Archives—September 2013

Hello, ParentNet!

Hello everyone!

My name is Valerie Taglione, and I’m pleased to inform you that I will be the new student writer for ParentNet!  I’m very excited to take on this new journey with you, but before I do I would like to extend a thank you the previous ParentNet writer, Travis Gendron.  Travis did an excellent job informing you all about life at Michigan Tech and in the Copper Country, and I’d like to recognize him for all of his hard work.  I wish him all the best in his endeavors in graduate school, and I hope I’m able to fill the large shoes that he left for me here at ParentNet!

Since this is my first post, I would like to start off by introducing myself to you all so that you can get a better idea of who I am and my involvement in the

Me at the bottom of Montreal Falls in the Keweenaw Peninsula
Me at the bottom of Montreal Falls in the Keweenaw Peninsula.  

campus community.  I am a fourth year student here at Tech studying Medical Laboratory Science with a German International minor.  I plan to graduate in the spring of 2015 and hope to go on to further schooling thereafter to enhance my education.  Although I’m originally from the Ann Arbor area, I grew up in Houghton and live just a short drive away from campus.  Because I’m a local student, I didn’t quite go through the “culture shock” that most first-year students experience when they move to Houghton and wonder how anyone could live in the land of no shopping, too much snow, and pasties!  But, like most first-year students, I chose to come to Michigan Tech not only because I could save money by living at home, but because of Tech’s phenomenal academics and unique reputation as a mid-sized university.

In addition to my classes, I’m also involved in a wide variety of different organizations and employment opportunities at Michigan Tech.  The first position I held on campus was as an Orientation Team Leader, or OTL, at the start of my second year.  Being an OTL was an absolutely matchless experience, and it was a great opportunity for me to get more involved on campus, enhance my leadership skills, and instill confidence in myself as a student leader.  I loved working with Orientation so much that I continued my position as an OTL for the next two years.  In addition, I also started working as a Commuter Assistant during the fall of my second year and continue to hold that position today.  As a Commuter Assistant, I guide and mentor first year commuter students in their unique transition to college life, and host socials and special events similar to a Resident Assistant serving students who live in the residence halls.  I love my job as a Commuter Assistant and am looking forward to what this new year will bring.

Along with these positions, I also work as a learning center coach in both the Biology Learning Center and in IGTAAP, a resource for International graduate students who are seeking to improve their skills in the English language.  I love working as a coach, and I love helping the students reach their potential.

In addition to my work experience on campus, I’m also involved in various extracurricular activities both on campus and in the community.  I’m involved in the Society for Medical Laboratory Scientists, serve as secretary for Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society, and am involved in various campus ministries.  I love playing sports and am involved in several Intramural sports on campus such as soccer, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and broomball.

I also volunteer with a program called Campus Life, which is held at a local high school.  Campus Life is a Christian-based organization that focuses on discussing the tough issues that high school students face, while incorporating fun activities and games the students can play together.  I was involved in this group when I was in high school and I’m very grateful that I can continue to participate now that I’m in college.

I was  able to study abroad during my time at Michigan Tech which helped me earn my German International minor.  During the summer of 2012, I was able to go to Germany for 6 weeks and take classes there to help improve my skills in the German language.  This was a breathtaking, one-of-a-kind experience that has challenged me greatly and opened my eyes to new cultural perspectives, which has helped me to better relate to the students I serve at IGTAAP.  Studying abroad is something I would highly recommend to anyone interested in growing both as a student and a leader and who has an interest in exposing themselves to new experiences.   Later this year I will be writing an article about studying abroad where I can cover more details about country options, cost and scholarships, and programs your student can go through.

This concludes my first post as a ParentNet student writer!  I’m looking forward to writing to you all and informing you of different events going on around campus and in the community, and I’m very excited to see what this year will bring!  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to email me at

Until next week!