Major Madness 2013 a hit for students, faculty, staff, employers

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, Anjelica Novo '13, administrative assistant with JU Experiential Learning; Carolyn Crist, marketing intern with JU Study Abroad; freshman pre-med/biology major Bryan Font of Manalapan Township, N.J.; and freshman aviation major Justin Guistwhite of Philadelphia, Pa. (Photos by Kevin Hogencamp/Jacksonville University)

By Kevin Hogencamp/Jacksonville University

Major Madness, which in its three years has become a signature Jacksonville University event, means different things to different students. Some want to learn more at the annual information fair about majors and minors, some want to know what jobs will be available when they graduate, and some want to know what employers look for in prospective employees.

For freshman sports business major Stephanie Frances of Tampa, Fla., being able to meet and quiz Association of Tennis Professional World Tour staffers during Major Madness 2013 on Wednesday, Oct. 2, was an unexpected, valuable experience.

“I like sports and I like the business side of things,” she said. “It’s one thing to know what field you want to study, like I do, but I am still very open about what exactly I want to do in sports business. So, to be able talk to people who are actually doing the work, and to get advice from them, was very helpful.”

Frances was among about 375 students who mingled at Major Madness in front of Davis Student Commons with faculty members, academic advisers, graduate program and career development staff, campus organization representatives and Jacksonville-area employers. More than 100 faculty and staff members and about 50 employers participated in the event.

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, sophomore business and engineering major Ellis Harr of Chattanooga, Tenn.; JU President Tim Cost '81; Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette, JU communications professor and Jacksonville education commissioner; and senior exercise science major Scott Del Vecchio of Indialantic, Fla.

“One goal in hosting this event was to help our students gain a better understanding of major and minor options at Jacksonville University,” said organizer Katrina Coakley, JU’s director of academic advising. “Also, we hoped that this event would allow students an opportunity to connect what they are doing in their majors with internships and employment prospects available to them. Finally, we wanted to provide an occasion for faculty to network with employers and alumni to better serve students when discussing internship and career options.”

Rose Newman, a freshman marine science major from Valley Forge, Pa., had difficulty pulling herself away from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) representatives at Major Madness. Indeed, all three of the FDEP staffers who were on hand at Major Madness are JU graduates, including drinking water environmental specialist Joni Perry, and once were in Newman’s shoes.

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, Joni Perry '05, drinking water environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and Freshman marine science major Rose Newman of Valley Forge, Pa.

“This is great. I have known what I want to do for a long time, but I had no idea that there were so many opportunities here in Florida,” Newman said.

JU Prof. Brian Lane enjoyed conversations throughout the two hours with eager, inquisitive students – mostly undergraduates. Representing the physics program, Lane pointed students toward internship and research project opportunities.

“It is very helpful for students for faculty members to be here because not only do they get information about their majors, but also advice on what they should be looking for as far as experiential learning,” he said.

In addition to the serious nature of Major Madness, participating students won door prizes, got a free lunch in the Learning Center, and the JU community was treated to free hearing screenings by the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center.

“We have great faculty and staff here at JU and I think that their commitment to helping our students was evidence in the number who participated as well as how friendly and welcoming they were to students who came to the event,” Coakley said.

 

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, the event planning team members were Katrina Coakley, director of academic advising; Emily Asay, Career Development Center assistant director; Nancy Howard, academic adviser; Devan Coughlin, Career Development Center director; Roderick Jungbauer, Advising Center assistant director; and Carrie Ayer, Advising Center office associate

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, Angelica Novo '13, administrative assistant with JU Experiential Learning; Carolyn Crist, marketing intern with JU Study Abroad; freshman pre-med/biology major Bryan Font of Manalapan Township, N.J.; and freshman aviation major Justin Guistwhite of Philadelphia, Pa. (Photos by Kevin Hogencamp/Jacksonville University)

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, junior aviation management major Matt Shank of Leesburg, Fla.; and Pam McGuire, recruiter with Prudential Insurance Co.

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, JU Katrina Coakley, director of academic advising; and freshman sports business major Stephanie Frances of Tampa, Fla.

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, Kim Capriotti, JU associate professor of finance and accounting; Bill Grant '92, president of National Financial Services Group; and freshman accounting major Benedito Agostinho of Miami

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY MAJOR MADNESS 2013: From left, Dr. Brian Lane, JU assistant physics professor; Dr. Pam Crawford, JU Department of Mathematics chair; and sophomore engineering major Dylan Shaw of Redding, Calif.

 

 

 

 

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