Dreams Really Can Come True

It’s strange. I don’t feel like just yesterday I was graduating high school as so many Seniors tend to claim. To me, college has not flown by at all.  As “G- Day” is quickly approaching, though I am anxious/ afraid/ worried about my future, I know that it is time for me to leave and start a new chapter in my life as I did four years ago when leaving high school. JMU has taught me a lot and helped my grow as a person and I am thankful for that, but it is now time to take what I have learned and apply it to being a “real person.”

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without JMU but I also wouldn’t be who I am without the University Program Board. I started as a committee member sophomore year and had the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board my Senior year. I can safely say ladies and gentlemen, my experiences with UPB have been what we call a life changer. One of my favorite memories from being on exec this past year was our most recent Convocation show featuring Wiz Khalifa. I had a blast being around my UPBers all day and being delirious with them into the wee hours of the morning. If you have never worked a Convo show you are missing out!  What I love and will miss about UPB is the people and their passion for what they are doing for the University and what a joy they are to be around.

My plans for the future? I am staying in Harrisonburg this summer to work and save money because I am packing my bags and heading to Florida to intern with Disney in late August. Words can not explain how I am excited I am to have this opportunity. I have been interested in doing the internship since my freshmen year, but wanted to graduate on time so I never applied for it. When I found out you could apply as a graduating senior I knew I would regret it if I didn’t apply. Where JMU and UPB has left off is where Disney will pick up in my journey of life. I am excited/ anxious/ scared of what is to come but as everything has at JMU, I know everything will work out in the end. With a bit of passion and determination, dreams really can come true.

~Katelyn Diehl, Executive Assistant

Get To Know…Executive Assistant

It has been an honor to serve as the Executive Assistant for the University Program Board during the 2010- 2011 school year.  The Executive Assistant position, not to be confused with a runner for coffee orders or a paper filer, is a position that has helped me to grow as a leader as well as be able to be creative and flexible in my duties.

I am responsible for typical office tasks such as taking minutes at executive meetings, compiling information for a weekly and annual report, ordering office supplies, and keeping the office orderly, etc.  My creative juices start flowing when I have the opportunity to liven up the office with monthly bulletin board changes, posters with UPB related information and creating a scrapbook for the school year. I also have the pleasure in being an advisor to a group of our chairs by having bi-weekly or monthly meetings with them to just chat about how things are going in their position.

Now not anyone can hold this position. Someone with a lot of patience, organization, and confidence is the best fit; characteristics that I did not necessarily have when I started the position but can safely say I have now. Though a lot of my work is behind the scene and I am not directly involved in the event planning process, I still have a voice in what should and should not happen at a event or what worked and did not work. Not being a program director has not prevented me from getting the most out of this experience and when I graduate in May I will surely take the skills and experiences I gained with me into the real world!

~Katelyn Diehl, Executive Assistant

Modern Holiday Desserts

An important part of the holidays is of course the food. (Yes family, friends, good health, good tidings, these are all important but lets be real, we all love food). With Thanksgiving being yesterday and Christmas now less than a month away, I want to share a fun way for traditional holiday favorites like Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie to be incorporated into cupcakes in honor of UPB presents Cupcake Wars to take place on December 1 at 8pm in Taylor Down Under.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

Prep Time= 40 minutes

Total Time= 1 hour 35 minutes

Makes= 24 cupcakes

½ cup finely chopped pecans

3 tablespoons sugar

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix

1 cup (from 15- oz can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
½ cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 container Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy cream cheese frosting

1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
2. In heavy 8-inch nonstick skillet, cook pecans and 2 tablespoons of the sugar over low heat about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted. Spoon and spread pecans onto sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar; toss.
3. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about 2/3 full).
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

5. Frost cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle edge of frosted cupcakes with pecans; press lightly into frosting.

~Katelyn Diehl, Executive Assistant

Stress-Free Summer

Summer is not only a break from school and its accompanying stresses; summer allows you to embrace whatever you just don’t have time for the other 8 months of the year.  Personally, my last year at JMU owned me and as a result I have not taken one moment of my freedom for granted this summer.  Earlier in the summer, I formulated a small list of items to accomplish and consistently perform to save me from the terrors of boredom (I’m staying in Harrisonburg for the summer) and stop me from overworking at my internship.  I’d like to share with you my list and hope that you haven’t lost any precious “me” time these past few months.


 1. Travel and explore:  I fear leaving my precious JMU campus on the weekends since I’m only here for four years and I want to soak in all that college has to offer while I still can.  Unfortunately H’burg during the summer is not as glamorous, and a weekend getaway is graciously accepted.  So whether traveling to Charlottesville to try a new restaurant with my boyfriend, or traveling to Maryland to enjoy fireworks on the water, these road trips have opened my eyes to a new style of living and takes my mind off the stresses. 

 2. Read a good book:  I absolutely despise being forced to read.  You give me something to read for an assignment and I will automatically shut down and refuse to become interested.  I really do love reading for enjoyment though.  This summer I joined the local H’burg library and I have become a reading machine, getting lost in stories of people or things and their journeys whether realistic or fiction. With textbook season around the corner I have no choice but to cram all the pleasurable reading I can now.

3. Cook or bake:  I read somewhere at some time how cooking and baking are therapeutic.  The extent of my cooking during the semester is boiling pasta or sticking a frozen pizza in the oven.  So I traded my frozen dinners in for fresh ingredients and as chef Emeril would say, BAM!  It’s sad knowing that in a few short weeks I won’t be able to afford ingredients or have time to cook, because it definitely has kept me productive during this time of the year.

 4. Exercise:  After a long day of classes, club meetings, and homework, the last thing I want to do is go to the gym.  I know it’s good for you and makes you feel great and blah, blah, blah. With this being said, I can proudly say I have dragged my butt to the gym and go 5-6 days a week a minimum!  For someone who finds climbing the stairs to be a physical challenge,
 I would say that’s really impressive.


Just remember to not take the simple moments for granted.  Next time you’re bored with nothing to do read a book, go on a walk, explore a part of town you’ve never been to before, or bake a cake for someone you love.  Just promise me that you won’t live with all the stress and hassles of a semester at college this summer.

~Katelyn Diehl (Executive Assistant)