DONOR'S eNewsletter March 1, 2006

Learning Beyond the Classroom

The McConnell Student Opportunity Fund exists to encourage projects that foster student innovation, initiative, and self-reliance, by providing students with financial support to pursue practical research and, most particularly, employment-related experiences. All projects must be proposed, organized and conducted by students.

After careful deliberation and review, the Student Opportunity Fund Selection Committee awarded $11,700 this year to help fund seven projects. The following is a list of the awards and awardees, along with their winning projects.

Katharine Hopkins and Terri Burke attended a conference in Edinburgh on “Feminist Ethics, Feminist Politics and the States We’re In: Critical Reflections in Uncertain Times”.

Kathryn Neeley and Steven Edwards have organized an inter-disciplinary conference of Classics, Religion, Philosophy and Liberal Arts in March and will publish a journal of the papers discussed.

Mathew Bellhouse-King and six others of BU Pride Alliance attended the “Canadian University Queer Services Conference” in Ottawa.

Hoi Kei Phoebe Chan and five others of the BU Model United Nations Club will participate in “CANIMUN Conference” in Ottawa in March.

Hendrikje Zwaneveld traveled to Bournemouth, England for a conference on “Forensic Science and the Investigation of Atrocity Crimes and Mass Fatalities”.

Wesley Colclough will create a documentary film about the struggle between the Betsiamites Innu and Kruger Incorporated over logging on René Levasseur Island.

Sam Solomon and three others of The Campus benefited from “The Canadian University Press National Conference” in Toronto.

“Congratulations to each of the award winners and their teams for innovative ideas, strong initiatives and diligent work,” said Dr. Brad Willms, chairperson of the Committee. “The Student Opportunity Fund is proud to support these leaders of tomorrow and wishes each of them tremendous success as they accomplish their projects.”

Mission Statement and Defining Principles

In the November issue of the Donor e-newsletter you were invited to read and comment on a draft document produced by a sub-committee of Senate: “Defining and Promoting Bishop’s”. The document included a rewritten mission statement and eleven principles of a sound and liberal education at Bishop’s. The committee received a number of comments from alumni and friends and consulted several groups on campus.

On January 30th a revised mission statement and defining principles was presented and passed at Senate. The document will now go to Executive Committee for approval. This document is also being used on campus as a starting point for discussions related to strategic planning.

The committee will continue to meet each year to review the document, ensuring its relevance to students and its accurate reflection of the Bishop’s experience. Please view the current version of the document, and send any comments or suggestions to Dave McBride.

Thriving International Exchange Program

Participating in a study abroad has become an important component of the Bishop’s experience for today’s students. Traveling to a foreign country can be a daunting experience for many but, according to Christie Carson, a fourth year international business/marketing student from Toronto, “Bishop’s students are outgoing and risk takers, so it is natural for us to go on exchange.”

This year 70 students, from all academic Divisions, took part in an international exchange. The majority go away in their penultimate year of study, either for one semester or the entire year. They choose from over 700 universities in 35 countries, with new ones added each year.

Lillian Rogerson ‘84, Co-ordinator of International Students, assists Bishop’s students in choosing the right university and in the logistics of going on exchange. “I regard the International Exchange Program as the crowning experience,” says Ms. Rogerson. “Studying abroad not only creates a sense of independence, but every door of life is opened – culturally, academically, and socially.”

Christie spent one year studying at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia from July 2003 to July 2004. She is honest about why she chose to study in Australia: its heat. “We don’t realize how much climate affects your daily life. Sports are different, transportation is different, and lifestyle is different. I was only inside to sleep and go to class. I would even study outside in the Botanic Gardens next to the University.”

All students in International Business benefit from a $1500 travel bursary, established in 1998 by David Williams with his creation of The SEED Foundation. Over 100 students have received a bursary.

“My flight to Brisbane alone was $2600, so the travel bursary played a big role in helping me finance this life changing experience,” says Christie. She was able to travel a great deal on the continent, and even found a job life guarding at a beach while going to school. “I found the job through Dave Anthony, a Queensland student who came to Bishop’s on exchange. Through my job I was chosen to represent Surfers Paradise LifeSaving Club in a work/volunteer position in Japan for the summer. An exchange to Australia led to a job and many contacts in Japan and around the world!”

Maury Hoehn, a fourth year Business student from Camrose (AB), spent the fall 2005 semester in Budapest and was also the grateful beneficiary of a $1500 Williams Travel Bursary. “I chose to study in Budapest because I knew nothing about it, and I figured it would be a lot different,” says Hoehn. Budapest turned out to be more modern than he thought – there was a Pizza Hut and Subway right across the street from his apartment.

Sherbrooke Police Learning English at Bishop’s

Principal Poupart declared early in his mandate a priority to improve the relationship between Bishop’s and the surrounding community. Our Continuing Education Department has found a way to help make this promise a reality: complimentary English Second Language classes to members of the Sherbrooke Police Services.

“This program is a win-win situation,” says Sue Meesen '91, Co-ordinator of Continuing Education. “The police improve their English skills, which betters their ability to communicate with our students in the community. It also gives them an opportunity to learn more about Bishop’s and to meet our students in a pleasant setting. Normally when individuals (students or others) meet police, it is not under the best circumstances.”

The program began in the Fall semester with nine police officers spending three hours every Tuesday evening at Bishop’s. ESL Instructor Irika Meadows says “the police were a bit shy and intimidated at first, but so was I. They were all in uniforms!”

Ms. Meadows uses course material that is relevant to police work and also brings in Golden Key Honour Society students to work with the officers. “We set them up in small speaking groups,” says Ms. Meadows. “The students ask the officers questions about the reasons for joining the police force and their experiences as officers. The police officers, in turn, find out why students choose Bishop’s and get a better understanding of what occurs during Orientation Week.”

In this current semester eight of the nine students have returned, along with six new students for the ten week program. Sherbrooke police officer Maryse Boulanger is back for her second semester. “The small group size is perfect,” she says. “We need to practice speaking English, and we do a lot of that in this program. Irika is a wonderful teacher who is very committed to our learning. This program demonstrates an improved relationship between Bishop’s and Sherbrooke.”

Internships Put Theoretical Knowledge Into Practice

When Richard Tomlinson ’43, DCL ‘89 made his substantial gift to Bishop’s in 1999, he left it for the University to determine its funding priorities. His only proviso: I prefer to invest in people – faculty and students. One valuable result was the establishment of a Tomlinson Initiatives Fund which now finances Student Internships on campus.

In the spring, members of the Bishop’s community are invited to submit applications to the Dean of Student Affairs for funding of an internship position. The proposal must demonstrate how the position will benefit both the student and Bishop’s. “Internships enable students to contribute to departments on campus and, at the same time, gain real-world experience that will serve them well when they begin their job searches after graduation,” says Bruce Stevenson ‘76, Dean of Student Affairs.

This year ten areas received grants to hire student interns. The students earn from $840 to $1900 in the academic year, based primarily on the number of hours spent in their position.

A sampling of internships in 2005-06 includes:

Athletic Department – Sports Information: This intern assists the Athletic Department with the preparation of press releases, web content, game day programs and media guides. The intern also assists with game day promotion and production. The position gives excellent experience to students in the Marketing program, any discipline in the Divisions of Humanities and Social Sciences, or the new Sports Studies Minor.

“It has been a privilege to work in the Athletic Department,” says Sean O’Neill, a second-year Political Studies student. “My position in Sports Information has been of immense value to me, providing an excellent opportunity to combine personal and academic interests and apply them to the work-force. I am grateful for the opportunity.”

Counseling Services – Learning Technology: This intern works with special needs students, teaching them how to integrate adaptive technology into their studies at Bishop’s. This internship provides valuable teaching experience for students considering a career in Education, while also enhancing their understanding of technology and the challenges of learning-disabled students.

Drama Internship: Professor JoJo Rideout of the Drama Department works with an intern to organize and manage a small company of volunteer Bishop’s drama students who put on plays at local schools. Drama students hone their skills while also contributing to the cultural richness of the local community.

“The schools have come to remember and look forward to the productions,” says Professor Rideout. “They are a fantastic way for Bishop’s to strengthen its connection to the community.”

Foreman Art Gallery: Working closely with the curator, the intern assists with the installation of exhibitions, co-ordinates the Graduate Student Exhibition, animates educational workshops, and serves as a gallery-campus liaison. Students in the Fine Arts or Arts Administration programs gain invaluable and satisfying work experience.

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