Tips For College-Bound Students

GreatestUTransitioning from high school to college is a big deal. Beyond the overwhelming college application process, many students wrestle with questions about their major, career goals, moving away from home and financing college expenses.

Many college officials worry that high school students are not prepared for college. They say the key to a successful college experience is preparation.

“College is about finding out what you love,” says Sean Wagner, associate vice president of Phi Delta Theta. “Instead of looking back from where you came, you need to imagine where you’ll be and set your mind toward achieving those goals. A huge part of this is networking – connecting with other students, professors and alumni who believe in you and can help you toward establishing your career.”

Preparing college students for a successful college experience is the focus of a free guidebook called “A College-Bound Guide to Achieving Your Dreams,” available at www.thegreatestu.com. Here are some other practical tips for college-bound students:

Begin early

Don’t wait until your senior year in high school to start thinking about college and what you want to do for a career. Start researching colleges and seeking informational interviews with people who are working in the career field that you’re interested in pursuing.

Map out your goals and dreams

Think about where you want to be at commencement and work backwards. In other words, do you see yourself in a great job? Do you see yourself heading to law or medical school? Going into the military? Seek help from your college career center and find a trusted mentor in your career field who can offer insight and advice on your plan.

Think networking

In college, you need to start building your professional network. Build relationships with classmates, professors, alumni and others you meet who can help connect you with potential employers. Open a Linkedin account to start building your professional profile. If you have a Facebook account, take greater care in what you post. Future employers regularly look at the Facebook profiles of potential candidates.

Make your summers count

The students who graduate with jobs usually have one thing in common – they had internships and professor-led research projects in the career field of their choice. Don’t wait until your senior year in college – start building your resume with career-related part-time jobs, internships and research projects in your freshman year.

Build relationships with professors

Having strong working relationships with your professors is critical to the early stages of your career development. Professors can write letters of recommendation for scholarships, summer research programs and grad school. They can serve as also references in a job search.  To connect with professors, start by getting to know upper classmen, who can offer advice about meeting professors and tapping your school’s career resources.

Join professional societies

Clubs and student-led professional societies offer opportunities for students to learn more about their career path and meet professionals.

Get familiar with college life

The more you can familiarize yourself with the college you’re attending, the more confident you’ll feel. If you can, visit the college campus before school starts and take part in orientation sessions.

Get your financial house in order

Work with your parents and the school’s financial aid department to make sure all of your finances are in order before you start school. Open a checking account before college starts with a debit card to manage money you’ll need for dining out, tickets and shopping. Learn budgeting skills and develop a plan to graduate with as little debt as possible.

Surround yourself with people who will support you

Find people who have goals and aspirations similar to yours. A great place to start is fraternities and sororities. Contrary to pop culture perceptions, many fraternities and sororities offer fellowship, active participation in college activities and generally, opportunities to build your study skills. Use the summer before you start college to reach out to fraternities and sororities on campus to learn what they have to offer.

Get involved

College is a great place to learn what you’re passionate about. If you enjoyed an activity in high school like student council or Model UN or if you love to go downhill skiing, start researching clubs and teams that you can join.

Miller’s Meanderings – Fraternities Founded at Miami University

RJMBy Robert J. Miller, Historian

I suspect the average person will tell you that three, maybe four, fraternities were founded at Miami University. Of course, Phis are not average persons, and many of them would promptly correct that statement for, actually, there were eight fraternities founded at Miami. (The Greek affairs office at Miami University claims that forty, or more, fraternities were born on the campus. If accurate, the other thirty-two-or more did not amount to any historical importance.) It is interesting that not a single fraternity in the Honor, Recognition and Professional categories was founded at Miami.

The first fraternity founded at Miami was Beta Theta Pi (male) in1839, followed by Phi Delta Theta (male) in 1848 and Sigma Chi (male) in 1855. ( Actually, the founding name was Sigma Phi until the members learned that a fraternity by that name had been established at Union College in 1827.) The three became widely known as the “Miami Triad”  just as the first three fraternities founded at Union College became the “Union Triad.”

In 1902, a women’s group was created by the name of Delta Zeta. Brother Phi, Guy Potter Benton (Ohio Wesleyan ’86), was president of Miami University at the time. He assisted the young ladies to the extent that he helped them write the ritual, thus he was considered a member of the Fraternity. (It was standard procedure in those days for the women’s groups  to be known as women’s fraternities.) To this day, he is revered as the Grand Patron of Delta Zeta. If you are interested in the rest of the story, check out Miller’s Meanderings #3.

In 1906, Phi Kappa Tau (male) came along. This was the fifth and final organization founded at Miami that is in existence today, although others live on as part of Delta Zeta. Delta Sigma Epsilon (female) came to life in 1914 and it was headquartered in Oxford, on Campus Avenue, a couple blocks from the Phi Delta Theta Headquarters. Its 52 chapters were merged with Delta Zeta in 1956.

In 1921, five young men founded Delta Sigma Rho, the name of which was changed to Sigma Delta Rho to avoid confusion with a recognition society of the same name. Fourteen years later(1935), it disintegrated. Three of its nine chapters joined Alpha Kappa Pi and one went with Pi Kappa Phi. The other five gradually disappeared.

The final founding (I know you will appreciate the name) was Pi Delta Theta (female) in 1925-26. Several alumnae of other sororities met to form this new group in 1925 but it was 1926 before the first chapter saw the light of day. In 1941, the nine chapters of this organization merged with Delta Sigma Epsilon and were part of that organization when it became part of Delta Zeta.

Now you know the real story.

Summer Recipes From The Phi Delt Grillmaster – Part 5

photo1By Michael McDearman, Tennessee Delta ’97

Grilled Truffle Mac & Cheese

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 lb of macaroni
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 T of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C of warm whole milk
  • 1 C warm heavy cream
  • 1 lb grated aged cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb grated fontina cheese
  • 2 T white truffle oil
  • A pinch ground cayenne

Macaroni CheeseGrillmaster McD’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Sometimes, truffle oil is not made from truffles. Recipes call for white or black truffle oil. The oils are made from synthetics mixed with olive oil or grape seed oil. There is little difference. Get the one you like.

Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat on your side burner. Cook the pasta until it’s just getting al dente. Drain the pasta and run cold water over it and put it back in the pot.

In a sauce pan on medium low heat, melt the butter and stirring constantly mix in the flour. Make a peanut colored roux. Turn up the heat to medium and whisk in the milk and cream and bring to a boil while whisking frequently. Reduce the heat on the sauce to low and let it simmer for a couple minutes.

Preheat your grill to 375 degrees.

Set aside 1/2 C of the cheddar and 1/3 C of the fontina. Take the remaining cheese and mix into the sauce in 1/3 C scoops and stir the cheese until it melts before adding more. Add a pinch of cayenne and the truffle oil into the sauce. Stir 1 T of the truffle oil and the cayenne pepper into the mix. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir well but gently. We don’t want to tear up the pasta. Season as always with salt and pepper to taste. Take ramekins and place the pasta in them with the reserved cheeses sprinkled over the tops of the dishes.

If you’d like a bit of a smokey depth, take a foil packet with forked holes in it and some water-soaked smoke wood chips and set it near the coals or burner to start their smoking process. Grill for 20-30 minutes or until you are getting the cheese sauce bubbly and the top is browning nicely. Remove from the heat and drizzle the remaining truffle oil over the ramekins. Rest them for 5 minutes and you could add scallions for some color or even some pimento peppers for sweetness (a true southern addition – the Carolinas). Yum!


photoMore About Michael McDearman

Get Fired Up Foods, LLC www.GetFiredUpFoods.com

World Champion GrillMaster Steak Coach

GrillMaster l American GrillMaster Experience, FoodEnquirer.com, MojoBricks, Bull Outdoor Products, Beef Checkoff, McCormick Spices, Heinz

Contributing Writer l BBQ Times, KCBS Bullsheet, GrillingWithRich.com

KCBS – Certified Barbecue Judge and lifetime member

Summer Recipes From The Phi Delt Grillmaster – Part 4

photo1By Michael McDearman, Tennessee Delta ’97

Pig Candy

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb of your favorite bacon
  • Brown sugar
  • Your favorite BBQ rub
  • 2 disposable half pans or 2 foil wrapped cookie sheets

Grillmaster McD’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques

IMG_0252Pig Candy is a delicacy for those who enjoy a richness with multiple points on your tongue being teased and satisfied. Like many dishes, you can cook it to your preferred crispness and the time depends on your smoker, grill, or oven.

Take a pound of thick and center cut bacon that is pretty meaty. This is a personal preference, but today, I am using Rice’s salt and sugar cured, a middle Tennessee smokehouse that produces some fantastic country ham and other pig products.

The goal is to have many flavor profiles happen in your mouth. This recipe will be salty from the bacon and possibly the BBQ rub that you choose, sweet from the brown sugar (possibly the BBQ rub as well and also the bacon can be sugar cured), and heat can come from the BBQ rub as well as some herbs from the rub. Think about that, four different flavors are going to mix together (possibly more depending on your rub) and that means that you will eat with your eyes, then your nose and then your mouth. YUM. Each chew will reveal another layer of flavor. Surprise and delight…

Cut your pound of bacon down the middle. I know this is a shocking statement, but trust is needed here. The candy side of it will take you over like it did to me this morning when I cooked a half pound and ate it all! Plus, you can manage the pieces in the half pan more easily. Wrap up whatever you are not cooking and store it in the fridge.

Grab a half pan or cookie sheet. If disposable half pans, put the seasoned bacon on in. If using cookie sheets wrapped in foil (easier clean up), wrap one cookie sheet (with edges so it holds the grease in the pan) with foil so the top side is covered and wrap another identical sheet with foil on the bottom. We will set the second sheet on top during the cooking process to keep the bacon from twisting and wrinkling up. Plus this helps with splatter.

Sprinkle rub pretty heavily (depending on your taste preference) on each side of the bacon and place in the half pan. The bacon will shrink so having it touch sides is not a problem, but overlapping can cause two pieces to attach. Try and keep them side by side. Take the brown sugar and place a light coat over the top of the bacon. I have found that you can put sugar on both sides or just one. If you choose just one, the salty flavor might come through quicker in your mouth if you have the un-sugared side down when you take a bite (hits your tongue first). The sugar will also turn into a glaze or syrup in the cooking process, so it will find its way underneath the bacon, either way.

You want to be cooking at about 400-425 depending on your cooker. I preheat. Just like an oven with cookies in it, you have some spots that are warmer than others. Knowing your own cooker is key here. Great thermometers are available for a relatively small price. Cook the bacon to your preferred doneness. You are dealing with sugar here so be careful. You want it to be bubbly and not burnt or scorched. If it is, it turns bitter. Brown sugar is white sugar and molasses mixed. The burn temp on them is irrelevant. On longer cooking items, we look at those type of things (Boston Butts, ribs, etc), but this is candied and quicker.

And like on the news…AAaannnd we’re back. Once your bacon is done to your liking, remove from the cooker and place it on a cooling rack or a piece of foil. You may need to remove the top pan to let some of the steam escape from your bacon. If you find that this is needed in your cooker, simply place a light piece of foil loosely over your pan to limit splatters. When cooling, DO NOT place on paper towels as your candy will solidify and attach itself to the paper. It wouldn’t be pretty or tasty.

Once your pig candy is cool, enjoy!


photoMore About Michael McDearman

Get Fired Up Foods, LLC www.GetFiredUpFoods.com

World Champion GrillMaster Steak Coach

GrillMaster l American GrillMaster Experience, FoodEnquirer.com, MojoBricks, Bull Outdoor Products, Beef Checkoff, McCormick Spices, Heinz

Contributing Writer l BBQ Times, KCBS Bullsheet, GrillingWithRich.com

KCBS – Certified Barbecue Judge and lifetime member

Summer Recipes From The Phi Delt Grillmaster – Part 3

photo1By Michael McDearman, Tennessee Delta ’97

Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp with BBQ Peach Glaze

What You’ll Need:

  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Canned peaches
  • Prosciutto
  • Bull Snortin’ Hot BBQ Sauce

Grillmaster McD’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques

proscuitto-shrimp_300Take the jumbo shrimp and rinse while taking the shells, tails and legs off. Keep the shells and tails and freezer bag them to save for making a fish stock for gumbo, if you like. Prosciutto is very thinly sliced salt cured pork. Some brands of country could easily substitute. I recommend thinly shaved biscuit slices if used. A strip of prosciutto about 1” wide should wrap around the shrimp nicely. Prosciutto is slightly tacky to itself. Skewer the wrapped shrimp through the prosciutto.

You won’t need much time to cook the shrimp to a nice completely white color. Cook a few extras for tasting samples. Medium high heat will cook the shrimp and allow the prosciutto to release from the grill grates. As always, use a clean, well oiled grill grate (typically with a vegetable or peanut oil since it has higher burn temps). Remove the shrimp when the prosciutto easily releases from the grill grate.

Drizzle a 50/50 mixture of your BBQ Sauce and canned peach heavy syrup over the shrimp and serve. Beware that the mixture of the sauce and peach syrup can still have quite a kick, so use it as a seasoning. You want sauce seasoned shrimp not shrimp seasoned sauce.


photoMore About Michael McDearman

Get Fired Up Foods, LLC www.GetFiredUpFoods.com

World Champion GrillMaster Steak Coach

GrillMaster l American GrillMaster Experience, FoodEnquirer.com, MojoBricks, Bull Outdoor Products, Beef Checkoff, McCormick Spices, Heinz

Contributing Writer l BBQ Times, KCBS Bullsheet, GrillingWithRich.com

KCBS – Certified Barbecue Judge and lifetime member

Summer Recipes From The Phi Delt Grillmaster – Part 2

photo1By Michael McDearman, Tennessee Delta ’97

Bacon Explosion

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • 1 lb bacon
  • BBQ Rub
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cheese
  • Pepper chopped
  • Sweet Onion Chopped
  • 1 link of sausage (we used apple and chicken) chopped

Grillmaster McD’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques

baconexplosionTake the breakfast sausage out of the fridge and work while it is cold. Use a rolling pin to flatten the sausage into a rectangular shape about the width of a strip of bacon. I caramelized the onions prior to spreading them over the sausage along with the peppers. Spread an even layer of cheese and chopped link apple sausage. If you do all of this on a piece of wax paper, the “roulade” technique or pin wheel in the U.S. works well. Roll the meat before it warms too much. If it warms, it sticks to the paper or flexible cutting board.

Next, create a basket weave of bacon. On what will be the inside of the bacon (between the sausage and bacon) spread a thin layer of BBQ rub and brown sugar. Place the rolled sausage on the end of the basket weave (again on wax paper or a flexible cutting board) and roll the bacon around the sausage. Top with a good dose of BBQ rub and you are ready to put it on a preheated 300 F grill or smoker. Don’t hesitate to add wood chips to the grill with a deep V wood chip box and remember that foil is your friend. A heavy duty piece of foil with the edges turned up or a half pan will keep your grill clean and eliminate flare up issues.

Cook to an internal temperature of 165 F, remove and rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Different flavor profiles can be used. Make a breakfast version for the holidays, Italian flavor profile with Italian seasoning, garlic, onions, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, etc…possibilities are endless.


40128_167084806642841_100000239694863_439562_2336932_nT-Bone Steak with Blue Cheese Butter

What you’ll need:

  • (1) T-Bone Beef Steak
  • (4) Sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • (2) Garlic Cloves – minced
  • (1) Stick of Butter
  • (5) Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • (3) Tablespoons fresh Parsley
  • (1) Cup of Blue Cheese crumbles

Grillmaster McD’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques

When at the market choosing your steak, run your finger across the meat. If the marbling is bumpy, it will have connective tissue attached. Find the soft white fat for the most juice and flavor!

To prep the steak, take the leaves off the stem of thyme. Pat 2 sprigs worth of leaves and a clove of minced garlic on each side of the steak. We taste both sides of a steak, right? Also, use a food processor to mix the stick of butter (to cream the blue cheese), the blue cheese (no need to add salt with this on the steak), sun-dried tomatoes (for sweetness) and parsley (for freshness). Blend until it is a smooth cream. Store in a zip bag in the fridge if prepared earlier.

The steak should be cooked on a grill grate that has been cleaned and oiled. Preheat it to 350 (medium heat on most grills). Place the steak on the first side until you see one great set of grill marks (usually 5-7 minutes in most altitudes and day). Turn the steak to the second side and cook until 140 degrees internal temp. Remove the steak from the grill putting on a nice Z line of the compound butter. Rest 5-7 minutes and enjoy!


photoMore About Michael McDearman

Get Fired Up Foods, LLC www.GetFiredUpFoods.com

World Champion GrillMaster Steak Coach

GrillMaster l American GrillMaster Experience, FoodEnquirer.com, MojoBricks, Bull Outdoor Products, Beef Checkoff, McCormick Spices, Heinz

Contributing Writer l BBQ Times, KCBS Bullsheet, GrillingWithRich.com

KCBS – Certified Barbecue Judge and lifetime member

Summer Recipes From The Phi Delt Grillmaster

photo1By Michael McDearman, Tennessee Delta ’97

BBQ Ribs

Pork ribs are a staple at tailgates and backyards alike. It’s hard to wrong with BBQ Ribs.

What You’ll Need:

  • Spare Ribs – 1 rack
  • 3EYZ rub
  • Sauce of your choice

Grillmaster McD’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques

ribsTo prep the meat, simply remove from the store packaging, rinse and turn the rack to the bone side up (the side with a membrane on it). We want to remove the membrane to give the rub flavors access to the meat as the smoke work its magic. To remove the membrane, work the edge of the membrane up in a spot and grab/pull with a dry paper towel. Presto. It’s off. Take 3EYZ rub or any BBQ rub that you enjoy and apply a good dusting on all sides to flavor the meat. Let the ribs sit for about 15 minutes and they are ready to go on the smoker.

We will use an indirect smoker today. Basically, it allows us to cook the ribs indirectly over the fire. We want to keep the temperature as close to 225-250 as possible without spikes and valleys. Make sure your coals are fully lit (grey and ashen) before putting the meat on the smoker. With smoking wood, soak it overnight in water to slow the burn and create a smoke that is thin and blue. White pillowy smoke puts acidic residue on the meat.

Once the cooker has stabilized in temperature, place the ribs on the grate and shield with a water pan (for steam and heat distribution). Close it up and keep the cooker at the 225-250 range for 3 hours in the smoke. If you are looking, you aren’t cooking. Keep the doors closed! It takes up to 30 minutes for some cookers to recover.

At the 3 hour mark, put the ribs into foil pouches with a couple tablespoons of apple juice, use some squeeze butter with honey and brown sugar on both sides. I also put the meat side down in the pouch. Cook at the same 225-250 temp for 2 hours in the sealed pouch.

When you take them out of the foil pouch after the two hours, lift them with tongs long ways. Sliding your tongs halfway under the rack of ribs, they are done when you lift them and see an almost 90 degree bend. If they do not bend that way (where you almost reach under them because you think they might fall), then put them back in the foil for a bit more.

Once they have the bend but don’t break feel, we then sauce the ribs and put them back on the indirect heat for as long as it takes for your sauce to tighten or turn into a bit of a paste. This step does not have a specific time, but some sauces can take up to a full 6th hour. I usually tighten a sauce for about 20 minutes.

Always rest the meat for a bit. On ribs, I let them sit unstacked and off the heat for about 15 minutes. Then, it’s on! Dive in and enjoy!


7119975487_ab65716a0a_mCreole Mustard Crusted Pork Loin

What You’ll Need:

  • (1) Pork Loin
  • (1) bottle Creole Mustard
  • (4) sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • (3) T of minced Garlic
  • (10) peppercorns

Grillmaster McD’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Pork can handle many flavor profiles. Looking for a more tender or juicy pork chop? Try soaking chops or smaller pieces in buttermilk for less than 2 hours. Then pat off the excess and cook like the recipes say. Yum!

Take a paring knife and cut finger sized slits (about 10) in evenly spaced locations (preferably from the top to preserve any juices). Spread the peppercorns, garlic and rosemary (after you have slid your fingers against the leaves to get them off the stems) in the holes evenly throughout the pork loin. Generously coat the outside of the loin with Creole Mustard. Set in a roasting rack or on a wire rack.

Don’t be afraid to add a bit of thin blue smoke during this cook. Preheat your smoker or grill (indirect heat) on 350 degrees and cook for approximately 50-55 minutes until the loin reaches 145 degrees internal temperature. Pork recently changed its food safe temp and can be eaten at a medium rare. If you like it a bit more done, find that internal temperature you desire. If you like it more of a medium to medium well go for 155 degrees. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, slice and enjoy!


photoMore About Michael McDearman

Get Fired Up Foods, LLC www.GetFiredUpFoods.com

World Champion GrillMaster Steak Coach

GrillMaster l American GrillMaster Experience, FoodEnquirer.com, MojoBricks, Bull Outdoor Products, Beef Checkoff, McCormick Spices, Heinz

Contributing Writer l BBQ Times, KCBS Bullsheet, GrillingWithRich.com

KCBS – Certified Barbecue Judge and lifetime member

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