The excitement continued last December as the Vaughn College robotics team participated in the VEX Robotics Competition Tower Takeover in Cancun, Mexico, winning the Build Award for the first time in the team’s history and placing second overall in the competition.

Team players

As one of the top competitors of the renowned VEX U Robotics World Championship, Vaughn’s seven-member team was invited to participate in Mexico’s VEX U Reeduca Robotics Competition for the fifth year as part of the 2019 Torneo Internacional de Robótica VEX Reeduca.

Game on

VEX Robotics CompetitionThe VEX Robotics Competition Tower Takeover was the name of the game—and a challenging one it was at that. This game was played on a 12′ x 12′ square field. Two alliances―composed of two teams each―competed in matches consisting of a forty-five-second (0:45) “Autonomous Period,” followed by a one-minute and forty-five-second (1:15) “Driver-Controlled Period.” The object of the game was to place cubes in towers or to score cubes in goals. The team to score the highest number of points is declared the winner.

How it played out

In the first qualifying competition, Vaughn competed against four Mexican teams and won all four matches. During the next qualifier, Vaughn won six out of seven matches, which advanced the team to second place in the playoff round. In a nail-biting quarterfinal match, Vaughn finished second, losing to Universidad Tecnologica de Matamoros, 7-6.

Winning the Build Award

For the first time in Vaughn’s VEX Robotics Competition history, the team won the coveted Build Award. To receive this outstanding recognition, a team must construct a robot that can demonstrate effective use of materials and efficiently use mechanical and electrical components. The robot must be high-quality, robust, demonstrate reliability on the field and be able to hold up under competition conditions. “Our team did an outstanding job,” said Dr. Hossein Rahemi, chair of the engineering and technology department at Vaughn. “I’m extremely proud of them. Winning the Build Award is a great achievement.”

Regaining their World Championship title

Vaughn’s robotics team is gearing up for regional competitions over the next few months to vie for a qualifying position in the VEX World Robotics Competition in April for a chance to regain their World Championship title. Having held the World Championship title in 2016 and competed in the  playoff round of the World Championship since 2014—the 2020 Vaughn robotics team is hard at work to show the world that they’re ready to win it all again.

“Our team has what it takes to win the title back again this year,” Rahemi said. “We even have some seniors on the team that have been with us from the start. It would be wonderful to see them, and our other great team members named ‘world champions’ once again.”

Interested in robotics? Learn more about earning an engineering and technology degree at Vaughn.

Winter break may have given your brain a much-needed rest. But now it’s time to start a new semester. So, how do you get yourself back into the academic groove? First, let’s embrace the fact that it’s a new year and a new decade, which presents us with an opportunity to start off the semester with a clean slate.

This month, Vaughn College has outlined some great ways to jump-start the semester with helpful tips that can keep you inspired and motivated―now and throughout the academic year.

Read the syllabus

Think of your syllabus as a roadmap to the semester. Reading it and understanding the workload and assignment deadlines is one of the best ways to navigate through the class with confidence and help put you at ease.

Set a schedule and stick to it

We’ve all been known to procrastinate―some of us more than others. Now is a great time to make a resolution to set a schedule and stick to it. Planning not only allows you to see what needs to get done and when, but it helps you to develop good study habits along the way. Here are some ways setting a schedule can help keep you on track to:

  • Complete assignments on time
  • Manage your study routine to prepare for exams and presentations
  • Remain motivated and promote a positive attitude
  • Allow for some “me” time to avoid burnout
  • Create and maintain good sleep habits

Get enough sleep and wake up early

Burning the midnight oil can burn you out while a rested body and a rested brain is a no-brainer for success. This year try resetting your internal clock from break habits and stick to a strict sleep schedule that includes waking up early. Here are some benefits of being an early bird―and no, it’s not about catching the worm:

  • Gives you time in the morning to review before class
  • Avoids having to rush to class by arriving at campus early
  • Allows time to meet with friends for coffee or a quick chat to catch up
  • Provides time for a visit to the gym for a quick cardio workout before class
  • Rejuvenates your body and spirit to prepare for the day

Make a motivational playlist

Music has a way of easing the mind and putting us in the right mindset for any occasion. Take some time this month to sift through your favorite tunes and create a playlist to keep you inspired and motivated. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone either. Check out our blog―Studying to Music Can Put Your Brain in the Right Frame of Mind―for more inspiration!

Identify study buddies

Before you say that you like to study alone, you may want to try switching up your study routine for a change. Having study partners can be a great way to sort through difficult courses and reduce the stress of figuring it all out on your own. Another great benefit is you can make new friends along the way who share similar interests and have like-minded concerns. If you’ve never had study partners, this may be the year to give it a try.

Create a vision board

“Vision boards”―also known as “mood boards” or “storyboards”―are a great way to display your goals while keeping you motivated to live your dreams. Take some time over school break to lay out your plans for the semester. You can start with a cork board, and then add pictures or sayings that represent your goals and dreams. Display it over your desk or somewhere where you will see it every day.

Stay motivated

One reason to remain motivated about attending classes and working towards earning your degree is your dream job is at the end of it, right? Well, Vaughn is so confident that it prepares its graduates to be employed in their field of study within one year of graduation, that it offers the Vaughn Guarantee. And if you aren’t? Vaughn College will provide reimbursement for one year’s worth of federal direct undergraduate student loan payments. Now that’s great motivation to keep your eye on the prize! Speak with a Vaughn admissions counselor to learn about your eligibility today.

Go shopping

You might be “shopped out” after the holidays, but this time it’s for you! Treat yourself to a cool notebook, notepad or even a new outfit. Even the smallest thing can make a big impact on your mood, confidence and overall outlook.

Learn more about earning a degree in engineering and technology, aviation or management at Vaughn College.

For college students, the end of the semester can bring on stress from final exams, research papers and projects. The days of cramming and burning the midnight oil are old news as today’s savvy students are upping their studying and working game by taking a new approach to making the mark and ending the semester on a high note. How are they doing it? And if you are a student, how can you learn this approach? It’s all about finding your individual groove along with implementing some tried and true methods.

Vaughn College has done the research for you. Think of this as our holiday gift to you. We have outlined 10 fun and strategic work and study tips to help lighten the mood so you can get the most out of your work or study time.

  1. Location, location, location—Switching up where you study or work is proving to be a productive way to force your brain to associate material with specific locations, which in turn strengthens your sense of memory. Try visiting familiar places, such as your favorite coffee shop. You’ll be surprised how it can help you focus while keeping things fresh in your head. Plus, drinking a cup of coffee or tea can help keep you alert.
  2. Get moving—Did you know walking and keeping your body physically active can increase your brain’s processing speed and improve cognitive function? It’s true and so easy to do. Take a break and go for a walk – when you come back, you’ll have a renewed sense of motivation and refreshed perspective, which is especially helpful for writing research papers or doing project work.
  3. Tune in—Research reveals studying to music is a great stress reliever. We all have our favorite tunes, but classical music tops the list as the best for relieving anxiety and stress. Check out our blog―Studying to Music Can Put Your Brain in the Right Frame of Mind―for more of an in-depth explanation.
  4. Chew on this—You may get a green light from your dentist with the news that chewing gum or snacking on crunchy foods stimulates your mind and keeps you focused. Plus, it gives your brain a boost when it needs it most.
  5. Work in color—Using different colored index cards, sticky notes and even ink when taking notes is a great way to help with your visual memory and can be a game-changer to studying effectively. It not only helps with categorizing information but makes studying more visually stimulating. Also, ditch the highlighter if you’re using one. It can have an adverse effect. Simply highlighting information in a textbook or in notes is passive – it doesn’t require active understanding or output. Taking notes or making flash cards is a far more effective way to boost retention and recall.
  6. Story time—Some information can be overwhelming to remember. Try turning the details into either a funny story or something that you can relate to. It’s a fun way to recall the information and is a great stress reliever, too. You might even discover the writer in you!
  7. Distracted? There’s an app for that—We all do it. Checking social media pages and emails can be a huge distraction when you need to focus. Did you know there’s an app for that? It’s called FocusMe. It’s a great tool to help you unplug and keep you focused when you need to be.
  8. Bedtime brain boost—You may be sleepy, but did you know studying before bedtime is one of the best ways to increase retention? Here’s how. While you’re sleeping, your brain strengthens new memories, thus allowing you to remember what you read before falling asleep. (Just remember to keep your books and notes out of your bed. You need a good night’s sleep.)
  9. Try spaced repetition—This new learning technique is all about breaking down information into smaller more digestible sections and then reviewing them consistently over time. For example, instead of trying to memorize large scale blocks of information, you can learn smaller sections every day. The key is to review each section before starting a new one.
  10. Break time—Give yourself a break—lots of them. Long cramming sessions can leave you feeling overwhelmed and diminishes retention. Instead, schedule shorter sessions and take breaks in between. You’ll feel recharged and ready to focus.

Other helpful study tips:

  • Make a study and work schedule
  • Declutter your space
  • Quiz yourself on material
  • Recopy your notes by hand instead of typing them
  • Read information out loud
  • Create an outline for a research paper (before you start writing)
  • Conduct research in a timely manner
  • Try mediation or yoga
  • Treat yourself to a holiday cookie or your favorite snack

When all is said and done, just remember your grades do not define your worth. Just do your best. Your mental health and well-being are what truly matter.

Preparing for a career in engineering and technology, management or aviation goes well beyond the classroom. Networking, job experience and job search techniques all play critical roles to opening the doors of opportunity. At Vaughn College, our career services department is dedicated to preparing its students for success in their fields by helping them to explore various jobs in their fields. From orientation through graduation, we are ready to guide students every step of the way so they can find their dream job as soon as possible after graduation. We are so confident that our students will be employed or continue their education within one year of graduation that we even guarantee it.

Are you an engineering, technology, management or aviation student approaching graduation? Or maybe you’re a student considering any number of aeronautics, engineering or technology careers? Vaughn’s career services department is offering some valuable graduation―and ongoing―tips to prepare you for a career. Explore the many jobs in your field of interest with our career services team.

Tip 1: Complete the Career Development Course

Vaughn’s Career Development Course lays the foundation for landing jobs as it prepares students for the many career opportunities available to them as students and graduates. You will learn vital skills which include résumé and cover letter preparation, interviewing techniques, networking and various job search strategies. Every Vaughn student must take and pass the course in addition to participating in a mock interview.

Tip 2: Secure an Internship/Job

Internships are an asset to learning and gaining hands-on experience in your field. Securing an internship or part-time position may be the key to landing a job after graduation. Vaughn has secured relationships with a broad scope of industry partners and employers that include airports, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, major airline carriers and manufacturing companies with government military contracts, just to name a few. This unique partnership is just another way Vaughn prepares you for a “futureproof” career.

Tip 3: Build a Network of Contacts

It’s not always about what you know, but who you know. Building a network of contacts early on is one of the best ways you can prepare for any career. The career services department at Vaughn is at the top of its game when it comes to spreading the word about networking events, partnerships and other network-building opportunities. Vaughn encourages its students to join on-campus clubs that tie in with their field of study. This is a great way to meet fellow students who share the same passions and career goals.

Tip 4: Attend Vaughn’s Career Fair

Get your networking game on by attending the upcoming Vaughn College Fall Career Fair. It’s an exciting and valuable time where we bring today’s leading engineering, technology, management and aviation employers to you—all gathered under one roof so you can learn more about the jobs in your field. Some of the employers who will be attending include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, JFK International Air Terminal, the New York State Police Department, Atlas Air and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among others. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity:

Vaughn College Fall Career Fair

Date: Thursday, September 26

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Place: Hangar

Be prepared. Bring your résumé. Professional dress is required.

Engineering is all around us. But did you ever stop to think about the extent to which engineering plays a role in our daily lives, and how important engineering jobs are? If there were no engineers, we wouldn’t have working navigation systems, electric generators, motors, elevators or air conditioning systems. You’d be amazed at how almost everything around us is designed, built and maintained by engineers.

Vaughn College remains a leading institution for students who choose to pursue careers in engineering and technology. Did you know today’s engineering and technology jobs are so much more than designing things to sustain us? It’s true. Today’s engineers are creating and inventing innovative designs to help advance society and solve some of humanity’s greatest problems to keep us on the planet longer. Your college major can play a crucial role in how much money you earn after graduation. With technology advancing and engineering demands increasing, there’s never been a better time to pursue a career in these fields. With an impressive curriculum that encompasses all aspects of engineering, it’s no wonder Vaughn engineering graduates are succeeding in their fields. Want proof? Check out the recent success stories of Thomas Dekenipp ’18, Emily German ’18 and Jefferson Maldonado ’16.

We have narrowed down the top five most valuable engineering degrees and matched them with engineering jobs that have the highest salaries in the industry today. Discover all the opportunities available to you with an engineering degree from Vaughn College.

Aerospace Engineer

Annual Salary: $115,220*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering

Aerospace engineers top our list as the highest paid professionals with engineering degrees. Without sounding cliché, working as an aerospace engineer is literally “rocket science.” Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing aircrafts, spacecrafts, satellites and missiles. They also work with new inventions and technologies, creating and testing prototypes to ensure they function according to their design. Although many of these professionals choose to pursue a career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), most work primarily for large aircraft manufacturers, such as Boeing, for example. They specialize in areas that include manufacturing, analysis and design, and research and development, and are frequently employed by the federal government. (Aerospace engineers who work on projects related to national defense may need a security clearance.)

Computer Hardware Engineer

Annual Salary: $114,600*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering

The job of a computer hardware engineer comes in at a close second as one of today’s top engineering jobs. Not to be confused with software engineers, hardware engineers build components that are used in computers, network systems and other commercial products. Computer hardware engineering combines electrical engineering and computer science, which goes hand in hand with the task of planning the manufacture of computer chips, circuit boards, printers, PCs and modems. These professionals typically work in research laboratories that build and test various types of computer models.

Electrical Engineer

Annual Salary: $96,640*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering

Electrical engineers design, install, test and maintain large-scale electrical equipment such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communication systems and power generation equipment. Basically, if a device has an alternating current (AC), an electrical engineer is most likely involved in creating it. Nearly every industry needs electrical engineers, which makes this an appealing profession. Electrical engineers work in a variety of industries that include research and development, engineering services, manufacturing and telecommunications. These professionals are frequently employed by the federal government. While they mostly work indoors in offices, some jobs may require them to visit sites to address a problem or observe equipment.

Mechanical Engineer

Annual Salary: $87,370*

Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering is the most common area of engineering and the broadest discipline in the industry―and for good reason. Basically, mechanical engineers are experts when it comes to designing and maintaining anything that is composed of moving parts. Wow! That includes so many things! These professionals require a strong understanding and comprehension of many areas such as dynamics and thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis and electricity. Generally, they work in offices primarily for engineering services, research and development and manufacturing. Occasionally, their jobs may take them off-site to assess problems or equipment which may need attention. Since mechanical engineering is applicable across all industries and fields, these professionals are highly employable.

Mechatronic Engineer

Annual Salary: $96,980**

Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechatronic engineering

Mechatronic engineers have a competitive edge in the industry. That’s because these professionals have a multidisciplinary knowledge of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. Their knowledge of robotics, electronics, computers, telecommunications, aerospace, systems control, and product engineering make them standout candidates in high-tech industries. A broad knowledge in engineering will position mechatronic engineers to work in all aspects of product development―from design and testing to manufacturing. With technology advancing at lightning speed, mechatronic engineers are a valuable asset and will be in high demand for many years to come.

Are you interested in pursuing an engineering job with a bright future? Vaughn’s career services department is there to offer engineering enthusiasts a wide range of options where they can find the perfect engineering job with a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. Our engineering degrees prepare students to succeed in their career of choice.

*Salaries reported by The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics and based on 2018 median pay.

**Salary for mechatronic engineers is reported by The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) which is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The salary is based on 2018 median pay.

Whether you’re studying to become a pilot, pursuing engineering, or dreaming of working in airport/airline management, it’s safe to say that Vaughn College students have a passion for aviation and the mechanics that go into it. We’re proud to say that our students have a thirst for knowledge and are obsessed with becoming the best they can be.

The exploration of this dynamic field doesn’t have to stop when you step out of the classroom! We love that our students want to continue exploring their passion on their own time. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of fun aviation-inspired activities to take part in on the weekends:

Visit the Cradle of Aviation

Cradle of Aviation

Take a trip to Garden City, New York, and visit the impressive Cradle of Aviation Museum. Here, you’ll find more than 75 air and space crafts, 12 cockpits, and 30 hands-on exhibits, including a hot air balloon and even an actual Apollo Lunar Module. In addition, the Cradle of Aviation hosts several events every month. You can throw it back to the ‘80s by taking part in their ’80s Arcade and Karaoke Night, or indulge your sweet tooth and attend the 2019 Chocolate Expo―all while surrounded by inspiring aviation history.

Catch a Blue Angels Show


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Blue Angels (@usnavyblueangels) on

Having the pleasure of going to a United States Navy Blue Angels show is nothing short of a privilege. With over 70 years of demonstrations, the flying aerobatics are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The flight demonstration squadron is comprised of a total of 16 officers. The aviation team consists of tactical jet pilots, support officers, and Marine Corps C-130 pilots. The Blue Angels travel the country throughout the year. Visit their website to view the complete show schedule for 2019.

Join the Manhattan Flight Club

Manhattan Flight Club

Forget “Fight Club.” Why not join the Manhattan Flight Club? If you can’t wait to get back in the cockpit, head on down to Madison Avenue and join this robust community of pilots, students, CFIs, ATPs, passengers, and just plain lovers of aviation. The members of this flight simulation club believe “that flying creates better people, stronger communities, and a happier world.” (And we couldn’t agree more.) Non-members can book time in The Sim Lab for just $40 an hour.

Indoor Skydiving


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by iFLY Indoor Skydiving (@iflyus) on

If you prefer flying planes to jumping out of them but have always been interested in skydiving, then bodyflight is for you! At iFLY Indoor Sky Diving, we offer the bodyflight indoor skydiving experience—one of the most exciting, fastest-growing sports in the world. In addition, iFLY offers the option to add a little aviation fantasy to your trip with their virtual reality (VR)  “ experience. This fully immersive, highly exhilarating experience is perfect for the inner child in you — and it’s the closest thing the “Game of Thrones” fan in you will get to riding a dragon. First-time flyers can buy two flights for about $90.

Experience a Zero Gravity Weightless Experience


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ZERO-G (@gozerog) on

While this is one of the pricier aviation adventures on our list, the ZERO-G Experience® is also one of the most exciting. This is NOT a simulation. You’ll actually get to experience true weightlessness. You’ll get to take flight on their specially modified Boeing 727, where parabolic arcs are performed to create a weightless environment, allowing you to float, flip and soar as if you were in space. The ZERO-G Experience® will be coming to Newark Liberty International Airport on May 25, August 3 and September 28 of 2019.

Make the most of your weekends and school breaks. Go on a #VaughnAdventure today.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but amid the shopping, gatherings, planning and studying, it can be hard to find time to slow down, catch your breath, and take care of your own well-being. This season may be the happiest time of the year, but it is also the busiest and most stressful. To help you through the next few weeks of holiday hustle and bustle―and the crunch of studying for finals―we have put together four of our favorite meditation apps that will help you stop for a second, catch your breath, and work on you!

Breathe App

1. Stop, Breathe and Think

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you take a minute to soak in your surroundings and really focus on what you’re doing in that very moment. This free app encourages you to do just that. It offers over 30 free sessions―most of which are only about 10 minutes long―to help you cleanse and refresh your mind. Use the “Stop, Breath & Think” app to find a few minutes of peace whenever you need them in the course of the day. Eventually, it will become second nature to take a moment to be in the here and now.


Chill App

2. Chill

With the busy task of studying during the holidays, it can be hard to find time to chill. “The Chill” app is a free subscription that sends mindful messages throughout the day, like “It exists right here, in this moment,” and “Come back to your body,” to make you stop and slow down―even just for a second. When you open the notifications, inspirational quotes from the likes of Buddha and Lao Tzu are presented to you.


Calm App

3. Calm

The “Calm” app offers a huge variety of soothing sounds―from falling rain and thunderstorms to a crackling fire and white noise. You can play these sounds in the background along with the option of listening to music at the same time, which can be extremely relaxing. You also have the chance to practice breathing and meditation with the “Seven Days of Calm” daily free meditation guide, as well as set reminders throughout the day to take breaks. In addition to these features, this app also has a subscription―at $4.99 per month―to unlock meditation sessions for commuting and “sleep stories.”

Headspace App

4. Headspace

The “Headspace” app shows you the necessary steps to follow for taking care of yourself and becoming a better, calmer, and more content person. It starts with 10 free sessions to help make you feel more comfortable with meditation. If you like these and want to try more tailored sessions that focus on commuting, sleeping, stress and more, a subscription can be purchased at $7.99 per month. Additionally, the paid subscription offers SOS exercises to provide relief when you feel over your head and need to calm down quickly. This app’s blog is also a great resource as it offers helpful tips on how to practice mindfulness as well!

We hope these apps help you unwind as you stop and take a moment for yourself. Good luck with finals and have a wonderful holiday season, remembering, of course, to make time to take care of yourself.

For more student tips, industry news, and happenings around Vaughn, sign-up for our newsletter below!

Vaughn College Open House: Saturday, April 13 at 10 a.m.

Finding the right college begins with asking the right questions. Gearing up for college can be an exciting time and attending an open house is a great way to start the process. There’s no doubt you have a million questions to ask (well maybe not that many) and you might even be feeling a bit nervous about everything. The good news is you’re not alone and if you’re like many students out there, your parents will be by your side until decision day.

Let’s face it. Attending college is a two-way street for most students and parents. Students see it as a pathway to independence and leaving the so-called “nest,” while parents see it as a struggling time of “letting go” while still clinging to being the decision-makers. Attending a college open house helps to level the playing field, as students get to ask their questions and have an opportunity to get a feel for the campus while parents can be parents and inquire about parental concerns.

We invite you to register for one of our upcoming Vaughn College Open House events scheduled Saturday, April 13 at 10 a.m. The Open House is always a fun and informative day where you’ll not only have your questions answered, but you may even be enlightened on things you never knew about Vaughn while touring the labs and facilities.

Not sure what questions to ask? Simply download our helpful fillable list of questions to make the most of your next Open House experience.


Learn more about making your next college visit count.

International student Abdullah Yasser Ali ’19 is pursuing his dreams in the United States as a senior at  Vaughn College as a mechatronic engineering major.

Coming to America

In 2015, Ali moved to the United States from Egypt to pursue his college career. After applying to several colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Germany, Ali selected Vaughn as his college of choice.

“I was drawn to Vaughn for the college’s mechatronic engineering program,” Ali said. “The curriculum and small campus community was the perfect fit for me. After leaving my family behind in Egypt, it was comforting to find a home at Vaughn.”

Family ties

Growing up in Egypt, Ali said spending time with his father was a driving force to feed his passion for engineering. “My father is a mechanical engineer and a car enthusiast,” said Ali. “I recall using his tools and helping him work on cars. He always encouraged me to work with my hands and do my best. Looking back, I realize my passions are just like my dad’s.” Leaving home was not easy for Ali. At first, his mother was not pleased about the idea but as time went on her acceptance and approval made adjusting easier. “Having my mother’s approval meant the world to me,” Ali said. “It showed me a level of trust in my decision to further my education and that she realized I was mature enough to make the move.”

Finding a home at Vaughn

Ali embraced his move to New York and had no problem fitting in to the Vaughn campus community. In his freshmen year, he joined the soccer team and made friends right away. By his second year, he was appointed captain of the team, a role he still holds today.  Soon after, Ali was chosen by one of his professors to be a “student instructor” to tutor students in chemistry. “I was honored when my professor approached me with this position,” Ali said humbly. “I love helping my fellow students. It’s a great feeling knowing I can relate to them on a different level and contribute to their success.”

In 2017, Ali expanded his scope of activities on campus and joined the team in the admissions office. There, he began planning and organizing open house events among other responsibilities. “Open house is always a fun event and a great way to meet prospective students,” Ali said. “I’m proud to be a part of the admissions department,” Ali stated. “I remember what it was like when I came to Vaughn, so I can relate to prospective students and enjoy answering their questions.”

Over the summer, Ali joined the UAV club at Vaughn. “Being part of the UAV club, is an incredible experience” Ali said excitedly. “Drones are and will be a big part of our future including offering new career opportunities. Being a Vaughn student gives me a competitive and well-rounded edge to learn and get hands-on-experience relating to all aspects in my field- even drone technology.”

Looking to the future

Feeding his passion for cars, Ali said he hopes to apply his knowledge at from Vaughn and pursue a career in the automotive industry. “My plans are to remain in the United States,” Ali stated. “I believe there are better job opportunities here and more potential to find for a job in my field of study.  I’m excited to graduate next year but I will always keep a piece of Vaughn with me to remind me of what it took to get me where I am today.”

See Ali at the Vaughn Open House

This year marks Ali’s third open house. “Open house is one of the highlights of the year,” said Ali. “I enjoy meeting perspective students and offering my first-hand college experience. It’s a great feeling to know that I may have been instrumental in guiding someone to apply and become a Vaughn student.”

Vaughn’s fall Open House is scheduled for Saturday, November 10 and Saturday, November 17 between 10am and 2pm. It’s a fun and informative day where interested students along with their families can meet with faculty and staff to ask questions and tour the campus. Register today.






What do Spotify, Pandora, iTunes and YouTube all have in common? If you said they’re some of your favorite go-to sights to hear your favorite music, then you may want to tune in more often. Did you know that studying to the right kind of music can make you feel less stressed, more focused and dare we say it, smarter? It’s true.

Let’s face it, no one likes to study. But how cool is it that music can be just what you need to get through the books easier while making your studying more productive?  Pretty cool, right? Want to hear more? Sit back, grab your headphones and learn how studying to the right kind of music may be more than just music to your ears.

Benefits of studying to music

Do you listen to music while you study, or do you prefer total silence? The jury is out on which is better since everyone is different; however, several research studies are proving that listening to the right kind of music can put your mind into study mode.

Here are some of the benefits of tuning in to the right tunes:

  • Relaxes the mind
  • Increases concentration
  • Lessens distractions
  • Improves focus
  • Improves performance in high-pressure situations, such as mid-terms and finals week

Best genres to study to

Music is universal, and everyone’s tastes are different. You might be experiencing that right now with a roommate or a group of friends. What soothes one person might drive the other one to pull their hair out. Sound familiar? Since we all have different personalities, music preferences and even study habits you’re probably wondering which type of music is best.  We’ve done the homework for you (you’re welcome) with some suggested genres and examples of each that may help put your brain in the right frame of mind. Take a listen.

Classical music—Mind-boosting effect helps with mathematics

Before you dismiss classical music as “not your thing,” it’s worth a try. You’ve most likely heard of Mozart, one of our world’s greatest classical composers, but have you heard of the Mozart Effect? A group of studies found listening to Mozart can cause a temporary “enhancement of spatial temporal reasoning performance,” which means the ability to think through long-term, more abstract solutions to logical problems.  In fact, the Mozart Effect has little to do with listening to Mozart and more to do with listening to music that activates a certain part of the brain. Even Albert Einstein was a fan of Mozart!

When it’s crunch time and you’re burning the midnight oil, try listening to Baroque classical music. Composers such as Bach, Vivaldi and Handel are known for their up-beat music composed of 60 beats-per-minute. Studies revealed those who listened to music that played at 60 beats-per-minute showed a dramatic reduction in stress and an increased sense of relaxation It’s become a popular choice when you need to get work done.

Here are some benefits of listening to classical music:

  • Improves test scores
  • Reduces learning time
  • Improves creativity and clarity
  • Integrates both sides of the brain for more efficient learning
  • Raises IQ scores


Sounds of nature—Keeps your brain engaged by increasing concentration

Have you ever tried studying in a noisy room? It can be annoying and frustrating to say the least. Calming music Nature sounds such as waterfalls, rain and the seashore, for example, can be extremely effective in masking white noise.

Here are some benefits or studying to the calming music of nature sounds:

  • Masks voices and white noise which can be distracting
  • Enhances cognitive functioning
  • Optimizes concentration

Songs without lyrics—Great choice when reading and writing

The last thing you need is more words in your head when you’re reading your textbooks or writing a paper. Listening to songs without lyrics is a great way to stay focused without distraction.


Brian Eno’s Music for Airports—Chill-out electronic music for serious studying and deep concentration

You may want to crank this up for your next cramming session before your big exam. This album was specifically designed to relax stressed out travelers at airports. It’s also been shown as an effective tool when it’s time for serious studying and deep concentration.

Creating a playlist

It may sound obvious, but research revealed brain function decreases when you listen to music and sounds you don’t enjoy, making it difficult to focus and concentrate. So, be sure to choose music and sounds that make you happy.  Here are some tips for creating your playlist:

  • Create your playlist in advance so you’re not fumbling to find a new song every few minutes.
  • Keep your playlist to around 40-50 minutes—this is a great reminder to take a study break when it’s over. Plus, it helps you plan your study sessions to meet your concentration level.
  • Avoid listening to the radio. Dialogue between radio personalities and commercials can be distracting.
  • Turn it down. Listening to music at a moderate level is best.

With the new semester kicking off, now is the best time to start creating your playlist so it’s ready to go when you need it. Happy listening!