Tag: towson university

A Bleak Picture for Baltimore’s Soon-to-Be College Grads


“When people ask, ‘What do you want to do when you graduate?’ I feel like yelling, ‘Whatever I can do for whoever will hire me,’” Towson University senior Maria Malagari told the Towson Towerlight. She’s hardly alone; this year’s soon-to-be college grads are entering a job market that should make the rest of us grateful that we’re not members of the Class of 2012. (And if you are — sorry!) According to a recent study commissioned by the Associated Press, half of young college graduates are either un- or under-employed. Job prospects for young people with bachelor’s degrees are at the lowest level in more than a decade.

The AP’s analysis of government data is one of the first to take into account the problem of underemployment — that is, when grads have some sort of way to earn money, but not one that employs their skills or offers promise of future advancement. With tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, twenty-somethings feel lucky to get a job as a barista or retail clerk.

Of course, it’s not equally bleak for everyone. Those graduating with degrees in nursing, teaching, accounting, or computer science have much stronger prospects than arts or humanities grads. And suddenly, the time-honored wisdom of going to college in order to snag a high-paying job stops seeming quite so logical. “You can make more money on average if you go to college, but it’s not true for everybody,” says Harvard economist Richard Freeman. However, “If you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing, it probably bodes well to take some job, if you can get one, and get a sense first of what you want from college.” Most of the careers with the largest projected job growth over the next decade don’t require a college degree.

Back here in Baltimore, the soon-to-be Class of 2012 at Towson remains (nervously) undaunted. “I’m going to keep researching and applying to jobs no matter how many rejections I get,” Malagari told the Towerlight. “I’m still hopeful. I know something will open for me soon.”

Towson Student’s Pro-Wrestling Dreams


Most marketing students gain experience through internships or summer jobs; Jessika Heiser, a student at Towson University, has taken a different tack. Her best marketing experience has come through promoting her own nascent career as a pro wrestler.

If you happen to follow the Maryland Championship Wrestling scene, you’d know Heiser as Jessie Kaye, the malevolent girlfriend of Ronnie Zukko (2010’s “Most Hated Wrestler” in the MCW).

Heiser had been a fan of wrestling since she was 10, but her career really took off when she enrolled at Gillberg’s Pro Wrestling Academy in Severn, which was founded by the WWE’s Duane Gill. When she started, she was 223 pounds and out of shape; now she regularly take on male wrestlers. “I’m not a natural athlete, which means I have to keep pushing myself every day to keep getting better,” Heiser told Towson Patch.

Out of the ring, Heiser takes charge of her own booking engagements, travel plans, and marketing. She’s wrestled once with MCW and has traveled to Delaware and West Virginia for matches. In the downtime between wrestling and work-outs, she dutifully gets her homework done. “I’m making sure I finish college to ensure I have an education to fall back on,” Heiser says. “I just love what I’m doing and grateful to all that have supported me For everyone to believe in me and believe I can make it, only makes me want to excel and prove them all right. I never want to let anyone down.”

Cool College Class Alert: Toy Making at Towson


Even in toy-making class, college is not all fun and games. It’s just… mostly fun and games. “It’s more of a laid-back class,” said Alicia Kim, a Towson University student taking the Designing Toys class, which is run through the school’s art department. (Kim’s project is a plant-girl toy with interchangeable flower heads.) But toys are big business, too, and the class takes that into consideration as well. In lieu of a final exam, students present a prototype and a storyboard to toy-giant Hasbro (My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Monopoly, Playskool…), hoping to win a summer internship at the company’s Rhode Island headquarters.

Century-Old Bell Restored to Glory at Towson U


As far as noisemakers go, bells are beautiful but difficult. Take the century-old specimen that hung atop Stephens Hall at Towson University:  until last month, the school’s 39-inch diameter, 1200-plus pound bell was heavily corroded and rarely used. And no wonder —  it hadn’t been  moved since it was first installed in 1915.

For much of its life, the bell had the job as bells worldwide — ringing every hour on the hour. But with the advent of wristwatches and cell phones, that public timekeeping role became less essential. The neighbors started complaining about the noise. In the 1990s, the bell fell silent, rung only on special occasions.

But now that it’s been cleaned and restored by Maryland’s own McShane Bell Foundry, Towson might find some more use for the old guy. Not only did McShane restore the bell’s original golden patina; it also installed an electronic ringing system programmed with ring tones (in the old-fashioned sense) for celebratory, sad, and ordinary occasions. The school has promised to keep the bell to a strict 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. schedule, so as to not bother the neighbors.

Look at more before-and-after photos of the bell’s restoration on WBAL’s website here.

Revealing Admissions Stats From Baltimore Colleges


The application business is a mysterious one, but we Baltimore Fishbowl-ers are here to help make things a little less murky. We talked to admissions reps at several local colleges and universities to find out what went into selecting the class of 2016 — and whether it’s just our imagination that every other Baltimore-area college student seems to be from New Jersey. Their responses after the jump:

Towson Brings TED Talks to Baltimore


In case you’re not already familiar, TED talks are the source of brain-bursting ideas, viral videos, inspirational speeches from today’s top thinkers, whether they be neuroscientists or architects or writers or ex-presidents. Think of it like a Malcolm Gladwell essay performed live:  TED speakers give a brief, technology-aided lecture about the most inspiring or revolutionary aspect of their work, the crowd laughs/cries/gasps and everyone goes home enlightened.

Maybe you’ve watched one of the many TED videos posted online and considered attending the conference in person — until you found out that tickets cost $6,000. Eep. Lucky for the non-millionaires among us, though, TED also sponsors what they call TEDx events, which are independently organized events worldwide that are inspired by the same spirit of deep discussion and open-sourced wisdom. And now Towson University is bringing that TEDx spirit to its campus with the first-ever TEDxTowsonU conference, “aimed at inspiring lifelong personal and social responsibility and encouraging individuals to be an agent of change for a better world.”

Towson University Copes With Two Student Deaths in One Day


Ryan Bailey was a 20-year old lacrosse player and accounting major from Seaford, New York; Tim Coyer was a 27-year old veteran who returned after two tours in Iraq hoping to get a degree in business administration. Both were juniors at Towson University, and both died on campus on Saturday, March 31 in two separate incidents.

Towson University’s White Pride Group is Shut Down


Our old friends, the Youth of Western Civilization, those advocates of white pride and straight pride and general rabblerousing, have finally hit a roadblock.  The Towson University group lost its faculty advisor, professor Richard Vatz, who dropped his affiliation when the group started, “using rhetoric in their arguments that I found were not appropriate.” And without a faculty advisor, YWC can’t be an official student group.

Vatz, a noted conservative, objected to the YWC calling its opponents “cancer” and “disgusting degenerates,” and using the words Islam and Muslim as derogative terms.  “I’m sorry, but that is not how impressive and serious conservatives argue their case,” Vatz said. “I realize that I have been your advisor only nominally, but I cannot in good conscience advise a group that attacks people or groups personally or tactlessly or does not recognize their dignity and the value of dignified argument in the marketplace of ideas.”

Towson: Terrible at Basketball, Good at Computers


Towson anti-hacking team makes NationalsWhile Towson University might have the worst college basketball team in America (sorry, Tigers), at least one of the school’s teams is on a winning streak.  They came out tops in the seventh annual CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, in which a fake hospital computer network (complete with patient records, GPS tracking, phone/computer networks, and a medication dispensing station) was attacked by a group of nefarious hackers; the Towson team was one of 25 that tried to stop them.

Towson’s anti-hacking team has proved victorious before.  It won the 2011 Maryland Cyber Challenge, the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Regional, and the 2010 CSC Cyb3rBatll3ground Competition. (If you can’t read the name of that last one, there’s no chance you’d ever make the cyber defense team.)

The group, which is coached by math professor Mike O’Leary, advances to nationals in San Antonio on April 20-22. W00t!

Towson University’s “White Pride” Problem


Youth for Western Civilization chalk "White Pride" messages at Towson University

You may remember when Towson University’s  Youth for Western Civilization held a “straight pride” rally last fall, raising the ire of many on campus and off. And now the rabblerousing student group is at it again, chalking “White Pride” messages on prominent campus locations.

Is this just a first-amendment expression of traditional conservative values or a provocative act with overtones of racism and white nationalism? Depends on who you ask.