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Getting RMU Into the Swing of Things

Josh giving a swing dance lesson in the Nicholson Food Court

When Josh Blum first came to Robert Morris University, he didn’t waste time becoming engaged in campus life. On just his second day here, this junior accounting and finance double major founded the RMU Swing Dance Club.

Working with John Locke, director of student activities and leadership development for Student Life, Josh was able to organize a kickoff event for the club that fall in Massey Theater. Over 80 people attended the event, where Josh shared the basic steps of swing dancing. The club now meets once or twice a month.

“What I like most about it is that you can literally do it to any kind of music,” he says. “We were dancing to Jason Derulo’s ‘It Girl’ and Marroon 5’s ‘Moves Like Jagger’. It’s just so versatile.”

Josh first learned about swing dancing after attending a Halloween party one year with some friends, where some of the people were doing swing. “Pretty soon we were going to Swing City downtown on the weekends,” he says. “I love it. Swing dancing is a blast.”

When Josh isn’t jump, jiving, and wailing with the other club members, he keeps busy as a Resident Assistant at Ross Hall. He’s also a member of the National Residence Hall Honor Society, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Carpe Mundum, and the Association of Future Accountants, as well as an after-school tutor at Mooncrest and a Student Leader for Coalition for Christian Outreach.

And did we mention that Josh does MMA (mixed martial arts) at the Jefferson Center, is on the ultimate Frisbee team, and has played intramural flag football and dodgeball?

Josh and Great Pyramid of Giza

Josh is also multilingual and can speak Spanish and some Arabic. In the summer of 2010, he went to Egypt on a Study Abroad trip through the Pittsburgh Middle East Institute. While there, he studied Egyptian culture and history and took part in intensive Arabic training.

“I absolutely loved getting to visit Egypt!” says Josh. “It was an incredible experience, and I would recommend every student try at least one Study Abroad trip.”

Last summer Josh went to Merida, the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán, as part of a coalition of local churches, specifically Torre Fuerte (Strong Tower). There he helped out with a weekend music camp, taught English to college students studying tourism, went on a mission to a Mayan village, and did fundraisers for the church.

In addition, he had internship with Pricewaterhouse Coopers during tax season last year and was invited back for this upcoming spring. He’s currently planning to go to the Arab state of Oman this summer with the American Middle East Institute to improve his Arabic language skills and learn more about Middle Eastern culture.

Working with kids in Mexico

“Everyone says college should be the best time of your life,” he says. “If that’s going to be true, you can’t spend it sitting in your dorm room all day. Go out and live! Take advantage of the opportunities before you have a full-time job to worry about. Live so that you can look back and say, ‘I wouldn’t change anything. That was the best time of my life!’”

Written by Valentine J. Brkich

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