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Liberty Insider

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Behind the Screen: A Professor's Passion

by Taylor Wrede

Academic Advisor

I am sure you have been in this situation before, maybe numerous times; you are working on an assignment, have a question, email your professor, and anxiously await a reply. Studying online, many students never have the opportunity to meet the professor on the other side of the computer screen.

As I sit and speak with Liberty University Professor Amy Hassenpflug, I watch her face glow as she shares her love for her job, co-workers, and students.  In each email received, she sees a student waiting for her reassuring, helpful response.  Whether the student is a working parent, a single parent of 5, a 20 year-old at home, or a military student, she wants her response to be a catalyst for academic success, confidence, and independence.

Amy Hassenpflug
Our LUO faculty are aware of the unique needs of our online learners. We hope to address their needs quickly, in ways that help build confidence in our students. This is a path to success!

Throughout many years of teaching, Professor Hassenpflug has worked with hundreds of students who have a desire for academic success as they begin their degree at Liberty University. As a result of this found need, Professor Hassenpflug (Department Chair and Online Professor for College of General Studies) and her colleague, Jamaica Conner (College of General Studies Department Chair, Developmental & Conversational Language Courses), created INFT 101 (Instructional Technology for Successful Online Learning) to assist new undergraduate online students in finding academic success.  INFT 101 is designed to equip students with:

  • Time management skills
  • Knowledge of the Jerry Falwell Library and research techniques
  • Effective communication skills with professors
  • Professional and collegiate level writing skills
  • Tools available in the online classroom

While new undergraduate online students are required to take INFT 101, the course is also highly beneficial to current students, regardless of the progress they have made in their program.

When asked about her favorite aspect of teaching, Professor Hassenpflug mentions the “lightbulb moment” she has witnessed many students experience; the moment when students realize the empowerment they possess from learning and academic achievement. The solid foundation provided by INFT 101 and Professor Hassenpflug allows students to excel in their academic journey.  She hopes to, in the end, see each of her students in cap and gown, walking across the stage in celebration.  No matter where your paths cross in the online learning format, she will be there to cheer you on.

Posted at 4:09 PM | Permalink

Friday, June 19, 2015

Get Out and About

by Christina Hadley, LUO Academic Advising

Summer is a time when the weather is nice, the kids are out of school, and the days are longer. It is a great time for vacations and the beach, but what about staying around your area—a staycation. You can live in a town for a long time and still not have experienced all it has to offer. The summer is the perfect time to discover what makes the place you call home extra special.

In most towns and cities, there are a plethora of hiking trails, farmer’s markets, parks, lakes, museums, historical landmarks, recreation centers, art galleries and studios, dance classes, theater productions, festivals and the list goes on.  All it takes is about 5 minutes of an internet search to compile a list of summer activities in your area. This is a way to keep the kids from that summer time boredom, not break your pocketbook, and give you a feeling of adventure without having to go more than 30 to 60 minutes from home.  All of the sudden your local area gets a lot more interesting and you get out of your routine.

Put the electronics away for a bit and have some face-to-face human interaction this summer.  Connect with your family and friends and experience something new and exciting.  Who knows, you might discover something new you enjoy!

This would also be a great opportunity to participate in the #FitIn15 Competition on Liberty Landing, our online student union!  You can also use #SummerFun on Liberty Landing to tell us all the exciting activities you are doing with your family and friends this summer!

Here are some great places to start your search for activities in your area this summer:

  • Your city website would be a great place to start!  Often the website address is your (city’s name)(state abbreviation).gov.  An example is
  • Community boards at the Post Office
  • Community boards at local businesses
  • Local churches
  • A website like:
Posted at 4:07 PM | Permalink

Friday, June 12, 2015

Indoor Equipment vs. Outdoor Training

by Heather Callahan 

Fitness Coordinator, LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center

There are many questions about cardiorespiratory workouts that exercisers want to know, the most common being, is it better to use the machines in the gym or workout outside?  To shed some light on this topic, let’s explore the factors that may influence someone to train indoors or outdoors.

  1. Environment

Weather can be an important factor in whether someone will train inside or outside. Normally, if the weather is poor, having the option to train indoors is a valuable tool. Not many people want to run or bike outside in the pouring rain or sleet and snow (but if you do, then more power to you!).  Indoor cardio equipment offers a temperature-controlled environment that is predictable and consistent. However, if the weather is bearable, perhaps even nice, training outdoors is a great way to get fresh air and Vitamin D from the sunlight – which improves bone and immune health, helping the body regulate phosphorus and calcium levels.

Conversely, nice, sunny weather may be a cause for concern for the outdoor exerciser. The individual must take into consideration the amount of sun exposure they are getting from being outdoors. If you plan on exercising for an extended period of time outdoors, a sweat-proof sunscreen is a necessity to avoid sunburn and prevent skin cancers. If the weather is very hot, you will want to keep ample fluid handy, and be sure to bring exercise to a stop if you are feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or if you stop sweating – which are just a few signs of heat exhaustion.

  1. Terrain

Terrain is perhaps one of the biggest factors in where one will take their cardiorespiratory training. Indoors, the terrain is steady – no rocks, bumps, puddles, or turtles to block your path. For someone who is injury-prone, the unpredictable terrain of outdoor training can be more than unappealing. On the flip side, terrain can be a wonderful asset to training. The hills, rocks, and bumps associated with varied terrain have been shown to increase neuromuscular perception. This means, you are working your brain-body connection while exercising on mixed terrain. Furthermore, studies show that exercising with wind resistance adds about 10% workload to the training.

Terrain can play a huge part in adherence to the workout itself. With indoor training, the terrain is steady; predictable; monotonous. This fact alone may cause someone to lose motivation to continue, as the workout becomes mind-numbingly repetitive. Outdoor terrain is dynamic and many find that distracting from the workout itself and cause you to train a little bit longer, or maybe even have more fun doing it!

  1. Self-Monitoring

The huge benefit to training indoors is you have fancy equipment at your fingertips – speed, time elapsed, heart rate monitor, calories burned, mileage, RPM – it’s all right in front of you. For some people, this amenity may motivate them to push harder or longer, and help them control the intensity of their workout. For others, this may cause them to tediously count down the minutes until the workout is over. You can monitor your vitals and progress for outdoor training with GPS watch, fit-bit, heart rate monitor, etc. The downfall is that this requires you to make a personal investment for the equipment.

  1. Location

What if you live in an area where certain types of training are unsafe or unavailable to you? What if you really love rowing, but you lack access to a body of water and the equipment necessary? If you don’t live in an area that has access to safe bike paths, trails, and lakes, then indoor rowing, biking, and running may be the closest option to the real thing that you can get. If the gym is in closer proximity to your home and work, it may be more convenient to train there instead to save valuable time.

In some locations, exercise can be dangerous. If you live in an urban area where the only option is to run or bike on the roads nearby, you must constantly be aware of the traffic around you and the amount of air pollution you are inhaling. During aerobic activity, more air is inhaled and breathed more deeply into the lungs. Individuals breathe mostly through their mouths during exercise. This causes the air to bypass the nasal passages, which normally filter airborne pollution particles. (1)

Location can also determine the length of the exercise. When using a treadmill, stationary bicycle, or rower, you have the freedom to stop at any point, even if it’s earlier than you planned. When exercising outdoors, you move away from your starting point, which means you have to get back to it. There is no stopping your exercise in the middle of the trail – or worse, in the middle of the lake, which could inspire a higher level of commitment from exercising outdoors.


There are pros and cons to both indoor and outdoor training, but the bottom line is this: find which method of training you enjoy, and run with it (no pun intended). Exercise, not just cardiorespiratory exercise, needs to be enjoyable for you if you are going to sustain it as part of your lifestyle long-term.

Our bodies were created to enjoy movement, so whether you choose to train on elliptical or run on trails, make sure you relish the time spent working out. Find others who do the same and train with them.

(1) Mittleman MA. Air pollution, exercise and cardiovascular risk. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2007;357:1147.

Heather Callahan is the Fitness Coordinator at the LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center at Liberty University. Heather loves teaching and helping others through the avenue of health and wellness.

Posted at 9:10 AM | Permalink

Friday, June 5, 2015

What Your Career Center Can Do for You

by Tyler Holder, Career Center

As you progress across that regal stage at Commencement, receive your diploma, and descend into the waiting working world, you quickly realize that ‘real life’ is about to shift into overdrive. Suddenly, expectations and responsibilities pressure you like a submariner plummeting to the deepest depths of the ocean. Questions begin to arise. “Am I ready for this? Can I effectively engage the waiting behemoth of my professional life? Where do I turn for help when I’ve lost my professional bearings and need direction?”

As you begin to navigate these questions and the implications that come with them, please remember that you have a support system in the Liberty University Career Center.  

We hope you will remember these four foundations as you progress in your professional career:

  1. Regardless of how long ago you graduated, we are here to serve you. We serve the entire Liberty family, not just current students. This means that at any time between graduation and post-retirement you can come back to us for help. We are dedicated to your professional success and want to continue to help you in your professional development.
  2. Your resume is a fluid document that is always growing. Starting your career can be very exciting! We want to remind you that as you progress professionally, so does your resume. Let us help you keep it updated through our resume critique service as well as the plethora of sample resumes that we offer.
  3. You have never ‘arrived’ professionally, therefore look for opportunities to increase your professional skill sets and network. A big mistake you can make in your professional career is to become complacent. Remember that the job market and economy are always moving and your ability to maintain and develop new skills and increase the size of your network are integral to your professional success. We want to help you be the most effective networker you can be, increase your skills, and learn how to best present yourself professionally.
  4. Afford yourself opportunities to invest in future Liberty talent. It has been said that a tree is only as strong as its roots. The same is true when it comes to the future success of Liberty’s graduates. Do not forget your roots here at Liberty and remember that the professional you will be was formed here through your interactions with professors and peers. As opportunities arise for you to invest in future professionals, we hope that you will remember your Alma Mater and consider actively recruiting future Liberty talent. The best investment that you can make in your professional career is proactively investing in young professionals, grooming them to be the next Shannon Bream, Toby Mac, or Gabe Lyons.

We want to stay connected with you, help you, and hear from you. Connect with us at or Congratulations on graduating and good luck as you progress into the waiting working world!

Posted at 8:12 AM | Permalink

Friday, May 29, 2015

Re-Blog: A Tribute to Military Spouses

Re-blogged from the Institute for Military Resilience Blog. View the original post here

by Major General Robert F. Dees (Army, Ret.)

Originally Posted May 14, 2015

“Oh my soul, march on with strength!” (Judges 5:12, NASB).

On May 8, 2015, Liberty University conducted its first Military Spouse Recognition Ceremony. 

This event was awesome, another demonstration of Liberty’s commitment to our nation’s military, veterans, and the families who stand behind them.  Speaking of military families, my dear bride of 42 years, Kathleen, was the keynote speaker to the graduating military spouses.  Her words were profound, and spoke strength and encouragement to the heart of every military spouse present. 

I pass her comments along to you, perhaps to honor you as a military spouse, or to honor those military spouses in your life who selflessly serve in so many ways:

"Wow!  Look at you Military Spouses – Diverse in many ways, yet with so much in common. We are from every ethnic background… from cities and rural areas… from the 50 states, and many other countries. 

We are generations X, Y, Z, and … yes … even baby boomers.  We are daughters and sons, moms and dads, and grandparents. We study education, medicine, business, government, music… and the list goes on!

But… we have something that binds us together in a powerful way:


We move … and move… and move again!  We wear so many hats:  Mom & Dad, little league & soccer coaches, den mother, scout leader, teacher, trainer, comforter and counselor.  Uncertainty & Change are the norm.

More important than what we do is WHAT WE STAND FOR.  We share commitment to our families and our nation.  When our spouse goes to war, we go to war!

My personal 'battle cry' … which challenges me daily… is taken from Deborah in Judges as she goes to war with Barak: 

(Judges 5:12, NASB)

I know YOU do the same thing – You make things better everywhere you go… not only by your 'can do' attitude, but more importantly by the light of Christ that you take into the dark places.

More importantly… you bring Help and Hope in Jesus.  HOPE is needed more and more each passing day.  Our country and our world are not headed in the right direction.  We have a huge national debt, but the 'Hope Deficit' is an even greater national challenge.

As 'Champions for Christ,' you take HOPE wherever God and the military send you.  You represent Christ to a world without HOPE. You may be familiar with muscular 'Rosie the Riveter,' a home front poster child during World War II, proclaiming 'We Can Do This.'  More importantly, YOU can do this because of Christ in you, the HOPE of glory. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

So… take a deep breath, Military Spouses… you can take off your other 'hats' for a few hours. ENJOY THIS GRADUATION HAT!

You have worked hard and accomplished big goals! 
You are loved and appreciated by everyone here at Liberty University, and by a grateful nation.

May GOD bless you, your families, and our beloved nation!"

Thank you, Kathleen.  We also honor you as a military spouse and mother. 

To God Be The Glory!

Put on your thinking cap.
Tell us what you think about Your Favorite Military Spouse!

Respond with a comment on the LU Military Affairs Facebook page! 

Respectfully in Christ, 

Bob Dees
LU Institute for Military Resilience

Download a PDF of this May 2015 blog post.

Re-blogged from the Institute for Military Resilience Blog. View the original post here.
Posted at 8:40 AM | Permalink

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