Message from the Vice-President Academic

What a glorious time of year this is! The temperatures are rising, the snow is melting, and we are in the last month of classes for this term. You can feel and smell Spring arriving! Birds are chirping in the bushes and trees and spring bulbs will soon be popping their heads out of the ground.

Even more encouraging is the rapid progression of vaccine deliveries and the hope that brings for an in-person fall term.

Reminder: Need to Wear Masks all the Time When on Campus

A reminder that when you are on campus, whether in class or using study spaces between classes, you still need to keep your mask on. We have confirmed this directly with AHS. Since COVID is transmissible by airborne droplets, the best ways to reduce transmission are wearing masks and sanitizing hands regularly. To keep yourself and others safe, please continue to wear masks in all public spaces including everywhere on campus.

Student Town Hall April 6 – Fall COVID plans and new Student Legislative Council

At the request of the current SLC, we have moved the next student Town Hall to Tuesday April 6th. This will allow you to meet the new SLC for next year, after the election results have been counted. It also will provide a forum to discuss fall plans for campus. With the recent rapid delivery of COVID vaccines, St. Mary’s University is staying in close contact with the province and Alberta Health Services to determine what class delivery will look like in the fall.

Please join us at the Town Hall to give us feedback on how the term has been for you and your hopes for the fall.

Nana Duty – Late Friday message

Speaking of new beginnings, my Friday message is late this week for the best of all reasons – a new granddaughter! I was busy last week supporting my daughter, a student in the St. Mary’s Liberal Studies program – and her brand new baby, born March 11. Here is the next generation StMU student.

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT! – What our Donors are Doing For You

We are nearing a significant milestone in our goal to raise $150,000 for St. Mary’s University Students through our President’s Dinner UnGala Fundraising Campaign! To date we have raised a total of $57,296.00 that will go towards awards and bursaries for our students at a time when they need our support the most.

Inspired by your generosity and support for the campaign so far, we are excited to announce that we have received our second generous matching donation. Following the example set by Wes and Pat Campbell, Tom and Debra Mauro and the Valentine Family has pledged to match your gifts!

Now, more than ever before, support for the scholarship and bursary program is incredibly important. Wes and Pat Campbell, Tom and Debra Mauro and the Valentine Family have generously made funds available to match EVERY gift to the UnGala Fundraiser up to $55,000, which means your gift today will be matched dollar for dollar! Thanks to these matching funds, we have the opportunity to have an even bigger impact for St. Mary’s students.

Your gift will have twice the impact and allow our students to continue to discover their passion and define their success at St. Mary’s University.

Finish Your Semester Strong – 12 Tips

Make a Schedule

Create a study schedule, whether written in your planner or on your phone, and try your best to stick to it in order to stay focused and prevent procrastination. Ensure that your schedule is balanced to leave time for yourself to relax.

Here’s what your schedule might look like:

You could plan to study for class A for a few hours on Monday and Wednesday, and then study for class B Tuesday and Thursday for a few hours as well. You can reserve Friday as a day to schedule group study sessions or office hours with a professor.

While creating your schedule during your reading period, keep in mind that it’s realistic that you’ll study for each class for about an hour to an hour and a half each day.

Review Due Dates

It’s time to double-check your syllabus! Check all the latest due dates, announcements or the class discussion board to ensure that you’re updated.

Write these deadlines in your schedule so you’re reminded of what you have to do.

Know where you Stand

Check in with your professors to ensure that you’re on top of all your assignments and that you know where you stand academically. Knowing your current markings will help you know what you need to focus on for the rest of the semester.

Ask for Help

Visit your professors’ office hours or another academic advisor on campus if you need advice on how to finish the semester successfully.

Click here if you need some guidance on how to approach a professor for help.

Work with a Study Group

If you find that you’re struggling to focus and get work done on your own, seek out other students from your classes as motivation. You can all collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.

Be sure to work with people who will not be a distraction!

Use Positive Reinforcements

For extra motivation, reward yourself after finishing big tasks. Maybe that means going out for a meal with friends or shopping around your college town!

Giving yourself something to look forward to can help you stay focused, boost productivity and motivate you to complete your work on time.

Review What you Want to Study

Figuring out exactly what you want to study before a study session will help you be more productive and focused.

Make a to-do list of what you want to review so you don’t waste time. Make your to-do items concrete. For example, instead of saying you’ll study for class, plan to study a specific chapter of your textbook.

Prioritize your Work

Many students fall into a mid-semester slump because they are burned out from multi-tasking with all their schoolwork and other commitments. When you’re in this state, try to complete deadlines one at a time so you can really focus and finish each task to the best of your ability.

Again, try to create a to-do list or a schedule to help you organize.

How Can the Library You?

Visit your Reference Librarian
If you have a big research paper coming up, seek out your reference librarian. Many librarians specialized in certain disciplines—so that you can receive personalized guidance.

Reference librarians can also help guide and narrow down your research. Some students tend to consider themselves “digital natives,” but they often lost in the digital platforms, such as Jstor, PubMed or Academic Search Complete. It’s therefore important to visit your librarian to have them help you break material down.

If you’re struggling to think of a topic for a final paper or project, a reference librarian can help strike ideas and gather your thoughts.

Click here for advice on how to approach your Reference Librarian.

Find your Study Space

It’s typically harder to focus on the first floor of the library because it’s often loud and distracting. Usually the top floors of the library are quieter and more productive for studying because there are not as many disturbances.

Look for an open study room. Study rooms are great for group study sessions because you can all talk aloud without distracting others.

Refine your Research with Databases

Most college libraries have an InterLibrary Loan or a LibrarySearch+, which provides you with wide access to various journals and databases.

These sources are helpful to use for a final paper or another assignment because they will help broaden your research by including more perspectives on your topic.

Make an Appointment with a Student Tutor

Most college libraries have student academic resource centers to help with writing and studying. Schedule an appointment with a student tutor if you need someone to review a paper or if you are seeking study tips.

Written by Daniella Pascucci on Nov 25, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Links to StMU Resources:

Peer Mentors

Carry on!
Until next week,
Tara Hyland-Russell
Vice-President Academic