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Posted on 28 September 2016 by admin

View the print issue of the Sept. 29, 2016 issue of The Montage Continue Reading

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Read the Print Issue

Posted on 13 September 2016 by admin

View the PDF layout of the Sept. 15th issue  Continue Reading

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Read the Print Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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Read the Print Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

Posted on 31 August 2016 by admin

See the PDF layout of the Sept. 1, 2016 issue of The Montage Continue Reading

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Back-to-School Guide 2016

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Back-to-School Guide 2016

Posted on 01 August 2016 by admin

The PDF version of the 2016 Back-to-School Guide Continue Reading

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Posted on 04 May 2016 by admin

View the full issue for May 5, 2016

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Costs and other college conundrums

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

The sad truth about being an art student  Continue Reading

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Finding the edge

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

Locating success before the big commencement speech 


Staff Writer


Earn a university degree and get a job: this formula has worked with relative success for over fifty years. Increasingly, however, in many fields today the formula is no longer works.

This is because of the recent credential inflation — inflation due to the fact that so many more people today are enrolled in college than in the past.

In fact, the number of students enrolled in college has doubled since 1996.

Most people think the best way to combat this trend is by going to school longer than their counterparts. More school equals more opportunity, evidently. While this theory is not incorrect, it will land someone fresh into the workforce with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. More school does not need to be the answer.

Employers are looking for things other than a piece of paper when seeking the future employees of their business.

So instead of going back to school and going further into debt, do the things that will set you apart from someone who holds the same degree as you.

One way to do this is to get yourself involved. Universities create and provide a bounty of opportunities on campus to get involved in; particularly clubs, fraternities and other extracurricular programs. It is not enough to just be in these programs. If you want to seem like the well-rounded candidate to an employer, you need to take positions of influence to leave your imprint on your campus.

Many have graduated all degree fields with 4.0 GPAs but very few have sent email after email to get the funding a club needed for that trip to the New York convention.

You are setting yourself apart from your classmates and showing determination instead of wasting a seat in a university class you could have taken online at home. Furthermore, keeping your grades up along with displaying involvement shows versatility and management skills: both skills that are imperative in the workplace.

Another way to set yourself apart is to delve into your area of work. Get yourself known among those in the field you are pursuing before you graduate.

If you want to be a doctor like myself, a good way to do this is to shadow any doctor that can stand you.

Start with your doctor and then ask him to refer you to another doctor.

Be thirsty for the knowledge these doctors have obtained over the years that could never be learned in the classroom.

It might also work to become an assistant for someone in your field. Becoming a nurse’s assistant may not be glamorous, but you will constantly be in the setting you are working towards – the one described in your textbooks. Take notes, listen, stay late, come early, never be afraid to ask what else you can do.

Even if 99 percent of what you do is ignored, you still have the one percent edge that sets you apart from everyone else.

You know what else you will have?

Peace of mind in knowing you have become confident in your field. This swagger will show in your interview and be the light to the employer’s dark cloud of doubt.

While knowing your stuff is obviously crucial in any skilled profession, getting your foot in the door can be a lock difficult to pick. But if you do everything you can and take advantage of every opportunity that arises, you will find that many of the keys to that lock are not found in textbooks.


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Unsurpassable mountains: knowing when to move on

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

What to do when big dreams die


Opinions Editor


One of the hardest things we can do in life is accept the fact that sometimes we do not get what we want.

This April would have marked the year I graduated college. If things had gone the way I had planned, I would have been buying my cap and gown and mailing my graduation announcements; I would have been sending out resumes and thinking about the next step of my career. Instead, I am in the same place I have been for some time now: making a road map of where I went wrong, and trying to figure out exactly how to get to where I want to be. It is hard not to feel discouraged when our lives follow a course so different from the one we envisioned, and yet we have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made. We are allowed to grieve for the years we lost to our specific, personal circumstances, but we cannot let them hold us back.

I realized halfway through my sophomore year of college that I was sick — really sick. At the time, I lived in Arizona and my parents lived here in St. Louis. Because I needed their help and support, I decided to move back in with them, and when I did I practically started over in school.

Then, sometime last semester, I realized I was extremely unhappy with the degree path I was taking; I just could not accomplish what I needed to in order to move forward.

Knowing that switching my major would push me back even further, I decided to do so anyway, hoping it would benefit me in the long-run.

So far, it has been a good decision for me, but it is still hard to think about how far behind I am, and how that might allow me to be perceived by other people. I have always cared too much about what other people think of me, and I have always allowed that to affect my perception of myself.

Still, I know I am not alone in dealing with personal obstacles. It is something that happens to almost everyone — and frequently.

All my life, cooking has been my father’s passion, and he worked really hard throughout my childhood to advance in his career and achieve his own goals. Then, sometime two years ago, a review of his cooking was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; zero out of five stars, the food critic said. This devastated him.

His career and his own self-esteem are still recovering from the blow. Where would he go from there? What would he do next?

Thirty years of stress and sacrifice sabotaged by a journalist with a with a mean vocabulary and a keyboard.

It is a bitter pill to swallow when we realize that our dreams probably will not happen to us.

For some, that realization is a major heartbreak; however, it does not mean that we cannot make new dreams — that we cannot adapt and change and evolve into better and more successful people. The harder our obstacles, the more experienced we become — the more capable we are of handling what happens next.

Sometimes our achievements are not as satisfying as we had hoped, but that does not mean they are bad. It just means they are different than we would have envisioned.

Do not become discouraged by the challenges that present themselves in times of hardship. Instead, take the lessons we are given from these experiences and know — deep inside your bones — that just because something did not happen the way you wanted it to does not mean that you have failed. Failure is not a delayed graduation; failure is not a bad review. Failure is what happens when we do not move forward, and instead let our burdens keep us from finding a new path.

I can say with complete honesty that no one I know who has attempted to better themselves has failed. Maybe they have not done what they initially set out to do; maybe they were set back once, twice or dozens of times before they found a steady rhythm. Regardless of how long it took or how many times they had to fall before they found their footing, the people I know who see a better opportunity and attempt to grasp it for themselves are the people who live the most successful lives. So fall; graduate late or never; get that bad review. Whatever you do, just do not stop.


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Mental illness awareness leads to acceptance: A lifetime of experience

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

Focus on Ability club guest speaker, Sharon Lyon, works to end stigma of mental illness


By: Jason Waters
Production Manager


The Focus on Ability club provides a welcoming and supportive community for students with a mental illness, physical disability, or learning disability, vice president Kyle Kluzynski said.

On Wednesday, March 30, speakers from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) were welcomed to Meramec.

“We want people to understand what it’s like to live with a mental illness so they can empathize with those who are undergoing it,” Kluzynski said. “And for those who are undergoing mental illness themselves, this presentation can provide a valuable outlet and insight into the lives of others who have dealt with similar problems. So we hope that they can learn perhaps coping strategies and more importantly that they are not alone.”

The Focus on Ability club is here to help students feel welcome with whatever disability they are struggling with, Kluzynski said.

Sharon Lyons, Director of volunteering for NAMI, spoke at the event.

“NAMI focuses on education support and
advocacy for people with mental illness and their family members. We do support groups. For education we do a variety of different classes and talks like we did today. We do public policy advocacy, advocating for better treatment for people with mental illness. Laws that would help improve the lives of people with mental illness,” Lyons said.

Lyons suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

In her spare time, she likes to read, watch movies, take photos and collect antique purses, she said. But her dark days were many during the years of 1993 and 1994.

“I was working for the federal government. I had
a very successful job there as a manager with a lot of responsibilities. I felt good about myself
and what I was doing. I started to have delusions about one of the men that I work with. At the time I didn’t know they were delusions of course. That’s one of the symptoms of my illness,” Lyons said.

“I thought this man wanted to marry me. I thought that people were talking in code, I had
to decode what they were saying and I took a word here and a word here and put it together and came up with this idea that this man was in love with me and wanted to marry me,” she said.  “One day I made an announcement to my group that we were getting married and I had to leave because married people couldn’t be on the same team. This was all news to him. He had no idea.”

To be able to finally accept her mental illness has been a long process, Lyons said.

“Sometimes I still doubt it actually. But I read a lot about my diagnoses and can see myself in some of the symptoms,” Lyons said.

Back in 1994, Lyons felt like everybody else.

“People just didn’t understand that me and this man just had to get together and talk about this – this was all just some big mistake.
I kept saying that over and over again so it took me a
long time to realize that what I was saying
was all in my head,” Lyons said. “Nobody else could see it. Nobody else could really understand it. I feel lucky that I found a psychiatrist that helped me a lot. I felt tremendous guilt and shame about where it happened. He helped me in getting over that.”

It was difficult for her to find treatment, Lyons said. At the time, she had no job, no money and no insurance.

“I went through the phonebook and made phone call after phone call and finally did find somebody. I felt very lucky that he did take me at the time – during my condition I didn’t know
how I was going to pay him.
He was very empathetic. He was very patient
with me,” Lyons said.

“I had trouble trusting him. It was part of my illness also. I was paranoid. I was afraid to take the medicine but
slowly I did start to take the medicine. It worked pretty quickly. My thoughts
cleared up. I realized some of things that I had done, how wrong they were.
I also realized that there was hope to go forward, that I knew what was wrong with me.”

Growing up, Lyons always felt that she was a little different than other people.

“But I realized at this
point that I could go
forward with this illness
and I didn’t have to look
back. I didn’t have to wonder what was wrong with me anymore. It had a name and it had a treatment. The treatment did work for me, it worked really well,” Lyons said.

When Lyons started to feel better, she went attended a support ground for people with schizophrenia.

“One of the things that helped me cope, besides the medication, was being able
to sit down and talk to other people who had the same diagnoses that I had. Some of the people were taking the same medicines that I had, we talked about medications and side effects and how to cope
with side effects. It gave me something to do – people to talk to and make friends with,” Lyons said.

“For me my work is my main success. I was able to start a new program at NAMI
called Opening Doors to Spirituality which we do once a year to talk about how spirituality can help with mental illness recovery. I’ve been able to make good friends at NAMI,” Lyons said.

Lyons still hopes to get married someday.

“I never did get married. I have a good relationship with my son although I don’t see him as much as I would like to. He is doing well, doesn’t have any signs of mental illness. I would like to work more
on eliminating the stigma of mental illness and dream one day there is no more stigma that people with mental illness can be treated the same as people with any other type of disability,” Lyons said.

Lyons would tell individuals recently diagnosed with a disorder to reach out for help, she said.

“There is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t feel
ashamed or guilty. That’s a big thing that I had to get
over. It’s a big thing for a lot of people to get over, the shame and guilt of it,” Lyons said. “There is hope.”


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The Montage receives awards at Missouri Media College Association

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

Campus newspaper attends MCMA convention and walks away with achievements




The Montage was recently recognized with 25 awards at the Missouri College Media Association’s annual convention and awards ceremony, held April 9 at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The Montage received 1st place for its Back to School Guide, 1st place win for its website, 3rd place in the Sweepstakes category, 3rd place for the Best Overall Newspaper in the 2-year college division and 22 additional staff and individual awards.

The Montage staff competed against several other two-year school newspapers from across the state. Entries in the competition were judged for general excellence by members of the Missouri Press Association.


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