The Florida State Seminoles

March 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Before launching her career as a sales representative with Genentech, Susan Jankowski received a Bachelor of Science in merchandising and textiles from Florida State University (FSU). Known as the Florida State Seminoles, the athletic teams at FSU compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) of NCAA Division I. In addition to an in-conference rivalry with the nearby University of Miami Hurricanes, the Seminoles also maintain a fierce competition with the University of Florida Gators. The Seminoles enjoy a strong following among students and alumni and possess a tradition of success in a number of sports.
In recent years, the Seminoles football team has experienced a large measure of success in both the ACC and on the national stage. The Seminoles won the ACC Championship every year between 1992 and 2000, including a national championship in 1993 and an undefeated 1999 campaign that saw the team hold the top spot in the rankings in every week of the season. The Seminoles also won the inaugural ACC Championship Game in 2005, defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies by a score of 27-22. From 1976 to 2009, the Seminoles played under the guidance of legendary Head Coach Bobby Bowden, who transformed the program into a national powerhouse during his tenure.
The Seminoles baseball team has also emerged as one of the premier programs in the country, earning 19 appearances in the College World Series and 48 postseason appearances. Under the guidance of Head Coach Mike Martin, the Seminoles baseball team currently places second on the list of all-time wins. A number of famous professional players have emerged from the Seminoles program, including World Series winners J.D. Drew and Buster Posey.
Between 2006 and 2008, the men’s track and field team won three straight NCAA national championships and ACC titles. In 2007, the Seminoles received considerable help from Walter Dix, who became the first athlete to hold titles in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4×100 meter events at the same time. In addition to the men’s track and field team, the Seminoles have captured national titles in men’s gymnastics (1951, 1952), women’s golf (1981), women’s softball (1981, 1982), and women’s track and field (1984, 1985).

Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Last American Man

February 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pharmaceutical sales representative Susan Jankowski enjoys reading the works of Elizabeth Gilbert, the famed author of Eat, Pray, Love, which has since been made into a movie with actress Julia Roberts. One of Elizabeth Gilbert’s lesser known works, The Last American Man, received a nomination for the National Book Award.

As with her other novels, Gilbert puts herself into this work, describing how she met the main character and her feelings toward him and his brother, who introduced them. She also details how her parents raised her with a sense of resourcefulness.

This biography tells the story of Eustace Conway, a self-made man living off his land. He strives to become closer to nature, living like a pioneer. He shuns many aspects of modern living, including electricity. He teaches himself survival skills such as hunting, making tools, and maximizing the natural resources he discovers.

Gilbert describes how Conway grew up with a demanding father who withheld affection and attention. His father generally focused on Conway’s shortcomings and so he left his childhood home as soon as he could. Growing up with such a strict, difficult parent left marks on Conway. Conway could be very demanding of those who sought to become close to him on an emotional level, driving them to work long hours doing grueling labor to improve the land. He wanted to teach them the value of hard work as well as test them emotionally.

For several years, Conway had a female companion on his land, but she ultimately left after feeling emotionally unfulfilled and physically unable to continue meeting his demands for working on the land.

To earn money, Conway went to schools in his nearby area and gave talks on environmental concerns and conservation. He encouraged people to look at themselves and how much they consume, examining whether they really needed all the material goods they bought. The novel explores Conway’s philosophy and his interactions with other people, including his neighbors.

As Conway has grown older, he has perhaps lost some of his idealism, and Gilbert’s novel has aided him in self-examination, possibly leading him closer to starting his own family.

Florida State University (FSU)

December 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Over the course of its 159-year existence, Florida State University (FSU) has molded the minds of hundreds of thousands of scholars, including alumna Susan Jankowski. FSU provides students the background they need to undertake successful careers and become respected leaders.

Considered the flagship college of the State University System of Florida, FSU comprises 15 separate colleges and more than 275 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional, and specialist programs. Upwards of 40,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students attend FSU, the majority training at the university’s 400-acre main campus in Tallahassee. FSU academic programs consistently rank in the top 25 of those offered by public universities, in particular the university’s physics, political science, psychology, and sociology programs.

In addition to its colleges, which include the College of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences, FSU is home to dozens of renowned research centers and institutions, such as the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the Center for Advanced Power Systems, and the Institute for International Cooperative Environmental Research. Dozens of political leaders, actors, entrepreneurs, and other renowned individuals have earned degrees at FSU. The university’s notable alumni include actor Burt Reynolds, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and astronaut Norman Thagard.

FSU boasts three alumni who went on to become state governors, numerous alumni who served as U.S. Senators and Congressional Representatives, and more than 20 generals and admirals in the U. S. military. FSU has been the subject of much recent news, including the opening of the Florida Climate Institute, a joint venture between FSU and the University of Florida, as well as receiving a $1.3 million state award to fund seven research projects. In addition, FSU recently named its first director of campus sustainability, helping to streamline the university’s efforts to become a greener institution.

In addition, FSU earned recognition as the Most Engaged Florida Campus of the Year from the Florida Campus Compact, a coalition of approximately 50 Florida colleges and universities.

A Million Little Pieces

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

by Susan Jankowski

An all-time favorite novel of mine is A Million little Pieces, a memoir published by James Frey in 2003. Once an alcoholic and drug addict, Frey discusses his struggle toward recovery in a traditional 12-step program. In the beginning, Frey awakens on an airplane, unable to remember why or where he is flying. At the airport, his parents meet him and transport him to a rehabilitation clinic, where the reader learns about his addiction patterns and his recent struggles with the law. Frey recounts the withdraw process in agonizing detail, dragging the reader with him through the worst of it. Forced to undergo a root canal operation, Frey is denied anesthesia, due to fear of relapse, and instead squeezes a tennis ball until his fingernails break to deal with the pain. Despite his tremendous suffering, Frey never blames anyone but himself for his situation. Frey’s stylistic choices throughout the novel pull the reader directly into his story, inflicting the same confusion and agony that he experienced. Since A Million Little Pieces, Frey has published two more novels. My Friend Leonard discusses his experiences during rehabilitation, focusing on his relationship with fellow addict Leonard. According to Frey, he and Leonard were like son and father, suffering together in misery and sharing their life lessons with each other. Once published, Frey’s second novel became a bestseller and appeared on a number of best of 2005 lists. Two years later, Frey published Bright Shiny Morning, a fictional account of life in Los Angeles.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

by Susan Jankowski Atlanta

A volunteer health organization funding blood cancer research, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society commits to facilitating the discovery of a cure for diseases that affect approximately 913,000 people in the United States alone. Every four minutes, doctors diagnose another person with leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or myeloma. Every 10 minutes, a person diagnosed with blood cancer dies. Children under the age of 20 with cancer usually have leukemia, and incidences of lymphoma, the most common blood cancer, increase markedly with age. Those afflicted with myeloma face a 5-year survival rate of 38.5 percent, with the African-American population twice as likely to contract this potentially fatal illness. Established in 1949, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) invests heavily in programs such as the Specialized Center for Research, an initiative that brings together scientists working in a wide range of disciplines for the purpose of fostering breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Since its inception, LLS has contributed more than $680 million to further the work of cancer researchers, also devoting resources to improving standards of care for cancer patients. Since its founding, LLS has raised approximately $1 billion, funds used to support patients, physicians, caregivers, and researchers. Collaborating with numerous volunteer advocates across the country, LLS also earns notable legislative backing for educational endeavors designed to raise public awareness of its mission. Each year, LLS oversees several major fundraising campaigns that I feel truly deserve widespread attention. By participating in the Light the Night Walk, the Leukemia Cup Regatta, Team in Training, or any of LLS’s school and youth programs, you join a worldwide network of like-minded individuals who help ensure a bright future for those diagnosed with blood cancer. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s activities, and I encourage you to do the same. To learn more about the organization, visit leukemia-lymphoma.org.

Hello world!

October 18, 2010 § 1 Comment

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!

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