Spring 2012: Robert Morris University Spring 2012 | Robert Morris University



Family Connections is a publication designed for the parents and families of Robert Morris University students. It is compiled by the Office of Student Life and printed in cooperation with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.

Editions are printed in the fall, winter, and spring of each academic year. We are interested in your feedback about this publication. E-mail your comments and suggestions to studentlife@rmu.edu.


Our spring 2012 semester is already in full swing, and the campus is full of excitement and energy, even given the cold weather.

This issue of Family Connections features several articles with a focus on how the university helps promotes health and wellness for our students. From managing the stress of college pressures to taking advantage of campus recreation offerings, we want to take this opportunity to highlight for you some of the resources available on campus.

Also featured in this issue are updates and highlights from RMU Dining Services. Whether your student lives on campus or commutes, he or she is certainly going to be utilizing the campus’s dining facilities, and we want to share with you the ways Dining Services also supports the health and wellness of our students.

We hope you find the information provided in this issue helpful as you guide your student through the second half of this academic year. As always, we strive to be your partner in helping your student achieve his/her academic, personal, and professional goals while staying healthy and well.


It is that time of year again for students and their families to begin considering their on-campus housing for next year. The deadline for students to submit their online housing contracts and to pay their housing deposit for the 2012 – 2013 academic year is Friday, March 16, at 5 p.m.

The Room Selection Process will again occur in March, whereby students who have completed housing contracts and paid deposits will be given the opportunity to participate in the online selection process.

All parents and families are encouraged to review this information with their student by visiting rmu.edu/roomselection for all related information and details.

Although the Room Selection Process may seem complicated, it is designed to give fair access to housing opportunities for all resident students. Each student is responsible for his/her own participation in the process and is therefore urged to be mindful of all deadlines and to ask questions as they arise. For your convenience, all important deadlines are posted here.

The Residence Life Staff will be available to answer questions at information sessions in February. Parents may also contact the Office of Residence Life at 412-397-5252 or by email at reslife@rmu.edu.



Tuesday, February 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Nicholson Center Food Court
Wednesday, February 15, 6–7 p.m. - International Suite - Sewall Center
Tuesday, February 21, 9–10 p.m. - International Suite - Sewall Center
Thursday, February 23, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Nicholson Center Food Court. A Room Selection information table will be available in the Nicholson Center Food Court.

Friday, March 16 at 5 p.m
All housing contracts and $250 deposits are due. Contracts must be submitted online at rmu.edu. Deposits may be submitted online or at the Office of Student Financial Services located in the Revere Center.
Friday, March 16, at 5 p.m.
All Washington Hall suite applications are due to the Office of Residence Life.
Wednesday, March 21
All Approved Washington Hall suites will be posted in the Office of Residence Life.
Monday, March 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Apartment and triple room selection by credit occurs online via the Office of Residence Life website.
Wednesday, March 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Double, private/single room selection by credit occurs online via the Office of Residence Life website.
Friday, March 30
All Wait List Applications will be made available in the Office of Residence Life. You must submit a housing contract and a $250.00 housing deposit, and you must participate in the online room selection process in order to receive the best possible opportunity for room placement.




Why not take advantage of the summer months to catch up on credits you need or to get ahead so that you can graduate early? By graduating on-time or early, you can accelerate your earnings and boost your salary potential.

This summer RMU will be offering almost 100 course options available in a variety of summer sessions. For more information, visit RMU.EDU/SUMMER or contact the Center for Student Success at 412-397-4342.


RMU Dining Services prides itself on our Food Gold Standards, which ensure that we provide only the freshest and most nutritious meals in our dining facilities. We use fresh vegetables daily, USDA Choice meats or above, daily fresh fruit offerings, and food prepared from scratch using real ingredients. No microwave cooking is utilized in any of our dining operations.

We gladly work with students who have special dietary requirements or restrictions to ensure that they have the food options that suit their individual needs. Nutrition, variety, and flexibility are what your students can expect.


With the return of students to campus in January, several adjustments were made in the Nicholson Center Food Court to better accommodate our students. The Taqueria service station has expanded its menu options to include custom ordered burritos, fajitas, chimichangas, enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, and taco salads on a daily basis.

The Wrap it Up station has a new location as well within the serving area, which provides more preparation and display space and gives this station the recognition and broader menu that it deserves. All wraps are now also served with homemade chips!

In RoMo's Café, pre-made hot breakfast sandwiches are now available for students on the run who do not want to have their sandwiches custom made in the Food Court. Egg and cheese biscuits, as well as bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits will be available daily from 7 – 10 a.m.

You and your student are encouraged to visit rmu.edu/diningservices for more information on what’s new and exciting in our campus dining program.


We are pleased to highlight for parents and families the healthy menu options are available for your students.


WRAP IT UP Roasted Vegetable Wrap
PARKSIDE DINER (available on cycle menu): Whole Wheat Pasta, Steamed Vegetables, Baked Salmon
or Cod, Brown Rice Pilaf and Poached Chicken
BENTO BOWL Stir-fried vegetables with choice of protein – chicken, steak, or tofu and rice noodles or brown rice
TAQUERIA Taco Salad with choice of assorted toppings, Chicken Soft Tacos, Chicken Quesadilla, Burritos and Nachos made your way.
GRILL Grilled Chicken, Fresh Grilled Salmon,
Tilapia, Catfish, or Cod
ON THE GO Assorted Salads, Cottage Cheese, Yogurt Parfaits, Hard Boiled Eggs, Celery and Carrot Sticks, Assorted Wraps and Sandwiches, Fresh Fruit Cups, and Whole Fruit
FRESHENS Assorted Crepes, Yogurt w/ Fresh Berries and Smoothies
SALAD BAR All the options with fat free dressing or assorted oils and vinegars


SALADS BY DESIGN All of the options with fat free dressing or assorted oils and vinegars


8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1 large orange bell pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 medium sweet onion
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon basil

In a large saucepot, cook penne pasta in 1 gallon of water for 8 minutes or until al dente, stirring to keep pasta from sticking. Meanwhile cut peppers and onions into half inch strips. Heat oil in large skillet, saute peppers and onions until tender add salt and black pepper. Stir in sugar, vinegar, and basil heat through. Add pasta to the pepper mixture and toss gently. If you like you can add grilled chicken or shrimp to this dish as a great accompaniment

(Calories 159, Protein 4gm, Carbs 26gm, Dietary fiber 3gm, Fat 4gm, Sodium 200mg)


This meal plan is designed specifically for commuter students who wish to utilize any of the RMU's dining facilities (Food Court, RoMo’s Café, Hale Café, and the Island Sports Center). The plan allows for 2-3 meals per week and extra money for snacks or coffee, while saving the 7% sales tax. The cost is $250 per semester.

If your student is interested in purchasing a Commuter Meal Plan, he/she should visit Student Financial Services in Revere Center. Note that payment must be made at the time you enroll and that any unspent meal plan dollars will expire at the end of the semester and cannot be carried over to the next semester. There is a $10 fee for the program, so the spendable balance of the Commuter Meal Plan is $240, and your payment is non-refundable.

Students who live off campus may also choose from the Revolutionary, Patriot, Jefferson, or Liberty meal plans.


The Jefferson Health and Fitness Club is back in full swing this semester with a variety of fitness classes and programs.

We now offer Hoist ROC-IT fitness machines, designed to strengthen your core in every workout, along with a wide variety of free weights including dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, and barbells. The cardio area is equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines, stair climbers, and stationary bikes for building stamina and endurance. We also have two all-purpose fitness rooms, equipped with free weights and television screens, where members can take advantage of DVDs like P90X and Insanity.

Spring programs include a women’s fitness hour, where women have the privacy of one of the fitness rooms, and our popular 100-Mile Club, where students can track their miles per semester to receive and exclusive 100-Mile Club t-shirt!

Fitness classes are seeing great attendance and generally run between 45 minutes and 1 hour and include the following: Spinning | TRX | P 90X/ Insanity | Pilates | Kettle Bell Cardio | Zumba | Abs 101 | Turbo Kick | Martial Arts | Yoga

Students who do not currently utilize the Jefferson Center are invited to stop down for a tour and to obtain information about current programs and events. The facility is free for current students so it is a great amenity to take advantage of on campus this semester.


Every individual who volunteers does so for various reasons—none of which are necessarily wrong or right. For instance, this past fall semester over 690 RMU freshmen completed at least three hours of service in fulfillment of their First Year Experience course requirement. An additional 500+ students completed over 5,000 hours of service this past fall semester due to course requirements, Student Engagement Transcript goals, organization requirements, etc. However, thanks to recent research, RMU students have yet another reason to volunteer their time.

The Corporation for National & Community Service recently published a report explaining the health benefits of volunteering entitled, “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research”. That’s right—it’s good to be good! The Corporation’s report explains that “those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”

The report explains that individuals who have volunteered their time and services earlier in life experience better health outcomes later in life. This is good news for our civically-minded Colonials who begin volunteering their firstsemester at RMU. The report also states that volunteers have shown lower rates of depression, lower rates of artery disease, a newfound sense of purpose, and overall greater life satisfaction. The authors of the report did point out, however, that these results were particularly found in individuals who participated in what they refer to as “considerable volunteering,” which they define as volunteering with two or more organizations, or completing 40-100 service hours annually.”

With this new information in mind, it is easy to see how volunteerism can be mutually beneficial—benefiting the community through service work, strengthening the community ties that Robert Morris has with Moon Township and the Greater Pittsburgh Region, in addition to improving the health of your student. So encourage your student to visit the Office of Student Civic Engagement in 277 Nicholson Center to see how they can become involved while improving their own health and wellbeing!

Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, Washington, DC 2007.


The RMU Student Health Services Office provides a wealth of online resources for students to help them take charge of their health. Encourage your student to visit the Student Health Services site on rmu.edu to access the Student Self-Care Guide. While the information does not take the place of medical advice or treatment, the information provided can help students to make informed choices when it comes to their health and well-being.

Students are reminded to contact Student Health Services at 412-397-6221 or visit the office on the second floor of the Nicholson Center if they are in need of medical assistance. Cold and flu season is certainly a concern during the spring semester.

Physician hours are available Monday – Friday and a Nurse is always available during office hours. Student Health Services has numerous relationships with specialty providers and resources in the area around campus should a student need help with a referral or request the services of another healthcare provider.


College students seem to be under more stress than ever. Anxiety and depression are on the rise and more students are forced to work, attend school, be involved in extra-curricular activities, and maintain a social life. The college lifestyle can leave many students feeling overwhelmed and, at times, paralyzed. So how is it that some students are more resilient than others when difficult life events or stressful situations occur? Are some students just born more resilient than others?

Resiliency simply means, “the ability to bounce back.” Research consistently shows that resiliency can be learned. It is not something that is fixed in a person, but a trait that can grow if the student begins organizing their lives differently.

Below are a few characteristics that help to strengthen a student’s resiliency.

    Students face many types of stressors while at school. They face the stress of school work, relationships, job responsibilities, etc. It’s important that students understand the stress they face and how it affects them. Students should monitor their stress daily and build in 20-30 minute breaks that allow renewal and to provide enjoyment.
    At times students can have problematic thinking styles that have formed from negative past experiences. These thoughts can create irrational beliefs or hold them back from truly living life due to fear. If students have continual negative thinking patterns, it is important to step back, look at the situation, notice thought patterns, gather truthful information, and begin challenging the negative thoughts.
    It does not matter if the student is an extrovert or an introvert; everyone needs people in their lives. It takes a while at college to develop strong social connections, but that doesn’t mean students should give up. It’s important to continue to risk their selves to develop deeper relationships. The number of relationships does not matter as much as the depth of the relationship. Create mutual relationships where both individuals listen and ask good questions of each other.
    Balance is an important concept for college students. It’s important to take care of the body, mind, and spirit. Students who take better care of themselves are more able to handle negative stress when it comes up. College students should figure out a schedule that allows them to work, go to school, exercise, eat right, study, have relationships, rest, and play. Good time management will allow for the student to live more balanced and be able to withstand stress.
    Many people believe that college is a good place to reinvent yourself. There is some truth to this but students also have values and beliefs that are important to their identity. Students should seek to live in a way that allows consistency between what the student believes and how they act as it will create less dissonance and confusion at college.
    It’s important to have a vision for the future. Research shows that people with goals tend to be more successful than those without them. In college, take some time each semester and make a set of goals to stay motivated and to have a clear vision of the future.

A resilient student has the tools to thrive at college. RMU has embraced the concept of resiliency and teaches these concepts as part of the First-Year Experience Course. The SCoRE (Student Curriculum on Resiliency Education) curriculum was developed specifically for college students by the 3-C Institute for Social Development and was sponsored by LEAD Pittsburgh.

At Robert Morris University, we realize that there are periods in college students lives when they may need to seek help beyond the tips above. RMU has an agreement with Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic that allows us to provide free counseling and psychiatric services to students. Students that believe they need to utilize these services can schedule an appointment with the Personal Counselor in the Center for Student Success. At Robert Morris, individuals matter and our hope is that each student will not only seek academic excellence but become resilient men and women.


First-year students entering college face a myriad of new changes, surroundings and decisions. Among their first decisions, students are asked to declare a major. This decision can be overwhelming and stressful for many students. Like most colleges and universities, RMU offers an undecided major for students who are not sure. In fall of 2011, approximately 18% of firstyear students selected the undecided major at RMU. Beyond the first year, it is also not uncommon for many college students to doubt their decision of major. According to College Board, “most students change majors at least once and many switch several times.” When students begin to doubt their major or career goals and contemplate a change as a sophomore, junior or senior, even more stress can result due to the time and money already invested.

The Career Center provides services and resources to assist students through the process of making decisions about their academic major and career goals. Some people assume that undecided students struggle academically and are unfocused or unmotivated. Those characterizations are inaccurate stereotypes that can add even more pressure to students. The first step in working with undecided students is to reassure them that having questions about their major is common. With the variety of majors offered and the thousands of job titles that exist, it’s natural to have these questions. The next step is to help students explore what issues may be making the decision difficult for them.

There are many factors that can make it difficult to choose a major:

LACK OF INFORMATION |Many students simply do not have enough information about majors and careers to comfortably and confidently make a decision.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION |While the Internet has greatly increased our access to information and how quickly we can receive it, sometimes there is too much information. This information overload can be frustrating and intimidating to an undecided student.

LACK OF SELF-CONFIDENCE/DECISION-MAKING SKILLS | Some students may not feel confident in their ability to make good decisions.

FEAR/ANXIETY | Students may fear they will make a “bad” decision or the “wrong” decision, which can lead to lack of action altogether.

CONFLICTING VALUES | If interests and personal values are both strong, but also seem to conflict, a student’s decision will be more difficult.

CONFLICT WITH OTHERS | Significant others, such as parents, family and/or spouse, may have strong opinions about the choice of major that can differ from the student’s opinion.

TOO MANY INTERESTS/SKILLS | Having many interests and skills is in some ways a “good problem” to have, but it can also make it stressful to narrow down choices.

Career counselors in our Center are available to meet individually with students to discuss what factors are impacting their decision and to help them address those issues. Strong emphasis is also placed on helping the student explore three key items that are necessary to consider when making career-related decisions: their interests, skills and values. The goal is for students to eventually get a job, but also one they find satisfying and meaningful. Students are asked to think about their favorite classes in high school, issues they are passionate about, hobbies they enjoy, etc. The Career Center offers an interest inventory that can help identify the student’s interests and how they relate to careers. Since every major and job require a specific set of skills, students must also honestly evaluate their abilities. Students may have an interest in and the ability to do well in many majors/careers. Therefore, students should also clarify and prioritize their personal values to determine which options will be the best fit for them. For example, is it most important for them to find a job that allows them to help others, earn a high salary, be creative, travel, etc.? Clarifying values can help students narrow down choices.

In addition to self-exploration, it is important for students to learn about the tools needed to effectively research majors and careers. To help students explore majors and minors offered at RMU, we host an Academic Majors Fair each fall to provide students a “one-stop” venue to speak with faculty from each academic major. Through individual appointments and workshops, counselors also teach students how to research majors and related careers through online resources and informational interviewing. Emphasis is also placed on how to test out options through experiential learning such as shadowing experiences, volunteering, part-time jobs, work-study jobs and internships.

To provide further assistance and support through the decision-making process, the Career Center also offers a one-credit course, Career Exploration and Decision-Making. The course format consists of lectures, discussions, and experiential learning activities designed to help students analyze their interests, skills, and values and relate them to careers, occupational fields and work settings. Self-assessment activities include use of established inventories for interest and personality and reflective writing assignments. Students are taught strategies for career research, informational interviewing, networking and experiential learning. In addition, students discuss their career goals and progress in an individual appointment, facilitated by a career counseling professional. The skills learned in this course are helpful to make decisions about major and career choices, but can also be valuable throughout life as individuals face career changes.

In summary, questions or doubts regarding major and career goals can result in a lot of stress and anxiety for students. The Career Center is committed to provide students with resources and services to help them through the career decisionmaking process. A supportive career counselor, self-exploration, effective research and experiential learning can transform feelings of anxiety and stress to those of self-empowerment and confidence.



1–29  Black History Month (various events)
10-11 Winter Blast Weekend (various events)
Little Sibs Weekend
Band Recruit Weekend
21 Internship Seminar, 4:40 – 6:10 p.m., Sewall Center- Dining Rooms A&B
22-25 Colonial Theater presents Rimers of Eldritch, 8 p.m., Massey Theater
23 Minority Networking Reception, 5 – 7 p.m., Sewall Center- International Suite
26 Colonial Theater presents Rimers of Eldritch, 2 p.m., Massey Theater
28 Focus on Your Future, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., Sewall Center- Dining Rooms A&B
29 Pittsburgh Speakers Series presents Azar Nafisi, 8 p.m., Heinz Hall


1-31 Women’s History Month (various events)
5-9 Undergraduate Spring Break
Spring Career Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sewall Center- Third Floor
18-24 RMU’s Got Talent, 8 p.m., Nicholson Center Food Court
20 Focus on Your Future, 12:15 – 2:15 p.m., Sewall Center- Dining Rooms A&B
21 PERC Teacher Job Fair, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monroeville Convention Center
22 Creativity at Work, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sewall Center- 3rd Floor
26-27 Senior Salute, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Nicholson Center Rotunda
28 WestPACS Job Fair, 10 a.m­.–3 p.m., Monroeville Convention Center
28 Pittsburgh Speakers Series presents Stanley McChrystal, 8 p.m. Heinz Hall


2 Focus on Your Future, 4 – 6 p.m., Sewall Center- Dining Rooms A&B