"Survivorfest" Brings Out 15 Brave MCCC Students

10-23-09

WEST WINDSOR, N.J.: Nature smiles on the brave! On Wednesday, October 21, under a perfect sky, a group of 15 students, from all majors at MCCC gathered to present the third annual Public Speaking Fall Festival.

This year, the festival got a new name, "Survivorfest 09!" a blend of heartfelt speeches, music, comedy, free snacks, prizes and a few fake speech-anxiety attacks. The student hosts, with the help of Prof. Kathi Paluscio, Director of Student Activities Danielle Garruba, the Student Activities staff, Student Government Association, Media Services and Facilities staff, rolled out quite a welcome for the happy 60-80 students, staff and faculty who were curious enough to stop by.

From left, top row: Jackie Allen, Anida Masoud, Joe Kovacs (Host), Stephanie Ewaskiewicz, Brittany Mabin, Kenneth Campbell. Bottom row: Maria Delaracruz, Meghan Sickler, Gicheru Mwariri , Christopher Sanicki and MCCC Professor of Communication Kathi Paluscio.

Amid fluttering streamers and electric guitar, one by one, 15 students who had sucessfully completed CMN112, Mercer's highly transferrable Public Speaking Course, and hungry to show off their new skills, crafted humorous and very touching messages for the crowd, including: "Don't Rush to Choose a Major," "Go at Your Own Pace," "Never Let Anyone Tell You You Can't Do Something," and "Mercer is a Wonderful Place to Get an Education, With People Who Care About You -- So Long as You Get Involved in Your Education!

Other students spoke about how to battle nervousness, or invented magical solutions to problems like low volume, eye contact, etc. The big message of the day, was of course, "JUST DO IT!." Take CMN 112! The public speaking course that, according to Prof Kathi Paluscio, "..is not about the speeches, but more about studying how to be an ethical and successful communicator in all aspects of your life. In this economy, and battling the stereotypical perception the world has about community college grads, all our students need this competitive edge that will help them rise above the competition for jobs and increase their success with personal and social relationships. This is one class you don;t want to skip -- and here are 15 veteran students who put in hours and hours of volunteer time just to bring you that message."

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