Why Ride a Bike on Campus

Brittany Kuecker recently received her bachelor of science degree with a double major in sociology and political science from South Dakota State University. Despite trying to balance both her course load and work schedule, Brittany Kuecker maintains an active lifestyle, working out when she can and riding a bike to classes.

Riding bikes while in college is not only a great way to get exercise amid a busy schedule, but it is a great way to save money, protect the environment, and have a day free of traffic. With the rising cost of gas, driving to school and around campus every day can be practical for students with a tight budget. Biking is also a great form of aerobic exercise and keeps the heart and body healthy.

Bicycling in the morning also wakes the body up, allowing students to save money on coffee, while still being attentive during the day. Riding a bike to college eliminates the need to find a parking space. Once on campus, bicycling to class is almost twice as fast as walking, making it easier to reach classes on the opposite side of campus.

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Volunteering at an Animal Shelter

Brittany Kuecker attended South Dakota State University for her undergraduate degree, majoring in sociology and political science. During her time as an undergrad, Brittany Kuecker completed an internship with a local animal shelter. Reputable shelters, such as those affiliated with the Animal Humane Society, require a significant commitment on the part of volunteers.
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The Animal Humane Society is well-known for its mission of serving the animal community and guarding and maintaining animal welfare in the Midwestern United States. Services include adoption and surrender, outreach efforts, and rescue work. Many animal lovers contribute their time and skills to the organization as volunteers. Candidates must be at least 16 years of age and commit to a year of volunteering, which entails a two- to four-hour shift every other week. Most opportunities occur during the week between noon and eight at night with weekend shifts also available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

There are many volunteer roles available, including adoption preparation, adoption support, animal care assistant, animal bather, dog walker, training support, wildlife transport, and more. Volunteers will work at the shelters or in the community. The Animal Humane Society also needs foster parents to take pets in at their homes.

Learn more about volunteering and fill out the application at www.animalhumanesociety.org.

Brittany Kuecker: Applying to Graduate School

After graduating from South Dakota State University, Brittany Kuecker successfully applied to graduate school. She will continue her studies in the social sciences.

Applying to graduate school can be an exhausting and strenuous experience. Follow these general guidelines to help eliminate some of the stress:

1. Don’t procrastinate: While you may have been good at churning out papers at the last minute during your undergraduate days, you’ll want to plan ahead for graduate school applications, which can require a lot of work and preparation. Plus, more students are applying to graduate schools than ever, so you’ll want your application to stand out.

2. Carefully follow instructions: Make sure you read the directions and follow them. No school wants a student who doesn’t follow the rules.

3. Proofread your application: You may have outstanding credentials, but a poorly written and edited application will offset your other attributes.

4. Relax: It’s important to care enough about your application to do a good job, but don’t get so wrapped up in the process that you worry or lose sleep over it. A calm, clear head will produce a better application.

The Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference

A graduate of South Dakota State University, Brittany Kuecker acquired a bachelor of science and double majored in political science and sociology; she is currently working towards her master’s degree in those subjects. As an active member of the academic community, Brittany Kuecker represented Canada at the Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) in 2011.

The AMUNC will be celebrating its 38th anniversary in 2014, the event allows college students in the upper Midwest and part of Canada to participate in three days of simulated global politics. This contest replicates four of the most important committees of the United Nations, and students get to choose which nation they want to represent. Prior to the event, delegates must research and produce resolutions related to international disputes and current events from the point of view of their “adopted country.” Additionally, during competitions they must defend their requests against contrarian nations.

2011’s AUMNC took place at Minnesota State University and featured hundreds of delegates from more than 25 schools. South Dakota State University sent students representing 15 countries, 9 of which earned Distinguished Delegate Awards.

Veterans of Foreign Wars and Sport Clips Fundraising Campaign

A resident of Brookings, South Dakota, Brittany Kuecker recently graduated from South Dakota State University, where she earned a bachelor of science and doubled majored in political science and sociology. During her undergraduate education, Brittany Kuecker actively participated in the Brookings chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) auxiliary unit.

The VFW teamed up with more than 1,100 U.S.-based Sport Clips Haircuts franchises beginning in October 2013 to raise more than a half million dollars for the Help A Hero initiative. The joint fundraising partnership will run through Veterans Day 2013 with Sport Clips locations accepting in-store donations for Help A Hero. On Veterans Day (November 11th), participating Sport Clips stores will hold The Biggest Haircut Day of the Year and contribute $1 from every haircut service provided to a VFW-administered scholarship program.

Established in 2007, Sports Clips’ Help A Hero program supports the VFW’s Operation Uplink, an initiative that allows deployed and hospitalized American service members to contact their family and friends back home free of charge. Starting in 2013, the Help A Hero program expanded to include scholarship programs for veterans.

Three Tips to Balancing School and Work

South Dakota native Brittany Kuecker recently completed a bachelor’s degree, majoring in sociology and political science, at South Dakota State University in Brookings. During her undergraduate career, Brittany Kuecker learned to balance school and work, as she worked throughout college, serving as a night desk manager at an area motel and helping out at animal shelter.

Below are some tips for establishing a balance between work and school.

1. Find a job with flexible hours. Plenty of part-time jobs, especially jobs targeting students, offer accommodating schedules. Restaurant and retail positions are two examples; both fields feature flexible working hours and weekend shifts.
2. Keep a daily schedule and follow it closely in order not to fall behind. This tip will help out later in life when balancing family and work, as well.
3. Make time for yourself. Social/play time helps students to blow off steam and allows them to rest the mind, which aids in retention of valuable information.

The Physical Benefits Of Gymnastics

Brittany Kuecker is currently a student at South Dakota State University. She maintains a high GPA while working toward a bachelor’s degree, in addition to having a full-time job. Brittany Kuecker is also an experienced gymnast who enjoys maintaining a high level of physical fitness.

Gymnastics is one of the most physically immersive forms of exercise individuals, especially young children who are looking for a healthy pastime, can take part in. While gymnastics is often associated with flexibility, core strength is an important part of every routine. Using gravity and body weight as resistance, gymnastics builds strength and balance in participants from a very early age. Bone strength can also be improved through weight-bearing activities that increase bone density and bone mass. Finally, gymnastics improves overall physical fitness by combatting obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes, and asthma. Engaging in just 30 minutes of gymnastic activity five days a week can meet CDC recommendations for physical activity.

VFW Operation Uplink

Brittany Kuecker is a student at South Dakota State University (SDSU), where she is working towards a bachelor’s degree while working at a hotel. A member of the Florence/New Helgen Lutheran Church, Brittany Kuecker is also a life member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Established in 1914, the Ladies Auxiliary aims to serve U.S. army veterans in honor of the sacrifices that men and women in uniform have made on behalf of the country. Members support veterans and their families through fundraising and a range of volunteer and educational programs and activities. The Ladies Auxiliary is a proud supporter of the VFW Operation Uplink, a calling program that helps deployed military service members stay in touch with loved ones at home for free. The program began by providing calling cards to deployed troops and moved on eventually to hosting Free Call Days.

On Free Call Days, deployed service members can make free phone calls to the United States and other home-base locations. Since its 2006 inception, Free Call Days through Operation Uplink have provided service members with more than 7.3 million free phone connections. Donations from VFW and Ladies Auxiliary members, corporate sponsors, and private donors support the program.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

Throughout her high school years in Florence, South Dakota, Brittany Kuecker studied hard. She graduated with a B average and earned acceptance to South Dakota State University. A well-rounded student, she also participated in several extra-curricular activities, chief among them the Oral Interpretation team, earning four varsity letters for her excellence in inter-scholastic competitions. She also participated on the gymnastics team. Heavily involved in community activities outside school, Brittany Kuecker also holds Life Membership in the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

At the very end of the 19th century, veterans returning home from the Spanish-American War and the insurrection in the Philippines found no medical care to help them deal with wounds received in combat. In addition, there were no pension benefits for veterans who fought in America’s wars. They began to form organizations to represent them in their fight for medical and other benefits. From humble beginnings in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, the various groups formed a nationwide organization, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), which boasted almost 200,000 members by 1936.

The VFW has been influential in many of the decisions that had tremendous impact, not only on the state of veterans’ benefits, but arguably the state of American society. For instance, it was instrumental in the development of what is now the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), a cabinet-level government agency. It has acted as a liaison between its members, all of whom have served in uniform overseas, and the VA. It has worked with the VA to locate veterans’ hospitals and other service centers, and to create a national system of cemeteries for veterans.

One of the most significant programs endorsed by the VFW, as well as other veterans’ organizations, was the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill, passed by Congress in 1944. The bill provided returning service members with college tuition assistance, low-cost home mortgages, and low-interest loans to go into business. The VFW recently was successful in its encouragement of Congress to pass a G.I. Bill for the 21st Century.

Brittany Kuecker Discusses Oral Interpretation

Also known as interpretive reading, oral interpretation allows an individual to express a work of written literature to an audience. This “oralization of literature” often, although not always, involves the speaker reading directly from a manuscript, and the staging may range from minimal to featuring props, lightning, and costumes. When interpreters recite to the audience, they imbue their act with the emotional and intellectual value of the original piece. Many performers research the author’s purpose in writing the original work in order to best present his or her vision.

High schools frequently participate in oral interpretation competitions. Students can typically choose to participate in one of several categories, including serious prose, dramatic interpretation, and humorous interpretation. Some tournaments even permit the use of original pieces. Along with the competitive element, oral interpretation can be utilized in other academic settings, such as to provide younger pupils with an understanding of various types of literature.

About the Author

A student at South Dakota State University and a member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Brittany Kuecker lettered in oral interpretation four times while in high school.