Thurgood Marshall College Fund – 12th Annual Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair Featured Student: Michael Smith

Our next Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 12th Annual Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair featured student comes to us from Medgar Evers College. Michael Smith is an Environmental Science student with a passion for helping the environment. He enjoys blogging about related topics and is a member of Million Trees NYC. He is passionate about the organization because it is a great way to give back to the earth.

Aside from his dedication to saving our environment, Michael is also a committed student. He takes full advantage of technology when it comes to staying organized and feels that if students work at doing well, they can reach their goals.

Stay tuned for more of our Featured Students this week!

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Monday Motivation

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund – 12th Annual Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair Featured Students

London Maclin, Texas Southern University

Each year, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund gives talented student leaders the chance to meet with some of the nation’s top executives at a premier recruitment conference. This year is their 12th Annual Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair, which will help students with leadership training, career management, and recruitment opportunities. All students selected to attend the event excel both academically and as members of their communities.

We’re very excited to be spotlighting some of these exceptional students over the next few weeks. The first student we will be featuring is London Maclin of Texas Southern University.

An accounting major planning to graduate in 2013, London is incredibly involved in her school’s community. She participates in the United Financial Services Coalition, the National Association of Black Accountants, Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society, and is a member of Track & Field.

In  the summer of 2010, she also ventured overseas to study abroad at the Beijing Jiatong University in China for a month.

So how does someone so busy stay so organized? London says she always makes herself a schedule with specific time slots of what she needs to be doing. Her advice to other students is to avoid procrastination – always give yourself a 2 or 3 day window to fully complete an assignment.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading London’s story as much as we have! Check back in the coming weeks for our other Featured Students.

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#WhatsTrending: Color Club Nail Polish

From highlighter yellow to electric pink, neon shades have been hard to miss lately. Sporting this attention-grabbing trend is right at your finger tips – literally! A few coats of the latest Trend Table item (found at select Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstores, of course) and you’ll be on your way to a complete neon takeover.

Color Club Nail Polish (as its name suggests) focuses on one main thing: COLOR! For 30 years they have been a leader in professional nail color with their high-quality lacquers. Though the quality might be high, their prices are not. It’s never been so easy – and so affordable – to stay on trend.

So whether you choose fluorescent lime or eye-catching purple, your nails will be on everyone’s mind. Our favorite look? We LOVE pairing neon polish with a simple black dress and pumps. Tie it all together with a statement necklace with the same colorful accents.

The items we picked: H&M Jersey Dress, Black Mrkt Sonia Pump, Turquoise Stone Pendant Necklace, Color Club Nail Polish in “Chelsea Girl”

What do you think? How would you wear this trend? Swing by select Campus Bookstores and try it out for yourself!

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#SuccessAfterCollege: ‘Granny is my Wingman’ Author on Writing Your Own Dreams

The vivacious and droll Kayli Stollak, a twenty-five year-old New York University (NYU) graduate, film and television production major, and humanitarian reached celebrity status earlier this year when her blog ‘Granny is my Wingman’ caught the attention of thousands, including television producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The blog details Kayli’s slightly scandalous and always witty adventures in online dating—with Granny. I got an exclusive interview with Kayli in which we discussed her career, her college life, and the trials and tribulations of her online dating endeavors.

After a break-up with her boyfriend of four years, Kayli hesitantly turns to “the world wide web of dating,” and drags her “s— talking, adventure seeking, gossipy yenta,” along for the ride. Both hilarious and relatable, it’s no surprise these ladies’ exploits resonate with readers and has received offers to be made into a television show and a book.

Earlier this week, we caught up with Kayli and found that she is equally awesome and relatable in real life. Besides the blog, she also founded R.E.A.D., an organization which provides impoverished sub-Saharan communities with textbooks, school supplies, and scholarships. Keep reading to find out what Kayli has to say about life after college, starting an aid organization, and her road to success.

What was your major at New York University? Did it change at all throughout your college career?

I majored in Film and Television Production at Tisch. My major didn’t change but my concentration was all over the place. First I thought I was going to be a cinematographer, then an editor, a producer, and at the very end a writer.

What curricular activities/organizations were you involved in as a college student?

[Going out] and dancing. Kidding… sort of. NYU doesn’t provide the typical college experience because rather living in a campus you’re living in a city. Outside of school I always had internships and jobs but I was never oober-involved with NYU life besides in my classes and film shoots.

According to your interview in Teen Vogue, you decided “on a whim” to volunteer at an orphanage in Nairobi, which eventually led you to found READ. Was founding an aid organization something you’ve always wanted to do?

As odd as it sounds given my track record, no. I’ve always been super interested in the people I meet and when I ended up volunteering at the home in Nairobi and getting to know the kids who live there, they changed something in me. After they educated me on their situation and what they needed to break the cycle of poverty, I was sold. Volunteering in a foreign country can be an eye-opening experience but when you leave you must decide if you’re going to bury away what you learned or do something to make a change. When I came back to the states I knew I needed to take the steps to form R.E.A.D.

How did you spend your first summer after college?

On a motorcycle with my ex-boyfriend driving through England, France, Spain, and Portugal… And less exciting: working in a production company that I had been interning at through college as well as cocktailing in a nightclub.

After graduation, you worked a part-time job (or maybe more than one). What advice would you give to college graduates who are still searching for a permanent position in their field?

I worked a lot of jobs, but my main source of income came from cocktailing. My advice, do not give up and do not become comfortable in any professional situation unless it is exactly what you want for yourself or more then you ever hoped for. It’s easy to get stuck in a position because the money is good or it feels convenient – DON’T! Intern if you have to, get creative, but don’t lose sight of what you want to become.

When your blog initially took off and you began writing the pilot, were you working on other projects that had to be put on the back-burner? If so, did you feel that you were taking a risk in doing this?

I was actually in a professional limbo of sorts. I was working on writing some other things but all of my income was coming from cocktailing so when I started the blog it was a gamble, probably more for my ego then my career. I was beyond lucky that it took off the way that it did but if it hadn’t I would have tried starting something else until I found something that worked.

What is your favorite accomplishment to date? Does this set the bar for your future accomplishments?

Although I’m crazy pumped about my upcoming book and the TV show in development (I do high kicks and fist pumps every morning from excitement), I have to say the charity brings me the most pride. R.E.A.D. has eight kids in university and three schools we supply books for. Although my personal professional accomplishments are incredible, watching these kids who have more ambition then anyone I’ve ever met have the chance to make something of themselves is really inspiring.

To hear more of Kayli’s awesome story, check out her blog at What do you think? Post a comment below!

Written by Guest Blogger, Alycia Terry

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DIY Dorm: Memory Jar

I originally came across this post on Pinterest and knew I had to try it out. It’s a simple craft that helps you organize clutter without throwing away trinkets or memories. All you need is a clean jar (I used a salsa jar) and some glass paint (I chose black). For a decorative touch, I painted the outside with a fun design. Voila! My soon-to-be-recycling became a quaint keepsake jar in a few simple steps.

What You’ll Need:

An empty jar (make sure to clean it thoroughly)

Keepsakes to put inside

Puff paint or glass paint


How will you be decorating your jar? Post a comment below!

Written by Guest Blogger, Aksa A. of RIT

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Dish It: Pinterest-Inspired Pumpkin Pie Dip

After drooling over this recipe for weeks, I finally decided to share it with all of our readers. I came across this mouth-watering dip on Pinterest and couldn’t resist clicking through for the full list of ingredients. It comes from the site Six Sisters’ Stuff and is the perfect way to get your pumpkin fix.

What You’ll Need:

Makes about 6 cups (12 servings).

  • 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (check their site for instructions on how to make your own!)*
  • 6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (I used fat-free)
  • cut up apples, bananas, and other dippers

What You’ll Do:

Mix pumpkin with brown sugar, vanilla and spices. Blend it well. Add in the yogurt and mix again until smooth. Fold in cool whip and chill in refrigerator until ready to eat. Enjoy!

For more tricks and recipe ideas, check out the full site here.

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Popular Halloween Costumes 2012

Two-thousand and twelve has been a whirlwind of a year. From the blockbuster-packed summer to the upcoming Presidential election, there has not been a dull moment. The good news? A busy year like this one provides TONS of inspiration for the perfect Halloween costume. We decided to pull out our crystal ball and see what the popular costumes the future holds. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous than the usual kitten/witch/pumpkin routine, keep reading!

Presidential Candidates – With the election only a few weeks away, we’re predicting that plenty of Halloween parties will be filled with political parties. Whether it’s Obama lookalikes or Romney replicas, Halloween is sure to be extra presidential this year.

Honey Boo Boo – Love her or hate her, this pint-sized beauty queen has everyone talking. All you will need is a pageant dress and some hilarious one-liners (and maybe some Go-Go Juice).

Psy – Korean pop sensation, Psy, took the world by storm with his fast-paced, strangely choreographed dance-anthem, “Gangnam Style.” Grab your powder blue suit, learn the dance, and you’re on your way to a fabulous Halloween costume.

Batman Characters – Batman costumes will never go out of style, but Joker costumes are sooo 2008. Wipe off your face paint because, this year, Bane and Catwoman will be out and about on Halloween. Whether you strap on a face mask or squeeze into a catsuit, you’ll be turning the heads of everyone in and out of the DC Universe.

Zombies – Though True Blood and The Twilight Saga have made vampires the monster-costume frontrunners for the past few years, we believe that Zombies will be hungrily gnawing their way to the top in 2012. With shows like The Walking Dead breaking records, you’ll have plenty of places to find inspiration.

Katniss Everdeen – First she emerged as victor of The Hunger Games and now she’s leaving her mark on Halloween. You can easily pull together an outfit to resemble her arena uniform and finish it off with a bow and arrow. The real difficulty will be in deciding whether you’re “Team Peeta” or “Team Gale.”

The Avengers – We couldn’t complete this list without including the plethora of super heroes from one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters. Hulk or Iron Man, Thor or Captain America, we’re sure there will be no shortage of Marvel’s favorite team this Halloween.

KimYe – Like it or not, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are one of America’s most talked about couples.  So while we’re not encouraging short-lived (okay, extremely short-lived) marriages or interrupting Taylor Swift’s VMA acceptance speech, we’re still looking forward to seeing all the different versions of this spotlight-loving twosome.

Which costumes do YOU think are going to make a splash this year? Post a comment and we’ll share it with our readers!

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Monday Morning Motivation

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#WhatsTrending: Pretty Products by Caren

Are you looking for a newer, more fun approach to skincare? The beauty buffs at Caren believe in empowering girls and teaching them the importance of protecting their skin. From moisturizing lip balms to soap-infused shower sponges, they’ve got everything you need to keep your skin looking and feeling beautiful. Now available at select Barnes & Noble campus bookstores, beautiful skin is only a few steps away! Keep reading to find out more…

Whether it’s your lips or hands that need a little extra TLC, Pretty Products help your skin stay nourished and healthy. What else do we love about them? Each product comes with a small inspirational message on it – just a little something to make you feel confident and PRETTY!

One product we find particularly unique is the Pretty Natural cleanser-infused shower sponge. These colorful sponges come with body wash right in them, making it easy to lather up. They’re good for up to 15 washes, leaving you fresh and clean.

The Pretty by Caren website will be up and running soon but, in the meantime, check out their Facebook Page for all up-to-date information regarding the Pretty Line. Want to see their products in person? We now have them available at select B&N College Campus bookstores. Come by today!

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