December 27, 2011

"Top Ten" Break-Up Songs

Breaking up with someone or being broken-up with is rarely an enjoyable experience. As with most things in life, some good music can come in handy to speed recovery

It was about 20 months ago that I last posted a break-up song list so I figure I should provide an update in case there's anyone out there in need of a musical outlet and hasn't found the hundreds of other lists very helpful (Spoiler: I looked elsewhere first too).

I tried to include balance weepy with more optimistic music and avoided repeating any of the songs from the previous list. I also avoided angry songs but there's always Bens Fold Five, Stroke 9, The All American Rejects, or OK GO if you're feeling a need to be bitter.

Here's ten of my favorites in the order you might listen to them over a few day. What would you change from this list if you had to limit it to ten?

Bright Eyes - A Perfect Sonnet
The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight 
The Rolling Stones- Paint it Black
The Mountain Goats - Woke Up New
Foo Fighters Times Like These
Elliott Smith - I Better Be Quiet Now
Johnny Cash - 'Hurt"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
Cat Stevens - Wild World
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass

December 12, 2011

Welcome to Gryffindor House...err...I mean Mount Allison

So I mentioned earlier, Mount Allison's colours closely resemble those of Gryffindor/Hogwarts and the new scarves only highlight the similarity. Now there's a new poster alluding to Mount Allison's resemblance of a certain fictional school. Small class sizes? Check. Independent learners? Check. Professional Quiddich team? No...not yet anyways...

Edit: Mount Allison University does, in fact have a Quidditch team. Their official, SAC approved Mandate is to "Have a bloody well good time learning and playing the muggle quidditch."


What do you think? Is Mount Allison anything like Hogwarts?



December 10, 2011

A better orientation

I was just walking downtown from campus (near the corner of Landsdowne and York) and someone drove up and asked me where Convocation Hall was. I pointed right behind his car at the gigantic building with the big letters saying "CONVOCATION HALL" on it in big block letters.


It was a pretty dull interaction in and of itself but it got me thinking of my goals lately and how I've always been close to what I want but I just didn't have the right orientation to find it. Kind of like being on a railroad track that doesn't quite reach the station. You have to just be facing the right way to find what you've been looking for.


November 28, 2011

Mount Allison's 50th Rhodes Scholar: Rebecca Anne Dixon

I recently received an e-mail from a parent of a prospective parent who was worried by, among other things, rumors she heard that Mount Allison graduates don't perform do well enough to make it to graduate school. I wish I had waited another hour to respond to her:


via mta.ca:

Rebecca Anne Dixon is Mount Allison's 50th Rhodes Scholar
2011-11-28 14:47:18
Mount Allison University is proud to announce that Rebecca Anne Dixon, from Ottawa, ON, is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship. Valued at over $100,000, the scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world. Dixon is the ninth Mount Allison student in the past 11 years to receive the award, and brings the University’s number of Rhodes Scholars to 50, more per capita than any other institution in Canada.
"This is an incredibly overwhelming, joyous, and humbling experience for me," says Dixon. "The opportunity to study and live in a place as vibrant and intellectually stimulating as Oxford is just thrilling and I am so grateful to all of the people who have supported and encouraged me throughout this experience."
"I am delighted for Rebecca," says President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell. "She is an exceptional student and this is a truly outstanding achievement. I also congratulate our faculty and staff for making Mount Allison an environment where students like Rebecca can flourish in learning, thinking, and understanding our fast-changing world and preparing for a rewarding future.
Dixon came to Mount Allison after spending two years in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Schule Schloss Salem in Ueberlingen, Germany. She plans to study an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford next fall.
"It's a strong program that offers an excellent grounding in the foundational economic, political, and social topics in development, as well as reviewing the history and internal debates of the discipline."
In her third year at Mount Allison, Dixon was awarded a prestigious Killam Fellowship — a unique exchange program between Canada and the U.S. She spent her semester abroad at American University in Washington, D.C., where she took classes in American Foreign Policy and Sustainable Cities at the University’s School of International Service. She also interned with the South Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies — a think tank based in D.C.
"My studies there were very formative in defining my research interests for my thesis."
At the age of 10 Dixon won a UNESCO award for her work to help children in Ukraine affected by floods. In high school, she travelled to India volunteering in a government public school in Mumbai. For her university honours project, Dixon spent the summer in India researching what platforms exist for public consultation in urban development. More recently, she won a coveted Canada's Famous Five Award for a project to educate children about their rights.
In addition to her studies, Dixon has been involved in many community activities and projects on and off campus including: ATLIS (Atlantic International Studies Organization); the Argosy (Mount Allison’s independent student newspaper); Oxfam Mount Allison; the Cumberland North Academy Mentorship program (reading and literacy volunteer program in a local elementary school); the Mount Allison German Club; MOSAIC (Mount Allison’s international students society); and Global Brigades Mount Allison (an international network that provides communities in developing nations with sustainable health care solutions in Honduras).
"I think the Mount Allison community fosters the skills, experiences, and confidence in students to apply for opportunities such as the Rhodes Scholarship," she says.
Following her time at Oxford, Dixon hopes to work at the logistical level of a development organization abroad. She says she would like to eventually return to Canada to work.
"It has been my professors, friends, and extracurricular activities at Mount Allison that have given me a renewed appreciation of Canada."
Rhodes alumni include Liberal leader Bob Rae, former Premier Danny Williams, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
- 30 -

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier to give a public lecture at Mount Allison on the human dimensions of climate change at Mount Allison

via mta.ca:

Visiting Scholar Sheila Watt-Cloutier to lecture on human dimensions of climate change
2011-11-24 12:31:20
Sheila Watt‐Cloutier, an Inuk climate change advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, will be giving a public lecture at Mount Allison on the human dimensions of climate change. The lecture will be held on November 29 at 7:00 p.m. (Atlantic Time) in Convocation Hall.
Entitled "Not the Time to COP Out," the lecture will mark the second day of the international UN COP-17 climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. This is the final opportunity for global governments to agree on a binding international framework to address climate change that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012.

As former international Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Watt-Cloutier has worked extensively at the UN level to advocate on behalf of Northern and Inuit peoples, who are disproportionately affected by climate change. She was amongst the first to link climate change within a human rights framework and, as a result, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This is Watt-Cloutier’s first and only public lecture in New Brunswick and as a Visiting Scholar at Mount Allison.

There will be the opportunity to ask moderated questions through Skype during the talk. Questions may be summarized and asked on your behalf, or you might actually be projected live to personally ask Sheila Watt-Cloutier. To ask a question, connect with Skype address: isumatvwebcaster

Read more about Watt-Cloutier and the upcoming event in HereNB.
If you are unable to attend the event, watch the live web cast at http://www.isuma.tv/

November 27, 2011

Amnesty International campaigner visits campus

Last Thursday, Amnesty International Mount Allison Hosted Craig Benjamin, Amnesty International Canada's Human Rights Campaigner for Aboriginal Peoples. I organized the visit and the Centre for International Studies provided much appreciated funding. I think it was an important event so I wrote about it for the Argosy. Below is a snippet. You can read the full story at http://argosy.mta.ca/index.php?q=article/amnesty-international-campaigner-visits-campus

Amnesty International campaigner visits campusPhoto Caption: (from left to right) Advait Vij, Geoffrey Campbell, Craig Benjamin, and Aya Al-Shalchi in front of a poster in support of disappeared Columbian indigenous leader Kimy Domicó

Amnesty International (AI) recently stated that, “globally, Canada’s standing as a reliable human rights champion has dropped precipitously.” This is due to a number of actions that the Canadian government has taken to undermine universal human rights principles, chief among them respect for the human rights of Aboriginal Peoples. On November 17, Craig Benjamin addressed Mount Allison students, shedding light on this issue.

November 11, 2011

Peter Mansbridge on Social Media for Journalism

On October 21, 2011, as part of the Atlantic Regional Canadian University Press Fall 2011 Conference, the Argosy hosted an informal Q&A with Peter Mansbridge via Skype. The question: Is social media an important journalistic tool or is it just a passing fad? For the answer, press play.




November 8, 2011

The Association of Colleges and Universities of Canada's (AUCC) Ursula's visit to Mount Allison University, Storified

November 7, 2011

What's the point?

Blogging. Really? You write a blog. Haha. Alright...

That was what I figured most people were secretly thinking when I told them I was starting to write a blog for the school way back in August 2008, even before the first day of class here at Mount Allison University.

At times I've wondered if anybody reads this. I mean, anybody besides the random person who looks for something on Google that I happen to have written about but who has no interest in Mount Allison. It turns out that even in the first few months people around campus seemed to recognize me and asked if I was Geoff and if I wrote a blog. It kind of helped, I suppose, that I chose the unoriginal name of Geoff at Mount Allison for a title. It was a pretty good feeling that some people actually got something out of what I was writing or it was at least mildly informative or entertaining.

Fast forward three years it's Friday, November 4, 2011 and I'm getting some coffee in between classes and someone I had never met before (details left out for privacy) came up to me and said
"Hi...umm...are you Geoff at Mt A?"
"Yeah"
"Well... umm...I'm (name) and I'm from (foreign country) and I read your blog"

I haven't written here regularly for quite a while partly out of busy-ness but also because I feel as though I've written on just about everything I can think of that would interest a perspective student looking at Mount Allison. The next part of this four-year narrative is about activities I'm involved in right now and then applying to graduate school which I'm also doing right now.

Long story short, I haven't been writing a lot lately so it was surprising to have someone tell me they had been reading my blog and it was important enough to them to tell me so. He said that over the time he was deciding to come to Mount Allison/waiting to come here he had read almost all of my posts (400+) and that the information and perspective I provided had factored in his decision to come here. We sat down to talk for a minute about why he came here and what he thinks about it so far. He eventually told me he's pursuing a specially approved major and when I started to say how it's great to be able to take classes from different disciplines he cut me off...he had read my blog.

So, not to say that everything I write on here is a gem , but if I helped someone learn more about what it's like here on a personal level and that influenced him (even slightly) then I feel as though it has been worth it to do all of that writing because coming here has been the best decision I've ever made.

In addition to any impact it has had on other people I honestly feel as though (and you can see for yourself by scrolling down and looking on the right-hand side) writing publicly has helped to dramatically improve my writing ability. Although a few times I have not been quite as diligent in proof-reading posts on here as say, my term paper; knowing that other people are going to read this makes it worth taking a second look. I encourage all of you to start blogging and I'm going to urge the school to encourage people to write about it (through the Student Blogger program I joined as a part of) because it was reading what other people wrote about Mount Allison (in whatever small way) that encouraged me to come here and helped allay my fears of coming out to what President Robert Campbell jokes is "not Manhattan".

Here's Seth Godin and Tom Peters on why you should start blogging:

October 26, 2011

Atlantic Regional Canadian University (ARCUP) Press Fall 2011 Conference, Storified

Over the weekend I was  busy helping to cover the Atlantic Regional Canadian University Press Fall 2011 Conference on MiniDV and on Twitter. Dru Oja Jay's presentation on Journalism as Humanitarian Intervention is now online and other presentations will be up soon. Below are the highlights from Twitter about the conference. I'll be adding more information and videos as they become available.

If there's anything in addition to the videos which I'm in the process of editing and uploading please e-mail me via my Google+ profile (directly underneath the profile photo) or on Twitter.

October 21, 2011

Atlantic Regional Canadian University Press (ARCUP) Conference Fall 2011 at Mount Allison University hosted by The Argosy

The Argosy, Mount Allison University's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1875, is hosting the Atlantic Region Canadian University Press (ARCUP) Fall 2011 Conference. The conference will begin tonight at 7pm and will run throughout the weekend.

I will be live-tweeting the some of the proceeding via the Conference's Twitter feed @ARCUPConference recording many of the event presentations which will be available on YouTube and embedded on our the Argosy's Online Only Section in the coming days and weeks.

Tonight we will be featuring a special guest speaker who will answer questions from ARCUP delegates. This portion of the conference will be available live via UStream. Be sure to check back here, the Argosy Website, or the UStream page itself to see the event as it unfolds.



Live video by Ustream

Here's a little bit about the conference from the Argosy's Editor-in-Chief John Brannen:

The Argosy hosts ARCUP

This weekend, The Argosy will welcome dozens of student journalists to Sackville for the Fall Atlantic Region Canadian University Press Conference (ARCUP). The three-day event will feature guest speakers, lectures, and workshops on journalistic issues and best practices. Newspapers from across the region will send upwards of forty delegates to participate in this year’s conference. 
The Canadian University Press (CUP), a national co-operative of student newspapers, helps to fund regional conferences held across Canada in the Fall and the Spring. CUP is the oldest student newswire service in the world and the oldest national student organization in North America. The Argosy has been a longstanding member of CUP, joining when the co-operative was founded in 1938. The Newsire allows articles, stories, and photos to be shared amongst CUP members to enhance their newspaper’s original content. 
This is not the first time that The Argosy has hosted ARCUP. In 2007, then Editor-in-Chief William Wolfe-Wylie, along with his staff, hosted the Spring ARCUP. The Argosy placed a bid to host the conference in June of this year and consequently won. Numerous speakers will be in attendance including notable Mount Allison and Argosy alumni William Wolfe-Wylie, Dru Oja Jay, and celebrated Sports writer Michael Grange. Other speakers include a professor of journalism, a communications and marketing director, and The Argosy’s printer company, Acadie Presse. Several CUP staff will be on hand including the CUP president and national bureau chief.

October 10, 2011

A lot to be thankful for

It's Canadian Thanksgiving today and I just wanted to share a few thoughts. This semester, seemingly like the previous few is shaping up to be one of the most hectic and stressful semesters of my four years here. However, I feel extremely fortunate to be in the position I am now. However difficult this term is, it's worth going through because I feel I'm on the right track.

With all of the coverage of Steve Job's death I felt compelled to watch his 2005 Stanford Commencement speech. As it did for many others, one section stood out to me:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. 
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

While if I took this advice literally I may have dropped out by now it's important to realize that while it's not possible to live each day like its your last it is important to see each day as a step to something larger.

I'm thankful because I realize the stress and hard work is meaningful and that it'll be worth it in the end. In that sense I do wake up, most days, wanting to do what I'm about to not because the work is always rewarding but because it's important to getting what I want out of life. So I'd just like to express my gratitude to well, mostly my parents for helping me to get to this stressful but meaningful time in my life. I hope all of you can find something to be thankful for.

Geoff

October 7, 2011

A final word on demolition of Windsor Theatre/former University Centre/former Memorial Library

I've said that I'd refrain from posting about the kerfuffle about the University's decision to demolish the former University Centre in order to replace it with a badly needed Fine and Performing Arts Centre. However, with the Board of Regents giving its final approval to the project and a judge this morning rejecting a request by two alumni. (These alumni were representing only themselves and a small group of protesters and not any larger group of student, faculty, staff, or alumni as has been reported).

I certainly objected to many things that were said and done by the small group of protesters in recent months after their argument failed and the decision was made to replace the former University Centre. In a desperate attempt to block the University from doing its job and especially in its attempt to embarass and shame its administrators into doing what they want the group itself actively tried to damage the reputation of the University I love and support.

They've claimed the support of over 1,500 alumni. They've claimed that this decision will somehow tarnish the University's reputation and will lead less students to come to Mount Allison. None of those are true.

There have been many clearly biased media report which do not take into account all of the factors which led the University to make this decision. The University has made the right decision and has been proven correct every step of the way. The only real measure of student opinion done was student Board of Regent representative Sean McGilley's informal consultation with students from Windsor Theatre, the Fine Arts Department, and the Drama department. This consultation of fifty to seventy-five students led him to conclude "There was a significant movement [within this group] to have a new building in place of the Memorial Library." The vast majority of students I've spoken to are in favour of the project as are a number of alumni who wrote their opinions in response to the Globe and Mail and other articles.

In addition, many students in favour of the project did not feel compelled to write letters themselves. The only independent student opinion piece that I know of was written by Gregory McLaughlin. In it, he writes that while the decision wasn't easy, the University's is serving the greater good for future students.

One such writing is by Dave Rose, the President of Mount Allison Federated Alumni. His article is perhaps the most well-reasoned and thoughtful ones on this months long debate that unfortunately had to with a judge reaffirming the Board of Regent's legal right to proceed with the planned Fine and Performing Arts Centre. I will leave you with someone who has thought more about this issue and has a more nuanced approach than those on either extreme. I hope you enjoy reading it. I know I did.

Geoff Campbell
Mount Allison University Class of 2012


A Matter of Balance
There will always be polarizing issues. There will always be different ways of solving problems. There will always be emotion. One thing is constant, however: Mount Allison must be better off by our collective hand.
Article | October 5, 2011 - 10:33pm | By Dave Rose

I listen carefully to Alumni when they make their position known on matters concerning Mount Allison. Likewise, I listen carefully to the Administration’s position on those matters. Through direct consultation with Alumni as well as open discussion at our AGM, our Board of Directors seeks input on which to base their own opinion. We participate in the administration of the university through membership on the Senate, Board of Regents, and several committees. Through these teams, and regular discussions with the University executive, we work together with a common purpose: the advancement of Mount Allison University.

There will always be polarizing issues. There will always be different ways of solving problems. There will always be emotion. One thing is constant, however: Mount Allison must be better off by our collective hand.

It is often easiest to approach an issue when you isolate it for close examination. If money were no object, the decision is an easy one. If space and real estate were limitless, the decision is an easy one. If future enrolment was guaranteed, the decision is an easy one. Once returned to context, however, the scope of analysis broadens. The matter is no longer as facile as some would have you believe. The decisions are no longer easy and we must execute our responsibility to Mount Allison carefully. While we must certainly consider the passionate pleas of those with special interest in an issue, we cannot let our decision be ruled by emotion alone. We must rationally consider all of the information available to us. As stewards, all of us in the Mount Allison community share this responsibility.

On the matter of campus buildings, Mount Allison has a balanced record of preservation, re-purposing and replacement. Trueman House has been lovingly preserved and repurposed into an architecturally interesting new student centre. Palmer Hall, on the other hand, was replaced with a functional, new residence. These were not easy decisions. There were those who believed that a new building should take Trueman’s place. The repurposing of the building was certainly a more expensive option. Likewise, some believe that Palmer Hall should have been repurposed.

The decision on the Memorial Library is no easier. A small but vocal part of the university’s family would like to see this building preserved. Their voice has not gone unheard. It is, however, only one of several factors which go into the decision when taken in context. They would have you believe that their voice has been dismissed, that their opinion has been censured. Nothing could be further from the truth. They have suggested that those that don’t share their opinion are incompetent. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A great many minds have been brought to bear on this issue. Numerous solutions have been considered at length. Can we locate the new facility elsewhere? Can we incorporate the building wholly within the new? Can we maintain the building envelope and repurpose within? Can we relocate the building to another site and reassemble it? Can we preserve a façade as a backdrop to an outdoor performance space? Can we ensure the university has functional, capable facilities to offer the students of the future? Can we emphasize the link between war and art through the work of Alex Colville? Can we ensure the memory of those who fought and died for our future is reflected in all that we do?

After lengthy consideration, deliberation, and emotional discourse a decision was made which reflects our common purpose and does most for the advancement of Mount Allison. The Fine and Performing Arts Centre will be a huge stride forward for the Mount Allison community and will help the University be competitive in attracting the next generations of Allisonians from a continually shrinking pool of potential applicants. The memorial plaques have been relocated to a much more prominent location where they can be seen by all on a daily basis. The amphitheatre will give new life to the façade of a beautiful building which has fallen into disuse. It’s a balanced approach to an incredibly complex issue.

Dave Rose
President, Mount Allison Federated Alumni

October 3, 2011

NPR Facebook Page Mentions, Storified

Here's another story I curated on Storify. There's so much more multimedia content that can be used. I'll be creating a storify collection(?) for what I worked on over the summer that will incorporate some these really cool features. For now here's a summary of the NPR story from last year. I can't really explain what happened in any better format than this:

October 2, 2011

20 Tips for Mount Allison University Storify Collection

I don't know how many people outside of technology/social media/journalism circles have used Storify but it's become an incredibly useful tool for journalists and others to collect mentions across the web to create a narrative surrounding an event. It's a website where anybody can write and publish stories by curating social media content.

The story I curated below is very basic. If you want to see a incredible narrative and a stunning example of why Storify has become so popular then you need to take a look at the story of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia curated by NPR's Andy Carvin.

For now, though, I'd like to share the positive reaction to Mount Allison's video series for incoming students that I'm really proud I was a part of. Before I share, however, I have to note that it was a group effort and a lot of time was spent by others in the Communication office in the initial planning stages and especially by the school's eCommunications Coordinator Nadine LeBlanc in filming and editing the videos that were so well liked. Anyway, I hope if there's a story found on social media story you're interested in telling you take a close look at using Storify.

September 23, 2011

New Brunswick Health Council invites student input on the qualty of healthcare in the province

I'd like to share with you an important event happening on campus on Thursday September 29th brought to my attention by Christine Paré, Director of Communications for New Brunswick Health Council.

 The following is an important opportunity for youth to provide feedback on the quality of health services in the province. All Mount Allison students are invited to participate. More details are available to those who register at http://nbhc.ca and are chosen to participate. Here is more information:
The New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) is an independent organization created in 2008 that is mandated to measure, monitor and evaluate population health and health service quality in the province of New Brunswick while informing the public on the health system’s performance.  It is also mandated to implement mechanisms to engage the citizens of New Brunswick for the purpose of improving health service quality in the Province.
In the spring of 2010, the NBHC hosted Our Health. Our Perspectives. Our Solutions. The process highlighted what people value most with regard to the provincial health system, how the system can be strengthened and what can be done to improve provincial health outcomes. Although a wealth of information was provided by participants, it was clear the process was not appealing to younger people. As a result, the youth voice was not included in the overall findings.

Because of this, we are visiting eight university campuses around the province to gather the perspectives of students when it comes to health. Our goal was to invite 40 students to join us for a free dinner and for a conversation on the topic of health. This event will be held on campus next Thursday, the 29th. The first 40 participants to register online at www.nbhc.ca will have a guaranteed spot in at this session.

Reminder- Susan Greenfield to speak about 'Mind Change' at Mount Allison University on Monday, September 26th 2011


A reminder about Susan Greenfield's talk on Monday night courtesy of Laura Dillman. I'm going to do my best to attend and so should you.

Baroness Susan Greenfield to deliver Jonah Lecture — Monday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m. Convocation Hall

Acclaimed University of Oxford pharmacology professor, neuroscientist, writer, and broadcaster Baroness Dr. Susan Greenfield will launch Mount Allison University’s Year of Science and Discovery as the first speaker in the President’s Speakers Series and the 2011-12 Wilford B. Jonah lecturer. Her talk entitled, Mind Change: The New Climate Change? will take place on Monday, September, 26, at 7 p.m. in Convocation Hall. Everyone is welcome and there is no admission charge.

Greenfield’s Mount Allison talk will address the evolution of the human brain to adapt to our changing technological circumstances, especially screen technology. During her lecture she will speak to the question, “If the 21st century environment is changing in unprecedented ways, will the minds of upcoming generations also be changing in ways that are unprecedented?”

This lecture will be relevant for the sciences and the humanities alike, as it will address key issues in our evolving world of information technology and human cognition.


For more information please visit www.mta.ca/ysd

September 19, 2011

Geoff Campbell: Student, Communications Assistant, Newspaper Web Editor, and Non-Profit Public Relations Coordinator at Mount Allison University

This year I'm going to be fairly busy. In terms of classes:
  • My Cultural and Political Change class with Dr. Hunt (who just got back from sabbatical at the London School of Economics) is really interesting. So far we've discussed John Dewey and experiential learning and Timothy Ferris' argument that the democratic revolution was made possible by the scientific revolution. This week we're going to talk about Fareed Zakaria's (of CNN fame) The Post-American World and a section from a book on re-engineering national identity. It's a really engaging class that he says will adapt to our interests. In that course I hope to work on a project on the effects social networking can have on developing brains. It's the kind of class I imagined when I thought of liberal arts in that it's centered loosely on readings but is mostly discussion of ethical and other issues.
  • My fourth year seminar on Africa in a Global Context is based almost entirely on a group project (70%) and seminar participation based on readings (25%).
  • Second-year French will entail a lot of rote memorization of grammar.
  • In my 3rd year International Relations course Global Governance I'm in a group project on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People on Friday which should go very well.
  • In Marketing, I'm working on a group project hopefully on the multitude of ways the internet has changed how marketers connect with consumers which should be an engaging project if it's approved.

Last week I applied for graduation online and submitted the Honours IR Degree Audit form signed by the program advisor. It's odd that this is finally my year to pay attention to all those prospective grad e-mails.

Doing well in all of my classes is unquestionably my highest priority this term. However, in addition to coursework, I'm involved with
  • The Communications Office (As Communications Assistant I'll be continuing and expanding on what I've been doing over the summer. Commitment: 10 hours/week.)
  • The Argosy (As Online Editor, I'll be giving input on the content of the inside front page of the print issue, formatting and uploading all the articles to the website, embedding article photos from Flickr (which I taught the photo editors to use), encouraging readers to submit photo and video content to the site, and helping to live-stream the Atlantic Regional Canadian University Press conference at Mount Allison the 2nd week of October. Commitment: Staring this week, no more than 5 hours/week and the weekend of October 14-16th (in addition to the many hours spent over the summer helping to transform the Argosy website to what it is today).)
  • Amnesty International Mount Allison (As outgoing President and part-time Public Relations Coordinator, I'm training the new Amnesty International president and am going to help begin the club's activities at the first meeting. I hope to attend a majority of the meetings but the main contribution I'm making to the group is to organize a speaker's visit to campus. I've been in discussions with the group's executive and funding partners and it seems like this event is gaining some traction and may very well become a reality. I'll provide details once this idea is off the ground and has been approved for funding. Commitment 1-2 hours a week beyond training the new President and planning/executing the speaker visit)
  • ATLIS (As Online Editor, I'll be doing the online promotion of the group's conference in January and its journal publication in the Spring. I'll also help with the technical set-up (microphones and presentations) as well as recording the presentations and keynote speaker at the January conference. Commitment 1 hour/week in addition to the weekend of January 13-15, 2012.)
  • A yet-to-be-launched social media initiative customized to the needs of Mount Allison students. It's still under consideration by the Powers That Be but even without their blessing I believe the initiative will begin sometime this academic year.
  • Applying to graduate school. (I'm currently focused getting together materials to apply to four of the top PR/Communications/Marketing Programs in the United States and need to request a couple more recommendations and receive a number of others I've requested. I've already taken the GRE (750-800 Verbal 610-710 Math) and don't think writing personal statements will be any challenge. The biggest selling point for Mount Allison is personal interaction with professors and consequently I believe the strongest part of my application will be my letters of reference. As of today one of my top choices is Emerson's GMCA program.
Clearly from all of the above I'll be incredibly busy. More than a couple people have asked me how exactly I plan to do all of that and stay sane. My response is that it would be impossible to do without the solid foundation the last three years has given me. Oh yeah, and some amazing professors, bosses, club leaders, and friends. Also, if you are undertaking anything like I am this semester, you'll probably need Gmail, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Evernote, and a lot of coffee.

With all of the above in mind, I've still been able to answer messages fairly regularly. However, keep in mind anything not related to the above activities ranks at most 12th on my list of priorities this semester. If you can live with waiting, the best way to contact me is the e-mail listed on this page.

Problem Gambling Prevention Program Comes to N.B.

I was recently contacted by Susan Saundercook, Communications Specialist at the Responsible Gambling Council about a visit to campus today and tomorrow by kts2. The program is about targeting students to educate then about the dangers of problem gambling. If you're interested in learning more and you missed their Student Centre visit today, they will have a booth set up in Jennings tonight from 5-7pm for on-campus students and tomorrow from 10am-2pm for off-campus students. If you or someone you know is a problem gambler you should consider making a point of visiting their booth.

September 15, 2011 (Sackville, N.B.) – Back on campus for two weeks, New Brunswick’s 40,000-plus post-secondary students are hitting the books and getting a taste of college and university life. Next week though, there will be a different subject in the cards for students—problem gambling prevention.

Research shows that early experiences with gambling play a role in the development of gambling problems later on, with the majority of problem gamblers in New Brunswick (NB problem gambling prevalence rate is an estimated 1.3% of the adult population) reporting that they first gambled for money before the age of 19. That’s why kts2 (formerly Know the Score) an innovative peer-to-peer program created by the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) and sponsored by Atlantic Lottery, is reaching out to students on campus and online through social media and its interactive website, kts2.ca.

kts2 looks at the real chances of winning and losing, highlights signs of problem gambling, shares local problem gambling services and suggests ways to keep gambling safer.

WHAT: Media are invited to visit the kts2 display at Mount Allison University to:
• talk to a kts2 representative about issues related to problem gambling and young adults
• speak to local students
• get facts about behaviours that can signal a problem
• find out how RGC connects with students via Facebook, Bluetooth technology and travel diary blog

Display Times:

WHEN: Monday, September 19, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Jennings Dining Hall


Atlantic Lottery promotes responsible gambling education, awareness and prevention as part of its overall commitment to social responsibility. Atlantic Lottery is committed to remaining a world leader in responsible gambling and believes that taking a more active role in promoting the responsible use of their products is the right thing to do - not only for their players, but also for the communities they serve.

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent, non-profit organization committed to problem gambling prevention. RGC designs and delivers highly effective awareness programs like kts2.

-30-
For information, please contact:
Susan Saundercook, Communications Specialist, Responsible Gambling Council
(t) 416.499.9800 ext. 230 (e) susans@rgco.org

Lindsay Shannon, Communications Counsel, Atlantic Lottery
(t) 506.867.5800 ext. 5281 (e) lindsay.shannon@alc.ca

September 16, 2011

Mount Allison University Farm Project

Mount Allison University recently revived its farm after allowing it to lay dormant for half a century. The results have been a very sucessful harvest and a substantial amount of fresh local food for Jenning Dining Hall.

From Global Maritimes:


From the CBC: Mount Allison students harvest first crops

Posted: Sep 12, 2011 6:53 AM AT
Last Updated: Sep 12, 2011 11:31 AM AT

Staff and students at Mount Allison University are harvesting their first crops from a new farm that had been unused for 50 years.

Michelle Strain, the university’s director for administrative services, and her team of staff and students have revived a fallow piece of farmland in Sackville, and its harvest is being eaten in the university meal hall.

Two students spent all summer in the fields and now Strain is helping to dig up some of the 13,600 kilograms of potatoes from the first crop.

She said the yield is admirable for the school's first attempt at farming.

“It's two acres of potatoes, and the reason we did that is to help break up the sod because the land hasn't been farmed in 50 years. And we've tested corn, turnips and a few other crops up in this area,” Strain said.

The farm is generating roughly 630 kilograms of vegetables a week for students to eat at the university’s meal hall.

Tom Burrell, the university’s head chef, said it's not enough to feed 1,100 students a day but it’s still a big draw.

“I call it Mount A's homegrown,” Burrell said.

“The other stuff that comes, it's been sitting on a truck somewhere, it has been harvested three weeks ago, this has basically been harvested out of the ground yesterday and I've got it on their plates the next day.”

Burrell said the student appetite for local food is increasing and the university’s farm is set to expand in size next year to try to satisfy it.

Not only are students demanding to eat more local food, but the opportunity to have a farm at the university is also serving as an educational tool.

“It’s neat to see students come out and say, ‘Oh, that's a potato plant. I had no idea they grew underground or that's a bean plant, I had no idea they grew like this,’” Strain said.

“It’s quite something.”

Strain said potatoes have been a particularly successful crop, and the university is holding potato u-picks for the public every Saturday into October.

September 13, 2011

Presenting Mount Allison's Year of Science and Discovery President's Speakers Series

Every year, Mount Allison decides on a theme for its speaker's series. This year's speakers are among the most renowned scholars in their fields. This year's list is below along with a link to the Mount Allison organized Facebook events.

I think many of the speakers will inspire lively debate on campus, especially Susan Greenfield.

Baroness Susan Greenfield
Title: Mind Change: The New Climate Change?
Profile: Professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, neuroscientist, broadcaster, and author of the best sellers The Private Life of the Brain and ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century
Event: Monday, September 26, 7 p.m. Convocation Hall
Supported by the Wilford B. Jonah Lecture Fund

Greenfield is a highly respected Neuroscientist especially in the field of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's treatment and is often described as the "foremost female scientist in Britain". She has made some very controversial statements including the implication that social networking sites are harmful to children's mental development. Below is Greenfield in her own words on video and highlights from an article she wrote two years ago in the Daily Mail.



"Facebook does not require the subtleties of social skill we need in the real world. Not only will this impair individuals' ability to communicate  -  and build relationships  -  it could completely change how conversation happens."

"I find it incredibly sad that people choose to spend their time and money sitting alone playing games with no consequence and no meaning.

But beyond any frustration I feel is concern about the future our screen culture might create. One extreme situation could be a rise in psychiatric problems and fewer babies born because people can't form three-dimensional relationships. 

By the middle of this century, our minds might have become infantilised  -  characterised by short attention spans, an inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity."
I'm absolutely going because I'd like to hear her explanation of these statements and what evidence led her to these conclusions. I highly encourage you to do the same.

Here are the other speakers this year:




Dr. David Schindler
Title: Protecting the Athabasca River Ecosystem from the Oil Sands Industry
Profile: International expert on climate change effects, water, and public policy and Killam Memorial Chair and ecology professor, University of Alberta
Event: Wednesday, October 12, 7 p.m. Crabtree Auditorium
Supported by the Centre for Canadian Studies and the annual Edgar and Dorothy Davidson Lecture in Canadian Studies


Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Title: Reflections on a Life in Science
Profile: Instrumental in the Nobel Prize-winning research on the discovery of pulsars, Prof. Bell Burnell, DBE, is a visiting professor in astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Mansfield College and the Royal Society.
Event: Monday, January 23, 7 p.m. Brunton Auditorium
Supported by the Josiah Wood Lecture Fund


Dr. John Mighton, OC
Title: The Open Mind: Preparing for a Future in which Everyone is Brilliant
Profile: Playwright, mathematician, educator, and founder of JUMP (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies)
Event: Friday, February 10, 7 p.m., Crabtree Auditorium
Supported by CultureWorks and the Centre for Canadian Studies


Vanessa Woods
Title: The Bonobo Handshake: What We Can Learn from Our Peaceful Cousins in the Congo
Profile: Journalist, research scientist and evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University and Lola ya Bonobo in the Congo
Event: Monday, March 12, 7 p.m. Crabtree Auditorium
Supported by Leadership Mount Allison and the Marjorie Young Bell Speakers’ Fund

September 12, 2011

Introducing the new President of Amnesty International Mount Allison Advait Vij

Over the last month I've done a lot of thinking about the future of Amnesty International at Mount Allison (AI Mount Allison). I had a discussion with another engaging and motivated student who happens to be your next President of AI Mount Allison.

Over the summer I was offered the opportunity to continue working at the Communications Office at Mount Allison. I readily accepted the 8-month part-time extension of what had been an amazing summer internship but was left with the realization that I would have less time and energy for being president of Amnesty. I could either keep the title and do an adequate job at something that is incredibly important to me or find a more suitable replacement.

Although I had done a lot of prep work over the summer (undergoing training at HRC/AGM in Montreal, planning group activities, and beginning to organize a speaker on campus) I decided that I couldn't in good faith keep a title reserved for someone with enough time and energy to spearhead a newly-born group on campus when I myself could not commit the necessary time to the cause during the school year. I contacted potential replacements and eventually discussed the potential role with a strong candidate. He demonstrated energy and enthusiasm for the group when I initially asked him to join as events coordinator and rose to a new level of commitment when I decided he was more than fit for the role and he accepted the position of President.

At the time I was confident that our new president would do a great job in the lead role and everything since then has convinced me he's prepared for it. From spending the entire four hours helping to recruit new members at SACtivities Fair to meeting preparation, event planning, and conflict resolution afterwards he has demonstrated a level of maturity and commitment I've seen in few others at this school. While it was with great regret that I made the decision to step down as President it is with greater optimism for the group that I announce that Advait Vij will lead the group for this upcoming academic year.

I will remain on the group's executive as Public Relations Coordinator and help organize a still-to-be-confirmed guest speaker's visit to campus and act as spokesperson for the group on and offline but Advait, in consultation with the executive, will be tasked with managing the group and making the major decisions about the group's activities. At the fair we had over 110 people sign up to be active members of the group and that makes me very excited to be a part of this important campus group and confirms my optimism about the groups upcoming success. I can think of no better a leader for the group this year (myself included) than our new President Advait Vij.

--

Geoff Campbell
Former President and Current Public Relations Coordinator, Amnesty International Mount Allison

September 6, 2011

Making the transition back to being a student

So I've been posting advice here for incoming students on how to adjust to Mount Allison. For many who were in my 8:30am Intro to Sociology class this morning I could tell it's been a tiring one. The first week of class for incoming students is an eased transition to expectations of university-level academics. Most professors teaching intro classes realize that you probably haven't slept very much the last week and that you're going to be late finding your classroom or find out you're in the wrong class ten minutes in. It's completely normal and expected for you to not know what exactly is going on your first day of class.

That being said, there's limited time that professors are going to be lenient. At the most you have until September 16th, the deadline to switch classes to be sure you're in the right class and be sure you're ready to meet all the course requirements. Chances are the first week you're not going to have a lot of reading or writing you NEED to do and you may be tempted to not do any work. The thing is, you can go ahead and do that now. There's really no 'getting away with it' at University. Nobody is going to call your parents if you don't do your work or come to class anymore.

You may also notice that a few professors say that you don't have to do all the readings on time, but you have to know them come exam time. You may be temped to try reading a 400-page history of ancient Greece on December 21st the night before finals but it's a bad idea. You'll end up much happier and get better grades if you study a little bit after class and cramming before the exam...unless you're like my friend who memorized his economics textbook the night before the exam and then got a congratulatory letter saying how all his hard work paid off and that he's in the top 1% of the department. But, chances are you're not like my friend and you need to read the text. This first semester is a time to learn how you study best and whether when/where/how you want to study. Some of the material may be similar to high school but you'll notice the expectations aren't and it's not up to me, your teachers, or even your parents to decide how you meet those requirements.

All that being said this is a transition for me as well. From 30 hours at the office to 15 hours in class, 30 hours in the library, and 15 working on the Argosy, helping to transition Amnesty International Mount Allison into the school year, initial meetings for ATLIS, and is often the case lately: a side project I'm not going to mention in any detail if/until it gets off the ground. For now good luck getting your classes in order and if you're going to first class bash (with Joel Plaskett) then have fun but be sure to set an alarm to be sure not to your other first classes tomorrow.

September 2, 2011

20 Tips in 20 Days for First-year Students: #20- Get help adjusting if you need it





In the final post of our 20-part video tip series for first year students, fourth-year psychology student Aleka Maclellan discusses campus resources for those having difficulty adjusting to life at Mount Allison.
Moving out on your own can be a difficult experience and for that reason Mount Allison offers resources for students to help them cope with the transition. Being in a new place with new people can be a frightening experience but every other new student is in the same situation. The best thing you can do is to be open to new opportunities and friendships as that’s a major part of university life. If you’re feeling homesick, depressed, or otherwise in any need of help adjusting, there are many options for all students in need of support. 
The first place I would recommend is your R.A. They’re generally 2nd or 3rd year students who have recently made the transition themselves. They’ll understand what you’re going through and be able to offer support as a fellow student. If you’re not comfortable talking to your R.A., there are counselors available through the Wellness Centre whose job it is to help students. They are professionals on campus that provide counseling services that are covered in your student fees. Simply contact them and set up an appointment.
As Aleka mentions, there is also the online, anonymous, and student moderated Beautiful Minds forum on Moodle where students can discuss issues with other students. Transitioning to life on your own can be difficult, but there are many resources available if you need some advice. 

Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

September 1, 2011

20 Tips in 20 Days for First-year Students: #19- Access student disability services




Mount Allison is so supportive of all students and they really want you to succeed. The Wellness Centre provides services to students with documented disabilities other than learning disabilities and The Meighen Centre is for students with learning disabilities. This support includes note takers, alternate exam settings, alternate lecture and exam formats, mentoring, the use of adaptive technology, and other services. For more information on these student support services, visit  the Wellness Centre and Meighen Centre websites.



Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 31, 2011

20 Tips in 20 Days for first-year students: #18- Enjoy Mount Allison without alcohol



In this the 18th video in our 20-part tip series, fourth-year honours psychology student and Orientation Chair Aleka Maclellan discusses what students can do to enjoy Mount Allison before they turn 19.

All residence events are generally all-ages. Turning 19 really isn’t as life-changing as it’s cracked up to be and there’s certainly no shortage of things to do before then at Mount Allison.
I would suggest many of the previously noted ideas of what to do in Sackville. For Art lovers there’s visiting the Owens, START, and Struts galleries. I would also suggest going out and exploring the region, experiencing theatre, getting involved in club activities, and grabbing a coffee with friends. In first year I often went to movies at Sackville’s one-room Vogue theatre, especially the Friday night toonie movies ($2 movies, for non-Canadians). For music, there are wet-dry nights at the Pub and various house events. 



Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 30, 2011

20 Tips for first-year students: #17- Places to Relax at Mount Allison University





In the 17th in our 20-part video tip series, fourth-year biology students Beth Whitfield and Brittany Cain talk about their favourite places to relax and unwind around campus. 
Brittany really likes the solarium and pub in the Student Centre and Beth suggests the Waterfowl Park as a good place to de-stress. Personally, I enjoy taking a walk down Bridge Street to see the very end where there used to be a bridge. Now it is just a chasm where you can look out across the marshes and see the Radio Canada International shortwave towers. It is a really tranquil place (except when the train comes by). If you’re not up for a long walk, then I’d suggest going to the War Memorial park downtown. It’s a quiet place to relax and reflect.



Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 29, 2011

20 Tips in 20 Days for first-year students: #16- Where to go for support in residence





In the 16th post of the 20-part video tip series, fourth-year biology student Brittany Cain discusses where to find a support system in residence. It’s doubtful you’ll have any major problems, but if you do have any issues with a roommate or a room repair, a residence assistant (RA) in your wing/on your floor is the best first stop. If it is something more serious, you can always talk to the assistant don or your house Don, who are adults or live-in families in your residence.
 
Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 26, 2011

20 Tips for first-year students: #15- Finding coffee in Sackville, NB






In the 15th of 20 in our video tip series, fourth-year psychology student Aleka Maclellan talks about the best places to grab a coffee in Sackville. Drinking coffee is a study-aid and habit-forming, so it’s no surprise that there are five good places to get coffee in this university town. Starting with the obvious, if you’re in the library trying to get some work done, you’ll want make a quick stop at the Flying Bean cafe. If you are chilling at the Student Centre, you’d want to stop by Gracie’s. If you’re downtown, there’s the ever-popular Bridge Street Café. On the way back to campus, there’s the Cackling Goose organic food store. All of the above locations offer organic fair trade coffee, but if you’re craving something more generic, there’s always Tim Hortons by the highway. I personally like the Cackling Goose because they make it in small batches, but Bridge Street is a great spot for getting together with friends.



Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 25, 2011

20 Tips for first-year students: #14- Discovering Art in Sackville, NB







In the 14th of our 20 part video-tip series, fourth-year history and anthropology student Sarah Underhill talks about viewing art in Sackville. Firstly, there’s Owen’s Art Gallery, the oldest university art gallery in Canada, which hosts student and established artists’ work year-round. There’s also the START (Student Run Art) Gallery and Struts Gallery in downtown Sackville. Sarah mentions the Fine Arts Show and Sale, which provides an opportunity for students in the Fine Arts department to showcase and sell their artwork. There is the new addition of Colville House, where you can explore renowned Canadian artist and alumni Alex Colville’s life and work. For information on art news in Sackville, see the web site for the Sackville Arts Magazine, which was founded just last year to increase community awareness and involvement within the arts scene in Sackville.





Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 24, 2011

20 Tips for first-year students: #13- Explore the natural beauty surrounding Mount Allison University



In the 13th video in our 20-part video tip series, third-year biology student David Summerby-Murray discusses places to see outside Sackville. He mentions the Tantramar Salt Marshes, just outside Sackville (part of why Canon Envirothon came to Mount Allison). There’s also the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world. If you are adventurous, I’d recommend going to Halifax. It’s a great city and only a 2 hour drive from Sackville. About 30 minutes from Sackville is Moncton, which hosts a lot of popular live music and has an international airport. For history buffs, there’s also Fort Beauséjour, the location of the beginning of the British offensive in the French and Indian War.

Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

Thanks Again

As I finish wrapping up my last week full-time at the Communications Office at Mount Allison University and begin making the switch to part-time duties, I've been thinking about how thankful I am to have found something I really enjoy. I moved from being entirely uncertain about what I was going to do after graduation to having a broad foundation of knowledge in social media and knowing exactly the types of graduate school programs and jobs I plan on applying for.

As I've mentioned earlier, I think that my part-time work as a blogger for the school was a initial step. However, the real catalyst that helped change my mindset about social media was the immensely supportive reaction of people to the short video I posted about the creation of NPR's now famously effective Facebook Page. It helped me realize that I could and wanted to work with it full-time.

The 3 minute video features Eyder Peralta, NPR's Associate Producer for Social Media talking about how I created the Facebook page.




The video has over 16,000 views and was featured on Techdirt, brandchannel, and YouTube Trends. Eventually I was interviewed about it by the school's Communication Office and the Argosy, Mount Allison's student newspaper (before I started working there and even before my position even existed). It was then featured on the Sackville Tribune-Post and even in my old high school district's quarterly magazine.

Until then I hadn't really considered what I was doing online a viable option for full-time work but have since realized that I have an aptitude for creating web content (and since May, strategies for institutional social media use) when earlier I hadn't considered effective online communication as important job skill. I had assumed it was general knowledge but now realize it's a valued skill.

I sent NPR fans a thank you message for their support and, despite my relative lack of experience in video production, it was met with a strong positive reaction.

I sent the thank-you message because their reaction made me realize that I could do what I was doing in my spare time after my academic work was done as a full-time job. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find something they enjoy doing and find a way to make a living out of it.

Since the video was posted in February, I applied for, was offered, and accepted positions as Online Editor for the Argosy, ATLIS, and Communications Assistant at Mount Allison University.

At my job this summer I have written a photo essay about Mount Allison at Convocation, wrote various pieces for the school, methodically audited and then worked to improve Mount Allison's social media presence. My most recent project was helping to create a 20-video series of tips for incoming students.



The work above helped reaffirm my interest in Communications and has led me to the decision to pursue a graduate degree in communications after my graduation in May.

Related to my interest in communications is my passion for human rights. As President of Amnesty International at Mount Allison University, I went to Amnesty International Canada's Human Rights College and Annual General Meeting in Montreal where, among other things, I attended special workshops on public speaking for non-profit groups, effective media relations for human rights organizations with Amnesty International Canada Media Relations Officer John Tackaberry, and a presentation by Amnesty Canada's new Communications director on how Amnesty is using social media in its human rights campaigns. I'd love, in an eventually full-time job, to direct my knowledge and experience in social media to help non-profit organizations like Amnesty. I realize I've got a year left until graduation but I know that by May of next year I'll be on really strong footing to pursue my passion on a professional level.

It was really all because of NPR and following the work of Andy Carvin and it made me realize that this is my calling. It is an incredible feeling to finally know what I want to do and know that I have at least some aptitude in it. While realizing that I could actually do this for a living took a lot of work and a lot of feedback based on that work, I may have never thought to consider it without NPR and for that I'd like to thank Eyder Peralta again for mentioning me in the original video and to NPR fans for being such a lively and supporting community.


Geoff Campbell
Loyal NPR Listener

August 23, 2011

20 Tips for first-year students: #12- Out on the Weekend



In the 12th in the 20-part video tip series, third-year religious studies student  Oudai (OD) AlTabbaa discusses the many things to do on weekends in Sackville.

There’s really always something happening in Sackville during the school year. There are events and activities organized by the 140+ clubs on campus, concerts at the Pub and George’s, theatre productions, house parties, and even Zombie Apocalypses . I would recommend going to at least one residence party first year. If you’re only going to a couple, I’d go to Cancun Campbell and Windsor’s Mardi Gras to get a feel of what they’re like. For more low-key ideas, there’s always checking out Sackville’s Waterfowl Park, Mount Allison’s Owens Art Gallery, and START/Struts Art Gallery downtown.  I'd also highly recommend going to at least one of the President's Speaker's Series. With the school's lecture funds, the school brings in renowned intellectuals like Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein to campus. There are academic talks and conferences throughout the year. 

It was recently confirmed that the Argosy, (Mount Allison's Independent Newspaper) will be hosting the Atlantic Region Canadian University Press Conference (ARCUP) this October. In addition, the Atlantic International Studies Organization ( ATLIS) holds an annual International Relations conference every January. To keep up to date about those and other campus event be sure to check Mount Allison's events calendar .




Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 22, 2011

20 Tips for first-year students: #11- Overcoming Exam Anxiety at Mount Allison University






In the 11th in our 20-part video tip series, fourth-year environmental studies student Avery Wheeler offers her advice on overcoming exam anxiety.

I’m not going to lie, the first exams you’ll take in University will probably be stressful. You have probably never taken a 2-3 hour test that’s worth 40-60% of your final grade. Don’t be too alarmed though. If you’ve gone to class and done the readings and assignments, you will do just fine. Finals are really the major assessment of whether or not you’ve been paying attention. Avery mentions that you can study in groups to be aware you’re not the only one studying all day. If that helps, by all means go for it. You will discover the study methods that work best for you.

Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University

August 19, 2011

Mount Allison University Video Project Featured in Academica's Top Ten

This morning the video project I've been working on this summer was featured on Academica's Top Ten list. If you're not familiar with the list here's a little snippet from the website:

Our team of researchers scours thousands of news sources every day – college and university media releases, wire services, government announcements, new statistics and research reports, national and international media, blogs, and more – and hand-picks the ten most relevant, interesting and important stories affecting university and college professionals in public affairs, recruitment, marketing and advancement.

You'll receive a single email first thing each weekday morning, containing bite-sized digests of the top ten stories, with links to original sources. Our goal is to keep you abreast of the news that affects post-secondary education marketing and advancement in Canada – branding, recruitment, retention, alumni relations, youth culture, and emerging technology.

If you haven't subscribed in some form I highly recommend that you do. Thousands of higher education professionals read the top ten every morning and so should you. (As always I would recommend the RSS feed using Google Reader. You can see the mention here or you can go directly to the information page, or see the videos released so far in the player below.




The tips posted so far are listed below. There will be a new video posted every weekday on YouTube. I hope everybody continues to enjoy them. We would love your feedback and encourage you to post comments on our Facebook Page or you can e-mail them directly to me at gbcampbell {at} mta.ca.

#1- Make the most of Orientation.

#2- Choose clubs that match you

#3- Experience Theatre

#4- Get some inside information

#5- Get involved in Athletics

#6- Adapt to Academics

#7- Adjust from Abroad

#8- Transition to University Life

#9- Find a Quiet Place to Study

#10- Stay fit on campus

Career Services Events at Mount Allison University

Hi everyone,

I'd like to share a little information about upcoming events related to career services and internship opportunities at Mount Allison via Student Life and the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies (RJCBS). As you may know, Scott Yorke was hired for a dual role as Career Counselor for Student Life and Student Internship Program director for the RJCBS last year.

In between other projects I contacted him about what career-related events are happening this year. It just so happens that there is a RJCBS Career Week from October 24th-28th. Some details have yet to be finalized but there will be some events meant to help all students prepare for life after Mount Allison.

These include:

Cover Letter/ Resume Writing Workshop - Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 (3 sessions held; morning, afternoon, evening)

Commerce Society Career Fair- date to be confirmed: Businesses and various organizations from the Atlantic Region will be invited to campus to speak on various employment and/or education opportunities

Dress for Success GalaThursday, October 27th, 2011: Students are invited to attend an entertaining evening of fashion with a Career oriented twist! From ‘sport casual’ to ‘black tie formal’, take a crash course in the world of formal attire and dress codes, gaining confidence when heading into a presentation, career fair or that ever so exciting (yet nerve racking) interview! 



In addition to the Career Week, there will be more events throughout the year including workshops, graduate school visits, and employer information sessions on campus. So be sure to check the Upcoming Events page on the Mount Allison website to keep informed about events you may be interested in (or be told by your helicopter parents to attend).

20 Tips for first-year students: #10- Stay fit on campus at Mount Allison University





Tenth on our list of 20 video tips for incoming Mount Allison University students is how to stay fit and healthy on campus. Fourth-year environmental studies student Avery Wheeler discusses Mount Allison’s athletic facilities and why you should use them to avoid the dreaded and “very real” freshman 15.

There is a focus on staying healthy at Mount Allison and the school offers among the best fitness and recreation facilities I’ve seen. From the Athletic Centre (indoor swimming pool, weight room, and gymnasium, the aforementioned intramural and club sports, and the fitness centre (which I use regularly) there is ample opportunity to burn off all the food from meal hall you will inevitably overindulge in.

There are also various dance societies (whose instructors will teach beginners) as well as aerobics, yoga, meditation, and martial arts groups. The newly refurbished pool is a great place to de-stress and burn off steam around exam-time.

Geoff Campbell
Communications Assistant
Mount Allison University