USF Cribs – Bernie’s Closet Edition

written by: Cosme Lozano

University of St. Francis is a well established and reputable institution in this area. What a lot of people might not realize, or know, is how much the university tries to give back to their students. One of the best ways the school is accomplishing this is through Bernie’s Closet.

I had the chance to speak with Bernie’s Closet organizer, Donna Metlicka. Donna is an associate professor of education here at the College of Education. During our conversation, Donna was able to give me great insight as to how the closet got started, and how students can check it out or get involved!

In addition to the closet, College of Education students can also use Bernie’s Bookshelf as an additional resource. The closet seeks to help education majors, who are trying to build their classrooms up. You can find books and other classroom supplies that enhance student learning in the classroom.

I was able to continue my conversation with Donna, where she provided me more insight on the matter

(Students can catch a break or sleep on these couches. Side note: they are very comfortable!)

If you are student who in the College of Education, Bernie’s Closet and Bookshelf are rooms you need to visit. Even if you are not a student in the College of Education, it still may be worth your time to check out. Each room offers students the chance to look professional as they head into their new careers and job opportunities. I hope you use these great resources!

For students wanting more information, please contact Donna Metlicka, at, dmetlicka@stfrancis.edu

03.16.22 Coffee & Careers – Welcome Spring Creek + The Return of Dayton!

As the seasons change, and as the weather starts to get warmer, there is no better time than now to pursue new career opportunities!

It with great joy that we welcome back Coffee & Careers alum, Dayton Freight! Dayton Freight is recognized as a leader in providing high quality regional LTL transportation services. They accomplish their mission through trained and empowered employees who are dedicated to continuous improvements that focus on their customers and internal processes. If you are looking for a well paying job, flexible work hours, and great leadership, then Dayton Freight is for you!

Welcoming the new kid on the block, I want to now introduce you to Spring Creek! Spring Creek SNF is a provider of Rehabilitation, Skilled Nursing, and Long-Term Care that specializes in Post-Hospital Care. Also provided is Hospice Care, Respite Care, and a variety of therapies.

The facility provides therapy up to 7 days a week alongside 24-hour skilled nursing care. Spring Creek accepts Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance, Private Pay, and will also assist residents and families if they require application and assistance during the Medicaid process.

Spring Creek SNF is committed to providing exceptional and quality care in a professional and safe environment in order to best enhance the quality of life and daily practices for you or your loved one(s).

So how about that? We got an action packed Wednesday for you, and we hope you can attend! As always, free coffee, drinks, and pastries will be provided for students who stop by. The event starts at 10 AM and goes till 11:30 AM.

What I’ve Learned From Applying to Grad School – A Retrospective

written by: Cosme Lozano

We grew up our whole lives thinking about the next step. When we are in elementary school, we cant wait till we’re in middle school, then from middle school we want to go to high school. Once you pass high school, it’s onto college. Time for no parents, sleeping in past your 9 am class, and cramming for the midterm the night before the test. For most people, college is a time to really explore yourself and find what you like and don’t like, whether that be personally or academically. After four years, you finally reach graduation and are ready to conquer the world.

Then the world has other plans

Receiving a bachelors degree is still very important and valuable today. I do not want to get that confused. Having said that, with more people choosing to attend college, a bachelors degree is losing some of its value. This has led me, and countless others, to pursue expand their education past the undergrad level.

Right now is probably a stressful time for many. Midterms are starting up, and classes are in the thick of their coursework. With extracurricular activities, all of this becomes very tiresome and a lot to manage.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Pair all of that with the added responsibility of filling out grad school applications, life becomes very hectic. I always joke with myself that I want to go back to high school already. With how everything is going in my life right now, it sure feels like that all over again. Trying to get good grades, studying for the ACT, and applying to colleges. That’s what I call living the life..

Needless to say, that is what I am doing again. This time however, it feels a lot different.

My time in college and my time in high school share some similarities, but for the most part they have both been completely different periods of my life. At the moment, I am applying for grad programs at universities in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. The application process has not been difficult, but it is a lot. There is a lot of information that needs to be recorded, and paper work that needs to be submitted. All of this is fine with me, and I am glad that college me is better equipped to handle this than my high school self.

One thing you can learn from me is to not procrastinate. One of, if not my biggest weakness, is procrastination. Procrastination is what ruined a lot of chances for me coming out of high school, and it is something I have gotten better at. This time around I procrastinated a lot less, but there was still more I could have done to be prepared.

For anyone reading this, whether you apply to high school or grad school; or if you are just going about your life, try to not procrastinate. It is so easy to fall into that trap, but it is equally as easy to get out of it. Don’t let opportunities pass you by and take control of the life you want for yourself.

Additionally, all the “boring conversations” people have about making connections in school is of the utmost importance here. Fortunately for me, making connections has not been much of a problem for me. I do know some people struggle with this though, and the connections play a huge part in your application process. Whether they be submitting letters of recommendation or just giving you advice, all connections are valuable simply because you do not know what doors they can open for you.

TL/DR: We wait so long for things to pass us by, that sometimes we start to procrastinate. Procrastination and a lack of connections will making applying for masters programs very difficult. Do not wait, and seize control of the life you want for yourself

02.23.22 Coffee & Careers – Bethshan!

All right ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a warm welcome for Coffee and Careers newest member, Bethshan!

For those that may not know, Bethshan provides Christ centered homes and services in communities that honor the value and dignity of adults who have intellectual disabilities. Above all else Bethshan is a home for all individuals where they can feel respected, listened to, and treated fairly.

Bethshan is a faith based organization that operates sixteen homes in the southwest suburbs of Chicago to people who have intellectual disabilities. Residents in our homes receive supervision and training from qualified, highly trained Bethshan employees. We have been providing these services with excellence since 1978, and are committed to continuing to offer an array of living environments to provide lifelong care and support.

For those who are interested, Bethshan will be at Coffee and Careers this Wednesday, (February 23, 2022) from 10 am – 11:30 am. If you would like to join the Bethshan team, or would like experience related to this field, then this is the Coffee and Careers for you! Bethshan will be our sole guest for that day, so they will be able to answer all your questions!

What I Love About College

Written by: Cosme Lozano

Another Valentine’s Day passes, and if you’re like me, you spent it alone. Which isn’t a bad thing. Just because you are alone on this holiday of love does not mean you cannot celebrate. Valentine’s Day is a great day to reflect and appreciate what you love in your life. It can be physical or non-physical. For me, I have to say, I have loved my time in college. While it may not have been your “traditional” college experience, I did a lot of cool things and I got to meet a lot of cool people.

For starters, starting college is as nice as what people make it seem. You now have so much freedom and responsibility, that it’s really on you to get the job done. Some students crack under that while others thrive. Taking off the training wheels from high school was something I really loved. Knowing I was the person in charge of my future really got me more invested into my schooling. I absolutely love the detail and work that went into building myself as a proper college student. That process of “building” was one of the best periods of my life. It was like turning a giant blob of Play-Doh into a pristine castle.

Since I have been a Freshman, USF has been an oasis for me to explore. Going all the way back to the beginning, during freshman orientation, I spent my time exploring the campus and just taking in its old natural beauty. This may have been to my disadvantage, as I really did not socialize with my fellow freshman. Regardless, that was an experience I do not regret and I often look back on eighteen year old me, wide eyed, exploring a new world. I loved every second of it.

Fortunately for me, I have always been a communications major with my minor in marketing. These two paths have offered me some truly marvelous opportunities and experiences. My marketing teachers always made class enjoyable, and some of the lectures in those classes are my all time favorites. The communications department may be one of the smallest within the university, but boy is it a tight knit group of people. The people there and the experiences offered have shaped me into the man I am today. Without the teachers and without all the resources they provide, I would not be here writing to you today. I have much love for our schools radio station (WCSF 88.7 fm) as well as the production work that goes into our on campus news channel (Exploring Joliet).

Both places have smart, creative and passionate students who truly love the work they do. They are “what’s next” in the media world, and it has been a privilege to work with them. I love all of them, and view them as my home away from home. I have expanded that home beyond my major, where I also work in our school’s career success center. The staff and the work that is done in this office is truly amazing. You will not find a group of people who want to see you succeed as much as the folks down in N204 do. The love they have for their job and the students is infectious.

Another thing I love about my time in college is just the campus vibe. If you ever see my on campus, there is a good chance I am speed walking to the beat of the music I’m listening to. In doing so, I always tried to take in the natural scenic beauty of college life. Just seeing students out in the quad, sitting in trees, filming a video in the hallway, or having a free pizza giveaway are all stand out memories. Sometimes those moments felt like something out of a movie.

Being here for four years, I can say that just about everyone here at USF cares about the product. The product is the student. Faculty and staff truly care for this institution and they want to see the betterment and success of its students. I can probably list on one hand my bad interactions with people, and even then it is usually the same person.

Valentine’s Day is a day for love, but too often, we get bogged down in the loneliness of the day. We all want to be loved, but sometimes it is just as valuable to reflect and give thanks on who and what we love the most. My time in college may not have been my picture perfect image, but it has made me into who I am today. Because of that, I will always have love for my college experience and the four years I spent at the University of St. Francis. It has put me on the right track, to figure out this thing we call life.

Happy Valentine's Day Text On Pink Surface

02.16.22 Coffee & Careers – Camp Bow Wow and Joliet Bank & Trust!

Happy Valentine’s day to all! As I write this, the season of love is upon us. Why not spread the love and see potential recruiters? This week we have two special guests coming to Coffee and Careers. We welcome back Joliet Bank & Trust for their second Coffee and Careers, while Camp Bow Wow is a new face to the lineup.

For Joliet Bank & Trust, they need no introduction. They are located nearby at 2108 W Jefferson St, Joliet, IL 60435. Joliet Bank & Trust is your local Wintrust Community Bank. As part of the larger Wintrust Community Bank family, they are built in this area, for this area. Joliet Bank & Trust works hard to be an asset to the people and communities they serve. They work to get to know you and your needs in order to offer the best banking products and even better service. If you are looking at getting work experience with management, money and or banking, then this is a job for you!

Camp Bow Wow has a big impact on the pet care industry – in fact, they’ve disrupted it by creating a daycare that dogs would design for themselves. Dogs visit Camp Bow Wow more than 4 million times a year, and the swiftly growing company has upended the traditional canine kennel model by creating a unique experience for dogs. Camp Bow Wow has an overnight regular day care system that dogs — and their owners — truly love.

These are two different jobs that will offer interested students the ability to enhance their skills in the field, with real world training. As always, for those who attend, they will receive a great opportunity to network and build business relationships with real world business professionals. Students can also enjoy complimentary pastries and coffee. We hope to see you all out there!

Give Back and Educate Tomorrow’s Next Generation – ISAC

written by: Cosme Lozano

If you are a person who is looking at making education your future, or maybe you just want to help people in need, I have the job for you. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) works to make education beyond high school more accessible and affordable for all students who wish to further their education

ISAC (@ISACFinAid) / Twitter

Your duties on the job will include..

  • Mentoring students facing academic, financial, and social barriers to higher education
  • Present to students on the critical steps in the college-going process
  • Advise and inform the parents of possible college-bound students on the college admissions and financial aid process
  • Represent ISAC at college fairs, financial aid nights, conferences, and related events
  • Promote programs and services offered by ISAC to communities throughout the state

Individuals who are interested in working with ISAC will receive a $30,000 salary with added benefits including tuition waiver for IL state universities (reduce tuition costs!)

Start date: June 1st, 2022

The location of the job will vary. ISAC sends near peer mentors primarily to high schools across the state. You will be specifically assigned a region and work with a handful of high schools. If you are working with middle school students, you will be assigned to a single school.

If you are going to work for ISAC, you will need a bachelors degree. Ideally people who graduated high school during or after 2016. A vehicle will also be required

ISAC also asks selected candidates to commit two year to the ISAC Corps

– To apply: please submit a cover letter and resume to https://recruiter.isac.org/

– Unofficial transcripts may be used to apply. Official transcripts will be required upon hire

– Interviews will be scheduled to take place online and may also be held at multiple sites throughout the state, health restrictions permitting.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: please visit, www.isac.org/jointheISACorps

If you have further questions about the program or the selection process, you may contact Renee Martinez, state outreach coordinator, at her email address: Renee.Martinez@illinois.gov

Photo Of Woman Tutoring Young Boy

33rd Annual CCCI Career Fest

written by: Cosme Lozano

The 33rd Annual CareerFest is set for Friday, February 11, 2022 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. CareerFest will include local and regional employers offering internships, and full-time positions in business, government, healthcare, manufacturing, non-profits, science, and social services.  

Using an online platform, students will be able to meet with employers and hiring organizations at their virtual booths through groups and 1-1 sessions.

If you are a student seeking full-time or internship opportunities, plan to participate in CareerFest. With a chance to connect with employers in a variety of career fields including business, government, and non-profits who value the skills and experiences unique to students from small, private liberal arts colleges.

There is no cost for students or alumni to register for CareerFest.

For students who choose to attend, there will no shortage of familiar employers..

That list includes:

  • Amazon
  • American Red Cross of Illinois
  • Ace Hardware
  • Alarm Detection Systems Inc.
  • Athletico Physical Therapy
  • Bethshan Associaton
  • Chicago Commons Association
  • Children’s Home + Aid
  • City of Naperville
  • CNA Insurance
  • ComPsych
  • Dayton Freight
  • Enterprise Holdings
  • First American Bank
  • Gerber Collision & Glass
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  • Illinois Department of Corrections
  • Illinois Office of the Auditor General
  • Illinois State Police (Recruitment)
  • NYU Teacher Residency
  • Paylocity
  • The Art Institute of Chicago

And so much more!

For those who would like to take the next step in their careers, please follow this link

The link will take you to Handshake, where students can then sign up for specific sessions with employers at their designated times. If you do not have a Handshake account, one will need to be made in order to sign up.

We strongly encourage all students of any grade to attend this event!

02.02.22 Coffee & Careers – Dayton Freight and Joliet Bank & Trust!

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great excitement that I can tell you that Coffee and Careers is back again for the Spring semester! We are kicking things off with TWO great employers you definitely do not want to miss. We will be hosting employers and recruiters from Dayton Freight and Joliet Bank & Trust.

Dayton Freight is recognized as a leader in providing high quality regional LTL transportation services. They accomplish their mission through trained and empowered employees who are dedicated to continuous improvements that focus on their customers and internal processes. If you are looking for a well paying job, flexible work hours, and great leadership, then Dayton Freight is for you!

Joliet Bank & Trust is located here in our backyard, at 2108 W Jefferson St, Joliet, IL 60435. Joliet Bank & Trust is your local Wintrust Community Bank. As part of the larger Wintrust Community Bank family, they are built in this area, for this area. Joliet Bank & Trust works hard to be an asset to the people and communities they serve. They work to get to know you and your needs in order to offer the best banking products and even better service. If you are looking at getting work experience with management, money and or banking, then this is a job for you!

We are so excited to be back, and we are even more excited to see all of you on Wednesday! As always, for those who attend, they will receive a great opportunity to network and build business relationships with real world business professionals. Students can also enjoy complimentary pastries and coffee. We hope to see you all out there!

The key to success in school is… sleep?

written by: Cosme Lozano

We are all probably guilty at some point in our lives of trying to either catch some Z’s in class, or even worse, missing class to sleep. School is a tool that offers students the ability to open more doors for themselves. I don’t know about you, but I do not feel like opening doors when I have so little energy and sleep. Because of this, is is imperative that we build good sleep schedules to avoid this. Getting poor sleep can play a role in negatively impacting your school life, but more importantly, it shows up big in your personal life.

Before I drop some data on you, I want to first go over my own personal experience with sleep and sleep cycles. For a lot of my early school life I had no sleep schedule. I just simply went to sleep whenever I felt tired enough. It wasn’t really till my junior year of high school where I decided I wanted and needed to change it. Long random nights can be fun, but they do you no good in the classroom the next morning at 8 am.

I was always a B or C student for about half of my high school career. It was a random day, mid way through my first semester of junior year, where I really wanted to change the narrative I had been building for myself. I wanted to be more committed to my studies and I knew a good place to start was with my sleep. I built a sleep schedule where I was going to sleep at set times for set days. Immediately, I saw better results in my grades and I also noticed more energy. I think what it really comes down to is a formula, or system. I am one of those people who really do well in systems, and this was the start of my personal school system.

I now want to list off some information that is useful in regard to sleeping..

  1. Coming from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, “Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety” (NIH, 2021)
  2. Sleep plays a crucial role in growth and development of young children and teens. Both physically and mentally
  3. Improves concentration within the classroom (more concentration -> better focus -> better retention -> better grades)
  4. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression via MentalHealth.org.UK
  5. If you are lacking sleep, you are more likely to eat junk food or eat before you go to bed. These can both lead to weight gain.
  6. Good sleep builds stronger memories
  7. Sleep plays a huge role for athletes too. In a study done by Stanford University, they found, “men’s basketball players who extended their sleep to 10 hours a night found several positive outcomes. The players ran faster in both half-court and full-court sprints. Their shooting improved by at least 9%8 for both free throws and three-point shots. The athletes also reported improved physical and mental well-being.” (SleepFoundation, 2021)
  8. Lack of sleep in college students is known to cause academic failure, compromised learning, agitation, and an impaired mood (NCBI, 2014)

If you are going to take anything away from this article, it’s that sleep is good and it positively impacts you on a day to day scale. Academically, physically, mentally and socially.

Sleep is good. Go to sleep.