Righteousness: the New Business Ethic

Ethical practice seems to imply righteousness.  I know that isn’t the definition of ethical behavior but it is what most of us would understand when someone is said to be ethical.  When ethical practice actually does equate with righteousness, then things go well, the business prospers and God is honored.  But when your personal or business ethic deviates from righteousness, trouble is not far behind.  Check out  the video below:


Are You Missing an Advantage?

If there is something out there that will give me an advantage, I want to know about it. There are a LOT of different sites trying to sell you something, all with the promise of doing just that: giving you an advantage. Many of those are questionable in what they provide. Buyer beware!

However, I have personally found that LinkedIn DOES provide value, and what is even better, it is entirely free. Setting up an account on Linked it and completing the profile, an important step, has several benefits.

For those who aren’t aware, LinkedIn is a professional social media site. While there are similarities to other social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn focuses specifically on providing a place for professional interaction.  I believe being on LinkedIn demonstrates some level of savvy regarding the use of technology and awareness of the impact of social media in our world.  I know when I think about hiring someone, their profile on LinkedIn is one of the places I look at first. If they don’t have a presence, I wonder why.

Some of the benefits of being on LinkedIn include:

  • Having your resume available for easy search by a large number of employees
  • An easy way to distribute your resume by sending a link
  • Providing an outlet where you can demonstrate knowledge in your field
  • Giving you access to other professionals and their posts

My uncle Otis was convinced that when TV came out it was a combination of evil and a passing fad.  While the content of TV may be evil, it may also be inspirational, and it certainly doesn’t seem to be a passing fad.  I firmly believe that technology is only as moral and those who use it. To ignore technology, in this case social media, means to leave it in the hands of those who will abuse it.  As you can see from the chart below, most of the students in Belhaven’s Adult Programs either don’t have or don’t use their LinkedIn account.  I’d like you to re-think that decision.  If you do, please reach out to include me in your network.

Dr. Upchurch,
AVP Regional Campuses
Belhaven University

Do It!

If your boss asks you to do something, unless it is unethical or immoral, DO IT!  Do whatever is asked with excellence and ahead of schedule.  You may not understand why you were asked to do that specific task, or you may feel that the task is beneath you; that’s not your call.  Your call is to be an exemplary employee or find a different job. Don’t turn a molehill into a mountain.  Check out the Proverb below for more:

APA Guidelines Review for Belhaven Adult Studies

As you prepare your assignments/papers, there are some general formatting rules for the APA format that you MUST be familiar with to be successful in your writing.

Basic Rules for the APA format are:

  • 8 ½ x 11 paper size
  • Double-spaced
  • 1 inch margin on all sides
  • 12 pt. Times New Roman font
  • Page numbers (beginning with title page)
  • Page header
  • Difference between Bible and biblical
  • Worldview being one word
  • Proper in-text citation examples
  • Proper reference examples

Belhaven APA Resources and Academic Help are available through Canvas and Blazenet. You can see in the image below how to access the Belhaven APA Quickguide which is the official authority on APA for your submissions at Belhaven. I highly recommend you print this out and keep a copy close by when you are writing your papers.    Here is a LINK to the QUICK GUIDE


Taking Notes in Class

There are a lot of good reasons to take notes in class. Probably the best one is that when you take notes you are 34% more likely to remember the material.  If you don’t take notes that drops to 5%.  So, basically, taking notes improves your ability to remember the material 7 times more than if you didn’t take notes. How you take notes is also a factor. Studies consistently show that handwriting your notes improves memory and synthesis of material far better than typing your notes. That is because with handwriting you simply can’t write fast enough to get it all so your mind begins to make summaries and connections, which improves retention and learning. Another interesting fact is that drawing while taking notes actually improves retention as well. This is especially true if your drawings/doodles reflect connections between what is being taught and your personal experiences.

Chandrasekar Aleman lists 7 Key Benefits of Effective Note Taking.  One that I think he missed is the impact taking notes has on the lecturer, be that in class or your supervisor(s) at work.  When you take notes those speaking feel more confident that you will remember what is being said and that you consider the information important. I know from personal experience both in the classroom and with employees, I’m far more impressed with the student and/or employee when I see them making notes.

Here are some things I have discovered along the way that will improve your note-taking.

  1. Find a medium that works for you.  I started out taking notes in a standard spiral bound notebook, but have moved completely to taking notes by hand on my iPad Pro using the Apple Pen in the app: Notability. I can’t say enough about this app and encourage you to check out this VIDEO. Notability works fine on any iPad and with any stylus, although I prefer a microfiber stylus.  Notability gives you the ability to organize your material and keep it all with you. It also if fully searchable, even in the handwritten aspect.
  2. If you don’t have iPad or prefer to use paper, then I recommend you use an app like OneNote or Evernote, which I have touched on in other posts, and save copies of your notes, with appropriate tags by taking a picture of each page of your notes.  By including the tags you can more easily find the information when you need it and by using the cloud service, you stand less chance of losing your notes or not having them when you need them.
  3. Take notes while you are reading as well. This can make a big difference come test time.
  4. Adopt your own personal code within your notes. For instance, if you feel something needs immediate action (e.g. “look up the economic influence of Eisenhower”), circle it and put a star beside it.  Anything you can do to make your notes organized and emphasize the parts which you feel are more important will enhance learning.
  5. Try using a brain map for taking notes.  A brain map starts with the topic under discussion and branches out with satellites into supporting information.  This method can be particularly effective for opening up questions about how the information connects and will allow you greater insight. It also improves retention.

I can’t overemphasize the importance of taking notes in class for you personally in your quest to achieve your academic goals. Our goal is your success, but this is an area where your effort can make a big difference in achieving that success, both in the classroom and beyond.

Stress – don’t ignore it!

When I was in college I took some psychology courses. One of the things I remember from that experience was the professor stating: “Stress will ALWAYS find a way to express itself.” I’ve found that to be true. It might be loss of sleep, biting your nails, headaches, grinding your teeth at night, being exceptionally cranky, etc. Stress will always find a way to express itself. Our job is to recognize the symptoms of stress and then drill down to find healthy ways to manage that stress.  See the proverb below:

Using the Cloud Effectively

I would consider this to be one of the most important tips for anyone, but especially for students. I’m still a student, although not in a formal program, as I am constantly learning and adding information. Two of my Strength’s Finder strengths are related to this: Learner and Input. The largest problem we face is how to effectively manage the information that comes to us through our classes and life in general.  I have four strategies for you:

Here is a quick summary of each and how I use them:

Dropbox. It has a downloadable application for your computer which makes it appear as another folder for you to save files to.  What happens in the background is that it automatically syncs with the cloud so my data is always backed up. I use this for all my personal files and rarely store anything to a different folder on my computer.  It also has cross-platform compatibility so I can access those files from my android phone, my iPad, or where ever I can access a web browser.

Google Drive. Google Drive also stores files and has an application for the computer which makes it available for storing documents/files, which are synced automatically with the cloud.  It also has cross-platform compatibility so it has apps for Android, iOS. What I like about Google Drive are the build in applications, e.g. word processor, spreadsheets, presentation, plus a bunch of others.  These apps are all built for collaboration so multiple people can work on them at the same time from various locations. Very Cool and Very Useful.

Evernote. I’ve been an Evernote fan for a long time.  Essentially think of it as a file cabinet. That would be interesting but think of it as a file cabinet you can easily put things into and carry with you so that you always have access.  In some ways, it is similar to Dropbox, but it has a little different functionality, e.g. you can download a web clipper for your favorite browser and “clip” web pages or articles directly to your Evernote account.  I have a folder titled “Web Articles” full of things I’ve saved over the years.  There is also a download which allows you to “clip” emails to Evernote. Everything is fully searchable and you can allow sharing (which all these programs allow) with whoever you like.  For the geeks among us, IFTTT works great with Evernote.

Finally OneNote – it isn’t linked like the others are, since you already have access to it through your free version of Office 365. (Yes, if you didn’t already know it, as a student at Belhaven University you have access to Office 365). OneNote functions almost exactly like Evernote, including web clipper and email clipping.

Honestly, I use these four applications weekly, if not daily.  I am able to store stuff, share it with whoever I like, find it when I want it. Here is an example. I have a folder in Evernote labeled Recipes.  I take pictures from a magazine of recipes I like with my phone and add them to that folder, or I see it on the web and “clip” it to that folder, or I type it directly into a document, even including a picture of the finished dish.  Then I can share it with others in my family, either one recipe or the whole folder.  Think of the possibilities!  I’ve been doing this for years.

These applications will make you more efficient in practically every aspect of your life.  Because they are well known, most other programs can link easily to them in one way or another.

Financial Aid Update

The Financial Aid Office wants to remind you that spring semester is approaching, however, it’s not too late to complete your 2018-2019 FAFSA www.fafsa.ed.gov and/or submit any documents to studentaid@belhaven.edu to help complete your financial aid process.

FA Quick Tips:

  1. Spring Disbursements typically beginning after the 3rd or 4th of classes. Please make sure you attend all classes!
  2. If you haven’t done so, please make sure you have contacted Student Accounts Office for Direct Deposit assistance. This can be done through your blazenet account.
  3. Please make sure to check with your blazenet account for any and all financial aid updates. This will be listed on your financial aid checklist.

Have a Happy New Year!

Everybody needs a mentor

Really everybody needs multiple mentors across their entire life.  So get as many as possible. I have had a few that deeply influenced my life.  Some of my mentors taught me important lessons about what to do and how to live.  From others I learned lessons about what not to do and practices to avoid.  I don’t think I was very successful at finding or connecting with as many mentors as I could have.  Check out the short video below: