4 posts categorized "Books"


Got Extra Books? 'StEPP up' and Donate Them at USciences

This blog post was written by Priya Panchal PharmD'16. She is a peer mentor for the Student Excellence and Professional Preparation (StEPP) program at USciences.

The Student Excellence and Professional Preparation (StEPP) program is an on-campus organization mentored by a select group of students. Each student is dedicated to mentoring their very own group of first-year undergraduate students as they progress into the professional years of the program. In addition to advising these students, the StEPP Program has been involved in a variety of events to serve Philadelphia. Since the initiation of the StEPP Program, we have coordinated a book drive to donate SAT, ACT and AP exam preparation books to high schools in the city. Antonella Frattarelli PharmD'15, also a StEPP mentor, began the drive three years ago. As she is off on rotations, Chelsea Cunningham PharmD'16 and I have carried on this responsibility.

Recently, we coordinated the donation of preparation books to Parkway West High School in West Philadelphia. We are very appreciative of Tim Dunn, the source of the majority of books that were donated to the school. Tim works for “Books Through Bars”, a bookstorelocated on Baltimore Avenue. This bookstore is all volunteer and nonprofit, as they distribute free books and educational materials to incarcerated people in PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE, VA, and WV. They also offer programs to educate and engage the public to think critically about the issue of imprisonment.

When I drove up to the school, the principal stepped out with eight freshman boys who were excited and willing to carry the boxes of books inside.  The principal was ecstatic when she saw how many boxes there were! She said that the books will be given to the course coordinator of the test prep course at the high school, and the books that are not used will be given to the Student Activity Center affiliated with the school. Before leaving, the principal requested for me to send out the contact information of those who were involved in the drive so that she could have the students practice their writing skills by writing thank you letters.

Overall, the drive was a tremendous success, as we donated 60+ books to the school! StEPP is continuing to collect books throughout the year, so if anyone has books they are no longer using, please send them our way!!!


New Year, New Semester

Our new Spring 2014 semester begins tomorrow. All new classes, all new professors, all new books, all new schedule. We picked our schedules back in November but now it's time to start the classes we rushed to register for! At the start of the new year many student begin with a healthy start by joining one of the ARC (Athletic Recreation Center) intramural leagues or group fitness classes. I personally look forward to picking up the new group fitness schedule for the semester to see what classes I can attend! The New Year gives everyone a fresh start in a familiar place so I look forward to bigger and better things this year!


Hunger Games

Many people try to rank things like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.  I never saw the point in arguing.  In my mind, they are all in a category of things so good they need no rank. I like that they make movies of these books because they enhance the story.  I go to movies expecting something that will complement and expand on the story because, as all readers know, the books are always better.  This movie series is particularly striking to me because it does a better job of complementing the series than I feel others have (the others are still wonderful).  When you read the book, everything is told from Katniss' perspective which is a truly great adventure.  However, you only see her view of other's views of everything.  The movies take a step back and show how everything is happening.  The eminent riots are much more apparent in the movie than they are in the book because Katniss has no idea that's happening.  Overall, both the movies and the books are brilliant works that give you a temporary escape from any problems you may have.  After all, that is what good literature and art does.


Resources Right On Campus

You will find that you will need all the guidance you can get starting the first day you step on campus until the day you graduate.  For almost all newcomers here, the USciences experience presents new challenges to its students every day.  Some may find the experience academically demanding and may wish for a tutor, whereas others might desire to continue their studies after graduation and need the appropriate advisors.  All over campus, there are services available to students to help them out in virtually any realm.

Below is an outline of some major campus resources, many of which I have utilized before without disappointment.  My descriptions are brief, and so there are likely many more features to each service.  Please browse through the links I provide in each one.

Athletic/Recreation Center

    The "ARC" as we call it, is a great place to unwind an get in a few games of ping pong or pool with some friends.  If you've been feeling out of shape (or have been hitting the books way too much), take some time to exercise and get the blood flowing.  It really is a great component of campus.  It is important to maintain a fitness level that is appropriate for you.  In my opinion, the best feature of the ARC is the group fitness schedule--pick out a class and try it out!

Career Services

    This is an excellent resource for any student in any year of study.  Career Services is happy to make an appointment with you to talk about anything about your future goals--resumes, interviews, internships, careers appropriate for your major, or even majors appropriate for your dream career.  They just might even help you answer the age-old question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Dining Services

    All freshmen and several upperclassmen purchase a meal plan for the semester.  There are different meal plans and different components to each plan (meal blocks, declining balance, etc.) to accomodate each student best.  If you are a commuter or an off-campus resident, you may not need or want meal plans like on-campus residents.  This is a good resource to become well informed of meal plans and to check out what's on the daily menu.

Student Academic Support Services

    Abbreviated SASS, this is the place to go for those who are having trouble learning a certain subject.  Student tutors are usually available in a wide range of subjects, especially chemistry and physics.  If you don't need a tutor, apply to be one!  There are also scheduled times for Supplemental Instruction classes on a variety of subjects.  These classes are usually held in the evenings and are taught by graduate students. 

Student Health and Counseling Center

    Feeling sick?  Hurt yourself?  The SHAC can provide you with what you need to take care of yourself and get better.  Check out their page on the USciences' website to learn more about the people behind the Health and Counseling Center. 

USciences Bookstore

    The campus bookstore is a convenient place to stock up on supplies and purchase new or used textbooks.  There's also a wide range of items such as clothing, greeting cards, snacks, and other necessities.  On their website, it is easy to look for the books you need (and to figure out prices) just by searching by the course.  Click here to try it.

Your Academic Advisor!

    To me, the best resource I've had so far in my academic career is my Academic Advisor.  I highly recommend meeting with your assigned Academic Advisor at least twice a semester.  It is good to "check-in" to talk about goals and anything else of interest for the semester, then meet up again weeks later to discuss your progress.  It is a great way for your advisor to learn about you and help guide you better.  Advisors can assist you in making decisions.  Are you unsure if you should take one class over another?  If you wish to continue your education, is medical school or graduate school best for you?  Should you get involved in a research project?  If you seek any information, I recommend speaking to your advisor first.  Click here to see a list of the entire faculty--your advisor is probably one of them!

USciences provides you with everything you need.  Your job is to take advantage of the resources around you to make your USciences experience just what you want.


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