April 16, 2011

Mount Allison's Wallace McCain Student Centre: Main Floor

Mount Allison's Wallace McCain Student Centre: Main Floor

Students' Administrative Council Office, Bermuda Wing, Memorial Plaques, Tweedie Hall

Includes a cameo appearance with SAC President Pat Joyce (2011-2012) discussing the role of the student government at Mount Allison.

Mount Allison Residences: Campbell Hall (5 of 13)

Mount Allison Residences: Campbell Hall (5 of 13)

Located on the "North Side" of campus, Campbell is one of the largest residences on campus. Voted House of the Year 2007/08 at the annual Ascars ceremony, it's more studious during the week and lets loose on the weekends. Close to the dining hall, it's a welcoming residence where you'll find it easy to meet people.

Watch the Residence Profile

Residence Type: Co-ed
Residents: 247
Furniture: Moveable, some loft beds
Laundry Facilities: Swipe Card operated ($1 wash, $1 dry) located in basement
Lounge Facilities: One main and one on each floor
Cooking Facilities: 4 kitchenettes
Location: Campus Map #42

Mount Allison Residences: Bermuda House (4 of 13)

Mount Allison Residences: Bermuda House (4 of 13):

Outside of Bremuda

Bermuda House is Mount Allison's "Global Village" - a charming fully restored carriage house built in the early 1900's. Part of the Mount Allison "Smaller House" Residence Experience, it welcomes anyone interested in celebrating different cultures. Whether you decide to study International Relations, plan to study abroad someday, or are an International student, Bermuda is the Global Village.

Residence Type: Co-ed (Wing-wing & Door-door)
Residents: 33
Furniture: Moveable
Laundry: Coin operated - Basement, ($1 Wash, $1 Dry)
Cooking Facilities: Kitchen in Hammond Lounge
Location: 36/37 on campus map

April 15, 2011

Student Voices: Why did you come to Mount Allison University?

In the name of providing simple, straightforward, informative content I have been going back over old videos and interviews and I'm going to post student video collages of responses to questions. The first such collage is "Why did you come to Mount Allison University?" It's a different question and more personal question than "What do you like about most Mount Allison?", and "What would you suggest to a potential future student?" both of which will come later. I hope you'll find it useful. Obviously I've kept the full interviews so if you'd like to hear more from Aja Cooper, Alexis Thibeault and Alex Dalton, you can.

Also in the name of simplity I removed a lot of clutter on the right hand side-bar and replaced it with six simple links. So if you'd like to read my tweets, subscribe to this RSS feed, see my Flikr photos, 'like' my Facebook Page, watch any other of my 28 Youtube videos, or visit my Linkedin Profile (and maybe, you know, give me a job after I graduate) or simply ignore them more easily, you can without the mess.

Mount Allison Residences: Bigelow House (3 of 13)

Mount Allison Residences: Bigelow House (3 of 13):

Special Note: The following video features incoming Argosy Editor in Chief John Brannen and incoming SAC President Pat Joyce. Maybe it's a coincidence...and maybe Bigelow breeds the leaders of tomorrow? I'll leave that for you to decide.

Located on the "South Side" of campus, Bigelow House is a smaller residence where everyone knows your name within the first two weeks. House of the Year in 2008/09 and 2009/10, Bigelow House fosters a lively yet respectful atmosphere. It's close to popular amenities like the fitness centre, the bookstore, the pub, the pool and the library. They say "Go big or go home" - Bigelow House inspires comments like "the best time of my life!"

Residence Type: Co-ed (Wing-wing & Door-door)
Residents: 108
Furniture: Predominantly fixed
Laundry Facilities: Coin operated ($1 wash, $1 dry) located in basement
Lounge Facilities: Located in basement
Cooking Facilities: Kitchenette
Location: Campus Map #9

Mount Allison's Wallace McCain Student Centre: Basement

As I realize that some of the videos I have posted are a bit lengthy I have put the time into make new, shorter ones for new students looking for the specific locations of resources on campus.

Here is the basement of the Wallace McCain Student Centre where you'll find the Bookstore, Mailboxes, Gracie's Café, The Pub, the Wellness Centre, and the Fitness Centre.

Mount Allison Residences: Bennet House (2 of 13)

Mount Allison University Residence: Bennet House (2 of 13):

Located on the "South Side" of campus, Bennett House is a smaller residence where you'll quickly feel like one big family. It's close to popular amenities like the fitness centre, the bookstore, the pub, the pool and the library. "Bennettonians" are notorious for cultivating an atmosphere of fun, friendship and open doors. Bennett had the Don of the Year for 2009/10.

Residence Type: Co-ed (Wing-wing and Door-door)
Residents: 108
Furniture: Predominantly fixed furniture, select rooms have moveable furniture
Laundry Facilities: Coin operated ($1 wash, $1 dry) located in basement
Lounge Facilities: Located in basement
Cooking Facilities: Kitchenette
Quiet Floors/Areas: One section of rooms
Location: Campus Map #10 (outdated, actually #15)

April 14, 2011

Mount Allison Residences: Anchorage House (1 of 13)

I remember when I was waiting to come to Mount Allison wanted to find out as much as I could about the school. As many of you are in the midst of choosing your preference for Housing next year I thought I'd write about that. While I can only personally say that living in Campbell Hall has generally been good I've heard from people living in most of the other residences saying they wouldn't leave it for anything else. Because there are some new residences that don't have very much recent history, and because the information about each residence is scattered in different places on the Mount Allison website I thought I'd do a bit of a favour and compile all the information about each residence in one place.

Starting alphabetically (so nobody can accuse me of bias) here is Anchorage House:

Opening in September 2010, Anchorage House is a new addition to our alternative residences, devoted to wellness and healthy living. Part of the Mount Allison "Small House" Residence Experience it offers a unique environment in a very attractive and new renovated heritage home.

Residence Type: Co-ed
Residents: 21
Furniture: Moveable
Laundry Facilities: Coin operated, second floor ($1 wash, $1 dry)
Lounge Facilities: Main floor "Library"
Cooking Facilities: Kitchen on main floor
Location: Campus Map #34

Bridge Street Café in Sackville, NB

For those newly accepted students who are waiting to come to Mount Allison (or even those who, due to final term papers and exams are now hermits) I would suggest going to Bridge Street Café.

Above is the short clip I included about Bridge Street in my video tour of Sackville. It's really a landmark  (keep in mind...this is Sackville, NB not New York) of the town and a great little place to get some coffee, get some group or solo work done, or just relax. It's really not hard to find...but the information is:

Bridge Street Café
8 Bridge Street
Sackville, New Brunswick
E4L 3N5

Phone 506-536-4428
Email info@heartofsackville.ca

Should schools be in the business of turning out employable grads?

That is the subtitle of an recent article in Maclean's. In it, higher education professionals, including Mount Allison President Robert Campbell, discucuss the apparently newsworthy focus on a return on investment in higher education. Campbell says,

“We have a higher proportion of students whose parents went to university, and we see and hear from them more,” says Robert Campbell, president of Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. Many, he says, “are looking for a return on investment” in their child’s tuition. And, for the most part, they get it: university grads in 2005 had median annual earnings of $45,000 two years later, compared to $33,000 for college grads, according to a Statistics Canada report. 

I would argue it's not a new thing for students to go to University to get a job. Yes, maybe competition is higher but it seems only the super-rich or super-lazy (one stereotype of liberal-arts students) go to school just to learn. Getting ahead in life is about having the right credentials. With some exceptions I could probably learn everything I've learned so far at Mount Allison (at least in class) by reading books. But I come to school and do four years of hard work to get credit for displaying that knowledge through exams and papers.

Something that is news to me is that Mount Allison does not track it's graduates to determine if their education paid off.
Over on the East Coast, the Maritime provinces’ Higher Education Commission tracks graduates’ employment rates and other data. In 2009, its latest report shows, 81 per cent of employed graduates from the class of 2007 were working full-time, and 75 per cent of them said their degree helped them get the job “to some or great extent.” But individual schools don’t necessarily keep their own figures. “We probably could track them better,” says Campbell, chair of the Association of Atlantic Universities. Mount Allison, he adds, is starting to track its grads now.

It's surprising that Mount Allison didn't start tracking graduates years ago, but I'm glad they have started this year. Every single school I applied to in the US bragged about the percentage of its graduates engaged in either full time work in their field or further education. The University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs releases detailed results from their alumni surveys to the public. I would think this would be incredibly useful in student recruitment for Mount Allison, as undoubtedly the information would substantiate the anecdotal examples included in the Alumni Magazine and on the website.

While an undergraduate degree is a basic requirement for any jobs I would be interested in, a Master's is not...and it can be incredibly expensive. However, the Evan's school Class of 2010 Master of Public Administration (MPA) Employment Report does a really good job in convincing potential students that getting a Master's from the Evans can be worth the investment.

The best note-taking/organizing application available: Evernote

On the theme of really important and useful applications for college students there is Evernote. After having a semester of having my class notes scattered between notebooks and various word documents I decided that there has to be a better way. There is, and it's called Evernote. It's a application that allows you to organize everything in your life by topic in "Notebooks" and within and across those notebooks by tags.
From exam study session notes from my Middle East Foreign Policy class, to planning material for my involvement with Amnesty, the Argosy, and ATLIS and from various important telephone numbers and notes I would normally scribble on a paper soon to be lost to a schedule of Graduate School deadlines and information there isn't much you can't use Evernote for.
In term of the Middle East notes above I did not take full advantage of the bulleting and other formatting options. I will soon add in the slide show by dragging and dropping which you can do for many different file formats.
And like Dropbox, everything is effectively organized and securely backed up online. No more searching around for that important number or losing your class notes, even if your computer explodes. At this point it's really irresponsible not to have all your important notes on Evernote and important documents on Dropbox. They are both free, very easy to use, enable you to access all of your documents from anywhere, and ensure you aren't hurt academically or otherwise if your hard drive fails. Just as your dog eating your homework wasn't an acceptable excuse in junior high (at least at my school) soon enough nowhere will you be able to use technical problems to beg for an extension.

Back up your documents before you lose your term paper. Use Dropbox.

So last semester I was having really terrible problems with my computer. It was crashing and eventually the power cord for it died while I was in the middle of writing my papers. Thankfully I was able to use the school's computer lab message myself the paper every time I worked on it...but by the end I had 15 different versions of it. I decided that for this Winter term I would need a better way of ensuring all my documents were backed up automatically and were available from anywhere. I have an external hard drive but it has been malfunctioning and would cost a lot to replace.

I then found Dropbox. A free service with 2GB of free space. You simply download a special folder on your computer and drop everything you want saved into it. You can even work on any documents in the box and it will automatically update every time you save it. No more worrying about crashing computers or faulty flash drives. I've used it for all of my important papers and documents this year and never had to think twice about whether my documents were secure.

I would suggest that those moving on to University use it first thing and for current student to adopt it for next year. It has become an indefensible resource, especially in a day and age where profs do not accept computer/printer problems as an excuse to not have a paper done in time. Save yourself a lot of worry now by installing Dropbox. If you ever need it you'll be glad you did.