Episode 4 10.16

Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is Episode 4.

Are you interested in helping first-year Honors students transition to UConn? Do you want to enhance your leadership and communication skills? Become a UNIV peer facilitator, and earn 6 Honors credits while leading a class of first-year Honors students and working closely with a UConn faculty member. There will be information sessions on Tuesday, October 17th at 4:45pm, Wednesday, October 25th at 5:30pm, and Thursday, November 2nd at 4:45 pm, all in the Shippee Pequot Room.

The Honors Humanities and Arts Collective is hosting a professional development workshop about creative entrepreneurship on Thursday, October 19th at 5:15pm in the Buckley Classroom. Guest speaker Allison Kuhlman will talk about about starting a creative business and marketing yourself.

And if you’re a junior or senior, there’s a thesis retreat coming up on Sunday, October 22 from 1-5pm. Whether you’re planning, researching, analyzing or writing, the retreat will provide a structured environment, with time for chatting with friends, focused writing, and breaks – snacks included. RSVP at honors.uconn.edu/thesisretreat/

We’ve seen rave reviews about the opening weekend Honors community service event in collaboration with Jumpstart, here’s Associate Director of Community Outreach, Gina DeVivo Brassaw, and junior Digital Media and Design student Anna Janott to talk about how you can find a community service project that fits your schedule.

Gina DeVivo Brassaw – Students run all of our programs, so we have 110 student leaders that run a variety of different programs or services or initiatives. For service programs we have semester-long programs that students can get involved and go out weekly to area non-profits, students can go on trips around the country, serving and living together and reflecting about different social issues, or they can get involved in one-time projects. Community service days are when agencies come to us with weekend projects. everything from raking leaves to running bingo at nursing homes, to running Special Olympics events. And students sign up online, we provide the transportation, and they serve for 2-4 hours on the weekend and they come back and give a quick evaluation of the program, and that’s it. It’s a great way to get involved easily without much of a time commitment in case they have a lot on their plate. Typically they get involved in that type of program to start getting involved.

D: How can students get involved in Community Outreach?

The best way to figure out what a student wants to do is to go to our website: communityoutreach.uconn.edu. So, I typically recommend that they go on the website, figure out what programs they’re interested in and contact the student leader directly.

D: And who are the people that serve with Community Outreach?

Well a lot of people come into UConn wanting to help and wanting to serve. Community Outreach gives them that opportunity, so they come from a background of wanting to do community service. Or, you get others that didn’t realize it was their calling and then they find it when they come here. It really is inspiring seeing all these people who are just so dedicated to what they are doing and who has been involved since coming to UConn and will continue to be past UConn. They just work to help others and inspire others to be the same.

D: If you’re already a student leader who’s passionate about public service and/or the environment, there are several scholarship and fellowship opportunities available to you. The Truman Scholarship, Udall Scholarship, Mt. Vernon Fellowship and Newman Civic Fellowship all seek change agents who demonstrate passion, intelligence, commitment, and leadership on issues important to them.  And there’s an information session on Monday, October 16th at 4:30pm in Rowe 420.


For involvement out in the wilderness, UConn Outdoors offers something for everyone.

My name is Leah Rossettie. I am the coordinator for Outdoor Programs, part of UConn Recreation

D: What does that entail? What’s offered under that umbrella?

We have our rental center down in the Student Union, room 228, our Adventure Center, that’s where we do equipment rentals so anything from backpacks, mountain bikes, two burner grills that are great for tailgating. Sleds for snow in the winter. Beyond that we do weekend trips. Sometimes a simple day trip. If you’ve never been mountain biking or rock-climbing before we can take you out, teach you the basics, and get you on real terrain out there. Some overnight trips over the weekend, sometimes backpacking, some overnight mountain biking, and then extended trips over the breaks. Week-long adventures. This Thanksgiving break we’re going to the Grand Canyon, over winter break we’re going to Yellowstone National Park for the first time ever. If you’re not so sure you want to go that full level of commitment going off campus we have evening clinics. Paddle clinics, which take place in Brundage pool in SRF; we also have backpacking 101, where we talk about things to pack, good things to eat, things you want to avoid doing, and even bike maintenance clinics taught by our biking mechanics down in the Adventure Center if you want to learn how to take care of your bike on your own and these offer the knowledge tools to do that.

D: Do you have to know anything about mountain biking or rock climbing in order to go on these trips?

You do not! We are super beginner-friendly. Everything we do is geared towards entry-level beginners. Someone who has always wanted to do something and never had an avenue to get involved with it before. We try to remove barriers, and that’s a big part of our trips, is that we try to educate people on if this becomes a life-long passion for you, we’d like to give you the tools to do it safely and responsibly in the outdoors. So we’re a really good introduction if you want to learn how to do something like rock climbing or mountain biking, cross country skiing. Whatever it is, we have professional and student staff go out on those trips to guide you through those activities we do. We do have different level of intensity trips. Some are much more laid back than others, but it’s all beginner friendly. We provide the equipment and instruction, and vehicle transportation out to the site.

D: How would a student go about signing up to participate in any of the programs?

Any and all of our programs registration, because we do have limited spaces, is handled through our online registration portal, recreg.uconn.edu. You’ll be able to scroll through our calendar. You’ll see not just UConn Outdoors, but also any offerings for Bodywise, Intramurals, or any other special events that we have going on. You can click on any of those individual events and get a bit more of a description, and then you can register. If it’s a free, local trip, as many of our local trips are, on the weekends that are day trips, then you’re all set. Those rosters are kind of fluid, so you can add or drop up until the Wednesday before, and then we kind of lock up and prepare for those people who are going on the trip. If it’s a paid trip, you have until the end of the next business day to come in and make payment on that trip to confirm the registration. At that point, we start getting more information out as the trip gets closer. If it’s an overnight, like the Grand Canyon, we obviously have some of those pre-trip meetings so that we can make sure you’re prepared to go on this adventure. Or just drop into the UAC and ask around because our staff are definitely excited to tell you about some of the different trips and some of their favorite trips.

D: There are costs associated with the overnight trips and some of the programming, what about renting equipment?

So our equipment rentals they do have costs associated with them. They are extremely affordable compared to if you went to a commercial outfitter. We have everything from cross country skis, tents, backpacks, so if you go with us and you really enjoyed it, and there’s no spaces on any more backpacking trips for the rest of the semester, and you have a couple of friends and want to get together and do it yourself, you can absolutely do that. Our staff are happy to help you with places to go. It depends on how long you want to rent it for. We have day rates, weekend rates, and week long rates, depending on the item. But again, they’re extremely competitive if you compared it to what a commercial retailer would be charging.

D: And it’s right on campus!

It is right on campus, yes, so it’s super convenient location.

That’s all for this week, thanks for listening. Feedback and segment suggestions are encouraged, visit honors.uconn.edu/podcast. While there, enter to win a limited edition Honors Program long sleeve t-shirt, by entering the code word, adventure.