Table of Contents
I attended Honor classes on International Political Economy (POLI 365), Mathematics and Civilization (MATH 230), Reason, Science & the Self (PHIL 230) and Science, Technology and Society (PHYS 215) upon my attendance of Honor College in 2011. I was engaged in research projects and community development projects that helped me to learn how to forecast possible information based on the background knowledge and forming of judgments. These Honor classes helped me to draw conclusions by building association between basic science concepts and real world application. The competitive environment in the Honor College will help me convert theoretical ideas into practical products by absorbing knowledge through deciding relevance of details, structurizing information on the grounds of its relevance and determine the boundary between relations of collected data. I hope that my demonstrated effort, self-motivation and high level of commitment, reinforced by application of repetition methodic and will help me to become a student at the University of Richmond. Moreover, attendance of Honor Activity of three seminars for each semester helped me to develop self alternative assessment on the grounds of knowledge base to application level.
Being an international student there was a strong need of Lingvo Science concept to be applied in the course of my studies. This concept helped me to upgrade my vocabulary level, as well as recall and recognition. Since my future academic and professional goals are connected with persuading of public, economic possibilities forecasting and statistical evaluation, I was privileged to gain confidence and self-affirmation owing to oral and written communications. Moreover, constant technological improvements will challenge me to think about existing and emerging methods, in order to efficiently generate theoretical ideas into their practical implementation. Therefore, my concept of life-cong learner will be embodied by proficient formation of inferences and effective decision-making.
Development of Critical and Analytical Thinking
During my attendance of honor classes, the group was asked to work in groups that helped to elicit our reasoning in relation to the assigned tasks. I learned how to encode obtained information in order make it meaningful and subsequently retrieve needed components from it. Alternative assessment helped me to relate similarities and differences of the correlated notions, because it triggered abstract and logical thinking through the use of analogies.
a)International Political Economy
While studying the course of international political economy I learned how to draw conclusions by effective structuring of information. I learned how to subgroup essential ideas, decide their relevance and correlate the data. The information was presented in graphic organizers that increased perception of connections between inflation and growth of prices. Moreover, these classes helped to outline interconnection of big world economies with thorough data analysis and statistical thinking. My quantative literacy was improved with the help of these graphic presentations, because word-conversion into numbers helped to consider alternative explanations and approximate results by recognizing range of possible answers. Moreover, quantative literacy in international political economy class was transferred into the theoretically possible or impossible proposed solution, when statistic percentage was prevailing in number representation.
Furthermore, we performed various law reports’ readings that helped us to become fluent in reading through the lines. Once again, presence of numbers in these texts helped me to form inferences and build associations between numbers and events that they reproduced, which also increased my perception and memory processing of the received information. These inferences and associations were reflected with the help of text scanning helped to outline and structurally highlight important facts for memorization, which were subsequently demonstrated during alternative assessment.
Because this course requires application of intensive reading, I had to learn how comprehend selected information and picture it in the meta-cognitive perception by making semantic mapping. This also helped to upgrade my vocabulary, since I had to build associations on the grounds of the words synonimity, in order to memorize and retrieve the required information. Moreover, this semantic mapping was crucial when numbers were written in words and it was more difficult to read the text through the lines. This notion required different development of associations, which could bring formation of false judgments, because information was not easily recalled. However, cognitive processing problem was eliminated by asked pre-readings with the focus on key words and notions. This helped me to become fluent in locating of scholarly resources upon their relevance and irrelevance, because I had to compute a lot of logical and abstract data.
b)Mathematics in Civilization. Improvement of Qualitative Literacy
My critical and analytical skills were also upgraded during mathematics in civilization class. Since the class relates to the concepts of evolution of physical universe and abstract ability to compute it in geometric forms, I learned how to perform algebra and logical operations that involved level of abstraction. For example, scientists in mathematics created a concept of pyramid, which corresponds to the social class of the community category. Although bottom is the largest part of the pyramid, it is considered the poorest according to the social grading. This example helped to percept the basic operations of the computational and arithmetic calculations on the grounds of percentage correspondence.
My quantative literacy was improved by ability of effective problem-solving, sufficient decision-making in economic productivity and application of these theoretical concepts in real world application. Class inclusion method helped me to make judgment of particular concept about its merit in the problem’s solution according to the certain criteria. This helped me to recognize unwarranted assumption and consider its alternative explanation when solution seemed impossible according to the calculations. I will reflect the knowledge that I gained from the course in my future project, which will deal with engaging investments in remote areas. I have reflected my abilities of drawing debit and credit into implementation of the business plan of the project.
c)Reason, Science and Self
The coursework on philosophy made me realize that any concept is reliable regardless the area that we want to apply it. I have critically considered contemporary ways of thinking and concluded that there were no objective standards or beliefs in it. This course helped me to comprehend why scientific aspects of math were used in abstract notions of nature. Picturing it in the broader view, the aspects of the science existence were transferred into the vision of human reasoning. Moreover, over the centuries scientists developed the detailed explanation of how the world works and uncovered its hidden mechanisms and forces. Therefore, philosophy deals with the determination of the way the world appears to particular theory. In financial terms, any project can be approved, if it has sound design. The project’s competitiveness depends on its commercialization. Therefore, the project’s success has the direct link with its theoretical embodiment into practical marketing and management philosophy.
This course helped me to reflect critical thinking and analytical selection of the relevant ideas. Method of comparison was the most effective in application when I had to measure benefits and disadvantages of the financial area of interest. Interconnection of the concepts of this course helped me understand why decision-making process strongly relays on the level of perceptional involvement. Previous experience and interest demands were the major factors that helped to improve my creative reasoning. Previous experience was based on theoretical recalling and recognition of the concepts I had an opportunity to practice during the course. Writing and oral communication helped me to assess importance of objectiveness in the proposed solution. Moreover, when the solution was not logically supported I could evaluate its possibility by apply interconnection of the philosophical concepts.
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FIRE 311 Financial Management. Developing Fluency in Locating Relevant Resources
The coursework on financial management improved my financial management skills. Like no other science field, financial management helps to determine the philosophy of marketing and management of the desired level of investments. This field draws the precise line between sales growth, pretax margins and return of investment of capitals. Since I decided to develop the project for the domestic needs of remote areas, I had to study how technological conception life cycle and that of the commercialization of the product should be shortened in order to maintain competitiveness of the offer.
Moreover, ethical and civic responsibilities should also be considered when particular project’s area or its effectiveness. Since most of the contemporary projects are oriented in the return of the capital, they are developed only for specific categories that can afford their cost. My critical and analytical thinking helped me to discover that the project has to be oriented on the potential demand of the selling market, in order to cover the cost of its innovation and funding. Once again, quantative literacy helped me to determine that the project for demand of such narrow cycle will have to evaluate a risk assessment, because financial assessment for it should stay within the limited boundaries.
Fluency in location resources helped me to determine that profit accountability and human factor are the constituents of the management philosophy where the main point that locates technology. Therefore, technological evaluation is important when financial investments predetermine the project’s proficiency. That means that the science field of interest should be additionally researched by means of combining abstract and logical concepts into the practical implementation.
2. Living and Working in the Honors Community
a) Teaching Vietnamese. Becoming Proficient in Oral and Writing Communication
I participated in community activities by teaching Vietnamese to children whose origins are from Vietnam but they have a lived and studied in United States during a significant part of their lives. I had opportunity to reflect my theoretical knowledge of cognitive development model of teaching in its practical implementation. I could practically investigate the level of the pupils’ attention, effectively stimulate their perception, help them to memorize information by encoding important key notions and synthesize these notions, in order to perceive and process them into working memory. The later helped the pupils to develop sufficient judgments, since recalling and recognition were eased by their association and elaboration.
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Moreover, I had opportunity to become proficient in oral and writing skills. My teaching task was based on the grammatical and structural comparison of English and Vietnamese languages. For these purposes, I used the following strategies to attract attention of the pupils: a) demonstrations and charts that displayed basic notions of the words’ patterns; b) throughout provoking questions that were based on previously recalled information and triggered pupils’ analytical thinking; c) introduction of their self-acquaintance with modeling samples through multimedia, in order to develop their self-regulation. Therefore, I had to practice my stressing impairment speech, in order to help pupils differentiate its formal and informal types. For that purpose, I had to develop a draft of the lesson before teaching it. This helped me to locate the relevant resources in the Lingvo Science section of the lesson by connecting synonyms, creating their semantic mapping and outlining their structural differences.
I consider this a great opportunity, because it is known that to learn is never too late. Moreover, I did not consider this as a burden, because it helped me to become more confident and self-affirmed. I always believed that the more you live, the more you will have to learn and this remarkable experience of teaching helped me realize that the learning process never stops.
c)Participation in Students Investment Management Portfolio (SMIP) Ethical and Civic Responsibilities
I was an active participant in SMIP. Our team consisted of the experts of various science fields, because we believed that informational sharing starts on the team level, but can also be gained on the individual level. Taking into account theoretical assumptions of the management philosophy, we decided that we will create innovative and entrepreneurial culture of our decentralized team. Moreover, we had various divisions and served as their immediate advisors in the development of the project and shared capital among us. What’s more, this type of decentralized management kept us focused on the provision of additional resources and management attention to the projects that were developed for potentially oriented markets.
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I greatly benefited from this program, because my task was to determine the difference between a manager and leader. After extensive study in the field of the leadership theory, I found out that the leader’s accomplishments can be measured by the combination of goals, while manager’s main focus is determined by the effectiveness of the profit margins. Moreover, since the team selected me as a leader I had to use particular strategic techniques of effective leadership behavior, namely: a) consistency of conducting methods; b) demonstration of appropriate action to be taken and decision to be made; c) showing appreciation by surrounding myself with people who can compensate my weaknesses; d) casting a vision of the project’s destination; and e) managing authority by directing, coaching, supporting and delegating.
d)Financial Management Association
I was also an active member of the Financial Member Association. During the course, we studied the aspects of the demand planning and how it can motivate clients and at the same time meet their requirements. Therefore, I learned how to balance construction costs, limited energy and life cycle costs. Moreover, contemporary economic crisis and its interconnectivity with other world economies forces financial management procedures to be developed in strategic planning and operational aspects. My analytical thinking was reinforced with consideration of theoretical assumptions of strategic aspects. I distinguished relevant resources and found out that strategic effectiveness is determined by high-level and long-term decisions and volumes for each market location. Moreover, operational considerations were evaluated as monitoring of activities of production capacity and differentiation of the specific market demands.
e)Berglund Seminars and Enrichment of Experience
I was granted a passport to attend at least three seminars for each semester. I consider these seminars as the most prominent experience that enriched my learning and professional skills. All the variety of subjects that were discussed there, motivate me to present the researched draft for the public opinion. Moreover, it helped me to upgrade and ameliorate my oral communicative skills. Since, my project was debatable; I have prepared the list of possible answers to support my hypothesis and arguments.
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I presented project of water-oxidation products of low cost and sufficient quality that could be used in remote areas. According to my investigations, the most proficient orientation should be focused on the supplement of the small batches, because it will easily enable provision of waste-water disinfection and will bring good score to my unit’s portfolio. I was questioned, if the proposed technological development did not consumed too much power and needed battery replacement. Since, I did not consider this assumption; I was suggested to relocate my marketing strategies for the needs of residential water purification system. Experts of natural science fields suggested me that the disinfection quality cloud be lowered, because products in these areas are not used for irrigation or drinking. This experience taught me that I should absorb additional knowledge and synthesize it, in order to select more relevant patterns.
What’s more I was able to broaden my view and diversify my understanding of the world during these seminars. I found out that development of the money document for the projects implementation does not only include financial and managerial aspects, but also technological and technical activities’ implementation. During one debatable discussion, the subject was raised about the correlation of investment strategies and prototyping of the modeling software. It was argued that 3D visualization helps to reflect the project’s strategic boundaries, plan and document its technical specifications and foresee its commercial success. Deployment of continuous improvement concerns technical and scientific fluency of these, who are involved into the project’s development and therefore, is not limited only by knowledge of financial management, but also requires additional contribution of different disciplines to the knowledge.
3. Achievements. My Intellectual and Personal Growth
Attending honored classes and seminars made me realize that intellectual and personal growth involves considering of opposing ideas and opinions. Open and challenging environment of these classes helped me to develop my framework of understanding the world. Continuous triggering of my learning and discovery interests motivated me to realize my potential and implement practically acknowledged theoretical concepts.
During seminars, I had an opportunity to venture into new areas with the help of cultivating ideas within discussions. Snowball exercises were introduced to us as an alternative for practical assessments. During classes, students were challenged with memorization of sentences’ lines that were enlarged after each repetition. This helped to focus attention of specific key words to memorize and later rebuild the structure of the offered sentence. Moreover, I learnt how to go beyond memorizing and established enduring conceptual understanding, which required sound context of learning and perspectives of investigation.
What’s more, I learnt how to use my critical and skeptical view during didactic technique of empirical psychological approach. This helped me to manage my previous experience and generate it into sound assumptions of the gained knowledge. Moreover, the aspects of particular subject were challenged by connection with the other science field. That connection had to be traced and reflected, so hypotheses and theories that could be practically understood.
I learned that the best impact on my perception created demonstrated visualizations. It did not only help me to encode available information, but also access it easily in the further discussions. I used practices of experiments in my own researches, because it made obvious concepts that previously were difficult to comprehend.
4. Personal Development. My Concept of Life-Long Learning
Variety of academic activities that I performed during my attendance, helped me understand that life-long learning promotes development, knowledge and competencies that will enable me to adapt and participate in all spheres of social and economic life, because it considers perception of the knowledge-based society. Development of the potential of this society is determined by the technological and innovative improvements.
Honor classes and seminars helped me to value all forms of learning. I realized that there can be different types of knowledge-gaining that differentiate from these that are commonly considered as the most effective from the methodological point of view. My formal learning concerned acknowledgement of degree course of the political, mathematics and philosophy science field, however, they challenged me to investigate forms of non-formal learning, which will help me to keep my vocational skills updated at the working place. These classes made me realize the advantages of life-long learning, since they provided second chances of updating my basic skills and offered learning opportunities at more advanced level.
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Moreover, open and flexible system of the curriculum helped me to realize my potential and tailor my learning needs. Honored courses and classes helped me understand the benefits of the potential learning throughout the life by implementing the following strategies: a) establishment of partnership working during discussions, which help to create sufficient decision-making; b) foreseeing of learning demands by technical improvement; c) involvement of adequate resourcing for sufficient learning experience; d) facilitating access to learning opportunities; e) provision of incentives for people that are eager to learn; f) introduction of quality control and indicators, which measure progress.
In addition, I consider myself a privileged person to have an opportunity to study at the University of Richmond. Learning opportunities are introduced through provision of their visibility and accessibility. Moreover, effective guidelines, standards and mechanisms of teaching make achievements to become recognized and rewarded.
During my honored classes, my critical and analytical skills were challenged with encoding of the accessed information and retrieval of needed information from long processed memory. These skills were improved with the help of comparison method that determined interconnection of the different concepts on the grounds of the learning involvement. Moreover, this level of involvement considered the previous experience as one of the major factors that helped to create background of true judgments.
I became proficient in my oral and writing skills during the classes when I taught Vietnamese language and during presentations that I performed on the seminars. For these purposes I exercised fluent reading and created drafts of my presentations. Level of attention that I could access from pupils and audience helped me realize that the method of cognitive development is the most efficient tool of determining the objectiveness of proposed solutions and foundation of sufficient and proficient recalling, perception and recognition.
I improved my quantative literacy by learning how to correlate abstract and logic notions through creation of the solution that seemed mathematically impossible. This helped me to make proficient consideration of the alternative explanations and recognize the range of affordable possibilities. This technique was not only effective during political science classes, but during mathematics as well, because the later considers evaluation of concepts of physical universe and their relation to the abstract forms.
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I improved my fluency of locating scholarly resources by generating key values of the dominant subject from the theoretical point of view and correlating meaningful concepts of the connected science fields in the practical implementation. This helped me to make effective report on the project of interest and consider subsequent conflicting opinions and their level of acceptance. Moreover, presentation during seminar attendance helped me to demonstrate efficiency of my ethical and civic responsibilities by creating market-oriented project for specific needs of the remote areas.
I enriched my experience by participating in the creative project of the financial management association, which helped me to tailor my leadership behavior and absorb knowledge on the team level. Our team consisted of the experts of multidisciplinary fields that helped me to realize the importance of the broad-range project’s investigation.
I took advantage from Berglund Seminars and sufficiently improved my intellectual and personal growth by elaborating management of previous and gained knowledge, using experimentation and establishing enduring conceptual understanding of the context learning and investigation perspective.
I consider the life-long learning concept as an effective tool of stimulation of cultivated ideas that promote development of competences and enable adaptation to the knowledge-based society. Life-long learning will provide me with opportunity to update my basic skills and forward my learning abilities to more advanced level.