Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Parents at Lake State

Preparing for Checkout

If your student lives in the residence halls, he or she will be going through the room checkout process before leaving. Since that time is right around the corner, here are a few tips to share with your student to ensure that the process is smooth as can be:

  • Go to Informational Meetings and Read Flyers. The residence hall staff will pass out information about checkout and the process students need to follow. Encourage your student to go to informational floor meetings and to read the materials. Plus, they can ask questions of the hall staff, too—they’ll welcome the interest!
  • Don’t Ignore It. It’s important to note that the checkout process isn’t optional—failure to comply with hall policies will likely result in an improper checkout charge. Students need to turn in their keys and sign out of their rooms officially. Ignoring the process just makes the aftermath messy—and expensive.
  • Make a Checkout Appointment with Your RA. Students should take a look at their final exam schedule and plan when they’ll go home accordingly. RAs are students, too, going through finals while also trying to close the building so, students are often asked to make an appointment with their RA to check out. Encourage them to stick to this timeframe out of respect for the staff’s schedule—and to make sure that, when they’re ready to leave, there is an RA ready to help. Otherwise, they may have to wait awhile when all they want to do is hit the road for the summer!
  • Clean the Room! Once students start packing and moving things around, the giant dustbunnies are bound to make themselves known. Encourage students to clean as they go so that they don’t have a big mess to contend with when they’re ready to check out. And leaving a room filthy is not only disrespectful to the kind cleaning staff who have helped your student all year, there is also a hefty charge associated with it.
  • Contend with Rug Residue. If your student is holding his rug in place with duct tape, there will likely be sticky residue when he pulls it up. Have him ask the building staff what he should use to clean that up. Again, if left behind, he will be charged for floor cleaning.
  • Think About Other “Little Things.” Furniture that was in the closet all year needs to be put back on the floor. Tape residue on the walls and doors needs to be removed.
  • Know What You’re Signing. Once the room condition has been assessed, your student will probably be asked to sign his/her room contract, saying that he/she agrees with the assessment. Make sure that he/she pays attention to what it is that he/she’s signing so there are no surprises over the summer!

Good luck with checking out and have fun checking in to a great summer!

Paramedic with Honors...

Geoff Girolamo

Geoff Girolamo,
Honors Nursing
Grosse Ile, MI

Geoff works as a paramedic for Kinross EMS. During holidays and school breaks he works in the Detroit metro area for Medic One Ambulance and Hart Medical EMS as a paramedic for both agencies. [ more ]

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