Amber Schriner

Amber Schriner has 4 articles published.

How to deal with the craziness of December

in Campus Life by

With finals and the holidays right around the corner, there is an overwhelming amount of work to be done. But how can one person deal with all of this without going crazy? There are a few simple ways to get through both finals and the holidays with ease.

First, finals. The stress of finals can get to anyone. However, it can be easier with some simple tips.

Obviously if you want to pass, you need to study, but you also cannot overload yourself. Self-care, meaning getting enough sleep, eating healthily and taking regular breaks can keep you from overwhelming yourself while studying.

To help UCC students, ASUCC has organized a fall term study-in. At this study-in, there will be snacks, coffee and lunch. Also, the computer lab will be open along will available tutors and help from Jennifer Lantrip, the reference librarian. The fall term study in will be Saturday, Dec. 2 in the library on campus starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m.

ASUCC has also put together an event called Fresh for Finals. This event is for UCC students during finals week to help them relax and prepare for their tests. On Monday, Dec. 4, and Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., ASUCC is providing coffee and food, as well as massages from Robert Davidson. On Wednesday, Dec. 6, Fresh for Finals will take place from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Food and coffee will again be provided, however, instead of Robert Davidson, Energy Arts with be there for students. Fresh for Finals will take place in the Student Center on campus.

“Just try to stay on top of things the best you can and whatever happens, you did your best,” said Shantel Alexander, a UCC student.

Now what about the holidays? For most, this festive time of year is a joyous time, however several people get down and discouraged around the holidays.

If this time is hard for you, there are many ways to uplift and keep yourself happy. For example, surrounding yourself with people who love and support you, whether its friends, family, or both, can help. If you don’t have any traditions with these people, try making new ones. You can give yourself something to look forward to next year while having fun this year.

“Whenever the holidays hit, I always surround myself with friends and family to keep the blues away,” said Nicole Townsend, a UCC student.

Keeping yourself active and moving around can also help with staying positive around this time. Going for daily walks or doing a small aerobic activity, like dancing, can be all you need to stay positive and upbeat.

The holidays can be a hard time but keeping your mind focused on other things can help everyone get through it.

Blue Zones Project brought to Douglas County Area

in News by
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The Blue Zones Project is a “health and well-being initiative” that is trying to make communities all around the country a healthier place to live, work, learn and play.

“Our main goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice. We don’t want to force anyone,” said John Dimof, the Organizational Lead for Umpqua Blue Zones.

The Blue Zones Project started with Dan Buettner, a New York Times bestselling author. He wrote an article in the New York Times about the research he conducted from places around the world where people are living much longer than anyone in the United States and decided to try putting his research to use. In 2009, Buettner selected Albert Lea, Minnesota as the first Blue Zone in the United States. With the help of AARP and the United Health Foundation, who contributed with $750,000, and many dedicated people the Blue Zones Project was born.

There are five areas Buettner found that people live generally healthier lives. These places are Ikaria, Greece, Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Seventh-day Adventists from Loma Linda, California and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. The people in these areas get to the age 100 ten times more than Americans due to their behavioral patterns. These patterns are very similar in all five areas. They are known to Blue Zones as the Power 9. The Power 9 include:

  • Move Naturally: finding ways to incorporate more movement into your daily life
  • Purpose: having a purpose in your life can add up to seven years to your life
  • Down Shift: relieving stress from everyday life
  • 80% Rule: stop eating when you’re 80% full
  • Plant Slant: making sure most of your meal is fruit or vegetable based
  • Wine @ Five: getting together with a good group of friends and enjoying a drink
  • Family First: spending time with your family and staying connected with them
  • Belong: having a faith-based community and attending services or groups regularly
  • Right Tribe: Having a positive and supportive group of people to spend your time with

Juliete Palenshus, the engagement lead for the Umpqua Blue Zones Project, said Plant Slant is her favorite but she is very good at Move Naturally, Purpose and Family First as well. Jessica Moore, the computer program manager for the Umpqua Blue Zones Project said her favorite is Right Tribe. Dimof said his favorite Power 9 is Purpose. Kirk Blaine, the project manager for the Blue Zones Project, said his favorite is Move Naturally.

The Blue Zones Project has come here due to the growing obesity rates in the Douglas County area. According to a Food Environment Discovery Report done by Blue Zones 31% of adults in Douglas County were obese in 2013 and 28.1% of 8th graders in Douglas County were obese in 2015.

To be able to have our community become part of the Blue Zones Project, we had to apply for it along with eight other communities. Out of all nine communities, including Douglas County, three were selected for the Blue Zones Project. Those three communities were Umpqua with focus on the Roseburg area, Grants Pass and The Dalles.

“I would like to see our health ranking improve. I want to see us break out of that pattern of suffering from chronic illness, overweight, and obesity,” said Palenshus.

Once the Umpqua community was selected for the Blue Zones Project, they decided to hire local people. They wanted the employees to know the area well and be motivated to make the change to a better lifestyle for the whole community.

Umpqua Blue Zones is having a kickoff event on Dec. 11, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is a public event and will take place in the Jacoby Auditorium at UCC. At this event, there will be family-friendly entertainment, cooking demonstrations, yoga, and even free giveaways. RSVP at

“We would love to have the whole student body at the kickoff, we’re proud to have it at UCC. We want to make the campus a vibrant and healthy place for students,” said Moore.


To learn more about the Blue Zones Project, go to

Umpqua Blue Zones Facebook page:

Reading benefits of online versus paper books

in Campus Life by
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    Les Chatfield/ flickr

   The debate on online versus printed books is an ongoing and controversial issue. E-books tend to be easier to handle, more portable and right at the tips of your fingers. However, evidence shows that printed books have many more unknown benefits.

   In 2014, writer and Scripps graduate Rachel Grate wrote about the benefits of reading physical books: “A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback.”

   While e-books do help students by allowing them to read faster, people do not retain the information they are reading as much as with paper books.

   According to a 2006 study done by the Nielsen Norman Group, on-screen text readers tend to only skim the material and read in an “F” pattern. This means that most readers only read the entire first line of text and then only read through the first couple of words on each line after that.

   Also, reading e-books rather than paper books before bed has shown to significantly hurt one’s sleep. The light emitted from cell phone, computer and TV screens reduces one’s ability to sleep due to the effect that artificial light has on melatonin production, a hormone made by the pineal gland that helps control sleep.

   A 2012 study in Sweden found that extensive cell phone use can be linked to an increase in stress, sleep disorders and depression, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

   Another study found that reading an e-book before bed can affect alertness the next morning. Because of the reduction in melatonin production, readers take longer to fall asleep at night and to wake up in the mornings, making them sluggish and unmotivated.

   Partly because of these problems, many people are switching back to the traditional way of reading. Last year, Naomi S. Baron, the author of “Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World,” asked 300 college students about their preference of books. Ninety-two percent said they would rather read a physical text rather than a virtual one.

   They said they liked that there were less distractions and there was less of an eye strain when reading paper books.

   “I prefer paper books because the feeling I get when I turn the page gives me a sort of relaxing feeling that I wouldn’t get from an online source,” Shantel Alexander, a UCC student, said.

   Although printed books have more psychological benefits, e-books are much more cost effective. For example, at the UCC bookstore paper textbooks can cost $50 to $160 whereas the e-book version normally cost between $5 and $20. E-books can also be stored on a device and are much less expensive to buy. Printed books have to be taken care of and stored. If the books are stored in a library, costs for librarians also increase.

Vietnam Wall comes to UCC

in Campus Life by
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    Veterans Wall Display

Many people were drafted in the time of the Vietnam War, however, not as many were lucky enough to survive long enough to tell their story. Although they cannot share their experiences themselves, they have the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling Wall to remind people of the hardships and struggles they experienced daily. The Vietnam Wall made its first appearance in Lincoln City, Oregon 5 years ago. Since then it has traveled throughout the western half of the state. Although the Vietnam Wall has not traveled to the eastern half of the state, the Veterans traveling with it would like to eventually get it there. They would like everyone to learn and understand some of the things that went on back then. On the Vietnam Wall, there are 857 names of the soldiers who enlisted in Oregon and were killed in the line of duty. 709 of those soldiers fought and died in Vietnam.

Along with the Vietnam names, there are names of people from the Organization Enduring Freedom. At least one of those people is from the Roseburg area.

“They aren’t just names on a wall; they’re people” said Navy Vietnam Veteran Roger Boucock. He and a few other Vietnam Veterans travel with the Vietnam Wall throughout Oregon. These men decided to use this wall to educate people of all ages about the hardships they had to face.

Diana Kelly, the student life program assistant, had the idea of bringing a traveling wall to UCC for a while, however when she found out the Vietnam Wall was run by a few veterans who were from around here, she decided to compare calendar dates and bring the wall to UCC. She wanted not only the student veterans but everyone to learn and understand some of the struggles that there were in that time. It is a great learning experience to everyone on campus and it also gives support to the veterans. The student veterans at UCC could meet and talk to other veterans from different times and discover how the experiences they had were similar or different to the experiences another veteran had. The Roseburg area is a veteran-based community so bringing the Vietnam Wall to campus was important because everyone in this community was given the opportunity to learn a big part of this country’s history.

The Vietnam Veterans travel with this wall to help and educate people about what went on in those hard times. They are happy to answer questions and help someone if they need it. They will continue traveling with this wall and helping to educate people as long as they are welcomed.

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