Author Archives: Vince Applegate

Motivation after Spring Break

Returning from spring break is hard for students.  Whether they used break for fun or work, getting back on track and regaining momentum are essentials for successfully completing the semester.  Motivation is a factor that both students and faculty must nurture.  You have a role in producing motivation.  In Thinking about Teaching and Learning (p. 74), Robert Leamnson says:

Motivation is something that students must initiate.  Fortunately, the initiation is not impervious to outside influence.  Some teachers manage to do something, or be something, that persuades students to read about, talk about, and write about content, and so learn it, but what about parents. It’s your job to offer support, discusses academic and personal successes with your student, and to listen to the challenges they think they area facing. Below are some helpful strategies that you can share or ask your student about.

Tips to Motivate Student Learning after Spring Break

1. Ask your student to assess their learning to this point in the semester.

They should take time to examine their performance on finished tests, quizzes, papers and projects which can help them understand how to adjust their study habits for better performance.  Several websites offer post-test surveys that can help students determine what went wrong and how to adjust study skills.

2. Help your student practice weekly calendar reviews and updates

On Sunday night they should review their syllabi and calendar to be mindful of deadlines and approaching exams or papers.

3. Ask your student how they prioritize assignments.

If they know that a major project is coming due, how do they plan their time effectively? Have they tried dividing large assignments into manageable parts and holding themselves to accomplishing each part in a timely way.  Accomplishing manageable goals increases student self-confidence.


4. Does your student need to explore alternative study places?

As the weather warms, they could try to find a spot outdoors where they enjoy working that is free from distractions where they can study.  Even diffuse sunlight by a window can increase their energy and focus.

5. How can your student connect with fellow students to study?

Working with classmates can get them back on track to refocus on what is important and to provide accountability in the last part of the semester.

A Safe and Secure Campus Community

A Safe and Secure Campus Community

Night Quad

Obama Initiative on Rape and Sexual Assault - 

Recently the Obama administration pledged to create a “coordinated federal response” to address campus rape and sexual assault on college campuses.  This response is the result of nationwide concerns from victims of rape and sexual assault indicating their belief that they were not dealt with appropriately.  Rightfully, this has caused the federal government to create a task force with the purpose of protecting students from sexual assault.  The task force objectives are to:

•Provide colleges with evidence-based best practices for preventing and responding to rape and sexual assault.

•Make sure institutions “comply fully” with their legal obligations in the area.

•Increase the transparency of federal enforcement.

•Broaden public awareness of individual colleges’ compliance with relevant laws.

•Facilitate coordination among federal agencies involved with the issue.

Emergency phone

“Stetson University takes allegations of sexual assault or rape seriously and investigates each incident as soon as it is reported,” said Christopher Kandus-Fisher, vice president of student affairs. “The Department of Public Safety and Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs take action immediately to protect the victim from any additional harm and provide all services necessary to assist the victim during the investigation.  Local law enforcement is notified; allowing the victim to pursue criminal charges and enabling an independent investigation into the allegations separate from the university.  This approach assures a complete investigation, protects the victim and provides him or her with appropriate resources as mandated by the State of Florida.”

Weapons on campus. Recently the Florida Appeals Court ruled that a licensed concealed weapon permit holder can bring a securely encased gun to a university campus and keep this weapon in his or her vehicle.  This decision was documented in a 76-page opinion offered by the court after the case was filed against the University of North Florida.  Maintaining safety and security on the Stetson campus is our primary concern. As a private university, we have an internal policy prohibiting guns on campus unless carried by a law enforcement officer.  The appeals court ruling does not invalidate our policy.

“As always, Stetson University will review current policy making to ensure that we meet the standards of Florida law and guarantee the safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors of our campus,” said Kandus-Fisher.

Some notes about flu season!

Hello students and families.

Flu season is here.  Flu activity is increasing nationally and additional increases are expected in the coming weeks.   For people who are otherwise healthy, influenza strikes hard and fast.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older should receive the influenza vaccine.  If you have not gotten your flu vaccine yet this season, you should get one now.  A flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and the people around you.

If you have the flu, stay in your apartment, dorm room, or home for at least 24 hours after any fever.  Wear a mask if you leave your room.  Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups or bottles.  Wash your hands often during the day with soap and water.  Cover your mouth with a tissue and throw it away after use.  Cough into your sleeve if a tissue is not available.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Treat your symptoms with acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help lower fever.  Cough drops or throat spray will help a sore throat.  You will need a lot of rest.  Drink plenty of liquids.  Antibiotics are not helpful, as they treat bacterial infections, not viral.  Influenza is a viral infection.

Go to  for more information.

Another viral infection, not related to influenza, is norovirus.  Norovirus is a very contagious virus and is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States.  Norovirus illness is often called “stomach flu” or “food poisoning”.  There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus.  The best way to prevent norovirus is proper hand washing and general cleanliness.  Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly.  When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others.  Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.  Wash laundry thoroughly.

If you have norovirus illness, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluids lost from throwing up and diarrhea.  This will prevent dehydration.  Antibiotics, which treat bacterial infections,  will not be helpful against this viral infection.


Fall grades are almost final

Your student will be home very soon for an extended period of time, and during that time, Fall Semester grades will become available. This could be an exciting time for you and your student, especially if they have been successful. What happens if they are not, and in worst case scenarios, they fail a class? The article below can provide you some advice.

You can also reach out to the Academic Success Center here at Stetson, to discover the support options available through their office.

To stay up to date on resources available to parents please remember to like our parent page on facebook! It’s a great way to stay connected to other parents, and receive important information in one easy to remember place.

I hope the Winter Break is restful for you and your students.

Giving Thanks

Good Day!

In a very short time, many families across the country will be celebrating an American tradition, as well as one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving.  This is such a wonderful time of year filled with family, friends and delicious food.  It is a time when we take a moment out of our busy lives to give thanks for all that we have and for the people we hold close in our thoughts.  Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the people and blessings of the past year.  From pre-meal prayers to providing meals to the homeless, the holiday is truly a celebration of praise and thanking.  I made a promise to myself several years ago to say thank you more often, to let people know that they have made a difference in my life and since I can’t do that in person I wanted to send my gratitude through this letter.


This year, I want to take a moment to thank you.  I want to thank you for your Stetson University student.  Because of your student’s  leadership and commitment to Stetson, I have had the opportunity to get to know and further appreciate them for their hard work and dedication to the Stetson Community. Of course, I have not met every student on the Stetson University campus, but the student population is what makes Stetson so special.


I am honored to serve Stetson University as the Vice President of Student Affairs and I appreciate all of the students that I have had the opportunity to work with.  However, I have realized that I need to be more diligent in thanking not only the students, but also their families, who have guided and supported these young adults.  Because of all you have done and continue to do, your child has become an intricate part of our community.


Please accept my fond appreciation and thanks for your Stetson University student’s efforts and achievements on making this community a wonderful place.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.



Christopher Kandus-Fisher

Vice President of Student Affairs

Stetson University

Mid-term Tips

We are at the mid-way point in the semester, as mid-term grades will be released very shortly to your student. Many students find the competition and quantity of work required in college courses a surprise. It takes time to adjust to increased academic demands and students often feel overwhelmed by the challenge. Even the brightest and best high school student will find the adjustment to college life and academics a challenge. What can parents do?

  • Listen to your student’s feelings about their classes and grades.
  • Remember that students tend to mirror back your level of anxiety. Calmness is contagious.
  • Empathize with your student’s anxiety about the workload at college.
  • Reassure your student that you know they are capable of handling college-level work.
  • Encourage your student to take the initiative to obtain help. This is very important
  • Encourage your student to talk to the professor or teaching assistant about the course that he/she is concerned with. The student should take advantage of the office hours that they provide.
  • Suggest that the student seek help through the Academic Success Center or through Student Success.
  • Have your student make an appointment with their academic advisor or a faculty advisor within their major. They will be able to offer support and encouragement.
  • Study groups and mentors can also be very helpful.
  • If your student is still having trouble coping and are not taking suggestions, Stetson University offers support at the Counseling Services, 386-822-8900.