Friday, October 26, 2012

Kiss of Death for Graduate School

Last night the Psychology Club and Psi Chi (International Honor Society for Psychology) co-sponsored a workshop on Graduate School - Chris Clary, Director of Career Services laid out the process students must go through in their application process for graduate school and provided everyone with very helpful resources for this oftentimes grueling process.  Then Dr. Boynton presented his now infamous KISS OF DEATH powerpoint on what to do and what NOT to do in your graduate application process - this is a powerpoint a colleague of his lets him share each year and while some of the slides seem ridiculous, they ARE actual application errors - things that hopeful psychology students HAVE submitted to schools.  [a hint - don't have your Mother submit a reference for you to ANY graduate school] The third presentor was Jason Fuchs - Jason is a recent SMC graduate and is now a doctoral candidate in Experimental Psychology at the University of Vermont.  Jason provided insights about the current "reality" of graduate school.  He explained the differences between grants, departmental stipends, teaching assistantships, etc. and provided a great deal of current information that students clearly (from their questions) found helpful.  It was a very worthwhile workshop and we appreciate all three of the presentors for taking their time to help our students better understand the whole process of GRADUATE SCHOOL applications. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Special Olympics' Presentation today

This afternoon, my Sports Psychology class did a presentation on the Special Olympics.  Bernadette Beary, Leanna Hammond, Caitlin Dugan and Eric Jaukkuri invited Chris Bernier '04 to be part of the presentation.  Chris is the Director of Development and Marketing for the Vermont Special Olympics and has been a "guest speaker" on a number of occasions.  It is always great to have one of my former students return as a GUEST to any of my classes.  The students had done a great job of preparing their presentation in advance and had sent Chris a copy of their PowerPoint on Sunday - he was quite impressed and approved.  Their presentation was an education for all of the students in class.  Bernadette is a member of the SMC Best Buddies program and spoke of her involvement with this program.  As usual, proud of my students, their preparation and how well they did.  Thanks again to Chris for returning to give back to SMC -

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Slack Line and Sports Psychology

Students doing their Sports Psychology classroom presentation on EXTREME SPORTS decided to involve their classmates in a little exercise outside of St. Ed's yesterday afternoon at the beginning of class.  We have been discussing the psychological reasons why some people are so willing to put themselves (and in some cases their lives) at risk by participating in activities that others would NEVER attempt.  The five students who set this all up obtained a SLACK LINE from a friend and strung this line up between two trees outside in hopes that they could get some of their classmates to "attempt" to walk this slack line.  Some did but most didn't which then led to a GREAT conversation in class.  Some who didn't are athletes who knew that if they injured themselves, their coaches would "kill them" as they put it.  Others just simply said they were scared.  It was a great discussion because some of the students are clearly fascinated by extreme sports.  They then led a discussion about why WE seem so fascinated with watching extreme sports - is it adrenaline, a death wish, a life wish that pushes people?  They showed a video of a young female surfer who lost her arm to a shark at age 16 but returned to surfing three weeks later and another video of Aron Ralston, the young man who had to literally saw his own arm off to escape from a climbing accident.  I was very proud of the students as they challenged themselves and each other to present a great class.  We will continue that discussion tomorrow when we look at why Red Bull sponsors so many of these extreme sports and ask the question:  how far is too far??????

Friday, October 5, 2012

Resources on campus + some foliage

Yesterday afternoon for my Sports Psychology class, I had students show up at the Hall of Fame Room in the Tarrant Recreational Center as I had asked three folks from the Athletic Department to speak with my students about their positions at the College.  Ann Dwyer is shown here talking about her responsibilities as Facilities Director and the Supervisor of almost 60 workstudy students.  She has to work with each individual student and prides herself in getting to know each of them personally.  She expressed how proud of them she is as they have not let her down once and either show up for work assignments, contact her directly, or make sure someone else can take their shift.  She made the connections with Psychology as she has to understand student needs, the MANY different personalities and has to take into account that each student is a unique person.  She later gave us a tour of the new Varsity Team Weight Room that just opened in September.  She also has to work closely with all of the coaches of our 21 varsity teams in order to make things run smoothly in a complex that is used constantly.  Josh Kessler is our Director of Athletic Communications and Harrison Antonioni is an intern in his office.  Both of these folks were in my Sports Psychology class in the past so could relate what they do (produce press releases for ALL student-athletes' hometown newspapers, publicize results of our athletic contests and put that information up on all of the social media students use, deal with local media to announce our schedules and successes) to the field of Psychology.  I asked my students to share THEIR reactions to seeing or hearing about their athletic achievements in their hometown newspapers.  A couple of the students shared that it was really nice to hear from folks at home who had read about them and what they were doing up here in Vermont at SMC.  It was also nice to give both Josh and Harrison some good feedback. 

 You can see my shadow as I took this picture this past week as I got ready to head onto the Indian Brook Reservoir and another quiet and peaceful kayaking adventure.  The leaves are just beginning to turn and it looks like foliage will be excellent.  Kayaking is such a great way to not only exercise, but also relax.  I am fortunate to live in a place where I actually get to do this a LOT.  Last year I kayaked into the second week of December and, yes, there was snow on the ground but the Reservoir had not frozen yet and I just added another layer and stayed warm.

Meetings today - the Athletic Advisory Council meets this afternoon and I always look forward to working with that group.  As Chair, I get to talk with everyone as we plan the meetings and we really value the input we get from the two other faculty members, the three students and a good variety of administrators on the Council.  I will be announcing this afternoon that Saint Michael's College now has a chapter of the National Honor Society for Student-Athletes - Chi Alpha Sigma.  We are only the second college/university in the State of Vermont so will be known as the Beta Chapter.  Student-athletes must have attained a 3.7 overall grade point average, have completed two years of varsity competition and be nominated by their coaches.  This is another way to recognize the ACADEMIC achievement of our student-athletes who make us proud of their achievements both in the classroom and on the playing field.  But don't tell anyone yet as I won't announce this until this afternoon :)

As always, take care, be well and please keep all of the members of our military and our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SMC's Student Association is the BEST.

Last night before our SA weekly meeting began, I spoke with Lauren Barone, Secretary of Communications and Michael Fay, President of the SA and asked if they would share a video with the SA during the meeting.  October is Anti-Bullying Month and I had seen an amazing video from Facebook that I thought everyone should see.  Eric Jaukkuri is the Co-Secretary of Programming and he and I have spoken about presenting workshops and/or informational sessions for the campus around the topic of bullying during October.   Eric was bullied as a kid and he knows that this is an issue that I feel passionate about.  The three Officers of the SA immediately agreed and so during the beginning of last night's meeting, Eric showed the video of a television anchor woman who had received an email which made rude and disparaging comments about her weight - HER response is amazing and as our students watched this last night I was so proud of what OUR students do to address a wide variety of issues which confront young people today.  The SA challenges, encourages, educates and provides a space for great discussion and dialogue on so many topics and, in my opinion (not that I am biased after 30 years of working with this Student Association) they are THE BEST....  I suspect that none of you reading this will take the time to actually input the URL listed below but I don't know how to input it so all you have to do is to click on the URL - but I do hope that if you see it on YouTube or on Facebook or on Twitter, that you will copy it and spread the words that this amazing woman used in her response to a thoughtless and cruel viewer.

Classes are excellent, students are working hard and seemingly enjoying the challenges I throw their way on what seems to them, like a daily basis - THAT makes me very happy....

Take care, be well, and please, as always, keep all of the members of our military and our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.