Grad School – How do you decide?
Nov08

Grad School – How do you decide?

Do I need a master’s degree? Is it worth the investment? What’s the point? I must have asked myself these questions a hundred times before deciding that graduate school was, indeed, my next move. Here was my rationale: I enjoy learning. Exploring the gaps of knowledge that encourage me to perform my job more effectively is important to my success. I want to advance my career. Maybe it’s pursuing a leadership role, or finding new ways to develop and apply my skills. Graduate school can help me find my direction. Personal growth is important to me. I want to grow as a professional, but I also want personal fulfillment; that’s something graduate school can facilitate. Finding the Right School & Program A notable difference from my undergrad was that this time around I knew exactly what I wanted out of a program. Some of those needs included: Face to face interaction. Well acquainted with my learning style, I recognized that an online program was not ideal for me. Flexibility to explore other disciplines. The opportunity to take classes outside of my program would enable me to gain diverse perspectives that I could apply to my education and professional career. Quality interaction with advisors and professors. The ability to discuss concerns and questions with faculty without chasing them down was vital. Flexibility. I wanted an outline of what I needed to do to complete the program without pressure to finish within a certain time-frame. Ultimately, the Professional Communication program at IPFW met my needs and was an affordable, convenient option. My personal conversations with friends and colleagues really sealed the deal. A college peer earned her MA in Writing from IPFW through the Master of English program and had wonderful things to say about her experience. Ashley Motia, a friend and mentor of mine, earned her MA in Professional Communication. I remember asking Ashley about her experience in the program when I was researching schools. These conversations, with people who were in my shoes not long before me, were helpful and reassuring as I explored my options. Student-faculty interaction was key in my search for the right school, so, I appreciated how willing and eager IPFW faculty were to meet with me and answer my questions. To quote the wise words of my friend and mentor Ashley, “Your graduate school career should start with and be sustained by quality conversations with faculty and advisors. Those personal interactions are what infuse value into your degree.” The significance of these interactions is obvious, even when I talk to other students. Ian Lese, a graduate student in the Master of Public Management program at IPFW shared...

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Three Rivers Festival Opening Weekend
Jul10

Three Rivers Festival Opening Weekend

That time of year we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. A summer favorite, the Three Rivers Festival starts today. If you’re from the Fort, you’re familiar with it all – the parade, the concerts and, of course, Junk Food Alley. Without fail, I always make sure to get my fill of lemon shake-ups and funnel cake, but there is plenty going on to keep busy, even after you satisfy your sweet tooth. The festival starts today and runs through Saturday, July 18th. Here is a quick guide on what you can expect at the Three Rivers Festival this weekend. Opening Day: Friday, July 10 The festival begins with a variety of downtown displays, shows and activities, with the Midway and Junk Food Alley running from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. The evening’s events include a concert featuring Loverboy, Coolidge, and James & the Drifters, and a TinCaps game at Parkview Field. Doors for the concert open at 5 p.m. and the TinCaps game begins at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, July 11 The Runners on Parade race, in its 21st year, kicks off the Three Rivers Parade at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. The race starts off at Headwaters Park Pavilion and makes its way through downtown. This is one of the largest summer 5Ks in northeast Indiana, with over 1,000 participants and $1,000 in total prize money. When I asked Race Director Craig Bobay what his favorite thing about the race is, he said, “Having the chance to run the streets of beautiful downtown Fort Wayne without worrying about traffic is cool. But the best part really is the opportunity to run, jog or walk in front of the thousands of spectators who line the streets of the course before the famous Three Rivers Festival Parade begins.” Race sponsors include the Fort Wayne Track Club, Fort Wayne Orthopedics and Three Rivers Running Company. Online registration is closed, but you can still register in person today, at Three Rivers Running Company from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., during packet pick-up hours. Late registration is $30. Learn more about Runners on Parade at runnersonparade.com. The Parade begins at 9:45 on Saturday, and if you’ve never been, it really is a blast, and it’s a great way to kick off the weekend. Several local businesses and organizations participate in the parade, which is complete with floats, music, and follows a two mile route through the streets of downtown. I highly recommend going at least once to experience this Fort Wayne staple. Some other exciting things happening during the festival on Saturday include the Chalkwalk on Main Street, Lawton Park Flea Market, Crafters Market in Headwaters Park, Barr Street Market, Summerland...

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Soothe Your Palate at Hideout 125
Jan23

Soothe Your Palate at Hideout 125

One of my favorite things about Fort Wayne is that there are so many options for delicious local dining, and I have one more for you to add to your list (if you haven’t already): Hideout 125. It’s a relatively new upscale restaurant on the north side of Fort Wayne (in the Pine Valley Plaza) and it’s worth every penny. Hideout 125 is owned by Panos Bourounis (also the owner of Cosmos House of Pancakes) and Brian Shreffler. Feeling the need for another evening dining option on the north side of town, they found that the space in the Pine Valley Plaza perfectly fit the “speakeasy” feel that they wanted. Walking into Hideout 125, I instantly sensed its uniqueness. The “prohibition era” theme is unmistakable in the wall décor, even the style of the booths and tables; the restaurant definitely exudes a cool vibe. The music, the ambiance and the lighting make the restaurant inviting, I couldn’t wait to try the food (which by the way was amazing). Once I was seated, I ordered a cocktail called the Barista, an espresso martini that was the perfect blend of coffee and cocktail. Though a tad strong for my taste, it was a delicious treat after a long day at work. When I got to the menu, I was torn between ordering the crab cakes or the tuna (clearly I was in the mood for seafood), but ultimately decided to go with the small plate crab cake and a chopped salad. I was not disappointed. The crab cake was served atop an artichoke-potato soup and drizzled with remoulade (it’s a mayonnaise based sauce, I had to ask). The salad was larger than I expected, and perfectly chopped and dressed. Overall the meal and service was fantastic. Next time you are out in search of a new place to have dinner, try Hideout 125, it won’t disappoint. (If you want to try them on a weekend, consider making a...

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