Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dr. Terri Massie-Burrell: More Than Just Your Average Speaker

On Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Frostburg State University hosted a session in Compton 226 titled ‘Academics and Greek Life’. The speaker, Dr. Terri Massie-Burrell spoke with students about balancing life as a student with involvement in Greek Life. The session allowed students to learn about the different problems often associated with students’ academics while involved in Greek Life as well as solutions.
Dr. Massie-Burrell serves as the assistant provost for Student Success and Retention at FSU. According to FSU’s website, her focus is on “assessing FSU’s current issues and challenges relating to retention and graduation rates.” Her background in aiding students with their academics makes her an obvious choice to speak about a successful balance of school and extracurricular activities.
As the event started, many students trickled into the room. Some wore their Greek letters proudly while others seemed to be interested in just learning the lesson. Janine Fields, vice president of Greek council, said that she “looked forward to hearing how she can balance all of her responsibilities.”
            Shortly before 7pm, the time at which the seminar started, Dr. Massie-Burrell entered the room and it was obvious that students took note of her presence with both respect and anticipation.
            As Dr. Massie-Burrell’s presentation began, it became obvious that she was more than just your average speaker. As she spoke on the issues that most students have such as procrastination, she would ask for input form the audience, prompting participation from many people in the room, including Fields. “It was a very funny conversation,” she explains. Dr. Massie-Burrell’s ability to add humor in her voice made her a hit with students.
            Rebecca Reid, senior psychology major, agrees. “She kept it all so entertaining,” she explains. “It was entertaining and informative all at the same time,” she continues.
One point made by Dr. Massie-Burrell was that no one has free time but instead flexible and inflexible. She explained that flexible time was when one was able to do other things and inflexible was not. Another point she brought up was that many students consider time that they could be doing work as time that they can’t, such as in between classes.
“How many of you all think that an hour in between classes isn’t enough time to do anything?” Her question prompted many students in the room to raise their hands with bits of laughter. “See, and what you guys don’t realize is that is time that y’all could be studying or at least sending a few emails.”
            Her ability to relate to students is what made her so well received by many. Edwin Holandez, senior Information Technology major, agrees. “It’s like she got us.”
            In the end, many students walked out with lessons that they felt they could take with them into their own lives. Fields goes on to say that “she motivated me to re-evaluate my priorities.”  With Dr. Massie-Burrell’s effective and relatable speaking styles, there is no doubt that other students felt the same way.

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