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.