Westminster Center for Entrepreneurship launches Social Impact Business Incubator

Westminster Center for Entrepreneurship launches Social Impact Business Incubator

Westminster College’s Center for Entrepreneurship opened the Westminster Social Impact Incubator (WSII), founded by Intuitive Funding, LLC, last month.
 
An incubator helps startup companies develop through mentoring, training and access to resources and/or office space. The WSII, located two blocks from campus on 1200 East,  provides those resources for applicants accepted into the program.
 
The mission of the WSII is “to nurture the next generation of change-makers by providing Westminster students, alumni and community entrepreneurs the resources to take their ideas and turn them into viable, scalable and sustainable ventures that will have a positive local, national or global social impact,” according to its application form.

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Built Army-tough: Westminster student says military experiences give him purpose

Built Army-tough: Westminster student says military experiences give him purpose

Alfredo Lopez, a junior ROTC student at Westminster College, said he has always been Army-bound. And though he acknowledged the challenges that come with also being a full-time student, he said the experience has taught him discipline and provided him with a purpose. 

Lopez came to Westminster after serving in the military for three years, at which point an army officer presented him with a scholarship to finish his undergraduate degree and then become an Army selection officer. 

Balancing school work and training can be difficult at times, Lopez said, but the challenge of transitioning between mannerisms and social expectations in the military versus the classroom is particularly difficult. 

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McNair Scholar graduate heads to Michigan to pursue research on racial and ethnic identity

McNair Scholar graduate heads to Michigan to pursue research on racial and ethnic identity

This spring, Stephanie Miller, a senior double majoring in psychology and sociology, will graduate from Westminster College as a McNair Scholar—a program she said has opened doors for her and helped grow her confidence in ways she never could have anticipated as a female college student of color. 

In the fall, Miller will head to the University of Michigan for graduate school, where she said she will explore her interests in racial and ethnic identity and the impacts of racial microaggressions on Latinx students. 

Miller said she wasn't involved on campus for her first two years at Westminster College but said becoming part of the McNair Scholar program changed everything. 

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Service animals help students and others find peace

Service animals help students and others find peace

For many, service animals at Westminster College provide their owners with therapeutic benefits and a way to help others. 

Breanna Steffen, a junior sociology major, has an emotional support cat, which she said helps her cope with generalized anxiety and depression. She said she decided to pursue a service animal as an additional support system after utilizing the campus Counseling Center. 

"I was already using the campus support systems and doing some work in the Counseling Center, so it was just a good step to take as an extra support," Steffen said. 

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Westminster seniors share their college experiences and takeaways

Westminster seniors share their college experiences and takeaways

For many students, the 2017 spring semester is their last at Westminster College. Over 800 students, who represent 26 different countries and range in age from 19 to 63, will gather on May 13 to receive their diplomas at graduation. 

The Forum sat down with some of these students to talk about their years at Westminster and some of the things they will take away from college and remember for the rest of their lives.

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Meet the student commencement speaker for class of 2017

Meet the student commencement speaker for class of 2017

Laleh Ghotbi, a graduate student in the masters of arts and teaching program, will represent the class of 2017 as the student commencement speaker at Westminster College's graduation today. 

Ghotbi is a non-traditional student from Afghanistan. Though her background is different from many students' at Westminster, the student commencement speaker selection committee said they felt her passion for education and for Westminster made her a good representative among her peers to speak at the event. 

Karnell Black, assistant dean of students and the chair of the speaker selection committee, said Ghotbi's speech will only be four minutes long but will nevertheless encompass many important messages. 

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Professors: student course evaluation feedback typically biased

Professors: student course evaluation feedback typically biased

At the end of every semester, Westminster College asks its students to complete course evaluations that provides professor with feedback about the class. Though the intentions behind the assessments are good, some say the evaluations cause more harm than intended. 

"Course evaluations are a system that is as important as it is flawed," said Kara Barnette, an associate professor of philosophy. 

Though Barnette said student feedback is necessary for a teacher's growth, she said course evaluations are also problematic. 

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Westminster College Heritage Speaker Series provides forum for activism and awareness

Westminster College Heritage Speaker Series provides forum for activism and awareness

Westminster College's Heritage Speaker Series aimed to provide a space throughout the 2016-2017 school year for students to discuss topics of race and inequality in hopes of sparking social change. 

Daniel Cairo, the director of student diversity and inclusion, said the Diversity and Inclusion Center's focus over the past academic year was to raise awareness and create spaces for students to learn and talk about important issues. The series served as a piece of that goal. 

“The Diversity Center’s mission for the past academic year was to increase cultural awareness and provide spaces where we can have conversations about power, privilege and oppression,” Cairo said. 

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Westminster College creates official diversity statement

Westminster College creates official diversity statement

Though Westminster College has long professed the importance of diversity, student activists have spent the past year and a half challenging the college for its lack of an official statement about what that word actually means to the institution. 

In response, administrators are currently in the process of revising the college's official diversity statement, which will outline how the college values and pursues equality and inclusion. 

“The diversity statement operates similarly to a mission statement,” said Marco Barker, Westminster’s associate vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion. “It’s something that connects us. It’s something that grounds us and can be foundational.” Barker was hired in Fall 2016 after student protests over how the college had previously addressed diversity issues within its community—tensions that came to a head when The Forum published comments from administration that some students felt misrepresented diversity as a variety of majors rather than as a variety of minority groups. 

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International students may face additional difficulties in Westminster's nursing program

International students may face additional difficulties in Westminster's nursing program

Most nursing students agree their major is challenging and time-consuming—but certain aspects of the program become even more difficult for international students.

Like many students in Westminster College's nursing program, Diana Mavlanova, an international student from Turkmenistan, is busy. She works five jobs, which she said leaves limited time for a personal life when coupled with homework.

Emily Budd, a junior from Park City, is also in the nursing program and said the only free time she has is when she is sleeping. Though she said the nursing major requires a large time commitment, she said it's time well spent.

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Campus hookup culture affects college students' emotional states

Campus hookup culture affects college students' emotional states

Approximately 70 percent of millennials "hook up" during their college experience, according to a study conducted by New York University sociologist Lisa Wade and her colleagues.

England's research shows the term hookup is ambiguous and its meaning can change depending on context and the people involved.

"A hookup to me would be where you are meeting with someone for the sole intention of making out, blow jobs, hand jobs or casual sex," said Max Black, a junior mathematics major at Westminster College. "When I say I hooked up with someone, it's like, 'Yeah, I was really horny, it was like 11 p.m. and they came over to my apartment and we did [stuff].'"

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Theft in Shaw causes Bon Appetit to spend annual replacement budget by April

Theft in Shaw causes Bon Appetit to spend annual replacement budget by April

The Cornerstone Cafe in the Shaw Student Center at Westminster College is experiencing an abundance of theft—and it’s happening in broad daylight. Students are eating their pizza before they make it to the register, swiftly sneaking food into their pockets and backpacks and making off with the cafe’s utensils and plates.

Bon Appétit cashiers said they have seen students stuffing their to-go containers with far more food than they claim at the register.

Marie Dorronsoro, a full-time cashier at the Cornerstone Cafe, said many students complain about how expensive the food is or that they don’t have the money for a meal.

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Students think campus technology resources need improvement

Students think campus technology resources need improvement

Many students at Westminster College said the availability of technological resources on campus is lacking, and some have even left the school in search of better equipment.

Colin Becker, a senior film major, left Westminster to attend Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and study video production. He said a big motivator in his decision to transfer schools was SLCC's readily available technological resources, which he needs for his degree.

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Career Center director emphasizes the importance of interviews

Career Center director emphasizes the importance of interviews

As Westminster College seniors prepare for graduation, many are also starting the job hunt in preparation to enter the workforce. It's a world Brianna Koucos, director of Westminster College's Career Center, knows intimately, with a specialization in helping students prepare for job interviews.

Koucos landed her first job after graduate school as a career counselor at Westminster College and later moved to Beaverton, Oregon, to work at Nike in its human resources department for two years. Afterward, she worked in career services at the University of Utah before coming back to where she started.

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"Come together and fight back": Sen. Bernie Sanders visits Salt Lake City

"Come together and fight back": Sen. Bernie Sanders visits Salt Lake City

“We can come together and create the future we want.”

That was the overall message at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ tour in Salt Lake City on Friday.

Sanders, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and other Democratic Party leaders met and gave speeches to an enthralled crowd of 3,000 on Friday in hopes of motivating Utah citizens to step up and take action concerning economic, climate and humanitarian issues affecting the state. Their "come together and fight back" tour looks to unite Democrats across the nation with stops in eight states.

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Westminster student attends college thanks to lottery winnings

Westminster student attends college thanks to lottery winnings

Jack “JB” Benton never expected to go to college, much less to end up in Utah, which is over 1,300 miles away from his hometown in Michigan.

Now a sophomore at Westminster College, Benton said his plans changed when his grandmother won the lottery and offered to help him pay for college—an option he never expected to have.

“I think he definitely loves college,” said Tucker Addison, a business management major and Benton's roommate. “He’s a great student and a great friend. He’s a goony guy but is dedicated to his work and loves what he does.”

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Student president ran for re-election with no contest

Student president ran for re-election with no contest

Westminster College sophomore Benjamin Pok recently ran uncontested for the student body president seat and was re-elected for a second term, becoming the first two-year president in ASW's history.

The ASW president heads the executive branch of the college’s student government, which makes him chief liaison to the Board of Trustees and board committees.

Though Pok won the election without a contender, some Westminster students said they see no issue with the lack of competition and said they feel positive about his re-election.

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Course addressing drugs and the criminal justice system is cut from Westminster's curriculum

Course addressing drugs and the criminal justice system is cut from Westminster's curriculum

Now that a course addressing drugs and the criminal justice system has been cut from the curriculum at Westminster College, there's one fewer opportunity for students to engage in conversations about the topic. Though an ASW Life 101 panel discussion addressed the topic on April 4, low event turnout signaled students may need a more structured environment to open conversations and ask questions about the topic.

There were 17 audience members at the Drugs and Justice panel. Four of them were family members of one of the panelists, one was a member of the public unassociated with Westminster who heard about the event on Facebook, nine were ASW officials and three were students.

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Westminster offers first sports management program in the state starting Fall 2017

Westminster offers first sports management program in the state starting Fall 2017

In Fall 2017, Westminster College will become the first institution of higher education in Utah to offer a sports management major, which some said could be an asset for the college when recruiting students who are looking to engage in Utah's sports community.

Utah has over six professional sports teams in the state, numerous collegiate teams and a multitude of ski resorts across the valley. However, colleges in the state have yet to provide students with a dedicated major to learn sports management skills.

“There is a tremendous amount of jobs in sports management in our state and in our country, but there aren’t any programs locally like this that tailor their education specifically to sports business and sports administration,” said Adam Sanft, an adjunct faculty member who will teach the college athletic administration course in the fall. 

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