despite a slight difference in ingredients, Stella prepares several Korean dishes from what she considers comfort food, such as 김치 (kimchi), to those that take a bit more time and speciality, such as 비빔밥(bibimbap). She has not only noticed a difference in zucchini, but the way food is enjoyed from place to place. Eating together is a large part of Korean culture, and dishes are most often served in one large communial plate in the center for the group to share.
TIP: Choptsticks are crucial to the experience! Make sure all your vegetables in your 비빔밥 (bibimbap) are thinly sliced for easy pick up!
BIBIMBAP seasoned beef and vegetable stir-fry over sweeet rice INGREDIENTS Bibimbap: ☐ 1 zucchini ☐ 5 oz spinach ☐ 10 oz beef, shaved ☐ 2 carrots ☐ 1 onion ☐ 5 oz lettuce, chopped ☐ 8 oz mushrooms ☐ 2 eggs ☐ 2 1/2 cups botan rice
Beef Seasoning: ☐ 1/4 cup garlic, minced ☐ 2 cups soy sauce ☐ 1 cup sugar ☐ 2 cups water ☐ 1 tsp pepper
Bibimbap Sauce 1: ☐ 1 tsp garlic, minced ☐ 2 tsp sugar ☐ 1 tsp red pepper chili powder ☐ 1 tsp soy sauce ☐ tsp red pepper paste
Spinach Seasoning: ☐ 1 tsp soy sauce ☐ 2 tsp sesame oil ☐ 1/2 tsp garlic, minced ☐ salt and pepper to taste ☐ dash of sesame seed
Bibimbap Sauce 2: ☐ 1/2 tsp garlic, minced ☐ 1 tsp sugar ☐ 2 tsp soy sauce ☐ dash of pepper
DIRECTIONS 1. Prepare the rice 2. Add spinach and spinach seasoning to pan and blanch 3. Finely shred onion, zucchini, carrot, and mushroom 4. Stir-fry each vegetable separately 5. Add seasoning to beef and stir-fry 6. Spread rice on the bottom of a round dish 7. Cover with stir-fried vegetables and beef 8. Fry egg and place in the middle of the dish
SCAN FOR A SIDE!
Pencil Calligraphy madielinletters
When you think of calligraphy, you probably think of fancy fountain pens and parchment paper. Maybe you’re imagining Harry Potter sitting behind a desk with a quill dipped in scarlet ink. In reality, lettering is and can be done with virtually any writing instrument. Let’s make our way through the basics. For the first of these tools and techniques posts, I want to start with the easiest tool to find: The pencil. As easy as locating one will be, there is nothing inferior about the images the pencil leaves behind. Pencil calligraphy is one of my absolute favorites. There’s just something about the look of it. The ease at which you can create thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes makes it look incredibly elegant, and the soft color and thin lines gives your letters a dainty feel. Not only that, but it’s a great jumping off point into other types of lettering. TOOLS: PENCIL: As I said in my introductory post, I don’t work with fancy supplies. When I started pencil calligraphy, I used the same Bic mechanical pencils that I used in class. And they worked just fine. I could see the pressure I was putting on my strokes and I was more than familiar withits feel in my hand.Now, I personally prefer your classic wooden pencil. Maybe you don’t have one on deck past first grade, but they’re still easy to find. You could get fancy and find really nice pencils that are used for sketching, but any old one from your elementary coloring box will do.
PAPER: With pencil calligraphy, paper is the best surface to write on. I usually use sketch paper, but notebook will do just fine and provides some guidelines. TECHNIQUE: Pencils are my thing to use when I need to back into practice on my downstroke-upstroke pressure change. Because it’s just a pencil, holding it is the same with lettering as it is with history notes. As with any calligraphy, you want downstrokes (any time you move your pencil down) to be thicker than upstrokes (any time you move back up). Letters typically begin with downstrokes. To get a thicker downstroke, apply more pressure as you write. Ease up on the pressure once you begin coming back up, and there’s your upstroke.
It will often lead into your next letter or the next stroke of the same letter. Most letters require at least two downstrokes. Unlike the way you learned cursive, lettering doesn’t have to be done in one go. I pick up my pencil after each upstroke. And that’s the foundation of lettering, pals. I know it seems super basic, but more techniques will be come with more tools. For now, practice what you can, and get ready to create!
-- Madie Lin
Human-Computer Interaction/ User Experience
NeedfindingEvaluation Application Analysis
Our application is at its core the combination of two common types: academic and social. Because of
this heavy influence, we wanted to go through our most commonly used applications from both categories and create a list of what we wanted to include and exclude in order to get the right balance of interaction that is university specific. For our academic application, we analyzed Canvas Student. Canvas was the obvious choice for an application geared towards UNA students because it is the application for assignments. We wanted to pull the elements that we felt would transfer to social media. For social media, we chose two of the big three: Facebook and Twitter, with a strong focus on Facebook in the beginning. We knew these would be most familiar to most college students. From there, we based our features off these applications.
Facebook was the main inspiration for the main feed format. The application opens up to the social feed,
displaying all the options for the app’s other screens across the top. Although not the only one, Facebook was also a big influence in the search option. We took notes from Facebook as to how we should format the “new post” interface, due to the ability to pick between multiple types of posts. We also chose Facebook’s mutual friending for our “classmates” rather than Twitter’s one way following option.
Although it is mostly had came from Facebook, Twitter’s main feed has a similar format, and the consis-
tency gave us a stronger hope that it would be easy for users to navigate. The main takeaway from Twitter was the profile interface, even including the placement of the profile icon on the home screen. Twitter has a level of
organization to its profile, separating it into a user’s tweets, media, and liked tweets. That simple, column style felt like the best for our three part profile. Tweets, media, and likes became posts, schedule, and classmates. Twitter also had a part in our messaging tab.
Canvas became the basis of our messages. Facebook requires another app in order to message other
users, and Twitter’s direct messages are made for sharing tweets as much as actually communicating. Canvas messaging is more straightforward and allows for both two person and group chats. We also liked that with Canvas, users are only able to message the students in their courses, where Twitter and Facebook allow users outside of your friend and following list to send you messages. We combined Canvas’s to-do list and calendar for our calendar tab, taking the personal options of calendar and adding them to to-do list format. Canvas’s calendar also gave us the inspiration to filter our feed into courses and majors, just as their calendar allows users to pick what courses will appear.
The prototype was tested on three current students from the sophomore to senior level aging from 19 to
22. Two of these students had a minor outside the department of their major. First, the participants were explain the overall premise of the application. Then, each individual was given the same, simple, navigation-based tasks to complete and were told they were allowed to give up if needed - only spend the amount of time they would trying to figure out a real, digital application. The tasks were presented as questions. The surveying team member took notes as the individuals moved through the application. They were interviewed afterwards, each one given the same survey questions.
The Tasks 1. How do you create a new message? 2. Where would you find a list of your classmates? 3. How do you look at the posts from current classmates only? 4. Where would you find upcoming events?
5. How do you post a photo to your feed?
1. What task was the most difficult? Why? 2. Using the scale from 1 to 5, how easy or difficult was the application to use? 1. Very difficult 2. Somewhat difficult 3. Not Particularly Difficult or Easy 4. Somewhat Easy 5. Very easy 3. If this application was available to you, would you use it? 4. Which elements were the most useful? 5. Which elements were the least useful?
Survey Results 1. Two of the participants cited finding the Classmates as the most difficult task. Both attempted the search bar first. One participant mentioned expecting the search to be a drop-down list. The third participant claimed the filter was the most difficult task because they did not recognize the icon (probably the result of not-so-great art skills). 2. The scores ranged from 3-5. No participant claimed it was more difficult than it was easy. One participants explained that knowing it was a social media app before beginning let them know what to expect. 3. All participants gave a “yes” for this answer. Their reasonings were very similar, basically saying it took away the awkwardness of only knowing classmates through limited classroom and canvas interaction. A participant said they would feel more comfortable messaging someone with questions through this app than Canvas because it feels more personal less “email-ish.” 4. While all participants said messaging, various other aspects such as seeing classmates’ schedules and filtering the feed were also mentioned. 5. This was unanimously answered with the calendar. Participants claimed they wouldn’t move their outside-of-school events and assignments into one list and could already see these on other established platforms.
Concrete Changes 1. Add “like” and “comment” options to posts. The close-knit social media was by far the fan favorite aspect. Being able to further interact with classmates’ post would further enhance that personal feeling that participants enjoyed. Comments on posts are also frequently what lead to messages. Like and comment tools would be added the bottom of posts. Likes will simply be a button, while pressing comment will open a text box and keyboard. 2. Add notifications screen. This reasoning relates directly correlates with the first change. With those interactions comes the need to view who is interacting with one’s content. Having those in one place is common in the social media apps reviewed in the first needfinding method. A notification bell will appear in the taskbar between messages and calendar. 3. Remove academic/assignment items from calendar. The calendar was deemed the least useful feature of the app, and would just take up space without changing its purpose. Removing the academic items would make the calendar more of a list of classmate created events. 4. Only display toolbar on feed screens. This change comes less from the survey results and more from further analysis of the influential applications. Keeping the full taskbar on every screen is unnecessary and makes the app look busier. Taskbar will stay on the feed screens, but just the back button and screen title will appear on the profile, search, messages, calendar, and notifications. 5. Add course registration to post options. This was discussed in the beginning of the app, but originally excluded. However, after the positive feedback on having users’ schedules on their profiles, we decided to bring it back to bring in both a more “academic” element, but also let other students know what those in their courses are doing next. The New Post screen will have a fourth and final icon included with the A, Camera, and Calendar for events. The design will be based on the Add Courses icon on UNA Portal.
HARSH BHATT, DYLAN CHILD MADIE GOODWIN, G
PRODUCT OVERVIEW LionBook is an application that allows the students of the University of North Alabama to easily communicate with each other. Essentially, it is a social media app that is catered specifically towards providing a space for UNA students to connect without the oversaturation of traditional social media and the formality of Canvas.
USABILITY GOALS • Easy to Learn. College students are the target audience, most of which use some form of social media. We wanted our application to reflect the ease at which one should be able to navigat social media. • Effective. Simply put, we wanted to make sure we were putting in the elements necessary for the app to do what it promises.
USER STUDY O
TWITTER • app opens up to a main social feed • organized profile tab • can post in multiple modes • in-app messaging
FACEBOOK • main social feed • other tabs are displayed across the top of the screen • can post in multiple modes • mutual “friends” (classmates)
CANVAS • in-app messaging • calendar • course filters • visible only to current classmates
• PARTICIPANTS: All partic students from the ages of 1 were added after the origin intermediate study. Particip product overview before be • TASKS: Participants were tasks relating to both basic pleting in-app tasks. • USER EXPERIENCE: All p the same, short survey afte • RESULTS: Overall, particip more easy to navigate than most of their time searchin
DERS, MEGAN COLEMAN, GRACE WOODALL
FINAL PROJECT PAPER â†’ AXURE When moving from paper prototyping to Axure prototyping, we had two main changes to make: simplify our design and focus on interaction over design. Although it did not feel like it during the beginning stages, we were more concerned with how our feautres looked and less about how it actually worked. When working in Axure, we stripped down the application to working with the basic elements of interaction. That (along with general struggles of working through Axure) was where we remained.
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participants were given er the user study. pants found the app to n difficult, but did spend ng the application.
In the spring of 2019, I was given the incredible opportunity to complete an internship
with the University of North Alabamaâ€™s Office of Communications and Marketing. For the duration of the semester, I worked with Brian Rachal, APR - who was the universityâ€™s Director of Communications and Marketing at the time. After his departure in April, I completed my internship with Karen Hodges, Assosiciate Director of Creative Services. Under their guidence, especially Mr. Rachal, I was able to navigate the more shallow waters of public relations and journalism. I was given assignments that challenged me and taught me skills that I will certainly be able to carry into my career. Writing press releases for my university - with Mr. Rachal as my editor - gave me lessons in brievity that not only greatly aided in my PR crash course, but carried over into my technical writing as well. I was able to pull from a number of situations one may face in a writing/communication mixed job setting. Over the semester, my confidence in the field grew and Mr. Rachal continued to give me more freedom and longer assignments, allowing me to develop my own style in yet another mode of writing.
UNA’s Collier Library Selected as Site for National Library Workshop FLORENCE, Ala. – Librarians from all across the Southeast will soon be headed to the University of North Alabama to attend the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) workshop May 16, 2019. UNA’s Collier Library has been selected by ACRL to host the “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement” Roadshow workshop this spring. ACRL is the largest division of the American Library Association. Founded with the belief that librarians lead change across campuses, ACRL is dedicated to the advancement of academic libraries and their role within collegiate communities. The “Scholarly Communication” Roadshow is designed to help libraries advance themselves and accelerate the scholarly communication system. Presenters will lead workshop participants in an interactive program that focuses on scholarly communication fundamentals. Host sites are also able to pick selected topics for presentations that they feel best suit the interests of their community. Collier library is one of only five locations chosen by ACRL for this opportunity. For more information: 256-765-4625
University of North Alabama to Crown New Miss UNA Jan. 26 FLORENCE, Ala. – One lucky student at the University of North Alabama will earn the prestigious title of Miss UNA this weekend. The annual Miss UNA competition will take place Saturday, Jan. 26, in Norton Auditorium. The theme for this year’s competition is Miss UNA Dancing Queens, and will feature special guest and Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Alabama 2019, Callie Walker. Reigning Miss UNA, Haley Gilbertson, said she has had the most memorable year as Miss UNA. “This has been the best year of my life, truly,” said Gilbertson, who will crown one of ten young women competing Saturday night. “Although it’s a bit sad to let go of something that brings me so much happiness and fulfillment, I can’t wait to watch another woman’s life be completely changed through this position.” This is a preliminary competition for the Miss Alabama Scholarship Pageant. The newly crowned Miss UNA will go on to represent UNA at Miss Alabama 2019 in June. Tickets are $9.99 online at www.una.edu/missuna or $10 at the door. UNA students can use their mane card to pick up a free ticket from the Student Engagement Office located in the GUC. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m., the pageant will start at 5:00 p.m. For More information: www.una.edu/missuna
UNA’s Annual Black History Month Speaker Series to Welcome Poet Nabila Lovelace FLORENCE, Ala. - UNA is partnering with local art and history entities to begin the Annual Black History Month Speakers Series. The first of this series will take place Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Florence Indian Mound Museum with poet Nabila Lovelace. Lovelace will conduct a workshop at 6 p.m., followed by a poetry reading and Q&A at 7 p.m. Lovelace is a first-generation Queens native. Her people hail from Trinidad & Nigeria. Sons of Achilles, her debut book of poems, is out now through YesYes Books. She holds degrees from The University of Alabama and Emory University. Her poems have been featured in ESPN, The Academy of American Poets, The Southeast Review, and other journals. The event is sponsored by UNA’s Department of Diversity and Institutional Equity, UNA’s Department of English, Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area and Florence Arts and Museums. For more information: https://www.una.edu/diversity/
UNA is Making a Name for Itself in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program FLORENCE, Ala. - Fulbright involvement at UNA is still relatively new, but success has been gained quickly. As of 2017, UNA is home to two Fulbright recipients. Mollie Schaefer was the first student in UNA’s history to be accepted into the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and Dr. Lisa Kirch was a Fulbright Scholar. Fall 2018 showed a record number of UNA applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Out of the 14 students and recent alumni that applied, the university has nine applicants that were selected as semi-finalists. These students have made it through the National Screening Committee and have been selected to move on to the final stage of the Fulbright selection process. To put this success in perspective: Sixty-four percent of this year’s applicants were selected for an award that accepts only 20 percent. Moreover, since creating a recruiting, advising and evaluation process for UNA’s student applicants, 48 percent of all applicants over the last three award cycles have been selected as semi-finalists. This achievement, and those of its kind in the past few years, has generated a lot of curiosity and interest in Fulbright at UNA. “Essentially, the award is one year of funding in a country of your choosing, pursuing either research and/or graduate school, or teaching English,” said Dr. Matt Price, UNA’s director of Premiere and International Awards. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program enables graduating seniors, graduate students and young professionals to cover their expenses through grants. Fulbright recipients will live and work with hosts in their chosen country. This is one of the aspects of Fulbright that attracted applicants such as semi-finalist Peyton Byrd and Jimmie Waites. “I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of living abroad, and Fulbright came as a great opportunity to both spend time abroad, while working toward something productive and rewarding,” said Byrd, who applied for an English teaching assistantship in the Czech Republic.
“I had the opportunity to co-teach marketing in Nantong, China, this prior summer,” said Waites, who hopes to be an ETA in Taiwan. “When I returned, I wanted to be involved in another cultural exchange program post-undergraduate. I expressed my interest to Dr. Price and started working on my application two weeks after returning from China.” Working through the application alone – a form, two essays, three letters of recommendation and transcripts – is no small feat for these students. These are completed over the course of roughly five months. “The majority of an applicant’s time is spent writing the two essays,” Price said. “Over the course of the summer we work on those essays until the student feels that they’re ready to submit. In September all applicants submit their applications to me, and then I give them to a faculty review panel that reads them, make suggestions; and together we interview each and every applicant.” Waites, along with the other semi-finalists, consider the process a challenging yet rewarding experience. “I, and the other applicants, continually worked on the application for roughly five months. When I finally submitted my application, I had 13 rough drafts,” said Waites. “The process was intimidating at first and a learning experience, but one that I am glad to have gone through,” said Byrd. “It consisted of self-discovery as well as getting familiar with and comfortable writing about my own experiences and highlights in my life.” Price said making sure the applicants felt like UNA was supporting them was a top priority when creating the review program. He has put together a panel of incredible faculty members willing to dedicate their time and effort to helping applicants better themselves and their Fulbright work. That involvement has not been overlooked by the students. Walker Mattox, who applied for an English teaching assistantship in Malaysia, said UNA’s faculty helped her far beyond Fulbright. “I think UNA is a wonderful school,” said Mattox. “I feel like everyone has a lot of professors that care for them beyond being a student. I know all of mine do. It really is a special place.”
What exactly led to the spike in Fulbright’s UNA student selections? While many of the semi-finalists noted new awareness of Fulbright around campus and the support of their professors, they often claimed Matt Price as the root of the success. “Dr. Price has been actively expanding the program and seeking out potential Fulbright scholars on campus” said Waites. “I think most of it had to do with Dr. Price,” said Mattox. “I do not think it is a coincidence that we all had the same advisor and 64 percent of us got to move to the next level.” Price, on the other hand, gives all the credit to the students and the campus community. “What is most exciting to me is to see the hard work that UNA has put into expanding student research, studying abroad and leadership experiences paying off, said Price. “Fulbright applicants usually represent a cross-section of an institution’s priorities, and the increase in semifinalists is a reflection of the hard work of students as well as academic and administrative departments at UNA.” Listed below are the nine semi-finalists along with the countries and assignments applied for: Walker Mattox (2019-Math)-Malaysia/English Teaching Assistantship Alexandria Buttgereit (2018-Foreign Languages)-Brazil/English Teaching Assistantship Julie Heflin (2018-English)-South Korea/English Teaching Assistantship Emily Farris (2019-Spanish and Communication) Spain/English Teaching Assistantship Peyton Byrd (2019-Art) Czech Republic/English Teaching Assistantship Alexander Gould (2018-Finance) Spain-MA Global and International Studies at University of Salamanca Abigail Winkler (2018-Marine Biology) Brazil/English Teaching Assistantship Barbara “Jimmie” Waites (2019-Marketing) Taiwan/English Teaching Assistantship Bradford Carter (2018-Computer Information Systems) Taiwan/English Teaching Assistantship Finalists/Awardees will be announced March-April.
“I think it is very significant that more UNA students are applying for the simple fact that it demonstrates how courageous and inspiring our students are,” said Price. “You have no guarantee of success when you apply for a Fulbright, but our students work on their applications— sometimes for months—honing, crafting and revising their applications in the hope that they get to make a difference in the world—that’s pretty inspiring,” he said.
Parting Words When I began my time at UNA, I could have never expected to have learned and developed the way that this portfolio shows. I explored genres and areas in writing that scared me, that I didn’t even know about before I had to start using them. I owe an unfathomable amount of thank you’s to this program, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I truly did not realize how much I had grown as a writer until I became my semester-long journey crafting this portfolio. As I close this chapter and go on to write my next one, I can only hope to shed a positive light on the University of North Alabama’s English Department and the professors that have made me the writer - and the person - I am today. I came into this university a child. I was 18 and terrified that my writing wouldn’t be good enough for this program. Now, at 22, I realize that I was expecting myself to be where I am now back then. As much as it scares me to admit, I am officially a young adult, and I will soon be facing the world on my own. However, my professors in this department have taught me so many lesson - about both writing and life - that no syllabus could outline and no accreditation could measure. I do not know where life will take me from here, but I do know that I will be creating, and I owe so much of my creative maturity to the four years that I studied here. I cannot thank you UNA enough for the incredible experience I have had in my time here.
Professional Writing Portfolio