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 CafĂ©. 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 BeausĂ©jour, 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