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How to make a video worth a $40,000 UD scholarship

9:48 AM  Jun 23rd, 2011
by Sara Dorn ’12

Incoming first-year student Amanda Morel didn’t have any experience with video until she produced one that landed her a $40,000 UD scholarship. The aspiring high school math teacher won enrollment management’s video contest, “Your Question, Your Mark.” Her burning question: “What factors promote long-term retention in the American high school’s mathematics classroom?”

Winning was sweet — “I thought ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to be a Flyer,’” she said — but what made her video stand out? Morel has five tips she swears by.

1. Captivate Honesty was the best policy when asking her peers about math. “So many times students truly don’t like math, so I told them to just be honest,” she said. Morel is a natural star, too, with an obvious passion for teaching math.

2. Be concise Her original question was “What factors promote retention in the classroom?” but she narrowed in on high school mathematics. “You have to get really specific, don’t be too detailed and get to the point,” she said. And keep it under five minutes.

3. Perfect audio is a must Morel shot her video without a tripod. Luckily she has a friend who can edit video. Finding clear sound clips without the sounds of a high school hallway in the background was a challenge, but upbeat, subtle music complements the tone of the video.

4. Smooth moves Morel used creative transitions with music between student interviews, shots of classrooms and clips of her speaking. She also used a chalkboard-like font to emphasize points, introduce topics and cite her sources.

5. Variety show Morel featured dozens of students narrowed down from a massive pool of interviews done during study hall periods. “I got a wide range of classrooms,” she said. “I wanted to get the entire high school, different teachers and different teaching techniques. I went to classes ranging from transitional algebra to AP statistics.”

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How to raise millions for cancer research

9:48 AM  
by Kristin Daugherty ’11

Editor’s note 4-7-17: Noreen Fraser died March 27, 2017. Here’s a story about her life and her impact on fundraising to help fight cancer.

Noreen Fraser ’75 was a co-creator and co-producer for the 2008 Stand Up to Cancer network television show that raised more than $100 million for cancer research. Fraser, president and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, has a special interest in raising money for cancer patients; she happens to be one of them.

Here are some of her tips for bringing in the dough:

1. Realize fundraising is difficult After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, Fraser used her never-give-up attitude to begin raising money for cancer research. She says you can still raise money in a tough financial climate if you have the right mindset going in.

2. Be persistent On her website Fraser says, “What I’ve learned is that if you don’t back off and you don’t back away, and you become an activist for yourself and for others, chances are you’re going to live longer.” Or in this case, raise more money, as she credits confidence and aggressiveness as the keys to her success.

3. Develop contacts First, make a list of those people you think have the financial ability to give to you. Then, “Think about everyone you’re connected to and have a friend of a friend of a friend make some connections for you,” Fraser says. “Never leave any stone unturned.”

4. Narrow your focus Fraser’s No. 1 rule: “Never make a cold call.” Find people who you know have an interest in your passion and learn as much about them as possible. Then, make sure to meet with them in person to discuss the specifics.

5. Ask Before the final meeting you should be prepared to tell the potential donor what’s in it for them. “Tell them how they will be recognized. Then work up enough courage and ask,” Fraser says.


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How to keep ’em coming back for more

3:19 PM  Mar 8th, 2011
by Matthew Dewald

Amanda Pfriem ’11 is the marketing manager at Flyer Enterprises’ ArtStreet Café division, which pulled in more than $180,000 in revenue last fiscal year selling paninis, wraps and more. Her tips for getting customers in the door:

1. Solitaire is a card game, not a strategy Pfriem relies on a team of marketing volunteers for ideas, legwork and energy. They come from different majors, and she plays to their strengths. When new additions made the menu impossible to navigate, for example, she turned to three art students for a major redesign.

2. Be neighborly Pfriem’s core customer base lives within one or two blocks of the café. She regularly sends her marketing team “Ghettostorming,” blanketing the south student neighborhood with coupons, fliers and other promotions.

3. Don’t reinvent the wheel Tried-and-true methods won’t win innovation awards, but if they work, why quibble? The café’s buy-10-get-one-free punch cards, afternoon happy hour specials and such keep customers coming back for the best deals.

4. Let nature take its course Is there anything more beautiful than a college campus on a spring day? When the weather’s nice, the staff throws open the doors and turns up the music. Creature comforts like hot cocoa dominate winter marketing.

5. Get back to basics Pfriem’s real secret weapons aren’t so secret: great customer service, positive attitudes and an upbeat staff. “We want people to feel good when they’re here,” she said. “We have regulars, and we know their orders.” And that keeps them coming back.

You can follow ArtStreet Café on twitter @artstreetcafe.

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How to sing in front of 8 million people

3:12 PM  
by Shannon Shelton Miller

If first-year music education major Emily Gatlin had missed her very first University class — an 8 a.m. course, no less — her professor might have understood. She and members of Eleventh Hour, an a cappella group at Kettering (Ohio) Fairmont High School, had just spent 2 ½ weeks in Los Angeles competing in the NBC reality show The Sing Off.

The group lasted two episodes, and Gatlin was back in time for that first class with tips for anyone who wants to sing in front of a crowd — even if it’s just the 10 people at your local karaoke bar:

1. Find that happy place You might be trying to entertain a crowd, but you can’t worry too much about it. “I don’t think about all of the people out in the audience,” Gatlin said. “I’m just somewhere else when I’m singing.”

2. Fake it ’til you make it It’s okay to be nervous, Gatlin said, but if you project an air of confidence, no one will notice your jitters. “You learn to just smile, especially when you know you’re on camera.”

3. More on that smiling thing Gatlin said that when her friends watched the show, they spotted her easily because of the big grin on her face. “Some people would be making faces, and I would be like, ‘Whee! I’m on national television!’”

4. Be prepared “Don’t go to your audition not knowing what to expect,” she said. “In our case, it was to have three songs prepared. We drilled those three songs so we knew them like the backs of our hands.”

5. Hook ’em Highlight your unique qualities. The other groups on the show consisted of professionals or college students, so Eleventh Hour used its youth to its advantage. One judge called the group the “real life version of Glee,” in reference to the Fox program about a high school choir.

Missed The Sing Off and want to hear more? Eleventh Hour records a CD each year that’s available on iTunes. The latest is called Electrify. Videos of the group’s performances can be found at http://www.nbc.com/sing-off/.

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How to see the world on the cheap

9:26 AM  Dec 30th, 2010
by Emanuel Cavallaro ’07

Between September 2008 and October 2009, Mike Fanelli ’72 visited 32 countries, including Vietnam, India, Israel and Jordan. But for the purchase of three intercontinental flight tickets, he did it on $50 a day. Here’s how:

1. Travel light “You can use Internet cafés instead of carrying a computer,” Fanelli said. “I traveled with only one pair of pants, three shirts and three pairs of socks.”

2. Avoid hotels Stay at hostels or sleep on couches. “Hostels are cheap, but couch-surfing is free. Go to Couchsurfing.com and create an account, and you can find someone with similar interests willing to put you up.”

3. Use Lonely Planet guidebooks These guidebooks offer helpful tips and phrases for 195 countries and can usually be swapped with other travelers or purchased at hostels.

4. Eat local “I recommend eating street food, which is often as cheap as 50 cents or a dollar. But make sure it’s cooked beforehand. Hostels also usually offer simple free breakfasts.”

5. When you can’t walk or bike, use public transportation like buses or subways Hostels often have rickety, single-gear bikes available for free or cheap rent. Taxi drivers are not to be trusted.

6. Use ATMs to get local currency “There are ATMs in practically every country. Don’t use travelers’ checks. Nobody takes them anymore.”

7. Don’t have a plan “I know that most people would be uncomfortable without one, but having a plan robs the trip of the spontaneity and adventure that’s the entire point of the trip.”

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How to be happy

9:13 AM  
by Jack Bauer, Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences

Don’t confuse the new Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences, Jack Bauer, with the character in the drama 24 who shares his name. While the TV Bauer is chasing down terrorists, this associate professor is researching happiness. Some tips from his research on a happier life:

1. Be lucky Genes give us a “happiness set point” (really it’s a range). Didn’t win the happy-gene lottery? Don’t despair. You can alter your set point by taking action — notably actions that you find meaningful and that build relationships.

2. Don’t be poor (but help those who are) The happy peasant is an anomaly. In general, people who don’t routinely have enough food and shelter are less happy than people who do. If you’re struggling for survival, maximizing pleasure is a luxury. If you’re not struggling, helping those who are will help yourself.

3. But money isn’t enough The rich are, on average, happier than the middle class, but only by a bit. Economists have shown it takes a $75,000/year increase to yield a tiny bump in happiness — and it’s likely short-lived. Why so little return on investment? We adapt our expectations to want more, keeping our happiness right where we were.

4. Buy experiences, not stuff How you spend your money matters. Experiences like going to a concert or ballgame register more deeply in memory and are often shared with those close to us, which itself breeds happiness. Material goods are often status-oriented, which provides only a brief rush of pleasure and ultimately divides us.

5. Go with the flow Do things that get you focused and in the moment, performing without self-consciousness. Psychologists call this “flow.” Sports, movies, reading books, socializing, hobbies, sex and work activities can all produce it. Flow takes initial effort, but once you start, flow kicks in. When you’re done, you’re energized. You’ve had the experience of being alive. And you’re happier.

6. Happiness isn’t everything In addition to all that, plan for a life of learning and seeking new perspectives on life generally and your own life — to help round out what the Greeks called eudaimonia, the balance of happiness and wisdom. People who make efforts toward such wisdom tend to get it; those who don’t, don’t.

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How to make a Telefund student’s day

3:57 PM  Sep 22nd, 2010
by Matthew Dewald

Seniors Erica Ventura (left) and Carolyn Teter (right) have talked with literally thousands of alumni since their freshman year. They’re two of approximately 60 students in UD’s Telefund program, calling alumni to ask them to make a gift to UD. Their advice for making their day:

1. Be shocked by your reunion year “I’ve called alumni and said, ‘Oh, I see it’s your 40th reunion year,’” Teter said. “And they’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh.’ They’re astounded. They can’t fathom it.”

2. Tell them you loved beating X They did too. After a win over Xavier, “We hear ‘Go, Flyers’ left and right,” Teter said. “The guys get on the phone and have a field day with it.”

3. Be a Golden Flyer “Their stories crack me up,” Ventura said. “Football was huge. The women lived off campus.” And Golden Flyers are the only ones with stories about meeting their true loves on campus 50+ years ago.

4. Give advice “Alum­ni know what professors and classes to take,” Teter said. “They know it like the back of their hand.”

5. Give a gift Something you might not know: The callers often play games in the calling room, and each gift earns them extra turns and such. It might even help your particular caller score a gift certificate for pizza on Brown Street with a Trivial Pursuit victory. Even more importantly, your love and support of UD’s community deepens theirs.

6. Enjoy the call “We love to just talk,” Ventura said. Teter added, “This is a great job to have. I feel I know so much more about the University. It’s going to be sad to leave.”

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How to make 50,000 Yankees fans happy

3:50 PM  
by Michelle Tedford

Mark Pulsfort ’74 oversaw the three-year planning and construction of the new Yankee Stadium, now entertaining its second season of baseball fans. Pulsfort, vice president and deputy operations manager for the New York business unit of Turner Construction, had a special interest in keeping the Bronx Bomb­ers’ fans happy; he’s one of them.

1. Take charge Pulsfort, a lifelong Yankees fan, routinely oversees skyscraper construction. But when Turner’s business unit received the bid proposal for the new Yankee Stadium, Pulsfort advocated for the job, knowing his company could handle the schedule and budget constraints of a project that was still being designed.

2. Coordinate Pulsfort used 3D building information modeling to handle the complexity of the project. After trade subcontractors inputted their work into the model, he developed clash reports — such as identifying where a structural beam bisected a water pipe — and resolved thousands of them to reduce risk in the field.

3. Keep an eye on history Features needed to remind fans of the ball team’s history, including the arch frieze hanging from the interior roofline and Gate 4 main entrance façade of precast limestone and granite. “Knowing the history of the old stadium, what the Yankees represent, the records — now there will be new players and history going forward, and I’m very proud to be part of that.”

4. Make every seat in the house a great one Precast stadia installed by cranes and 50-foot cantilevers hinted at the final layout, which positioned several upper seating bowls closer to the field. Fans have better sightlines, improved concessions and an open concourse to enjoy the game.

5. Savor it At the home opener April 16, 2009, Pulsfort walked into the stands, sat back, and watched both the game and the success of the structure he ushered literally from the ground up. It was his favorite moment of the project: “Opening day, to be in the stadium and have 50,000 fans sitting around you and to know you were part of making this happen, particularly when it was on time and on budget.”

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