Planning for a Successful Semester

The change of seasons and the start of a new semester in school bring an opportunity to reflect upon where you are and how you might improve. This time represents a new dawn, a fresh start, and a blank page in the book. How will the semester turn out? Consider the following scenario.

Welcome to Fall!!

On campuses across the nation, Fall classes are underway. It’s an exciting time of year, with the tranquil beauty of the campus buildings, trees and flowers, and quiet settings being transformed with the lively activities of new and returning students. This is actually what college campuses are meant for – vibrant lives with students, faculty and staff engaging with one another, all within…


The Spring season is well upon us now. Every day provides new inspiration, with continuous changes in the beauty of the campus and the surrounding area. One day, it’s the daffodils with their bright and pale yellow colors; then it’s the tulips, with a range of colors. The forsythia shows its yellow glory, before it transitions to green for the rest of the season. The Cherry Blossoms surrounding…

Spring has Sprung!

The winter season is about gone, even though we still have some cool nights and chilly mornings. Spring is here, with blossoms appearing and buds showing themselves on the trees. Soon, we’ll see the colors of flowers appearing, as well as the various shades of green appearing on the trees.

Just as the seasons are now changing, what changes are in store for you? Mason hosted two…


While Spring Break is over, hopefully you are refreshed with the break from coursework and other regular activities– that’s the purpose of it!

The Spring Semester is about half over now. As you look ahead to these months when the weather is warmer and a range of colors emerge, take a fresh look at yourself and your plans. Following this Spring Break, an appropriate question addresses…

Have a Spectacular Spring Break

While it is hard to believe with the Winter weather still upon us, Spring Break is here! Spring Break is a great time of the year, vitally important for recharging your batteries and catching up on those things that are lingering.

How will you spend your time? What is on your agenda for this period of time? You may be traveling – somewhere a ways away, or perhaps somewhere close. If you…

Happy Freezing Weather

With the variable weather this winter, it's important to remain as balanced as you can, and to plan ahead as much as possible. You never know when classes are going to be canceled, how much longer it will take to get from one place to another, whether you won’t be able to travel as planned, and whether the power will remain on. With due dates for papers and projects and scheduled exams, it’s…


As the middle of February approaches, many of our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day. It’s a time to remember those who are special to us – and we can do that in any of a variety of ways: with a card, with flowers, with sweets, or with a special gift. We typically do this for our significant other – our boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. That’s all great, and important to do on this…

Happy New Year!

With the New Year and new semester underway, it's time to take stock of a few things. First, having transitioned into 2015, think back to 2014. What is it that you were particularly proud of, and what areas of your life would you like to improve upon? Both of these are important, as you progress with your life. You may have made some resolutions for this New Year; if not, it’s never too…

Transitions and Renewals

With the end of the semester in hand, it's time for transitions. For some students, that means graduation!! That’s such an exciting time, with the graduation ceremony representing a culminating experience after years of long hours and hard work. Congratulations to all who have achieved this significant goal!!

For those returning next semester, the transition also includes movement…

David Anderson

Dr. Anderson combines scholarly research with applications at the local, state and national level. As Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Health [], he directs numerous research and community service projects. His research emphasizes college students, school and community leaders, youth, program planners, and policy makers.

Dr. Anderson co-authors national surveys on drug/alcohol prevention efforts, at the college, community college and secondary school level. He is co-director of the Understanding Teen Drinking Cultures in America project, a research initiative involving quantitative and qualitative strategies [see]. He co-authors the College Alcohol Survey, the nation's longitudinal survey of four-year college efforts addressing alcohol, drug, tobacco and violence (1979 - 2014). He co-directed the Promising Practices: Campus Alcohol Strategies project which includes a family of resources (Sourcebook, Task Force Planner, and Action Planner) [see]. His award-winning project Healthy Expectations, with COMPASS: A Roadmap to Healthy Living, emphasizes life health planning and healthy transitions to college; this has resulted in a resource guide [COMPASS Roadmap: Destination Health] helpful for organizations seeking to replicate the initiative [see]. He recently publlished Best of CHOICES: Alcohol Education 1998-2008 with the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Prior to arriving at Mason in 1987, he served as a student affairs administrator at Ohio University, Radford University, and The Ohio State University.

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