With skies darkening and temperatures dropping, we’re looking ahead to warmer weather—and to Carleton’s mini-enrichment program coming this May! We spoke with the instructors and students who make it a resounding success year after year. Plus, some time management tips and an event-ful app for the end-of-semester grind.
In this Issue: pdf copy
|Julie dempsey teaches Psychology and an EMCP course|
Julie Dempsey – Professor Profile
Meet the forensic psychology expert who teaches EMCP’s most popular course
From the moment high schoolers set foot in professor Julie Dempsey’s mini-enrichment course, they are university students.
“While they are here for the week, I tell them that they are [held to] the same high expectations,” says Dempsey, who has been an EMCP instructor for four years. “I enjoy seeing how excited the students are about coming to the university and how much they appreciate being treated like an adult.”
Dempsey’s mini-enrichment course, Can Psychology Help Catch a Criminal?, was last year’s most popular course offered by EMCP—and with its CSI-like title, it’s no surprise students were intrigued. The class is an introduction to forensic psychology that explores topics like why eyewitnesses make mistakes and what makes a person commit a crime, as well as delving into police interrogations, criminal profiling and jury decision-making.
It’s the kind of class that sticks with the student long after the mini-enrichment week has passed—Dempsey recalls siblings of EMCP students introducing themselves, telling her they chose to take her class based on their brother or sister’s experience. It’s a testament to Dempsey’s goal for her EMCP students: to spark enthusiasm and a love of learning that will carry over to their future schooling.
“I hope that after EMCP the students are excited about learning and are excited about continuing a post-secondary education,” says Dempsey, who also taught the CUOL counterpart to her EMCP course, titled Introduction to Forensic Psychology, last fall. “It’s even better if I inspire the students to pursue a career in psychology, law, or criminal justice.”
They’re fields within which Dempsey continues to dig deeper herself. Her current eyewitness memory-focused research is reminiscent of that of a character out of a true-crime documentary—she is working on a project that examines how the number of perpetrators involved in a crime impacts identification accuracy.
As for her work with EMCP, Dempsey is looking forward to seeing the program continue to expand, both in length and in curriculum.
“It would be great to see the program grow in terms of more courses being offered so even more students are able to participate this would also increase the variety of courses for students to choose from,” says Dempsey. “I know the students would love if the program ran multiple times a year or was for two weeks instead of one. ”
|Patti Proulx teaches Business and an EMCP course|
Accounting aficionado Patti Proulx engages high-schoolers and CUOL students with her interactive approach to teaching finance.
When Patti Proulx prompts her mini-enrichment students to present a business idea during her course’s mock-Dragon’s Den game, there’s no predicting what they’ll come up with.
“I can tell you that they have a rich imagination,” says the Carleton University contract instructor. “The products and services they invented this year ranged from ‘Rent-a-Grandma’ to futuristic apps that can do anything for you.”
Proulx’s EMCP course, titled Accounting: Not Just for Bean Counters, gives middle- and high-schoolers a taste of a university-style curriculum, with some fun twists and turns along the way. From jelly beans to kidney beans, Proulx’s game-heavy, bean-themed methodology helps distil complex subjects into bite- (or should we say, bean) sized lessons for her students.
Proulx been leading EMCP courses for two years now, but is also a CUOL instructor currently teaching a course for non-business students called Survey of Accounting. Using online tools like polleverywhere.com, students can engage with her using their cell phones or laptops, answering questions based on course material. Proulx guides students through the financial statements, vernacular and business decision-making processes they will undoubtedly encounter along their career paths.
“More importantly though, they learn how to read or watch business media and understand what’s going on,” she says.
Proulx, a financial whiz who works part-time for five non-profit organizations doing accounting controllership work when she’s not at Carleton, hopes to see more courses added to the EMCP roster in the coming years. She thinks the program helps to attract students who have had a positive mini-enrichment experience to the university.
What does Proulx hope her students take away from their week at Carleton U?
“That university is fun. That learning is fun,” she says. “That the experience they get is proportional to the effort they make.”
|Rick Taylor teaches English and an EMCP course “Write by the River”|
Meet the Carleton instructor who is swimming with the dead for his upcoming book.
Rick Taylor lunges forward into the River Thames, into icy water he describes as the colour of curry, littered with toiletries and human debris. It was here that English poet Lord Byron sliced through three miles of the longest river in England in 1807, and where his casket floated in his funeral procession 17 years later.
“It’s unknown what’s in the lake,” says Taylor, who has taught at Carleton since 1995. “There’s a whole British empire under there.”
Taylor is on a watery mission with a simple goal: to swim with writers. Though he didn’t finish his dip in the River Thames—police boats were circling and the MI5 headquarters were a little too close for comfort—there are many more with whom he has swam, whether in person or, like Byron, in spirit.
“Sometimes I’m thinking how gross it is or how scary it is,” says Taylor. “But the water definitely makes the connection stronger.”
Taylor is an author and creative writing teacher, who leads workshops on the subject with titles like “Write by the Lake Writer’s Retreat”. He is currently working on his fourth book, a semi-autobiographical narrative titled Water and Desire: Swimming with Writers and Others. It’s a work in progress chronicling his swims with literary figures ranging from Ernest Hemmingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Oliver Sacks to Dylan Thomas. Taylor revisits both swims explored within their work, and swims the writers themselves have completed—for some, even the last of their lives.
In one of his eeriest endeavours to date, he swam a mile of the river in which Virginia Woolf committed suicide, Taylor doesn’t let much stand in his way of swimming with his fellow writers—he has jumped over walls, cut through marshes, dived off cliffs and even evaded authorities at Hemmingway’s old house-turned-museum in Key West, Fla. to swim a few laps in his pool (he was swiftly kicked off the property afterwards).
Taylor’s wetsuit is his second skin. He dons one every other day from May through October, almost right up until an ice sheath covers the lake for his swims at home in Val-Des-Monts, Que., but craves the open water in Hawaii, Florida and Costa Rica.
“I’ve been a crazy swimmer for 40 years,” says Taylor, who is also an avid surfer.
While Taylor has added a somewhat morbid twist to his life aquatic, he’s eager to start swimming with more live writers. Margaret Atwood turned him down, claiming to be too out of practice.
“The living writers are harder to book a time with,” he says.
In the meantime, he’ll just keep swimming.
We have posted articles and photos from previous EMCP years.
Earth Sciences’ School of Rock!
School of Rock! Carleton-style is all about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic formations not boogie woogie, but that did not make it any less popular with the high school students who signed up for the course last year as part of Carleton’s Enrichment Mini-Courses Program (EMCP).
Liz Cornejo, the earth sciences master’s student responsible for developing and teaching the earth sciences course, was very pleased with the feedback she received from students. She regularly had participants tell her that they loved the hands-on activities that she prepared for them and she could see the excitement in their faces whenever they learned something new. The program, which made its debut last year, was so successful that Cornejo is now getting ready to introduce another group of 18 Grade 8 to 11 students to the world of geology.
During the week-long program, students receive an overview of the contents of the first-year earth sciences courses offered at Carleton. Subjects include mineral deposits, structures, erosions, how to date rocks, exploration techniques and climate. “Geology is not usually offered in schools so this is our chance to show students what’s available at the university level, as this may be the only time they study Earth Sciences,” says Cornejo. She has deliberately included many different topics which introduce the participants to the world of earth sciences through hands-on activities, presentations, computer and creative work and anticipated fieldtrips. “It is important that students really engage with the material and I give them the opportunity to do a variety of activities such as visiting Hog’s Back Falls to interpret the rocks and its geological history, going to the Museum of Nature’s dinosaur exhibit and creating a field map on campus.”
Nestor Querido, Supervisor, Teaching Support Services, and a member of the Carleton University EMCP steering committee, points out that most of the science and engineering courses that the EMCP offers are in high demand and fill up quickly. “This year students and parents
began calling in January requesting admission to
School of Rock!” he says. “Given this interest in earth sciences, we have added a second course called Natural Disaster Hollywood Blockbusters: Fact or Fiction?” Participants are selected by their school for the EMCP, pick their “top ten” choices and then are assigned to the course they will take on a first-come, first-serve basis, explains Querido.
As Cornejo points out, although high schools do not include geology as an option for students, Canada’s economy is dominated by natural resource industries, including oil and gemstones and there is a significant demand for geoscientists. Given the need for professionals with earth sciences knowledge and skills, Cornejo has found that corporations are willing to support School of Rock! “With corporate donations from companies such as Northern Shield Resources Inc. which often have Carleton graduates on staff, we have been able to purchase hand lenses and rock identification guides for the students as well as pay for fieldtrips and handouts,” she says. Many of the donors have also been involved in research at the University.
Cornejo began preparation for School of Rock! in September and has been gathering samples and worksheets since January. She has found the assistance of the Department of Earth Sciences invaluable. The course is implemented with the support of faculty sponsor Claudia Schroder-Adams, who leads lectures and activities, Earth Sciences student Aaron Phillips, who administers the course with Cornejo, and Beth Halfkenny, the Department of Earth Sciences curator and geological technician, who helps with the administrative tasks. Cornejo participated in a similar event as a high school student and really wanted to give back by creating an EMCP course. “Plus, it is an excellent opportunity for me to gain valuable teaching experience.”
“Carleton University is eager to participate in EMCP, as it showcases Carleton’s academic programs to prospective high school students—it’s an effective way to introduce students to the University,” says Querido. Carleton University offers Awards of Excellence to students applying to Carleton who have participated in EMCP for at least one year and show academic excellence.
Middle-school student Dana Strauss, of Cornwall, Ontario, said she wants to rehabilitate horses when she’s older.
While taking a course called Animals: Friends, Family and Food, taught by Craig McFarlane, she said she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Enrichment Mini-Courses Program (EMCP) not only because of the course offerings, but because her older brother had went to Carleton for a mini-course last year.
“I really wanted to go to prove that I could do it too,” she says.
Nearly 1,000 students from middle and secondary schools in the surrounding areas descended on the Carleton University campus May 4 to 8 to take part in the annual program.
The program provides students in Grades 8-11 (Ontario) and Secondary II to V (Quebec) an enriched learning chance to experience “what it is like in university,” says Nestor Querido of CUOL Support Services, who organizes the EMCP at Carleton. The program is also offered at the University of Ottawa and La Cité collégiale.
When the time comes for Strauss to choose a university, if she comes to Carleton she may receive something extra for taking part in the program. Students who have participated in the EMCP in the past and are accepted into a full-time first-year program by one of the participating post-secondary institutions, have the chance of receiving an EMCP Award of Excellence.
“Each year we award four $1000 awards, enough for textbooks or whatever,” says Querido.
Querido cites the opportunity to participate in interesting and engaging mini-courses and the chance to meet students from other schools and school boards as the reasons for the program’s ongoing success. EMCP began in 1981 and has hosted over 40,000 students.
“There is also the prestige of being selected by these institutions,” Querido says.
Halfway through the week, Carleton’s president and vice-chancellor, Dr Roseanne Runte, addressed the students saying, “Congratulations on having been chosen to be part of this week. I know that not everybody in your school got chosen, but you did, and so, I think you should applaud yourself.”
“There is no other investment that you can make that’s better,” she said speaking to the importance of higher education. “You go to university, and you invest in yourself and your future.”
More than 2,500 students were sent to take part in the program this year at the three institutions, which offered 125 different courses combined.
|Thana Ridha (Left) andDevin Fraser (right)|
We spoke to a couple of former winners of the EMCP award, now Carleton CUOL students themselves.
One of the most overwhelming tasks we face as teenagers is choosing a university or college. For many of us, higher education is a question mark—we’ve taken part in their sports camps and pass campuses on the OC Transpo, but what goes on behind the lecture hall doors can be a complete enigma.
What if you had a leg up early on? Every year, Carleton plays host to about 1,000 promising students from grades 8 to 11 for a week of heightened learning with a university-style schedule and curriculum, called the Enrichment Mini-Courses Program, or EMCP. We are one of the four institutes that take part, including La Cité Collégiale, the University of Ottawa and St. Paul University. Students can choose from about 50 mini-courses across five different faculties.
It’s our hope that Carleton leaves a lasting impression on these students, and there are a few who leave a lasting impression themselves, and are presented a $1,000 Excellence Award scholarship to continue their education with us down the road.
“One of my favourite memories is of my best friend and I exploring Carleton University’s campus for the first time,” says second-year criminology and criminal justice student Thana Ridha, who was awarded the scholarship. “I remember thinking how big and amazing the campus is. I would have never imagined that one day I would be a student here!”
Ridha got involved with the mini-enrichment program in 2008, when she was nominated by her Grade 8 teacher to participate in the program.
While she didn’t know about the award before enrolling at Carleton, she recalls her mini-enrichment week as an unforgettable experience.
Second-year commerce student Devin Fraser is also an EMCP alumnus now enrolled in Carleton’s Sprott School of Business.
“I think the best part about the program was getting a feel for the ‘grown-up’ life of university,” says the accounting major. “It allowed me to experience what it was like going to Carleton University for an entire week.”
Both Ridha and Fraser have found CUOL courses to be a great way to fit additional credits into their schedules. As high-acheivers with busy calendars, online courses have allowed them to adapt courses to fit their respective lifestyles.
“There are so many demands on students’ time nowadays, and having the flexibility to complete a course on my own time instead of a scheduled lecture time was a huge benefit,” says Fraser, who plans on pursuing a Chartered Professional Accountant designation after graduation. “I’m always looking for better ways to create flexible schedules so that I have more control over my own time and CUOL has been a great way to do this!”
A Fine Balance
Time management tips and tricks for every kind of student.
It’s the catch-22 of the modern-day student—you have to work to pay tuition, but the free time you have to work is next to nonexistent. And if you spend too much time waiting tables and not enough on your thesis proposal, you put future job prospects at risk. Don’t even mention eating properly and getting eight hours of sleep a night.
So how are you supposed to balance it all? Squeezing in-class courses, online courses, internships and part-time jobs into one schedule is no cakewalk, but it can be mastered—with time to spare for a social life and the occasional Breaking Bad marathon.
1. For the procrastinator: Take it from the queen of leaving things until the last minute: You’re probably not going to grow out of your procrastinating habit anytime soon (and your future employer may just end up praising your cool under tight deadlines). But if your calendar is jam-packed, procrastination can be seriously detrimental to your GPA—not to mention your mental health. Start by investing in an agenda. And no, an iCal app doesn’t count. Lists are critical for the chronic procrastinator, and something as simple as checking things off a to-do list can help break daunting tasks into bite-sized pieces (i.e. “Solidify thesis statement” as opposed to “write essay”). Psychotherapist and author Julie Bijou says the reason lists work for procrastinators is that they bring tasks to the front of your mind, making them harder to push aside.
2. For the overly employed: So you’ve held onto your part-time serving job, have taken on a TA position and are doing some peer tutoring on the side to pad your resume (and your wallet). All this on top of making the grade can be a daunting test in time management. If this sounds familiar, now is the time to start prioritizing. Number your commitments from essentials to extras and, if necessary, do some clutter-cutting from the bottom of the list. It’ll free up some time in your schedule and some space in your mind to help you excel at those things most important to you, whether it’s school, a primary source of income, or a favourite hobby. Listing your responsibilities will help you evaluate what’s eating up most of your time and can help give you some perspective, too—is a little added income worth the added stress?
4. For the Yes-Man (or Woman): We’ve all been there—the social calendar starts to spread through the scholastic calendar and you’re finding it harder and harder to decline the invitations (celebrating Halloween for five nights in a row? Why not!). Whether it’s friends, extra-curriculars or extra courses that you’re finding it difficult to turn down, there comes a time when everyone just has to say no to the non-essentials. Take some time every Sunday to determine how many nights out you can afford to take that week, and stick to it. If you’re being pressured into joining an intramural team, plot out practices and games into your current schedule and analyze how much of a time commitment it’s going to be before blurting out a yes. If the white space in your school calendar is shrinking by the semester, see if you’re taking any unnecessary credits, or if you can take them at another time. It’s much easier to add more to your schedule later on than take away once you’ve committed.
5. For the constantly distracted: Giving into tempting diversions can be the most challenging part of online courses. Check in with yourself—are you the kind of person who can listen to a playlist
while essay-writing without the quality of your work suffering? Do you have the hardest time focusing on an empty stomach? Figure out what puts you in a work mood—whether it’s a corner seat at the library that makes it impossible to people-watch or leaving your phone on the opposite side of the room. Remember, sometimes the things that make homework more temporarily tolerable are the same things slowing the process down and hindering your full potential. If you think you can give an online lecture your full attention with Friends reruns playing in the background, chances are you’re fooling yourself.
6. For the all-nighter puller: It’s a rare university student who hasn’t had to work through the night once or twice. In fact, some of us actually work better during the wee hours. But we don’t have to tell you too many all-night cram sessions can take their toll—and even be dangerous. That woozy adrenaline rush you get at 3am? Sleep deprivation can actually cause temporary euphoria (and no, that’s not a good thing). It’s also correlated to memory loss and lower grades. In the weeks leading up to a period chock-full of deadlines, try blocking out two hours a night to get a head start on assignments in advance. Get the bulkier work, like research and readings, out of the way before crunch time. Lastly, tackle the most daunting assignments first and save the simpler ones for the days closer to the due date. Easier said than done, but your grades, health and overall wellbeing will thank you in the long run.
How many times have you run into this scenario: A bunch of friends are coming into town for a visit or reunion weekend, and you’re the one charged with coming up with the plans. Craig Follett gets it—and wants to help you out.
Follett is the co-founder and CEO of Uniiverse, a popular site-turned-iPhone app that harnesses students’ loves of social media and events, connecting face-to-face with behind-the-screen socialization. Launched last month, it’s a brand-new social marketplace app that Follett calls the “eBay of activities”. The centre of Uniiverse is events you actually want to attend—not the club-promoter spam that clogs up your Facebook feed. He likens it to Netflix for movies and Amazon for books, in that it recommends events based on the user’s likes and what his or her friends are doing.
Used by more than 26,000 local event organizers and service providers, Uniiverse is run by an algorithm based on Twitter, Facebook and Google feeds to generate custom recommendations for each user, show you what your friends are up to, and allows you to browse nearby activities under categories like sports, food and drink, learning and culture, and social. Or, if you’re the one hosting an event, you can even sell tickets through the app. In a couple of taps, you can explore a free sushi-making workshop, themed pub crawls, a short film festival, a Tough Mudder training camp and a suspension yoga class, to name a few. From concerts to conferences, pottery to pasta-making, Uniiverse will make you look at your city in a whole new light (and stay within your student budget, too). The best part? It’s free to download, with no subscription fees and no costs to post an event.
Now you’ll have an answer for the “so, what are we doing tonight?” texts when they start rolling in—and maybe even a couple of options for the naysayers.
The Uniiverse app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and all services are available through www.uniiverse.com.
Are you registered in a CUOL or Evening course and need to see an Advisor? Do you have questions about changing your major, adding a minor or dropping a course but aren’t on campus during the day?
The Student Academic Success Centre is happy to announce extended advising hours during the 2013 fall term for students registered in CUOL or Evening courses only. This option is available in an effort to accommodate those students who are not on campus during our regular office hours and cannot use our drop-in advising service. We will be scheduling appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 5:00 p.m., but space is limited, so please contact us via email to schedule your advising session soon! Please note that after-hours advising may not be available for all requests; we will work with you ensure your academic needs are best met.
The Student Academic Success Centre is located in 302 Tory Building, down the hall from the Registrar’s Office. Please send your appointment request to firstname.lastname@example.org from your cmail account. Be sure to include your full name, student ID and detailed information about your inquiry.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
It was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to Arif Merani on October 14. We were heartbroken to hear about the tragic collision that stole his life.
From all of us at CUOL, our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and classmates of Arif. It is our hope that the Carleton community bands together to support one another in this time of need.