Lessons for the graphic artist: Discussion by Erick Pfleiderer


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Alumni speaker Erick Pfleiderer spoke to students about the tools needed to achieve a successful career in graphic design. Photo by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer

Visiting graphic artist and SU alumni Erick Pfleiderer spoke Thursday evening in Fulton Hall to provide insight about a successful career in graphic design.

Pfleiderer is the creative director and strategist at Taoti Creative in D.C. as of 2016. He started out as a graphic artist for Salisbury University with the Office of Student Activities before rising through the ranks at SPARK Experience design, the Charles Regional Medical Center and Tim Kenny Marketing, among others.

He has received over 35 design awards across a variety of mediums, and past clients include Pepsi, the Washington National Cathedral organization, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Reserve.

Pfleiderer discussed a variety of lessons learned following each job experience, as well as what it takes to land your first job and how to perform well during an interview. He additionally suggested using summers to work at an internship as a way to learn more skills and broaden one’s knowledge base in the field.

“You really have to take advantage of every opportunity,” Pfleiderer said, referring to the importance of experience over money. For him, getting a foot in the door is invaluable whenever possible.

His career path began with an interview at the College of Southern Maryland, where poor directions and a lack of GPS technology caused him to arrive twenty minutes late. But Pfleiderer maintained a determined persona, used a promotional piece he learned at SU and owned the meeting. He was offered the job later that day.

“It goes to show you how much confidence can do for you,” he said.

Sophomore art major Jordan Kahl shared her opinion about the presentation.

“It was very informative, and it’s always cool to hear success stories from someone like [Pfleiderer]. He actually went to Salisbury,” she said.

Pfleiderer learned four major lessons after finishing his first two jobs. One is to save money, because a high salary is not always guaranteed. For example, he bought a new car shortly after being hired at the medical center, but was laid off only six months later.

“If you think for one second how quickly you have job security, it is pretty amazing how that can come to bite you,” he said.

The second lesson is that the grass is not greener on the other side, for everything is not always as it seems. In addition, update your profile regularly. Every time a project is finished, it is important to add that to one’s list of experience. Finally, use freelance work to bridge employment gaps. LinkedIn is a great tool for students to showcase their portfolio and form connections.

The lessons Pfleiderer learned after his time with a small business include the need to enjoy one’s job and the importance of having a boss that one can respect. He stated that there is a vital need to know the economics of design simply by understanding the various costs required as an artist in graphic design.

Also, working remotely or from home can make it hard to maintain creativity, for it is not as glamorous as many would imagine. He concluded with the message that hard work eventually pays off in the end.

Pfleiderer also mentioned an unlikely lesson for students to conceptualize.

“It is okay to say, ‘I don’t know.’”

This is important, he explained, in being honest to one’s creative ability as well as in recognizing the potential to improve.

The plethora of lessons which Pfleiderer communicated during his presentation culminated into a final message.

“Making something great takes time, and that includes making yourself great,” he said.

Pfleiderer says to never settle, and keep persisting.

The presentation was made possible by Brooke Rogers, associate professor of art at Salisbury University.

Fulton Hall Gallery switches gears


Staff Writer

Fulton Hall Gallery has been completely remodeled since the fine arts show of the 56th bi-annual Senior Art Exhibition “Transcendence” with new senior artists—all graphic design majors—displaying their graphic design work.

The second edition of “Transcendence” is open now until May 20. On Fri. May 12 there will be a reception for the students participating in the graphic design portion of the show, where artists can interact with others in the industry and represent their work.

Where the fine arts show focused more on drawing, painting and sculpture, the graphic design show displays work with media concentrations.

Art in this show includes digital typographic images, spray paint, digital print, collaged images, illustration, photoshop, colored pencil, screen print, copper ink print, inkjet print, photography and much more.

Within the show, the artists chose an overall theme for their work, using this theme in each piece of art they display. Some themes in the graphic design show include music, nature, men’s fashion, self-love, broadway musicals and African American culture.

Alex Stallings used real life objects in four of her pieces. She used beeswax, charcoal, grass/leaves and sea glass to bring awareness to frightening statistics about nature. Along with these, she has three screenprint works on display as well.

“I hope that, when people see my work, that they will be able to connect more and pay more attention to the larger environmental issues that we face through my use of natural objects,” Stallings said. “We are constantly flooded with information through mainly text and pictures on the internet, so I thought that, by putting real objects in front of people, they would actually stop and digest the information.”

Frederick Raab took a different approach to his theme, using bottle caps to craft three fish and digital print to create three other pieces depicting a person fishing off of a boat. Raab likes to incorporate humor, cartoon graphics, influences from television, music and even ideas from his friends, and appreciates the freedom that graphic design allows him and believes that anything has potential.

A particularly unique display from Kevin Nichols encompasses an overall theme of mental illnesses. Within this theme, he focuses on depression and autism.

Nichols uses previous negative thoughts of his own to create a piece that brings awareness to depression. He invited friends and classmates who knew him to take a piece of tape and replace his negative words with words that would make his thoughts positive.

“It’s not just about autism and depression awareness; it’s about making myself extremely vulnerable by letting my thoughts and beliefs be seen, with no ‘mask’ or filters,” Nicholas said. “I themed my show on my secrets and imperfections in hopes of gaining worthiness in myself, as well as joy, gratitude and knowledge about who I am. The more I did this, the more I yearned for other people to believe they are worthy.”

“Transcendence” is free to the public, and the graphic design show is open until May 22. Stop by Fulton Hall to see the many unique pieces on display. Gallery hours can be found online.

Gullfest 2017 Recap

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Gull Life Editor/Editorial Editor

For this year’s annual Gullfest event, SU’s Student Organization for Activity Planning (SOAP) aimed more for a festival style show and, based on student reactions, it was a success. The show was hosted by the lively crew from MTV’s Wild N’ Out and kicked off by funk-pop group Ripe, followed by pop singer Niykee Heaton, with Hip-Hop artist and headliner D.R.A.M. to close.

Admission encompassed a t-shirt as well as access to outside games like cornhole and ladderball with a creative addition—free body painting. Food and clothing vendors were also set up at the festival and available to students for purchasing.

Students gradually trickled in after the doors opened, and Wild N’ Out got the crowd hyped up before the performances, as well in between the first and second acts, with crowd participation and friendly competition. Similar to their show, there was a lot of roasting to be had.

Despite technical difficulties regarding the microphone and the amplifiers, as well as three power outages, Ripe used their stage presence and creative improvisation to keep the show alive. The band acknowledged their power problems, and thanked the audience for being awesome and bearing with them.

After the first performance, freshman computer science and business double major Ralph Mehitang shared his thoughts on what he saw; he thought Ripe was really good, and Wild N’ Out were hilarious.

“So far, I’m really enjoying [Gullfest.] Of course, more students should make the decision to come, but from what I’m seeing, I am really enjoying it.”

Niykee Heaton, more commonly known for her modeling, played a few new tracks not yet released, and the crowd garnered a positive reaction. Her biggest verbal message for the audience was, “If you have a team, you have everything,” after sharing her story of how her best friend helped her achieve her dreams of becoming an artist.

D.R.A.M. took the stage as the closing act of the event, with Salisbury marking the conclusion of his college campus tour, as well as his stay on the East Coast. The majority of the crowd kept a continual high level of energy throughout the entire lineup, but D.R.A.M.’s performance and motto to “spread love” gained the most reaction.

“D.R.A.M. was great,” freshman physics major Elliot Hirtle said. “He really knew how to hype up the crowd, and he is a great performer.”

Madison Baber, sophomore elementary education major, thought last year’s artists were better, but this year’s event definitely ran smoother and was more enjoyable.

“The artists [last year,] Breakfast and Jason Derulo, were better to me just because they were people that I knew and actually listened to their music,” Baber said. “That being said, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Gullfest this year, with it being outside and the fun new experience of body art. This year was also better because the artists were there on time, and did not show up hours late.”

SOAP had a set limit of 3,000 tickets, yet only around 550 were sold. The cause of this is undetermined, though last year’s complications may have played a factor.

Despite the lesser turnout, the students who attended seemed to have a genuinely good time with constant high energy and art-covered bodies, and remain optimistic for what SOAP will provide in Gullfests to come.

Students discuss Md. General Assembly Internships


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Interns from the Md. General Assembly Legislative Program sit left to right: Dani Walker, Ellie Brookbank, Collin Denny, Shekina Hollingsworth, David Gicheru, Alex Aiosa and Garrett Shull. Photo by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer



Those interning with delegates from the Md. General Assembly in Annapolis gathered in Conway Hall Tuesday evening to share their experience this past semester.

A wide range of issues affecting the state, and the Eastern shore specifically, were handled by the interns, including regulations surrounding oyster sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay, fracking, pre-k suspension and the legalization of recreational marijuana among others.

“I’m thankful I got this opportunity. I encourage you guys to look into it,” senior economics major David Gicheru says after describing the amicable relationship he shared with his delegate.

The type of work assigned to the interns included conducting research, attending committee hearings, tracking bills, working on mailings and handling constituent problems.

Junior Ellie Brookbank, a political science major, worked with her delegate on a bill to aid rape prosecution by extending the time that law enforcement agencies hold rape kits. The kits are taken after someone is sexually assaulted, and then used for DNA evidence. Often it is the case that victims cannot prosecute, as there is a big variation in local police stations surrounding how long they keep the rape kits.

“This bill makes it so that every law enforcement jurisdiction has to keep the rape kits for 20 years,” Brookbank explains. “We still have a long way to go with it.”

Brookbank also dealt with the bill to ban fracking in the state of Maryland.

“When it finally got passed, Governor Hogan was very excited about it because Maryland is only the third state in the country to ban fracking,” Brookbank states.

She also worked on a bill to install polling stations in college campuses. This was central to her mission as the president of college democrats on campus.

Senior Shekina Hollingsworth, another political science major, shared her thoughts on the pressures of working with her delegate. “When I got it done, and I knew that it was done right, then I thought i had done well. It showed me that she really trusted me,” Hollingsworth stated.

Dani Walker is a junior political science and English major with a minor in film. As an intern, she worked on a bill about oyster sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay and how the delegates were planning to change areas in them.

“There was a lot of outcry against it because it would take kind of the power away from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They have this control to change the oyster sanctuaries if it is scientifically proven okay to do that.”

She explained that the Md. General Assembly ultimately voted on forcing DNR to wait two years before they could do anything, and not before providing research.

Garret Shull is a senior political science major with a conflict analysis and dispute resolution minor. He discussed a bill introduced by Senator Ronald Young to ban the torment of the cownose rays, a type of stingray, in the Chesapeake Bay.

“It was asking DNR to have certain regulations saying how they can be fished. Above all else, they wanted to stop the torments altogether. There’s still a lot of watermen concerned,” Shull reports.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding this issue, and it was what Shull described as a “hot button” topic.

“You have a lot of watermen that come in with arguments that they eat clams, they eat oysters, they eat the softshell crabs and things like that, that are important not only to their lifestyle and culture, but also for them to be able to make a living.”

Shull later explained, “so that was a big clash that goes back and forth and eventually they settled on a middle ground that was honestly a good compromise between the two parties. Ultimately they decided to put a moratorium on them.”

Shull commented on the variety of people he encountered while working with the delegates, stating that some people are a little bit more relaxed while others are a little bit more stern. He stated that despite the differences, they are all very reasonable people and they all appreciate your help because they are ultimately there to represent their citizens.

He describes one notable memory when the democrats and republicans were fighting over a bill on the floor.

“The minute the bill stopped it was like something left the room. They understand that there’s a bigger picture than just themselves. It really is an enjoyable thing and I think it’s really rewarding too.”

The Md. General Assembly’s Legislative Intern program is only offered to about 100 students representing colleges and universities across Maryland. This opportunity allows students to provide research and staff assistance to legislators during each session, giving both educational and practical work experience within the legislative branch of state government.

This is a spring semester internship, and interested students can contact Dr. Adam Hoffman in the department of political science at ahhoffman@salisbury.edu. Applications must be received by October 31 of the fall semester.


Five DIY Mother’s Day gifts mom will love


Staff Writer

5 DIY gifts mom will love. Alexis Gramates. Photo.png

It is far into the spring season. The flowers are out, the rain is falling, finals are coming and Mother’s Day is right around the corner.

Many college students struggle financially, so how can someone get their mother a gift to show how much they appreciate her, when they can only afford a tray at Cook Out?

  1. Plants, Plants, Plants!

What mom does not love plants or things to put plants in?! A trip to Wal-Mart will do just the trick!

You can buy a clay pot for $1.89, then decorate and personalize it just for your mother. If you want to get extra points, then plant her favorite flower or plant in the pot you made for her.

This fun craft should be no more than $10.

  1. Candles

Any mother would love to have their own personalized candle that their child made.

The only ingredients that you will need are melting candle wax, scent (if wax is unscented) and a wick. Stores sell microwavable melting wax which makes this whole craft even easier.

YouTube will be your best friend when you decide how big or what kind of candle you would love to make your mother.

  1. Painting frames for old family photos

The smallest gift is usually the best and most thought out gift. Have any old family photos laying around that captures your family perfectly?

Get any size canvas you desire and get to painting! You can make it as simple or as intricate as you want. When the paint dries, make the canvas like the frame for that photo.

  1. A picture is worth a thousand words

Does your mom have a hobby? Make something she can use for her hobby and think of you at the same time.

For example, if mom cooks all the time, why not an apron with pictures of every good memory on it? It is very simple and cheap to buy a white apron, scan the pictures, print them on iron-on paper and iron them onto the apron.

  1. Mother’s Day in a jar

Grab a clear cookie jar and add mom’s favorite things to it. Decorate the outside with her initials or something she loves so she can reuse the jar.

Inside the jar have little things she loves like shower gel, bubble bath, candles, candy and nail polish.  It is a simple gift that she can continue to use after she is finished with the gifts inside.

Summer reading list


Staff Writer

If you have not had the time to think about books you want to read this summer for pleasure because you have been too busy reading the books mandatory for class, continue reading for a list of books recommended by students that may inspire you to find your next summer read!


Looking for something scary?

  1. “The Running Man” by Stephen King

In this book, King writes about the United States in a dystopian society set in the year 2025, where the nation is falling deeper and deeper into debt and violence is on the rise.

Freshman Taylor Cooper, graphic design major and marketing management minor, recommends this book because “it is kind of scary, but more like ‘The Hunger Games.’”

The protagonist is in a game show, called The Running Man, in which contestants are allowed to go anywhere in the world of their choice but are being chased by people whose jobs are to kill them.


Looking for something adventurous?

2. “The Secret Series” by Pseudonymous Bosch

This series is a secret itself, the first book being called “The Name of this Book is Secret,” and it is recommended by freshman Kelly Van Meter, an accounting and information systems double major.

It involves the adventures of three children who are searching for immortality. Van Meter states that even the author’s name remains a secret by using the pen name of Pseudonymous Bosch.

Through the author’s writing style, secrets are kept even from the characters within the book, making this a reason why Van Meter recommends it.


Looking for something Romantic?

3. “The Last Song” by Nicolas Sparks


A perfect beach read, recommended by Samantha Schwamb, a pre-nursing freshman. This is her favorite book to pick up at the beach.


“The Last Song” is about a teenage girl and her younger brother who are sent down to live with their dad on the beach for the summer. Her dad tries to reconnect with her through her lost passion for music, and along the way she starts a summer romance with a handsome local.


Looking for science fiction?

4. “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman

Recommended by freshman Jack DeRycke, a physics engineering major and math minor, who shares that it is a story featuring three children in a dystopian society where each of their lives connect throughout the book.


The book involves three parts, each dedicated to a child, but as the story progresses, you can see how each child’s life intertwines without the characters realizing. This is an example of satirical irony, making it one of DeRycke’s favorites.


Looking for a classic?

5. The “Harry Potter” book series by J.K. Rowling

If you have not yet had the time to read the “Harry Potter” series, freshman Rachel Eure, an art major, strongly recommends it due to the well written characters and plot that has many twist to keep the series interesting and reader on their toes.


By starting off with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” you will slowly find yourself getting sucked into the story of Harry and his friends as they learn how to become witches and wizards in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Sunset Yoga Series in May


Staff Writer

Sunset Yoga Series in May. Val Petsche. Photo.png

With finals quickly approaching, students have the chance to destress during an open session of hatha yoga provided every Monday for the next three weeks on the lawn outside of Holloway Hall by instructor Madhumi Mitra.


She is a professor of Biological and Environmental sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Dr. Mitra has been practicing yoga and meditation for the past several decades.


“My yoga series will teach the participants ancient breathing techniques, poses for overall health that can be customized based on the needs of the participants and will also focus on pain management,” Dr. Mitra says. “This will enhance better understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of yoga that are often overlooked at the gyms and studios.”


The classes are an opportunity for students to learn the foundations of yoga, as each session covers the importance of chakra yoga, the five Tibetan rites and breathing techniques, before ending in meditation.


“Yoga is the coordination of mind, body, and spirit, and acknowledging the divinity that resides in each one of us,” Dr. Mitra explains.


She later discussed that this workout focuses on activating the wheels of energy, or chakras, to allow an uninterrupted flow of “chi” throughout the body, whether it be circulatory, skeletal, nervous or lymphatic.


Senior Mary Gellen, a communication arts and health major, attended the yoga session, explaining that it is a good introduction to energy work.


“In most yoga classes, they do not usually go through explaining the chakras. They just make you jump into the poses,” Gellen adds.


Senior Leeroy Jenkin, majoring in computer science, was also present for an evening of yoga. He commented on the session as well, stating, “It opens my sacral chakra.”


Charles Johnson, senior and elementary education major, says the class was not challenging, and students should attend to help relax during finals, especially because of the meditation aspect.


In regards to the encroaching deadlines and assignments, Gellen reasons that “the meditation and the breathing are some of the best things for stress relief.”


“Research has shown that the academic performances of students in K-12 schools have improved significantly with the adoption of a yoga-meditation approach,” Dr. Mitra said. “The classroom teachers have seen benefits with respect to students’ behavior, and mental and physical health.”


Dr. Mitra says she would like to see all K-12 schools, universities and colleges as well as government and non-governmental organizations start similar programs for promoting physical, mental and spiritual health.


“The world will certainly become a haven for peace, tolerance, harmony and equanimity,” she said.


No experience is needed to attend Dr. Mitra’s sessions, and it is important, she states, that attendees come with an open mind and the intention to learn.


“Yoga can do wonders if you put your heart and mind into it,” Dr. Mitra said.


It is possible to incorporate the mindfulness of yoga into everyday life. Dr. Mitra explained that the yoga mindset brings benefits of feeling content with oneself and others, being grateful and remaining positive.


“When we go deep in yoga and commit to transformation, we will also notice that mindfulness in our daily activities; breathing deeply and seeking balance and harmony become a way of life in an effortless manner,” Dr. Mitra added.


To Dr. Mitra, yoga is a personal journey about listening to one’s body, mind and spirit.


This Sunset Yoga Series will be held every Monday at 5 p.m. until the final session on May 15

May flowers bloom stuffiness: How to handle Spring sickness


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The flowers around campus bring more than just a pleasant view. Photo by Theresa Tumminello.

Staff Writer

The blooming flowers outside may look pretty, but they come at a pretty dangerous cost: increased pollen and sickness.

With pollen covering almost every inch of everything and the temperature changing daily, you may start to see an increase in allergies and people stuck inside with the flu.

If you find yourself catching the flu or a bad case of allergies, there are many things you can do for yourself to feel better.

Drink lots of liquids

Keep your body hydrated. Juice is great for your immune system and gives you some flavor in your day.

If you do not like juice, try green tea! NaturalNews.com says, “Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which are able to boost the immune system’s ability to fight the flu.”

Your body is on overdrive when you are sick and is working extra hard to get the bacteria out, so be sure to treat it right with lots of fluids.

Try to eat something

Food not only gives you energy, but also can make you feel better. Hot items such as soup or cold items such as ice cream can help sore throats.

Be mindful of the food you eat while you are sick. Healthy foods are the best because they have nutrients that can boost your immune system and make you feel better. If your stomach is upset, try some light snacks such as crackers or pretzels before moving to substantial meals.

Take over-the-counter medicine

Medications such as Advil, Tylenol, NyQuil/DayQuil and cough medicine will not cure your sickness, but they can help minimize the intensity of the symptoms. Be careful not to mix too many, as the side effects can make you drowsy, nauseated or even more sick.

If medication does not help after a few days, visit the Student Health Center here at SU. Getting a professional opinion can help diagnose and pinpoint the problem, with suggestions for recovery that the internet may not have.

Breathe in steam

Whether it is a hot shower or a bowl of hot water, steam helps to loosen mucus, which can make you feel less stuffy.

Along with making it easier to breathe, steam improves blood circulation, restores color and opens up your pores. It is an easy home remedy that requires very little effort.

Take it easy

Being sick can be really exhausting. Give yourself time to rest.

If you do not have an important lecture or exam in your classes, take the day off. Grab a box of tissues, a warm bowl of soup and cuddle up under your favorite blanket.

Sleep allows your mind and body to rest, giving you more energy to fight the flu. Do not feel guilty about staying in bed all day, because sometimes your body just needs a day to reset.

Earth Day events in Salisbury


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Sophomore Jessica Wooster (L) and Junior Tinsley Foster (R) hold their contributions during SGA’s Recycle Madness in Red Square on Thursday. Photo by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer

Downtown Salisbury is planning a wide array of fun events for the upcoming Earth Day weekend. Students of the Salisbury community are invited to participate in the excitement, including this month’s 3rd Friday celebration, Be the Difference Day, and the SBY Bike PartY.

3rd Friday

Students can support members of the Environmental Students Association as they sell handmade bird houses and planter boxes during Salisbury’s monthly 3rd Friday celebration. The event will occur from 5-8 p.m. and is located downtown on Main street.

This free event features handcrafted items and art by local businesses, complete with live music filling the streets by blues musicians Chris and Grayson English. The April month celebrates spring with a Sustainable Salisbury theme to commemorate Earth Day.

Cake Art will be open to host “Create Your Own Cupcake Night,” with new spring cupcake flavors. Acorn Market will be providing sustainable herb plant giveaways with each dinner entree purchased.

The Salisbury Art Space located on the lower level of the Gallery Building will showcase the 2017 Annual Blooming Artists Youth Show, an entire exhibition of local child artists’ work, along with a solo exhibition by last year’s winner, Dominique.

The Look Pretty Play Dirty Mobile Petting Zoo will be present on N Division Street with baby animals for those in attendance to see. Local environmental groups will also be attending, including the Lower Shore Land Trust, the Maryland Bluebird Society and the Nassawango Creek Preserve.

Be the Difference Day

This event will also be on N Division Street, promoting its community-wide day of service on Saturday April 22nd. Students are encouraged to volunteer at an event of their choice, and those interested can learn about 24 different projects being hosted by as many as 17 local organizations.

Be the Difference Day aims to provide opportunities for people of all ability levels and interests to get involved. The goal is to raise the profile of community organizations, volunteerism and service.

More information can be found at 410-548-4757 or visit www.salisburysga.com.

Salisbury Bike PartY

Also on Saturday, April 22 is the SBY Bike PartY, where students can join the Salisbury community to participate in a 6-mile fun ride through town or feel free to watch from the sidelines with live music playing nearby.

The first annual SBY Bike partY will begin in Downtown Salisbury at Lot 1 starting at 11 a.m. All are welcome, as there will be activities for all ages and skill levels, and it is a free event. Prizes will be awarded by EVO for costumes and bike decorations. The bicyclists will ride as a group with a police escort to guide all participants through intersections.

Festival activities also include a 3/4 mile car-free loop on Downtown Salisbury streets for registered riders to enjoy at their own pace along with the Get Ramped pop-up skatepark by Eastern Shore IMBA.

There will be a photo booth, photographers and drone footage by Macey Holyak as well as a bicycle safety course for beginners hosted by Bike-SBY. Many bike related organizations and vendors will be present and students can participate in a bike swap to sell any unwanted bikes and parts.

EVO is hosting the after-party starting at 2 p.m with live bands for everyone to enjoy. Please visit the Salisbury Bike PartY website for further details.

Earth Week on Campus

The SU Student Government Association has been hosting a week’s worth of events to celebrate Earth Day. Most activities were held in Red Square, including a bike-powered blender station for DIY smoothies and s’mores could be cooked in a solar oven.

The SGA presented a screening of the documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Monday evening for interested viewers, describing the alarming implications the meat industry poses on both people and the environment.

Wednesday showcased a cooking contest with locally sourced ingredients during the second annual Iron Sea Gull cooking contest in The Commons. Later that evening, recyclable art creations were displayed at SU’s Plaza Gallery along with photos and descriptions of SU’s Earth Week events.

Students were encouraged to participate in Recycle Madness on Thursday. This is a recycling competition between various student organizations to see who can contribute the most weight in recyclables.

Are you stressed out and in need of advice?


Dr. Mullins. Alexis Gramates. Photo

Dr. Darrell Mullins of the communications Department. Photo by Alexis Gramates.

Staff Writer

Students sit in Academic Commons, powering through the mounds of homework and projects that are due before the semester ends, and they think to themselves, “will I be able to make it?”

Dr. Darrell Mullins has been through the same college process not once, but three times. Some students may know him from the communications department, and some may know him from his appearances in local theatre.

Before becoming a professor, Mullins saw himself being an interpreter for the United Nations. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Master of Arts in speech communication and his PhD in interpersonal/public communication. Aside from earning these three degrees, his biggest achievement has been being married to his best friend for 32 years, raising four amazing children and having one grandson.

What is the best advice you ever received?

“Follow your instincts. I think so often we end up following a plan that seems ‘logical’ rather than a plan for which we feel passion.”

What is the worst advice you ever received?

“When I was a freshman, I really struggled in my bio lab class.  I had always considered myself a good student, so of course I went to the professor seeking advice. He was an older gentleman and I remember him looking at me over his eye glasses and saying ‘Young man, college isn’t for everyone.’

I was devastated. He was, in essence, advising me to forget about going to college.  I wish, instead, he had said, ‘Think about if this is where you need to be right now.’  Even though his advice nearly killed my self-esteem, I ended up working harder and getting a B in the class.  So, I guess the bad advice ended up motivating me in some way.”

What is your biggest fear in higher education?

“Not being able to get through to my students.  I want to motivate and excite them, and sometimes it’s hard.”

What obstacles have you overcome in your life?

“I have struggled with depression and anxiety over the years, and I’m happy to say I’ve survived it.  More recently, I have started the journey of coping with the loss of my wife.

It’s only been a few weeks, so I can’t say for sure that I’ve overcome it—but I am feeling good about being back at work and doing what I love. I will admit, though, it’s a daily struggle to stay focused and be able to concentrate.”

What advice can you give students during college?

“Ask for help—often! I know professors can seem a little intimidating at times, but we really do want to help you be successful, so if you are not doing well, ask us for help.  At the same time, be prepared to hear things you won’t want to hear.

Sometimes I have to tell a student ‘I know you tried hard and I know you’re going through a lot, but that doesn’t mean that you are not held accountable for what you produce.’”

What advice do you have for those who are struggling in making a career decision?

“Stay open to possibilities. I honestly believe, with a few exceptions, that your undergraduate degree and ultimate career may seem to have little to do with one another.  I think employers are looking for people who are critical thinkers who can express themselves orally and in writing.

As such, it’s not surprising to find, as a hypothetical example, that an art history major is a sales manager for a national corporation.  So many degree paths prepare us to think and evaluate—that’s the true value of a college education in my opinion.”

What advice can you give students after graduation?

“Your first job probably won’t be your last.  Be patient—be willing to do the grunt work to prove to an employer that you are worthy of more enjoyable work.  Also, be financially smart—start saving now, you won’t regret it.”