Finding a Family at Dixie

Coming to Dixie, I knew I needed to get involved in order to experience the entirety of what Dixie had to offer. In my first year here, I found myself in the Dixie State University Student Association as a committee member. After hours of handing out flyers and sticking papers in all the bathroom stalls on campus, I applied for the Admin. Assistant to the Vice President of Academics position and became a part of the Student Senate. At the time, it was impossible to even imagine the impact student government would have on my life.

Not only was I exposed to a variety of opportunities and networking situations with important administrators and legislators, I created friendships that would last for years to come. A handful of us even began to hang out weekly and ended up on a camping trip and hot air balloon excursion.

Fast forward two years to Spring 2016 and I had made the decision to run for the Vice President of Academics position, a spot that had originally seemed boring and stuffy but I had slowly come to understand the importance of. That’s when I received a call I had never prepared for. My father had a massive heart attack and had passed away.

Before you say “I couldn’t do it” or “there’s no way I could handle that,” let me remind you that every step in your life has slowly prepared you to survive what had previously seemed impossible. We as humans are made to survive and the tools for survival are provided for us. My only way to survive leaving my family, coming back to school, and running a campaign was this massive support system I had here at Dixie. Every individual friendship leading up to this shock was crucial to my decision. I was blessed with the knowledge that I would not be alone so far away from home. Tears were shed, hugs were shared, and these friends still build me up every day.

Without the support system and strong bond I have in my student government family, it would have been an easy decision to stay home and quit school for a while. However, every day, I thank my lucky stars that I was blessed with these amazing people who surround me.

— Kendra Jensen, Senior in English

Perfect for those interested in extending their learning outside the classroom, Dixie State University’s weekly lecture series Dixie Forum hosts incredible people who are pursuing excellence in a variety of disciplines. Dixie Forum introduces the St. George and DSU communities to diverse ideas and covers a variety of topics every Tuesday from noon to 12:50 p.m. in the Dunford Auditorium in the Browning Resource Center. While Dixie Forum is offered as a class it is also open to the community. Below, student Bailee Christiansen explains how the forum has served as a window to the world for her.

I was introduced to the Dixie Forum lecture series in the fall of 2013. I’m honestly not sure how I had never heard of it before then, but I just happened to see the one-credit course while registering for Spring 2014 and figured I could always use some electives to meet the credit requirement for my scholarship. It seemed like a simple enough class; all I had to do was attend 10 of the 12 lectures and participate in two cultural events as a volunteer, participant, or attendee. Outside of this, I didn’t know what to expect from the course. What would I learn about? What events could I use as my cultural events?

Each week I discovered more about different careers and in turn learned more about myself. I had the chance to learn about the process of a watercolor painter, the anatomy of a bird of prey, the importance of understanding terrorism and war, and how to improve a hospital’s trauma unit. I found myself enraptured in the opportunity to immerse myself in these different aspects of educational and job pursuits. After the first few weeks, I invited my family along and we all began to love listening to the eclectic bunch of speakers who came each week on Tuesday at noon. After each lecture, I would sit down and compose my thoughts, trying to determine what I had learned from the speaker because, without a doubt, I always came away with something new.

Not only are students learning about DSU, future career options, and numerous topics through the Dixie Forum, they are also encouraged to engage with the community through two cultural events that are meant to span beyond the weekly lectures. It encouraged me to research what was going on in the community and find something that not only interest me but could also be a great learning experience for me. Sometimes these things just fell in my lap, though, and that is what happened for one of my cultural events during my first semester taking Dixie Forum.

My grandma often attended the Dixie Forum lectures with me, and during one of the lectures, she pulled out a flyer that featured a list of upcoming events on the DSU campus. She pointed out one event in particular called “Traveling Shoes,” which was essentially a one-woman show. Janice Brooks was the actress who would be performing for the audience and the play traced the stories of eight African-American women. I loved how she shifted between the personas of each character and how much research went into each of the characters she portrayed. She portrayed famous women from history, which would have taken time to discover the story she wanted to portray and how to accurately portray women who still remain a topic of conversation. She also highlighted lesser-known women who still occupy an important part of history, requiring even more time and research. She did not portray the most popular stories of these women, either; she picked lesser-known stories that would feel new to the audience.

No semester for me is ever complete without attending at least one Dixie Forum. It has become such a big part of my experience at Dixie State University because it encourages me to branch out and experience elements of so many different disciplines. It taught me to not only engage with the events on campus but also with those in the community and actively learn about different cultural aspects of the community and educational offerings of DSU.

— Bailee Christiansen, Senior in English

Welcome to Blazer Bulletin, Dixie State University’s newest source for information. This crowd-sourced digital bulletin allows the people most knowledgeable and passionate about a topic to directly reach those who love Dixie State and want to learn more about the institution. Blazer Bulletin exists to educate, promote, entertain and inspire the Dixie State University community.

We know what you are thinking: “That’s awesome! I’m so excited to write a post. What is my next step?” Fortunately, it’s super easy. All you have to do is follow three easy steps:

1. Write a post about the upcoming event, accomplishment, campus happening, etc., you want to share with the world. This can be as short as 100 words or as long as 700 and take whatever form you prefer. It’s really up to you! (See the tips below for some ideas.)

2. You know what they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words, so don’t forget to find a photo, illustration, logo or any other type of imagery to accompany your post.

3. Send your post and image to jylhall@dixie.edu. Posts will be published within three business days. Be sure to submit posts ahead of events so readers have plenty of time to mark their calendars.

Still a little apprehensive on where to start? Don’t worry; we got your back! Keep reading for some tips on how to get going.

Tips for contributing:

· Don’t be overwhelmed; a post can be as short as a couple sentences if photos, graphics or videos are included and as short as three paragraphs for more traditional narratives

· Write in a tone that feels like you’re sitting next to the intended audience, individually telling the story

· Answer frequently asked questions

· Submit content that is entertaining and will quickly grab the reader’s attention

· To maximize exposure, link to Blazer Bulletin from external sites such as social media

· To increase search engine optimization and help readers get all the information they need, link to relevant pages on dixie.edu

Benefits to contributing:

· Contributors control their own messaging

· Contributors reach their desired audience with the personality and tone that suits their cause

· Contributors can format content as they see fit; a post can be a traditional narrative, series of photos, a video, a list, a series of questions and answers, a how-to, etc.

· Blazer Bulletin reaches a diverse audience

· Blazer Bulletin is a professional platform that can be shared with niche audiences

· Blazer Bulletin allows contributors to share untold and obscure stories

· Blazer Bulletin is a good way to celebrate accomplishments

· Content will be considered for press releases, magazine articles and University promotion as UMAC goes through blogs for publicity ideas

Before we go, we thought we ought to share the fine print with you, so here it is: Content must be regarding and relevant to Dixie State University and its students, alumni, faculty and staff. Contributors are welcome to express their opinions in their posts; however, content disrespecting or disparaging any person or organization is not allowed. Additionally, content including vulgarity, copyright infringement or plagiarism is not allowed. Content may be subject to editing.

Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Contact Public Relations Director Jyl Hall at 652-7547 or jylhall@dixie.edu.

Happy posting!