Maureenpenland's Blog

The Purpose of College: Student’s Views and Vincentian Values

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on June 1, 2010

Maureen Penland

Michael Moore

WRD 104

May 30, 2010

The Purpose of College: Student’s Views and Vincentian Values

What exactly is college for?  Many of us ponder this question everyday. Whether we are

currently exploring the question on our journey through out college, already graduated college,

considering going to college, or never having went to college, everyone has their own ideals

formed on what the purpose of higher education is.  As I explored the research topic more on my

own, I discovered some interesting viewpoints and topics dealing with college that I never would

have considered without some of my unique sources that I used to help me come to a clearer

conclusion of this broad and controversial question.  Through the use of peer interviews,

conversations with high school counselors, and through DePaul’s Mission of Vincentian Service,

I have discovered fine ideals to the purpose of college…and it is certainly more that finding the

perfect career after graduation.

Colleges and Universities everywhere could never be complete without one main thing:

the students that attend the schools.  After having attended DePaul University for almost a year, I

have met and seen what makes DePaul rated #1 in having the happiest and most diverse students

at a University nationally.  I decided that to fully grasp the concept of finding the purpose of

going to college, I had to interview a few students myself.  Colette McLaughlin, a freshman at

DePaul, answered a few questions I had regarding college.  When asked, “What is college for?”

Colette answered, “There are a lot of reasons why we go to college…one of the reasons is, if you

don’t get a college education in our society, you can’t really make a good living.  Also, I think

college helps you grow as a person.”  With many students attending college with the purpose of

graduating with a degree and obtaining a well-paying job afterwards, sometimes morals and

values of “growing as a person,” such as what Colette mentioned in her interview, are

overshadowed by the dreams of becoming, a multi-millionaire in the work force after graduation.

Then I asked Colette if she knew that she would always go to college after graduating high

school.  She responded, “Yes, my parents wouldn’t really allow it any other way and I went to a

college prep high school, so the big focus was getting into college right after high school.  Like

an array of other privileged high schoolers, with parents that have well-paying jobs and went to

college as well, the large quantities of first generation college students are overlooked.  DePaul

attracts many lower-income families, as well as first generation college students because of it’s

large scholarships and service given back to the community.  Now that is something worth

talking about in an ideal college education…service learning.

During my interview with Colette, I was interested in finding out what first year college

students knew about Vincentian service at DePaul, and how it affected their time spent so far at

the University.  “Vincentian Values, to me, are helping others in the community and being a

better person…I participated in Vincentian Service Day, and that was helping out the

community.”  Vincentian Service Day was held on Saturday, May 1st, 2010 and is an annual

program that takes place at DePaul each year.  I personally participated this year, and

experienced DePaul’s service learning for myself.  Along with interviewing Colette, I

interviewed another first-year student, Chelsea LaValle, who had a similar background to Colette

and also attended a college preparatory high school, with the constant thought of getting into

college and succeeding.  According to Chelsea, “Vincentian Service has affected (my

experience) in a positive way, by reaching out to the people in your community, you get to meet

the people who you’re helping, it’s definitely made me a better person.”  After interviewing both

Colette and Chelsea, it is explicitly stated that Vincentian Service has played a large role in their

college experience at DePaul.

From my personal experience and coming from a Catholic College Preparatory high

school as well, I decided that it would be an interesting addition to hear the opinion of a high

school counselor from my former high school.  Mary Victoria Taylor, a graduate from The

University of Oregon, when asked what the purpose of college is, declared that, “The greatest

importance of going to college is to come to an awareness of your gifts, talents, challenges and

use all of them for God’s glory…Some of the most important factors in being in college are to

cultivate an awareness that all the you hear, read, and see is neither accurate or true.  You must

work to find your own purpose and direction within the framework of acquiring knowledge and a

degree.  You must stay close to your moral code in determining each step of the way.”  With a

more religious aspect on the purpose of college, Mary Victoria helps demonstrate and showcase

DePaul’s Vincentian Values and secure the importance of following your own path in college

which is also what First-generation students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Similar to DePaul’s mission of serving others and the community, The University of

North Carolina at Chapel Hill demonstrates a very similar mission, ensuring that all students, no

matter what their family’s income may be, receives an education. The University created a

page on their website of several members of the school’s community, unique life stories and the

importance that going to college has made for them.  One student in particular, Robert Bilbao of

Miami Florida, had an inspiring story to share about his experience at the University.  “Coming

here was a completely different experience, my parents don’t speak any English, they were born

and raised in Colombia and Venezuela.”  Similar to the backgrounds of many first-generation

students at DePaul, Robert confidently achieved success at Chapel Hill, and will be graduating

this year as a senior.

College clearly has many opportunities for leadership.  Many scholars would argue that

the organizations they were involved in including Greek Life, Student Government, and other

leadership organizations, highly influenced their success through out life.  According to Dennis

Roberts, “Graduation from an institution of higher education is one of the hallmarks of success

across many cultures around the globe.”  Roberts then goes on asking what the meaning of

leadership really is, and that it is something that we search for and strive to achieve through out

our lives and college careers.  This brings everything back to the main question: What is College

For?  After my research on the topic, college portrays a different meaning to everyone it effects.

To some it may mean being the first person in their family to hold a degree, while to others, it

may be helping those attain the means to receive that degree.  Overall, college holds the ideals

where educating oneself, others, and the community take place.


“Office of Mission and Values.” .

DePaul University, n.d.  Web. 28 May. 2010.

“Carolina Firsts: First Generation College Students”

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, n.d.  Web. 28 May. 2010

Roberts C. Dennis.  Deeper Learning in Leadership.  San Francisco, CA.

John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2007.


Contextual Analysis- What is College for?

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on May 24, 2010

“The Bachelors Degree is America’s most overrated product,” according to Dr. Marty Nemko, education consultant and career counselor.  According to the recent graduates interviewed on ABC’s News’ 20/20, many students are finding no luck in the job search after graduating, and seem to be giving up in the hopes of even finding a well paying job in this economy.  Despite the monetary struggle that many recent college graduates find in today’s current economic status, is the bigger picture being overlooked?  Rather than focussing solely on the race for the hottest career on  the job market fresh out of college, shouldn’t we be taking the time to actually ‘enjoy’ ourselves in college with things such as community-based learning and building character?  DePaul University has proved itself worthy of producing well-rounded, happy students as it has been ranked No. 1 in the nation of “Diverse Student Population,” and “recognized in Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s survey of the top 100 minority degree-producing institutions.”  These facts assist in proving a larger goal, which is in fact that college is about more than just the degree and job, it’s about the people, character, knowledge and use Vincentian Values that are critical to a well-rounded college experience.

What is College For?

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on May 18, 2010

Maureen Penland

May 17th, 2010

WRD 104

Michael Moore

What is College For?

Preliminary Research

For my research project, I am choosing to do it in the form of a formatted video.  In my video, I plan on including at least three individual interviews with three separate and diverse students, as well as other recorded and stated facts that go along with the research topic.  For my first source, I am using the book Educating Citizens: Preparing America’s Undergraduates for lives of moral and civic responsibility; Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, Elizabeth Beaumont, Jason Stephens.  Below, I have diagrammed what I am going to discuss in different points in my video.

Citations of Final Draft Research

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on May 10, 2010

Work Cited:

1.) Laurie, Mike. “How Social Media Has Changed Us.”  Mashable The Social Media Guide.

N.p., 26 Jan. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

2.) (09/21/2008). “I’m So Totally, Digitally Close To You.”. The New York Timesmagazine (0028-7822),  p. 12  Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 26, 2010.

3.)Bucy P., Erik, Newhagen E., John. “Media access : social and psychological dimensions of new technology use.”  Mahwah, N.J, L. Erlbaum c2004

Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 26, 2010.

4.) Contreras, Felix. “Young Latinos, Blacks Answer Call of Mobile Devices.”  NPR.

N.p., 1 Dec. 2009. Web. 9 May. 2010

5.) Greenblatt, Alan. Television’s Future Will TV remain the dominant mass medium?

CQ Researcher February 16, 2007 • Volume 17, Number 7 © 2010, CQ Press, A Division of SAGE Publications. Web. 9 May. 2010

6.) Reid, Donna., Reid, Fraser.  Insights into the Social and Psychological Effects of

SMS text messaging.  University of Plymouth.  N.p February 2004.  Web 9 May. 2010

Research Project Rough Draft

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on May 3, 2010

Have you ever wondered how Social Media plays a role in American society?  If so, or even if you’re not sure yet, it most likely has if you have watched a television, used the internet, or owned a cell phone throughout your life in recent years.  To state it clearly, we have all be affected by the Social Media, in today’s society, there is no way to escape it.  Next time you log into your Facebook® account, or update your Twitter®, you are essentially buying into what social media in our culture has presented to us, a large spoonful of technology, connections, advertising…and let’s not forget new “Facebook® friends.”

Coming from the “Millennial Generation”, I have grown up my entire life with many opportunities of communication at my fingertips.  In this current new generation of society which is being referred to as the “New Silent Generation”, children are growing up with the Internet steadfastly being used in their homes, as well as online news sources rather that physically attaining a newspaper.  What I want to know is, how is this rapid blow up of technology going to affect our lives, and the lives of future generations, and is it going to better our society by not having as much face-to face communication, and more “Skype®” sessions?

Peer Review Questions:

1.) Do you think that I should include any other forms of social media…possibly ones I don’t know of or have forgotten?

2.) Who would be a good person to interview for my research…anyone specific?

3.) Should I leave all of the social media references I have so far such as, Internet, Television, and Cell Phones, as is, or should I take out/add more?

Research Project Proposal

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on April 26, 2010

My Research Question: “How has the American mass/social media affected the way we communicate with each other?”

While first deciding to base my research question on a “media and communication” based question, I had no idea what to focus on or how to narrow down the topic matter.  In the beginning my question was extremely broad and most likely would have been a novel when finished that may have taken many years to comprise.  When I came to the conclusion that I would narrow things down specifically to American culture and social media my beginning research became much easier and more specific.

The main reasons I chose this topic is because, I am a communication major and would like to better familiarize myself with its purposes, and also I want to know if we as a whole society have changed as people, or are the endless amounts of technology flowing from our households what’s changing us?  Unlike many other of my peers’ research topics, mine does not have a black and white, set-in-stone answer.  After reviewing many different websites and journals on the topic of social media, I have realized that much of what our society thinks is from opinion.  Because opinion is not always based on factual events or coming from a reliable source, I know this will make my research more difficult but I am up for the challenge.  The topic of social media is certainly relevant in our present culture, and affects all American’s from children, who are the youth of society and are the greatest receptors of the social media, as well as citizen’s into late adulthood.  My main goal for the research is to discover why social media affects our culture so heavily, and how/why did we change many of out old customs, that seemed to be working just fine such as reading the newspaper?

Precis Form Articles

Laurie, Mike. “How Social Media Has Changed Us.”  Mashable The Social Media Guide.

N.p., 26 Jan. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

The author of this article shows the reader in great detail of the multiple changes that are currently occurring in America Social Media.  Many different currently used research methods such as “Facebook” are mentioned in the article.  The purpose of this article is to give the reader insight on what he/she may/may not know about of growing and changing social media and the methods that we use to give and receive information.  The intended audience could be anyone with an interest in the way we communicate, although it is most likely not for a scholarly audience, but more sheer interest of the general public.

(09/21/2008). “I’m So Totally, Digitally Close To You.”. The New York Times

magazine (0028-7822),  p. 12  Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 26, 2010.

The author of this book portrays the absolute conversion of technology that America has gone through in the past decade.  Judging simply by the title, the author argues the loss of print communication such as newspaper and the take over of digital communication.  This book was most likely written to show a point and argue the process of the change of social media in out culture in very recent years.  This is a well-constructed book and is aimed towards scholars and students interested in communication.

Bucy P., Erik, Newhagen E., John. “Media access : social and psychological

dimensions of new technology use.”  Mahwah, N.J, L. Erlbaum c2004

Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 26, 2010.

This book empowers the reader with information of the different levels that social media has on our lives.  It reviews the social as well as the psychological dimensions of new technology use in great depth.  The author most likely constructed this piece to inform the reader and to advise society of the workings of the social media.  The audience aimed towards for this book would be scholars as well as learners, thinkers, people interested in social communication.

Research Question

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on April 19, 2010

This is my proposed research question that I will be working on. “How has the American mass/social media affected the way we communicate with each other? “

‘Interrupted Reading” Analysis

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on April 7, 2010

While further researching Corot’s painting, “Interrupted Reading” I came across many different interpretations of the piece of art.  Some of this information came from primary sources, such as the Chicago Art Institute, while others came from tertiary sources such as Google.  “Interrupted Reading” is much more of a controversial painting than one may think.  While researching the artist, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, I discovered that this painting in particular stood out from the rest in that it wasn’t one of his more commonly found “landscape” pieces.  Overall, all sources used in the analysis had a different viewpoint of the painting.  “The Abbot Jouveau, curate of Coubron, 1875,” which is an article I found taken from a volume from The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, it is learned that Corot did not paint portraits of women until towards the end of his career, and he “considered these works private” (Miro, 31).  The posed portraits that Corot painted of women were meant to “evoke his sitter’s contemplative, even melancholic moods.”

While contemplating why Corot chose to paint a woman rather than a landscape, more specifically a woman reading, I came across another source.  “Men reading Women Reading: Interpreting Images of Women Readers,” by Frontiers- a Journal of Women’s Studies, explains the power difference depicted in pictures that contain women reading.  According to the source, through out history, it has been considered “mystical” and mysterious to paint pictures of women reading.  It also, according to the source, ties together links of “the depths of privacy (in a relationship,” (Conlon, 1), and gives insight on a more intimate relationship and the “fear” that men contain about what women do out of sight.

My most reliable source for this analysis was having the privilege of making a trip over to the Chicago Art Institute.  I was excited to finally find the painting and read exactly what the plaque and interpretation of the painting had to say.  Much to my dismay, the plaque did not really explain a point-of view on the art piece other than the model wore an “Italianate costume (Corot) had acquired from Italy,” and that the woman was simply “absorbed in thoughts inspired by the book she has put down,” as well as “the curve of her posture and upraised arm emphasizing her introspection and private thoughts”. The research for this painting was fairly difficult, mostly because of the lack of information on this painting in general, but in a way this created more muse and wonder about the painting itself, and made me realize the never ending interpretations of artwork.

“Men Reading Women Reading: Interpreting Images of Women Readers

The Art Institute of Chicago

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on April 5, 2010

Rhetorical Precis

Interrupted Reading

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago.  The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago. Web 05. Apr. 2010.

1. “Camille Corot.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 05 Apr. 2010 <>.

The Britannica online Encyclopedia suggests the significance of Corot’s landscape style artwork.  This source specifically defines Corot’s life as well as his journey through artwork which led to his overall fame.  This article proves the point of the influence on “Impressionist” style artwork that Carot attained.  The reader is led to understand the detail and importance that went into creating “Interrupted Reading”  This article was created for researchers and students.

2. “Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. 5 Apr. 2010 <>.

This article displays the importance of the geographic location of Corot throughout his life, and the importance it played on the style of his artwork.  The author gives the reader a time-line of Corot’s life, and what type of artwork he produced at each different era of his life.  This article was written for scholars, students, as well as academic researchers.

3. “Jean Baptiste Camille Corot Biography “Jean Baptiste Camille Corot from Encyclopedia of World Biography. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. Web. 5 Apr 2010

This world biography of Camille Corot lets the reader view Corot’s life before he was an avid artist, and the many different themes of is life the influenced his passion for landscape art.  The author displays the time-line of Corot’s life all the way through his youth in Paris to the significance his schooling in Italy played on his passion for landscape artwork.  This article was intended to be read by many viewers including young scholars, teachers, and the interested public.

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized by maureenpenland on March 29, 2010

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!