McDaniel College's winter term, known as Jan Term, is a three-week session in between fall and spring semesters

A pit protector that reduces armpit sweat stains, an online thrift shop for college students, a hybrid cardio-driven and energy exercise machine — these were just a few ideas McDaniel College students came up with, and created business models for, over the past three weeks.

While some McDaniel students spent January catching up on sleep and social life, others spent the time enhancing their education.

McDaniel College's winter term, known as Jan Term, is a three-week session in-between fall and spring semesters. One semester of Jan Term is included in each student's tuition. The session began Jan. 3 and ends today.

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Steve Chapin, a professor at the college, spent the three weeks working with students, only some of whom were pursuing a business degree, to create ideas and complete marketing and financial plans in order to start a business.

"It's important, I think, because it requires [an] interdisciplinary approach to school that's then applied to the real world," Chapin said.

Dakota Durant, a junior majoring in cinema, said that while he's not majoring in business, this class gives him the opportunity to understand business models. And as someone looking at going into independent films, knowing what it takes to start your own business is important.

"In the cinema department, sometimes it's not always about going to Hollywood," said Durant, of Clarksburg.

For Cristal Fortino, associate director of career development at McDaniel, Jan Term was a chance to help students set goals and prepare for future plans. Fortino spent the three weeks helping students become educated about possible scholarships, fellowships, graduate school and more in the "Apply Yourself! The Future You" class.

Throughout their time together, Fortino helps students work on their resumes and set goals for themselves throughout the project.

McDaniel junior Abhi Yonghang prepares to hit the shuttlecock as Zac Edwards looks on during a badminton class, one of the Jan Term offerings at McDaniel College in Westminster Sunday, Jan. 16, 2016.
McDaniel junior Abhi Yonghang prepares to hit the shuttlecock as Zac Edwards looks on during a badminton class, one of the Jan Term offerings at McDaniel College in Westminster Sunday, Jan. 16, 2016. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

On one Tuesday in January, students learned about the Fulbright Program from a McDaniel professor currently in Hungary. The program is a "flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries," according to its website.

And after the hour-long video chat, they got together to discuss any progress they'd made over the weekend working toward their future, be it through filling out applications, asking for letters of reference or studying for the Law School Admission Test.

It's something that's been helpful for Carter Trousdale, of Chicago. The sophomore majoring in entrepreneurship said that as someone hoping to go to law school, learning about scholarships and fellowship opportunities has been great.

Trousdale hopes to try for the Fulbright Program, and is looking at maybe traveling to somewhere in Africa. Learning about different areas has always been something he's enjoyed, Trousdale said, adding that when growing up, all of his close friends were from different countries.

Though Trousdale said he's been thinking about a lot of this before Jan Term, the "Apply Yourself! The Future You" class has helped him lay everything out.

"Before this class, I wouldn't really stop and think about that stuff," he said.

Now, Trousdale said, he's learned he can "create my own path."

Louis Schaab and Bob Breed look over their business plan following their presentation during "Starting Your Own Business," a Jan Term class offered at McDaniel College in Westminster Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.
Louis Schaab and Bob Breed look over their business plan following their presentation during "Starting Your Own Business," a Jan Term class offered at McDaniel College in Westminster Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

And while some spent the three-week session enriching their academics, others used the time to exercise and have fun in a physical education class.

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Gregg Nibbelink, head athletic trainer at the college, taught badminton this Jan Term. Throughout the course, Nibbelink works to teach the skills of the sport.

"Most of them haven't had any sort of introduction to badminton," he said, aside from what's been played in someone's back yard. Nibbelink encourages students to watch videos of those playing the sport professionally.

Nicole Hill, a senior majoring in business administration, said she took the class to fill some credits needed before graduation, but has really enjoyed the sport. Plus, Hill said, it's an opportunity to get credit for something and not have to spend time in a classroom sitting down.

As a member of the school's women's soccer team, getting to be active and compete is an added bonus.

"It's just fun," said Hill, of Bowie. "I love being competitive."

emily.chappell@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7862

twitter.com/emilychappell13



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