Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office

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Faculty Feature: Dr. Bob Akin

What it means to be a Horned Frog

My story is way too long for this Blog. With that said, I’ll give you what my impressions of what being a Horned Frog means to me. I hold three degrees from TCU; my undergraduate degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and my Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.). I am working on my second Doctorate at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. It is a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA).

lizardTCU is the only university in the world to have a Horned Frog as its mascot. Well, we are actually a Texas Horned Lizard. We’re a reptile, not an amphibian. Think back to what Mushu said in Mulan, “I’m a Dragon, I don’t do the tongue thing.” Yep, we Horned Frogs don’t do the tongue thing… OK, I digressed. Horned Frogs are lizards that survive in some of the harshest elements. They are cunning and resourceful. Their defense mechanism is to actually break capillaries and squirt blood from their eyes. Each of these facts make the Horned Frog unique. I see the entering class of freshmen at Frog Camp and Orientation and realize that the class I’m seeing is better than the class that preceded them. The beauty of TCU is that our community gets better with each New Year. It is either a new incoming class that exceeds the one prior, a rising criteria for incoming faculty due to the administrations search for those who will expand and challenge the thinking of the student body, or the honed TCU experience to incorporate one of the premier athletic departments in the country. Each student here is unique, each student contributes to the success of every aspect of this campus. What I’m trying to say- when you’re a Horned Frog, you are among the best. Your high school friends are just that, your high school friends. Your Horned Frog friends are the lifelong friends. They are the ones you will be married with and buried with. You will be a Horned Frog for Life, HFFL!

Failure: don’t run from it, learn from it

Failure is the greatest teacher. Embrace failure and learn from everything you do. If you walk through life and you have never failed, you have either never tried anything outside your comfort zone or you are afraid of failure. Edison invented the lightbulb on the 1000th attempt. What would the world be like if he stopped, gave up, or quit after the 999th attempt? Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” This from a man who rallied a country when defeat was on their doorstep.

Professors: they are not “teachers”

TCU BlogTeachers will teach to a specific standardized test. Their job is to prepare you for graduation as mandated by a state board of education. Teachers never get the real credit they deserve. Each person can point to a specific teacher who had an impact on them. Professors are different. Our job is to increase, enhance, and develop a very acute skill set that you possess. Professors develop the critical thinking, analytical skills, and communication skills in their students. Professors will not hold your hand and work from a remedial aspect. We will work diligently to help you uncover the strengths and weaknesses in the skills you have. We yearn to see success in the students and will take great sense of accomplishment when we see the “light” go on in your educational journey.

This is where TCU greatly outdistances itself from all other universities (in my opinion). If you walk across the stage at graduation and receive the “Golden Handshake” from Chancellor Boschini and you do not know three professors on a first name basis, you have missed the educational experience at TCU. The faculty at TCU truly wants to get to know their students and help them. We are the ones whom employers call looking to fill a need at their companies. When seeking admittance into a graduate program, admissions counselors will ask the faculty what type of student the applicant was. TCU faculty will make themselves available to help their students at any time. Remember, we love to see the light bulbs click on!

Study Abroad

Our mission statement is: “to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” What better way to put our mission statement into practice than to live it? When students study in a foreign country, they learn to adapt their lives and learning styles to become successful. The experiences they will bring to their future employer can pay dividends. There are opportunities for students to explore the world and expose themselves to educational environments that will act as a multiplier on their learning.

Most importantly: get involved

TCU is YOUR community. Each member of this community plays an integral part in education. There is a life you learn with and a life you live with- make them intersect early. Most of the learning is done outside the classroom. When students take leadership roles on campus, their skill set is developed and honed for the future. The path to success is forged through the efforts developed on campus. The microcosm of college efforts are a laboratory setting where students can experiment and develop abilities in a controlled setting. The best part is college efforts are seen as a safety net. Get involved and make TCU a better place.

akinDr. Bob Akin is the Assistant Professor of Professional Practice for the Neeley School of BusinessMarketing Department. He serves our university as an advisor for the American Marketing Association, a member of the Celebration of University Pillar Awards Committee, and a frequent Frog Camp faculty facilitator.     

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Student Submission: Texas Christian University, noun

Even though I could write a master’s thesis on the Theory of Why TCU is the Greatest Place on Earth, I’ll keep it as short as possible. TCU has redefined me (in a good way), so I figured this is my opportunity to redefine it.

Here’s what I “C” in TCU (ha, get it), and I hope after a few weeks on campus, you’ll see the same.

Texas Christian University: For me, TCU is a place where I pursue my faith in Jesus Christ through different on-campus ministries, local churches, and friends who share the same beliefs as I do. Here’s the good news: there is a place and people waiting for you no matter what you believe in (or don’t). I know from experience that the Christian community is strong, but I also know that TCU is home to many different religions, beliefs, and practices – where you get involved is your choice!

Texas Challenging University: TCU offers challenging courses that push me to be better in every aspect of who I am, and I’m thankful that I go to a school in which I will leave different than I came. Whether it be studying, taking on a leadership role, applying for a job position, or planning an event for my sorority, I am better equipped to complete each of these tasks after just one year of being a frog, and the ample amount of resources available to students is the reason for that!

studentsectTexas Celebratory University: Big victories and small, we celebrate ‘em all. I got my first taste of school spirit at my first tailgate, and it continues to run deep through the student section at any sporting event, the chants to cheer on the frogs, Purple Fridays in Fort Worth, and even through hearing a simple “GO FROGS” from a friend or a stranger on the way to class. Not only do people in the Fort bleed purple and white, but they also drink it, bathe in it, and sweat it out. It’s unique, and it’s something special to be a part of.

Texas Charismatic University: What really makes TCU so great? The people, the people, the people. Let me say it again: THE PEOPLE! The people on TCU’s campus truly care about you and your TCU experience. Fort Worth draws the best of the best, but each person has something different to offer our community that contributes to the preexisting incredible atmosphere. When I think of TCU, I think of a genuine sense of family – one that is always ready to welcome new members.TCU Blog

Texas Cozy University: TCU has rockin’ dorms, but I don’t use the word “cozy” because there are a lot of couches or really good places to take naps. TCU is cozy to me because it’s a place I call home – a place that I LOVE to call home. I knew that I had found my piece of home when I grieved on the last day of school because I didn’t want to leave my slice of Heaven, and I hope that it feels the same for all of you.

Like I said, there could be MULTIPLE additions to this article, but I’ll wrap it up with this: Go Frogs!

TCU BlogHaylee Bowden is a sophomore Social Work major from Aledo, Texas. She is involved in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the John V. Roach Honors College, and Frog Camp.

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Ask the Counselors: What’s been your favorite TCU football memory?

With the 2015 season off to a great start, here’s a look back at some of our favorite frog football games!

Mollie Richardson – Kansas State, 2014. It was our first night game of the season and there’s nothing like a packed stadium full of horned frogs cheering under the lights! Plus: Boykin’s flip TD was something special.

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Celebrating the win over Iowa State and the Big XII Championship Dec 6, 2014

Heath Einstein – Defeating Iowa State 55-3 last year, capping off an improbable run to a Big XII championship, was a highlight. Watching the team hoist the trophy en route to a Peach Bowl victory was a great way to cap off one of the best years in TCU football history.

Kristy Borneman – The 2011 Rose Bowl in CA when TCU beat Wisconsin. I attended with my dad, brother, and two younger sisters; all fellow Horned Frogs!

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Rose Bowl, Jan 1, 2011 vs. Wisconsin

John Andrew Willis – Easy question. 2011 Rose Bowl. My senior year at TCU when we beat Wisconsin 21-19. About as good as it gets!

Beatriz Gutierrez – All of them!  I can’t limit it to any particular one.

David Stein – I’ll go with the easy answer here – the Rose Bowl. I got to go with all my best friends and it was the time of my life. Behind that, we played Stanford in 2008 (my freshman year) and that was the game where Hurricane Ike shifted its course and came through during the game. There weren’t many people in the stands, but I was there in my swim trunks and a snorkel! The Peach Bowl was also amazing, although I didn’t get to go. I was watching it while getting ready for my wedding!

Sara Sorenson – The Rose Bowl in 2011 was by far the most incredible game I have been in the crowd for. The spirit was never ending. The fact that we were the little guy didn’t seem to matter from start to finish, but it sure didn’t hurt that we pulled out a victory.

Dalton Goodier – The 2011 Rose Bowl when TCU beat Wisconsin 21-19 to finish undefeated.

Caitlin Provost – The TCU/Iowa State game last fall. I got to go onto the field after we won the Big 12 Championship. It was amazing to be right there, celebrating with the players!

(If you don’t understand what all the hype is about, just watch this video. You’ll get it. Go frogs! #UniteForTheFIght)

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Student Submission: Going Beyond the Classroom

TCU BlogI think one of the greatest things I have learned during my time at TCU is that there is more than one way to learn. I have had a number of professors who have challenged the traditional lecture-style classroom setting and have instead created classes that engage, inspire, and impact students on a deeper level. While I have thoroughly enjoyed my lecture-based courses as well, having classes that focus on more than just memorizing material has given me broader sense of what I am capable of as a student.

TCU BlogThe first class that I would like to mention is one that was called “Food and the Sense of Self.” Yes that’s right, a class about food! While getting to eat food every Friday when class met was a definite benefit, this class was about so much more than that. We had guest speakers come in almost every week and share what food means in their culture or profession. From gourmet French dessert to having a traditional Jewish ceremonial meal prepared right in front of our eyes, I gained a deeper understanding of how much culture impacts the way we prepare, taste, and even see food. Hearing their stories and tasting foods that mean so much to them was definitely an eye-opening experience that has forever changed the way I view and appreciate food. We also discussed how food relates to music, movies, art, industry, religion, and our sense of being. I think the biggest thing I took away from this class is that when we share food, we share our homes, our culture, and our memories.

TCU BlogAnother class that went beyond the traditional classroom format was a class I took about sustainability. The class mostly discussed how environmental, economic, and social issues are all connected with each other. With all the changes that are constantly going on in the world, it was nice to gain such relevant knowledge so that I could be informed on the issues that will not only affect my generation, but will also affect the generations to come. But the thing I appreciated most about this class is that it went beyond learning facts from a textbook. We had guest speakers from Coca-Cola, Texas water treatment plants, SolarCity, General Motors and so many more. We watched and discussed TED Talks and documentaries. We even got to be hands-on and grow plants in a contest to see who could grow the most “micro greens” in one week from scratch. All classes serve to teach you something. But the classes I remember the most are the ones that have changed the way I think, perceive, and even act.

TCU BLogThere have also been two courses I have taken that have involved volunteering with the COMO Community Center. COMO is an after-school learning enrichment center that is based in a low-income area of Fort Worth. Some of the most notable service-learning projects I was a part of was teaching a “Science Night” every Tuesday for the children, helping coordinate a Field Day to promote healthy active lifestyles, and working one-on-one with pre-k children to help them learn the letters of the alphabet and how to properly write out their full name. Since this class was discussion based, students were able to challenge each other and openly discuss important topics on a much deeper level. We talked about topics such as “empathy” and “what it means to truly be a mentor.” As a hopeful physician, this class and its interactions with the COMO center have given me a strong passion for serving underserved areas in my future profession.

All of the classes I have taken at TCU have made me a better person, student, and leader. The professors and their love for education and creativity are really what make these classes so great. As an upcoming senior, I can honestly say that I have never had a teacher at TCU that I did not like. Not a single one. I will be forever grateful for all the professors at TCU that have made my education here such a wonderful experience.

TCU BlogBailey Shepherd is a senior Biology major with Sociology and Chemistry minors from North Richland Hills, Texas. She is involved in TCU Ambassadors, the John V. Roach Honors College, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honors Society

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Ask the Counselors: How should a student best maneuver a college fair? (Part 2)

Last week, we offered some advice to cut down the stress at college fairs. Here are a few more tips to effectively tackle a fair.

Mollie at her first college fair in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. We’ve hit the road so come see us!

Mollie at her first college fair in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. We’ve hit the road so come see us!

Mollie Richardson – Engage with the counselors. Ask them questions. This is your chance to get a feel for schools that you might want to visit, as well as to establish a relationship with your counselor.

Caitlin Provost – Plan ahead. Try to find a list of colleges attending beforehand so you know which tables you want to stop by. Having a list of questions also helps. That way, you can ask about specific majors and admission criteria. Its way better than just asking: “So…what’s good at this college?”

TCU BlogKristy Borneman – Grab business cards from the colleges that grab your interest. These are people who serve your area. Contact them with questions or to thank them for their time. These individuals can be your biggest advocates and can answer any questions you have throughout the process.

John Andrew Willis – In a relaxed and unrushed manner. You don’t need to take a great deal of notes, as most of your questions can be found in brochures and online. Every college is available 24/7 online. The benefit of being there is a conversation with the representative. We want to get to know you – that’s why we travel to be there. A firm handshake, eye contact, and a follow-up email all go a long way!

Sara Sorenson – College fairs are hectic by nature, but they are a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t feel rushed to get through the whole fair; you have plenty of time, especially if you look at the list of colleges in advance.

Allie Sevall – My best piece of advice is to start at the back of the room. Most students will start at the front of the room, so by going to the back and then gradually making your way to the front of the room you will have less crowds to maneuver around.

Margaret McCarthy – College fairs can sometimes feel very overwhelming!  I recommend researching some of the colleges or universities you’re interested in beforehand so you can feel more prepared.  If you have a few years before you’ll be applying, it’s a great way to get a lot of information at once for a variety of schools.

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Faculty Feature: Dr. Susan Staples, Actuarial Mathematics

Will Social Security funds exist when you retire more than fifty years from now? Is North Texas economically prepared for the next major tornado? Should a pizza firm hedge its financial position by buying options in the wheat market to offset future increases in flour costs? If you’re looking for a challenging course of study that applies advanced mathematical concepts to solve business and economic problems, then consider a mathematics degree with an actuarial concentration.

Six students from the actuarial department at a spring 2015 conference in Dallas.

Six students from the actuarial department at a spring 2015 conference in Dallas.

Actuaries develop and utilize probabilistic, statistical, and financial models to analyze complex problems. Companies employing actuaries include those that specialize in retirement and pensions, health insurance, property insurance, and hedging and risk management.  Actuaries earn credentials through a series of professional exams and accredited courses of study. Two societies, the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society, formally credential the various types of actuaries. The website features general information about an actuarial career and path of study.

TCU students in the Actuarial Program take classes in economics, accounting, finance, and computer science, in addition to specialized actuarial classes in mathematics. Coursework for the first two professional actuarial exams is included in the degree plan; students take at least 34 hours of mathematics.

The Mathematics Department frequently hosts local and national actuarial firms for on-campus events and presentations. Most years, a few TCU students are sponsored to attend a professional actuarial conference. Wellington Insurance, TCU’s CAS liaison company, annually treats TCU students who have passed a professional exam to a celebratory dinner.

In conjunction with TCU Career Services, the Mathematics Department prepares an annual resume book for the Actuarial Program. TCU actuarial students are actively sought out for actuarial internships and full-time positions. From the outset, actuarial students balance career expectations and goals with a demanding academic program.

Love solving challenging math problems and hoping to turn this into a vocation? Then stop by and visit the Actuarial program at TCU!

TCU BlogDr. Susan Staples is an Associate Professor in Mathematics and Director of the TCU Actuarial Program.

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Ask the Counselors: How should a student best maneuver a college fair? (Part 1)

With hundreds of college representatives and thousands of guests in attendance, college fairs can often be overwhelming. Our counselors have offered some tips on how you can get the most from your time at a fair.

TCU BlogBeatriz Gutierrez – With so many colleges in one place, the best way to tackle it would be by visiting schools that you may not otherwise get a chance to visit with.

David Stein – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The college process can be confusing, and every college can be very different. Whatever is most important to you (how the residence halls are, what the research opportunities are, what’s there to do, etc.), really dig in and discover. Take notes, too! When you visit with 20 different schools and don’t take notes, you’ll forget which facts correspond with which schools!

Heath Einstein – Before arriving at a college fair, students should register online if the college fair is set up this way (all NACAC National College Fairs and many regional fairs are set up this way) which will allow them to print out barcodes to provide admission representatives. If online registration is unavailable, students should print out labels with their names, mailing addresses, emails addresses, phones numbers and dates of birth on them. Every college will ask for this information and so printing it out in advance will both prevent students’ hands from getting tired and free up would-be writing time to actually ask questions and engage with the college reps. As for maneuvers through the fair, students are well-served by creating a list ahead of time of the colleges about which they’d like to know more. Rather than asking general questions about test scores or application deadlines — the answers to which can be found online — ask about school culture and similarly probing questions.

Victoria Herrera – Sure, some college fairs seem like the typical “Brochure Grab fest,” but take time before the fair to study at least five schools to seek out, then learn from the representative about the school and pick up information/brochures.

Dalton Goodier – Come prepared. Know a little bit about the schools you’re interested in and have a couple of questions that you can ask. This will help you get a better feel for the school and the way you would fit into the culture and community of a specific campus.


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