When was the last time you rode a bike across the Rockies? Or pedaled more than 12,000 miles in one trip?read more>>
When was the last time you rode a bike across the Rockies? Or pedaled more than 12,000 miles in one trip? Probably never, right? Nobody could do that, right? Wrong. Meet Eric Clausen of the Memorial Student Center—working artist and bike explorer extraordinaire!
Passback: How long have you been at Texas A&M?
Eric: I’ve been here going on five months. I came from New York City, where I worked for another university, Cooper Union, a private art, architecture, and engineering school. I worked for their art department as a studio technician, managing student exhibitions, classroom spaces, and private studios.
Passback: That must have been a good fit, because your degree is in art, yes?
Eric: Yes, I was originally double majoring chemistry and art for my Bachelor’s at Valdosta State University. But I leaned towards art, because … who wants to make money? (Laughs) My master’s from Rutgers is in sculpture and drawing.
Passback: Your current position also involves the arts. Tell us about that.
Eric: I advise the Visual Arts Committee (VAC), which is responsible for the Reynolds Art Gallery, and Aggie Cinema, which does almost all the movie screenings on campus.
With VAC, I teach them how to run a gallery space, do arts administration, and put on arts programming. That includes everything from picking shows, to contacting the artists, to hanging the work. Art handling is more than being careful; there are some very specific things you need to know about concerns like lighting, temperature, and humidity.
Passback: And Aggie Cinema? What’s your role with them?
Eric: Our biggest focus there is marketing. How do we market to the rest of campus? Another challenge is selecting movies we think will not only be popular, but will enrich the audience’s experience. Maybe films they can’t necessarily see on Netflix or at Cinemark. We have to find that happy medium between getting bodies in the seats and trying to expand students’ minds.
Passback: Both jobs sound exciting. What parts do you enjoy most?
Eric: Being able to work with the students, especially when I’m able to teach them something or give them information they’re either directly interested in or will be able to apply elsewhere—like learning to use Adobe Illustrator for graphics, how to hang an exhibition, or something universal, like how to market more effectively.
Passback: And what challenges you the most?
Eric: Well, most of my past jobs were more technical, so I was using my hands a lot more and moving around a bit. So sitting at a desk for longer periods challenges me.
Passback: In addition to your day job, you’re a working artist. What are you working on?
Eric: I do lots of different things. Right now, primarily drawing. Since I left graduate school, that’s been the easiest thing to fall back on, because it doesn’t take up a lot of space or require a lot of materials. It’s easy to move, as well.
Passback: As a matter of fact, you’ve moved your drawing quite a bit, haven’t you? More than 12,000 miles! Tell us about your ride across the country.
Eric: A year after graduate school, I was having trouble finding steady work, so I decided to pursue an idea. I sold everything I had and rode my bicycle around the country for a year. And I kept a blog where I would post drawings and stories. As a matter of fact, I supported myself through the drawings I did for people. I had a PayPal button on my blog, and if they sent me $5, I would send them a postcard. I also sold some t-shirts and drawings on the street.
Passback: You started in New York when?
Eric: September 2010. I went south through Philadelphia and D.C., then down to Richmond and into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to Roanoke. Then down to Greensboro and Asheville and over to Memphis. Down to Atlanta and Miami.
Passback: You rode all over, getting as far as Seattle. Hit any bad weather on the way?
Eric: I hit a lot of bad weather but tried to avoid it as much as I could … went south for the winter. (Laughs) And got snowed in in Dallas. Stayed with a friend there for a week, eating pizza and watching movies.
Passback: Did you ever get to the point where you thought, “I just can’t do this anymore.”
Eric: About twenty times. But each time I would think, “Well, I’m gonna have to bike back, anyway.” So I would just go on.
Passback: Until you got to the middle of North Dakota, right? What happened there?
Eric: A friend of mine sent me information about the job opening at Cooper Union. So I typed my resume on my phone and e-mailed it. Thought I would never hear from them, but they contacted me to ask if I could come in for an interview that week. I flew from St. Louis to New York, did the interview, and they asked me to start the next week. So my trip ended kind of suddenly.
Passback: People can check your blog to get the details on your trip, but you’re planning to share it another way.
Eric: I’m working on a graphic novel about it. It’s hard, because it was a year-long journey, and each day could be a chapter in itself—its own journey. I was constantly seeing new things and meeting new people. If there was a way I could live on my bike forever ….
Eric may not be able to live on his bike forever, but he still gets plenty of use out of it, because he doesn’t own a car. You can share his trip across the country and see some of his drawings at http://www.drawingamericabybike.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drawingamericabybike.
Kathy DiSanto, Communications Specialist
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Please join the Division of Student Affairs as we celebrate 4 decades of service to the Aggie Family. That’s 40 years of exceptional services, facilities, programs, and experiences designed to enhance student learning and development, foster an inclusive campus community, preserve treasured Aggie Traditions and Spirit, and promote Aggie Core Values.
Of course, we couldn’t have done it without our students, former students, and the university community. Check out our 40th anniversary view book. Maybe you’ll see yourself there!
Meanwhile, thanks, and Gig’em!
This is AGOSS Non-traditional Student Appreciation Week! Show your support for our non-traditional Aggies. Stop by Cain Hall C-108 or C-106 to pick up a "supporting non-trads" button. Free for faculty, staff, and students!
Recurring spring semester room reservations for the MSC, Rudder Tower, Koldus, and All Faiths Chapel can be made beginning at 12 noon on November 14th, through the Virtual EMS System. Hard-copy requests can be turned into the second floor of Rudder Tower beginning at 8:00 a.m. on November 15th.
University Center & Special Events is currently taking virtual and paper reservations for special events occurring between April 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014. Special Event requests occurring after May 31, 2014 will be accepted beginning April 1st, 2014. Please refer to the special event guidelines listed at http://uc.tamu.edu/reservations to reserve space for your event!
Submitted by: Amber Hopkins
Tuesday, November 26: Regular schedule
Wednesday, November 27: Close at 6pm
Thursday, November 28: Closed all day
Friday, November 29: Closed all day
Saturday, November 30: Closed all day
Sunday, December 1: Open at noon
Monday, December 2: Regular schedule
In October the Memorial Student Center and the University Center and Special Events hosted the 2013 Association of College Unions International Region 12 Conference. Several staff members from the Division assisted in producing the conference, led by Host Team Leaders Amber Acosta of the MSC and Doug Burns of University Center and Special Events. Other staff members serving on the Region 12 Conference planning committees included PJ Jones, Cord McLean, Cruz Rios, and Marisa Suhm from Multicultural Services; Rick Grieg, Katy King, Lyndon Pryor, and Dave Salmon from the MSC; Bill Cox, Joani Groce, Amber Hopkins, Melissa Lucas, and Stephen Senkel from University Center and Special Events; Amanda Dyer from University Art Collections; and Daisy Enggina from Student Activities.
In addition to leading the conference planning effort, several Texas A&M staff members and students were among the conference presenters:
Submitted by: Eric Blodgett
Please share these events (sponsored by Student Health Services) with your students!
Healthy Living Lecture: Holiday Eating (Rec Center; 5:30pm)
Thanksgiving turkey and fruit cake…all the great foods of the holiday season. Want to enjoy all the holiday goodies and not give up a healthy diet either? Come to this informative Healthy Living Lecture and learn more about navigating the holiday season healthfully!
November 13, 14, 20, 21
Holiday Eating: Adding Variety and Moderation (HEB; Times Vary)
Grocery Store Tours
Have you ever wandered the aisles of the grocery store wondering what to pick? Are you trying to plan healthy meals and snacks, but don’t know what to choose? Come join Meghan Windham, MPH, RD, LD as she will walk you through the local HEB on Holleman Drive, and show you how to shop efficiently, healthy, and smart! A small fee of $5 gets you a reusable grocery tote, lots of coupons, and the opportunity to sample tasty recipes! Each month will have a different theme, so you may sign up for more than one tour, and learn something new each time! Visit shs.tamu.edu/events to reserve your spot today!
November 13, 14
Aggie Health Hut – Stress Awareness (Rudder/MSC Plaza; Times Vary)
Come visit the Aggie Health Hut this month for our Stress Awareness events! On Wednesday, we'll be at Rudder Plaza from 12pm-2pm with Aggieland Pets With A Purpose, and on Thursday, come visit us from 10:45am-12:45pm. We can't wait to see you!
Great American Smokeout Display (Rudder Plaza; 11am-1pm)
Are you a smoker and thinking about quitting? Sometimes, just having a start date can help. November 21st is Great American Smokeout, the American Cancer Society’s day to finally quit. Come learn how to beat smoking at this informative display, and make your plan to quit smoking for good.
Submitted by: Alyssa Barigian
MSC OPAS presents Beyond Glory
Wednesday, November 6
Tix available at mscopas.org
"Ask the Experts" Mini-Resource Fair for Non-traditional Students
Thursday, November 7
MSC Visual Arts Committee presents Speed Bump: Dave Coverly
Thursday, November 7
MSC Reynolds Gallery
MSC Wiley Lecture Series presents "Boots Off the Ground: A 21st Century American Military"
Guest speakers include General Stan McChrystal, David E. Sanger, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker
Friday, November 8
Tix available at boxoffice.tamu.edu
FREE Adult Scratchboard Workshop
Sunday, November 10
MSC Forsyth Galleries
Division of Student Affairs Years of Service Banquet/40th Anniversary Celebration
Wednesday, November 13
RSVP deadline: 5pm, Wednesday, November 6
Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Assessment in Student Affairs
Presenter: Dr. Brenda "B" Woods, Director of Research & Assessment for Student Affairs, GA Tech
Wednesday, November 13
Cain POD (B-111)
MSC Woodson Black Awareness Committee presents A Day of Engagement: A Conversation with Julian Bond
Wednesday, November 13
MSC OPAS presents Memphis
Tuesday-Wednesday, November 19-20
Tix available at mscopas.org
Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist & His Circle
Through December 15
J. Wayne Stark Galleries
Forsyth Favorites: Faculty & Staff Selections from the Permanent Collection
Through December 15
George Woodall and the Art of English Cameo Glass
Through December 15
Assessment 2.0: Innovative Strategies for Student Affairs Assessment
Presenter: Michael N. Christakis, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, University of Albany
Wednesday, December 4
Holiday Spirit of Aggieland Concert
Featuring the Century Singers, Women's Chorus and Singing Cadets
Sunday, December 8
Tickets $5 in advance from http://boxoffice.tamu.edu ($8 at the door)
No vacancies submitted this month
C The original Texas A&M Division of Student Services consisted of 14 departments/offices: Dean of Men, Dean of Women, Student YMCA, International Student Advisor, Student Financial Aid, Commandant of the Corps, Housing Office, University Police, Student Government, Vocal Music Programs, Counseling and Testing, Memorial Student Center, Student Health Center, and Religious Programs.
The Student Leader Learning Outcomes (SLLO) Project provides universal methods and tools for staff throughout Texas A&M University to use with student leaders in student organizations, programs, or activities to help in the assessment and documentation of enhanced learning in relation to the students’ leadership experiences. The project is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and has broad participation of organization advisors and others who work closely with students.
The SLLO Project provides a connection with the Texas A&M Teaching and Learning Roadmap created for the Academic Master Plan (2009). A Texas A&M undergraduate will:
For more information on how SLLO fits into the University priorities of integrative and lifelong learning see Aggies Commit to Learning for a Lifetime: A Quality Enhancement Plan. More specifically, that document promotes the use of two rubrics from the Association of American Colleges and Universities: Integrative Learning and Lifelong Learning.
For more information about the competencies for undergraduates and graduate students, see http://provost.tamu.edu/academic-master-plan/documents/TLRCReport2009Jun19.pdf