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A Short History of the E-Warrior Nation

a gif of several laptop and tablets

Just look at how far technology has come in the last two decades!


Oh beloved laptop, what would I do without you?

We are all very lucky to go to a university that takes into account the ever-changing technology world. Often referred to as a “Laptop University,” WSU gives each incoming student– freshmen and transfer students– their choice of the most recent Apple or PC computer upon admittance into the university. Two years later, they are able to get the new laptop model and when they graduate they have the ability to purchase a laptop as well. Recently, Winona State University became the first public university in the Midwest to distribute both laptops and tablets to their students.

Because the laptop program has had such an impact on our university, I thought a few info-graphics would be a great way to display some fun facts regarding it. After talking with a WSU alumna, faculty members and digging around the Internet, I found some interesting information to share with you guys.

It probably doesn’t come as surprise that most of you, approximately 65%, chose an Apple laptop over a PC. The growing popularity of Apple computers and Apple in general is a relatively new trend. An alumna told me that seeing a Mac computer on campus back in 2000 when she enrolled was very rare, and the only students who used them were the art students. Weird, right? It seems just the opposite these days. In recent years Apple has taken over the technology world and I’m sure we will see that 65% rise as younger generations begin attending WSU.

Surprise, surprise! The same trend can be said for the tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tablet and the iPad Mini. Tablets at WSU were just introduced the spring of 2014, and only 50% of students received one. I don’t have one ( :( ), as I only had one year left before graduating when they were introduced. For those of you who do have them, consider yourself very lucky! I really think our society is going to start pulling away from the laptop and using only tablets. My roommate is student teaching for her degree in special education and she says she uses her iPad mini with students daily! They really are becoming a part of the lives of individuals.

When the laptop program was first implemented 18 years ago, most of us were at home watching Disney movies. Most individuals were limited to large desktop computers and those in business programs were the only ones to use laptops. Three short years later, the program was in full effect, and Winona State students had the choice between an IBM ThinkPad and an iBook. If you’ve ever seen an IBM ThinkPad you would probably wonder how students ever carried something like that around campus. They are massive laptops around 1” thick, and only carried around 6GB of storage! Now days, most iPhones and Droids have more storage than that.

The University went on further to see what it’s students wanted and they responded, “Bigger and better.” Since then WSU has brought in brands such as Gateway Toshiba and HP, and most recently tablets. Of the roughly 10,000 students enrolled in WSU,  100% now have laptops.

Soon IT will announce it’s newest additions to the Winona state laptop family. New versions will be available for students this upcoming year. In February, there was showcase event where students could preview the devices being considered for the next hardware update.  Although the final decision about new devices is a mystery, we know that WSU will be sure to impress like it has done for the past 18 years.

This is just a short history of how we became the e-Warrior nation and you can find more information about the history of the Laptop Program on the Information Technology Services webpage.

I also want to issue a special thank you to Maureen Dolezal Anderson (’05) and Ken Janz, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Information Officer, for their help with this post.

–Katlyn Plourde

Updated by: Rachel Adam

Warriors to Warriors: Career Advice from Alumni

Blog post graphic featuring Warrior-to-Warriors  typography

As this year’s graduating class leaves academia for the workforce, here’s a little advice from Warriors who have already made that transition. Be sure to join the Winona State Alumni group on LinkedIn. #WarriorsForever:

1. Continue to Learn

“Just because college is over, that doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Continue to seek out ways to educate yourself so you can continue to learn and grow throughout your careers and in life.”– Julie C.

“Keep learning! Reaching for knowledge will take you far in your career and in life.”– Charlotte Roraff ’99 and ’01

“You have just completed a four(ish) year college “sprint” – now begins the career marathon. You know a lot, but not everything. Keep learning, stay relevant, and most of all be competent. Best of luck!”–Bekki Anderson ’01

“Never stop learning and developing yourself. And, like others, I encourage you to build and utilize your personal network. It will produce most of your career and business opportunities.” –Daniel Mortensen ’79

“Seek out and take advantage of unusual opportunities.” – Carol Sheffer ’59

2. Work Hard and Persist

“Your degree may open doors but it is what you do with it once you go through the door that matters most.”– Tom Liskey ’80

“Don’t be too prideful to start at the bottom and have to work your way up.”– Samantha Pepprock

“Take advantage of your network and don’t be afraid to take risks and reach high.”– Matt Wandzel

“Take the average person’s work to the extreme, (if the average salesperson makes 10 phone calls a day, make 100) and I guarantee you will succeed. Persistence beats resistance. – Cody Ellinghuysen

“If you want it, you need to prove you deserve it. At this point of your career, you are above no position in your field you have a long time ahead of you to get to where you want to be.” – Brant Hilson ’02

“Be relevant, nobody like the new kid who leaves at 5pm every day, but everyone likes the new kid who is willing to roll up their sleeves and help you at 5pm.” – Mike Mowry

3. Build a Professional Network and Maintain Those Relationships

“Don’t burn bridges in your professional life… you will never know when you need someone to help you! Networking is your friend in any career you may go into.”– Heather P.

“Always keep networking and maintaining your relationships. Find a mentor and mentor others.”– Christina Walburn ’02

“Being able to do the work is the minimum entrance requirement. Building and maintain positive relationships will open many doors for you.”– Brad Ballinger ’83

“Follow your dreams, set goals, work hard, treat others how you would want others to treat you, be a team player. My first job out of college was working with a company where there was a lot of politics. It wasn’t the “all professionals and respectful environment” I thought the “career world” would be. The best advice somebody ever gave me (30 yrs ago) was don’t take everything personally but take it professionally. Discern the advice that would be useful and throw away the rest. Be the professional example and be kind to others.” – Rhonda Puetz ’85

4. Consider Your Long-term Career Goals

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you’re in.” – Craig Jeranek ’11

“Ask for what you want. Employers don’t want to develop your career for you. They can help aid your career development, but you have to know what you want and ask for it (within reason of course).” – Rachel Haabala ’03

“In an interview, be sure to ask the interviewer how others who have held the position you are applying for in the past have developed as professionals within that role and how that role prepared them for growth in the company. This will help you determine if your potential employer plans for growth opportunities beyond that role or if you are truly in a dead end job.” – Justin Day ’12

5. It is Not What You Do, But How You Do It

“Follow your heart, but take your brain with you”– Tim Rendall ’79

“Keep a positive attitude and outlook of the work you’re doing– it’s noticed by leadership, and will take you far.” – Morgan Wright ’13

“Communicate eye to eye.”– Mark Wallace ’80

“Chase your dreams, the money will follow. Do what you love, and do it with everything you have.” – Paul DiGioia ’85

6. Save and Invest Your Money

“Hold off on making any big purchases and try to live like a college student the first few years after college. Invest the money you save.”– DeAnna Goddard

“Work hard, spend wisely and invest early. Let the money you earn work for you to enhance your life vs. being trapped by a huge payment plan.”– Corey Mercer

7. Find a Balance Between Work and Life

“Work is stressful, especially right when you start, so you have to figure out a way to leave work at work and enjoy your downtime.”– Alyssa D.

8. Join WSU’s Alumni LinkedIn Group
Read more advice and connect with these and other fellow Warrior grads to help you stay #WarriorStrong in your new careers!

By the WSU Alumni Relations and Career Services Offices

A Final Farewell

three college girls as freshmen and seniors

It’s been a long, fun journey from freshmen to seniors.

As the days continue to tick down and boxes are checked on my graduation checklist, it’s beginning to seem daunting that I’m really going to be thrust out into the real world after switching my tassel at commencement. It’s not that I’m afraid of where I’m going….rather, I think it’s that I’m afraid of what I’m leaving behind.

Winona has been such a loving and exciting home to me for the past four years, a place where I’ve made the best of friends, met the best of professors, and expanded my horizons beyond what I ever thought possible. I’m afraid to leave that behind, to lose ties, to say goodbye to a home that treated me well.

At the same time, that fear is comforting, because fear of leaving means that I chose a really amazing school for me. Apprehension about leaving my academic career behind means that I’ve learned so much, and anxiety about missing people means that I’ve made true friendships that have grown to be a part of my heart.

I don’t think I can thank any one person for that.

I thank the town, the teachers along the way, the people who supported me, the beauty of the bluffs, and the experiences that have made my time at Winona truly the time of my life. Thanks for following me through my journey at Winona State University, and cheers to the years to come.

–Leah Dobihal

4 Ways to Save $25 This Week

cleaning room

But don’t forget to mop your floors for the love of Wazoo!

It’s that time of year again when finals are in full swing and you’re stressed, your roommate’s stressed, the entire campus is stressed. Sadly, I am not an exam expert and I have no secrets to help you miraculously pass that lecture class you skipped for two consecutive weeks in April.

What I do have though is a friendly reminder to properly clean your dorm room before you check out. The hassle of packing up and cleaning on top of all the stuff you have to do for finals sucks, I know. When I heard the checkout requirements I panicked. I don’t even own a broom, let alone a mop, but with help from our desk assistants I will prevail.

Here is how I–and you–will avoid the $25 improper check out fee:

1. Actually Mop or Vacuum Your Floor
I cannot stress this enough. The one step students seem to think they’re exempt from is cleaning their floors. This is not true. You will be charged. If you have carpet, you need to vaccum; if you have tile, you need to mop. In the event that you are unfamiliar with mopping it’s important to sweep your room before mopping otherwise you’re just pushing sticky gunk around while you mop. It’s a 0/10 in terms of enjoyability. I’ll say it again, you are not going to pull a fast one on your RA. They will know that your floor is not cleaned, charge you, and refuse to check you out until it is cleaned–so just avoid the trouble and clean your floors.

2. Do Not Stuff the Community Trash Can
Common space garbage cans are for common space garbage. Nothing is more infuriating than not being able to check out because someone in your hall was too unmotivated to go the extra flight of stairs to take their trash outside. Your actions affect your entire floor, and when you don’t take your trash to an outside location and let pile it up in a kitchen or bathroom trashcan instead, you risk ensuring that your entire floor is charged for your laziness. So don’t be a jerk and take out your trash.

3. Use Your Front Desk
Remember how I said I had no mop? It turns out that that’s entirely okay. The front desk is there for that very reason. If you go to your hall’s front desk, you will be given the option to check out whatever cleaning supplies and utilities you may need in order to get your room to the hall’s standards of clean. It’s free and it’s convenient, but be sure not to hoard everything for incredibly long. Other students need to check out too, so when you’re done, don’t let the mop sit in your room an extra two hours. Take it back promptly.

4. Check Your Email
Your RA did they best they could to clue you in on everything that needed to be done at your required floor meeting that you all totally attended. But in the event that your memory has failed you, check your email because your res hall director should have emailed you a “Res Hall Checklist” with an itinerary of what you need to get done before you can properly check out. It features such important tasks like “Take your bike home,” “Take your bike home” and “If you do not take your bike home it will be donated and you will never see it again.” But in all seriousness, the Res Hall email is important to check. Even you just forget an item you will be charged an improper check out fee, so play it safe rather than sorry.

These may seem like common sense, but based on multiple RA stories you’d be shocked. So with that I wish you all happy HAPPY finals, may you get lots of easy questions and get that 2% bump you need for that A.

–Hannah Carmack

Thnks fr th Mmrs, WSU!

Howarts students through hats in air

We did it–hats off to us, Class of 2015!

For the last 5 years of my life, Winona has been my home, and to be honest, I have no idea how I’m supposed to address moving on from here, but here goes nothing! Graduation is more than just getting a degree; it’s ending a huge, important chunk of your life. Yes, I’ve taken over 150 credits of classes and I finally will get to walk across the stage and call myself a college grad, but it’s so much more than that, and that’s already so incredible!

When I first came to college, I had no idea that I would be where I am today, or that I would have made the friends I have, or experienced what I have. The last 5 years have molded me into a person I could not be more proud of.

Winona is where I found myself and where I was able to authentically be me for the first time. It’s where I first came out of the closet thanks to the family I made with Full Spectrum – something I will cherish for the rest of my life. It’s where I first fell in love with an amazing guy and eventually had my first heartbreak. It’s where I learned that I have a voice and discovered it’s ability to change the world.

Winona is where I found my RunnerUp crew with whom I got to laugh every week. It’s where I had my first drink (and of course got drunk for the first time). It’s where I learned what stress really is and it’s where I discovered my passion. It’s where I met friends who I can’t imagine calling anything but family. It’s where my love for music grew more than I ever thought it could. It’s where I made mistakes both small and large and realized that I can learn from all of them.

On May 9, 2015, I will walk across that stage and enter the real world; the actual real world (you know, the one you thought you were entering after high school?), and I could not be more excited to see what comes next. All my hard work has paid off and I finally get to celebrate that. The best part about graduation, besides getting a degree, is that now I have 5 years of laughs, smiles, tears, excitement, and love that I get to look back on and remember forever.

I wouldn’t change a single day of the experience I had at WSU and I am so thrilled for the next chapter in the extraordinary novel that is my life.

Congratulations WSU class of 2015 and good luck! WE DID IT!

–Garrett Bowling

How an Earthquake in Nepal Affects Us All

Stop by Kryzsko Commons and show your support for those affected by the Nepal earthquake, like Sourab and his sister, Supriya.

Stop by Kryzsko Commons and show your support for those affected by the Nepal earthquake, like Sourab and his sister, Supriya.

On April 25, one of the most powerful earthquakes took place in Nepal. This 7.8 magnitude earthquake impacted the whole country of Nepal and it’s neighboring countries too. It claimed the lives of over 5,000 people. While this earthquake happened close to eight thousand miles away from us, it has had an impact on people all over the world, including a few students from our very own Winona State University.

My friend Sourab Bhatta, a junior, is one of those students. He is from Kathmandu, Nepal and came to WSU three years ago to pursue a business degree. After the news headlines about the tragic earthquake, I talked to him about how he personally is handling the crisis back at home. Though the news was shocking and upsetting, Sourab is working through his difficult emotions by taking steps to support his friends and family back in Nepal them even though he is far away.

What was your first reaction when you heard about the earthquake?

I was shocked at first, because I never expected the news. It totally came as a surprise. It was 6am when a friend texted me about the news.

How has the earthquake affected you even though you are Winona, MN?

It affected me because some of my relatives’ houses collapsed in the earthquake. Also, people I’d known for a while had died in this event. It’s really personal; it’s really close to my heart.

Have you been able to contact your family? How are your friends doing?

I have been able to call my family and they’ve been calling me too. The first few days were tough because they didn’t have telephone lines or electricity. But the next few days, it got better. My friends are doing okay. Most of them have been living outside in tents–even in the rain. It’s wet, and they’re all outside.

Is that the reason for the tent and the fasting?

Yes, I wanted to be able to experience what they are going through also. And along with living in tents, a lot of people don’t have food back home. There’s a scarcity and a lot of people are hungry. Fasting is my way of showing that I support them and let them know that I am praying for them.

What would you suggest for those who want to be actively involved in helping out with this?

A few ways people can be involved is by reaching out to the people in Nepal through working with an organization, donating, or even just praying about it or sending notes of support to families in Nepal.

His story also made me think about how this earthquake impacted myself. I was impacted because I knew someone who was directly affected, Sourab, but I also realized I was impacted because it affected India, the country I where I was born, which received aftershocks that killed several dozen people. While it is harder for me to identify with my country of birth since I did not live there very long, it still hurt when I realized over 50 people from India died. Listening to Sourab talk about how this earthquake affected everyone in Nepal and himself personally was very moving, and made me want to support Nepal more than ever before.

Sourab and a few others will be hosting a vigil at the Winona State University gazebo on today from 6-7pm. This will be a way to remember those whose lives were claimed by the tragic event, and I encourage you all to attend. If you’d like to make a donation to relief efforts,  WSU alumnus Amit Khanal has set up the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund to assist relief efforts in Nepal.

–Sharna Miller

It’s Time for Time-Management

clocks and people

As I have learned over the my freshman year, time management is a skill that is necessary to college life. Let me tell you, proper organization and time management will help make your day-to-day routine go a lot smoother as well as reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also important to find a process that works for you that is efficient but not overwhelming.

Once you get into the semester, it often is hard to reorganize all of the material you have received if you don’t have a system in place to begin with. I know because I didn’t have a good system for balancing school and social life when arrived at WSU, and I am still working on managing my time better. If you’re like me and struggle with time-management, here are a few ideas to put to use in future semesters:

1. Use a Planner Right Away
At the beginning of the semester, take your syllabi and write down all important due dates and tests in your planner. Now you’ll have the entire semester laid out in front of you and those due dates won’t creep up on you unexpectedly.

2. Make a You Calendar Mobile
I also advise entering important dates and times into a calendar on your phone or tablet so you always have your schedule handy.

3. Only Sign Up for What You Can Handle
This goes for courses, extra-curricular activities and work. You can’t do it all–you have the same 168 hours in a week that everyone else does–so you need to prioritize the things you are involved in. This way, you will manage your time and stress levels better for a more successful semester.

4. Use Your Resources on Campus
Tutoring is a great resource to make sure you are prepared and caught up in classes as well as understanding material far before finals.

These are just a few tips to get you started on managing your time better. Here are two more articles that have really great strategies for time-management: 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time and Top 12 Time Management Tips.

Here’s to a more organized and less stressed semester!

–Liz Doyle

Already Reduce, Reuse and Recycle? 10 More Tips for Sustainable Living at WSU

The environmental movement in the United States began, and as such most of us ’90s kids remember learning about Earth Day and recycling in schools. In fact, I’ll bet you can list off the three R’s as easily as you can name the seven titles in the Harry Potter series or the lyrics to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song.

But what more can you do if you already reduce, reuse and recycle? The answer is lots! Here are just 10 ways you can be even more sustainable as a student at WSU:

1. Print Double-Sided

challenge accepted meme
This is a pretty obvious way to save trees and be more sustainable. All of the printers on campus have the ability to print on both sides of the paper, you just have to change the settings on your laptop whenever you print something. “I don’t know how” is not a good enough excuse because the WSU Technology Knowledge Base even provides instructions on how to do so on both a Mac and a PC.

2. Skip the Packs of Bottled Water

water bottle filling station
Plastic water bottles are wasteful, cost money, and you simply don’t need them in your life. What college student can afford to buy a pack of bottled water all the time? A better option is to have your own refillable water bottle. There are many water fountains on campus that make filling up your water bottle very easy and convenient. Some even keep track of how many plastic water bottles we have saved. How cool is that? Save money, save plastic water bottles, make life easy – you won’t regret getting a refillable water bottle!

3. Live in Kirkland or New Center

water-efficient toilets
Did you know that the toilets in Kirkland and New Center are energy efficient? They have two flush-types that use different amounts of water, so if conserving energy and water with a toilet is important to you, living here is a good option!

4. Avoid Plastic Bags

plastic bag blown by wind
Plastic bags are not a sustainable option, but unfortunately it’s what most stores use to package your purchases. However, there are other options. Winona’s own Midtown Foods bags all of your groceries in paper bags. This is definitely better than using plastics bags, but there is an even better option–reusable bags! Often made of canvas, cloth or heavy plastic, reusable bags are easy to find and once you pick up a few all you have to do after that is remember to bring them with you whenever you go grocery shopping.

5. Walk or Ride a Bike to Class

dog riding bike

Depending on how far away you live or what the weather is doing, it is a brilliant idea to just walk or ride bike to campus. There a many bike racks dispersed throughout campus, so it makes it very convenient to just park your bike close to where your class is. Not only is this good for the environment, it also obviously saves you money for gas and car repairs, not to mention it’s an easy way to add some extra exercise into your daily life.

6. Use Cloth Towels instead of Paper Towels

paper towels v. rags

It’s as simple as trading out those paper towel rolls on the counter for a drawer of cloth towels. Paper towels are wasteful and they cost money to purchase over and over but cloth towels can just as easily get the job done. You don’t even have to purchase special towels either; an old t-shirt can be re-purposed as a kitchen rag!

7. Take Advantage of Recycling Bins on Campus

recycling containers
Ever notice how awesome our recycling bins on campus are? They even have open spaces made for recycling paper and for recycling bottles to make it super easy to decide what item goes where. Both of these are next to every trash can, so there is no excuse for throwing your paper or bottles into the trash.

8. Dispose of Pizza Boxes Properly

cat with pizza
Finals are coming up fast and this means one important thing: PIZZA! Most people assume that pizza boxes are recyclable. While the boxes in and of themselves are recyclable, once it is contaminated by all of that delicious grease and cheese, the box is no longer recyclable. A good option for this is to remove the contaminated portions of it and then recycle the rest.

9.  Sell or Donate Your Stuff at the End of the Year

first world problem meme

Just as finals are quickly approaching, so is the end of the school year. Often students want to get rid of a lot of their belongings so there is less to pack up and schlepp home. While the residence halls provide huge dumpsters for garbage we don’t need, if your stuff is still in decent condition it’s a better option is to sell it or give it away. Just because you don’t want it anymore doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Post your stuff for sale on Wazoo’s List and see if someone else wants what you don’t anymore.

10. Decorate Your Room

aluminum cans recycled into lanterns

Photo credit: Star Online

Now I know most of you are not thinking about next year yet, but if you are, there are many ways that you can turn recyclable items into decorations for your room. For instance, you can create lanterns and tea light holders out of aluminum cans. But those are just a few ideas, and there are many more tutorials out there on the web–as if you needed an excuse to peruse Pinterest, amiright?

–Cassandra Peterson

Res Hall End of the Year Parties

guy says "let's party"

As the semester comes to a close, and what better way to celebrate the end of the year than with a party?!

Every residence hall on campus will be having their annual End of the Year parties in the coming days. There will be food, games, fun, prizes, and more fun all wrapped up in a special theme! Your Hall Council members have put in so much effort and time into these parties so you will be able to celebrate the end of the year before settling down with your books and coffee for finals week!

Look around your hall for info posters and take the time to stop by your hall’s party. Ask your RA or Hall Council members if you have more questions!

I encourage you to attend the parties and celebrate getting through another school year because, well, you deserve it!​

–Emily McCaleb

WSU is Taking Back the Night

Take Back the Night poster

Ever since I’ve been a student here at WSU, I have made it a point to attend Take Back the Night every spring. It’s an event put together by the women’s rights/feminist clubs and groups in order to raise awareness about gender-based violence and to shatter the silence around it.

Part of Take Back the Night is a speak-out where survivors can share their stories about sexual and domestic violence so that people can understand their experiences and become more aware of the severity of the issues. This can also be a time of self-discovery and healing for many people and I’ve experiences a lot of community building as an attendee. After the speak out portion of the event, attendees march around Winona to serve as both a walk for empowerment and a way to raise more awareness in the larger Winona community.

As I said, I’ve attended the event for the last few years and I plan to attend again this year! The event is this Thursday and I know this year will be just as powerful as the last. As someone who knows many survivors of gender based violence, this event is something that really hits me emotionally. I love that I can go and show the people who bravely share their stories that I am there to support them, even if it is as a stranger in the audience, standing in solidarity is something I don’t take for granted as I help my peers overcome their struggles.

As this event rolls around, I am also reminded of my experience getting trained as a certified PACTivist through the REinitiative program at WSU, and I think that having that new knowledge will bring a new light as I attend the event this year. I think that Take Back the Night is something that people of all backgrounds because whether you have experiences gender based violence, know someone who has, or are completely unfamiliar with the issue, it’s an important night to be a part of. You learn, not only about others, but also sometimes even about yourself.

–Garrett Bowling