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Autism Awareness Month

May 2, 2017

We’re coming to the closing days of April and in the final weeks of the spring semester. April has been filled with many papers, my birthday, and visits from my parents, but an important aspect of April to me specifically is that is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Awareness Month is an internationally and nationally recognized month, to encourage participants to raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world.

 

Here are some facts from Autism Speaks on autism:

 

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by genes and environmental influences.

These genes are characterized in areas such as communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors.

 

On March 27, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on the frequency of autism and this study recognized that one in 68 children have an autism spectrum disorder.

 

Awareness is important and fundamental to acceptance, especially in a society that often labels others as “different” and proceeds to treat them based on their social identity. 

 

Noah is my younger brother and is diagnosed with Down syndrome and autism.

 

Noah is 16 years old.

 

He loves movies.

 

He loves laughing.

 

He loves when all of his family is together at once.

 

There are hard days; days when lack of communication makes things more difficult, but, oh, does he make the hard days good.  Not only am I certain of the fact that by being Noah’s older sister I am a better person, but I have a clearer understanding of love and grace by knowing him and by getting to love him. Noah shows me the best parts of myself and shows me so much more of Jesus.

 

If you do not know a lot about autism I encourage you to find someone who does. Liberty has a student club, Autism Speaks U, that students can participate in to help raise awareness and earn CSER credit. Spend time around an individual that has autism – but warning, the results may be life altering.  

Year of Opportunity

May 2, 2017

2017 thus far seems to be a year of unknown and transition for a lot of us, myself included. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the fears that come with this new year, I am embracing these changes. 2017 is my transition year. This is my last year as an undergraduate student, and as of last week, I am officially leasing my first apartment. While there is a small part of me that is scared for this current semester and year, I am making sure to take advantage of the opportunities available. 

There are initial fears that come with moving off campus and leasing your first apartment. Bills are overwhelming, commuting seems like a pain, and if you are like me and still have a majority of friends who live on campus, you have a fear of missing out. As discouraging as these fears can be, there are some encouraging aspects I am finding in having my own place. Paying bills may not be the most fun thing in the world, but I am learning how to budget my money and not to give into every impulse buy. And while I am still transitioning from living on a hall the past three years to an apartment, I am ready for a season of growth in learning to enjoy spending some time by myself.

I am more excited for this semester of classes and more nervous than I ever have been before. I am in my usual amount of strategic communication classes and have some of my favorite professors; however, I also decided to add on an extra philosophy class this semester. The philosophy class I decided to add to my schedule is a class that philosophically examines J.R.R Tolkien’s literary work and will by far be both my most time consuming class of the semester and most academically challenging class. However, I am looking forward to the growth I will experience from this course as a reader and writer. While I love my classes that apply to my major, I decided I wanted to take a class that would challenge me in new areas of growth and thinking. 

As uncomfortable as I am with the unknown that this new semester holds, the challenges that living off campus brings, and the intensity of my workload, my community encourages me. While I do face some fear from not living on the hall or near all of my friends on campus anymore, I know time with individuals will become even more cherished and valued.

So I encourage everyone to look at 2017 as a year of opportunities and a year of growth instead of becoming overwhelmed with fear of transitions and workload. Take a class or read a book that will put you outside of your comfort zone. Talk to someone older than you; learn from a parent, professor, or mentor. Find time to sit down and talk with friends over a cup of coffee and most importantly, find time for yourself. Let 2017 be a year of growth, willingness, and opportunities.

School of Communication & Creative Arts Says “Goodbye” to DeMoss

December 19, 2016

 

It has almost been a full semester since Liberty University’s School of Communication & Creative Arts moved locations on campus. The department’s former location was located in Liberty’s central academic building, DeMoss hall, before moving to its new location, Green Hall.

While the department’s new location is farther away from the rest of Liberty’s academic buildings, it gives communication and creative arts students their own space to learn and create.

I am a junior studying strategic communications at Liberty and can testify that the move made has had a positive impact on both students and professors. The convenience of all of our classes in one location makes it easier for scheduling and transitioning between classes.

Natalie Camloh, a junior in graphic design at Liberty, agrees that the department’s new location is more convenient. Natalie also enjoys that the majority of the classes have glass windows, allowing passers-by to see what students and faculty are creating.

At the beginning of the semester, due to the construction, some of the classrooms in the department were without chairs, and the student lounge lacked any furniture. Since then, the spaces have been furnished, and construction is almost completed.

Here is the current lounge area. It still is changing and has more to be added but at least we are off the floor!

The halls throughout the department also have enough room for students to showcase their work, bringing life to the new area.

This is artwork made from packing tape by the ARTS 330 Sculpture class. This piece, a personal favorite, is based on C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” There are many other pieces like this scattered throughout the department.

I am looking forward to seeing the space come to life with more student artwork. The new location gives an opportunity for growth and creativity within the School of Communication & Creative Arts, and I am beyond happy to be a part of it.

 

 

 

New Girl

November 29, 2016

Hi everyone! My name is Kacie McIntosh, and I am the Marketing Department’s newest student blogger. I call a lot of places home. I am a military child, and since the fourth grade I have been moving around every three years. While I have lived in many places, my roots are in southern Indiana and Ohio. All of my family is from Cincinnati, and I believe that Ohio is the hidden gem of America.

My family currently resides in Virginia Beach, Va, where my father is stationed. Moving to Virginia is a huge part of why I am at Liberty because of its closeness to my current home. I am a junior at Liberty studying Strategic Communications, but I am finishing up my degree early and have a projected graduation date of 2017.

I love Liberty because of the friends I have made and the communities with which I am involved. I enjoy being outdoors and going on adventures to the mountains and parkway with my friends in my jeep. My favorite pastime is reading a book while drinking a cup of coffee.

This is one of my best friends and I on a sunrise hike at Cold Mountain.

Lynchburg has definitely become another place that I call one of my homes. Liberty has given me a place for community, laughter, growth, and adventure.

One of my favorite views in the world is Sharp Top and Flat Top, and you can even see it from campus.

Kacie McIntosh

Strategic Communications