Greetings from David Kastor - New BDIC Junior Year Writing Instructor - Civ-X Faculty Supervisor - New BDIC Offices Pre-registration - New BDIC Courses for Spring - Tips on Class Enrollment - BDIC Travel and Research Grants - New BDIC Peer Advisors - Student Advisory Board - Haiku Contest
Greetings from David Kastor
Greetings BDIC students!
I recently started up as Interim Director of BDIC, taking over from Prof. Dan Gordon who is now on a well-deserved research sabbatical. As some of you know, I've already worked with the Program for a number of years as Faculty Supervisor for students with science and sustainability oriented concentrations. I am a physicist, by the way, with interests ranging from my research on fundamental aspects of gravity and the theory of black holes to teaching on energy and climate issues.
I am excited about taking on this new, larger role with BDIC. As you are no doubt aware, the staff in the BDIC office are fantastic, and we have begun work on a number of projects - hammering out what the options will be for BDIC majors to satisfy the new Integrative Experience gen. ed. requirement; a new design for the BDIC website (we'll be polling students for ideas); formalizing the application process research/travel/internship funds; and consulting on plans for events with the Student Advisory Board.
I would also love to hear your views of the program. What do you think are its strengths? What areas could use improvement? Please say hello when you see me around the office, or sign up at the desk to make an appointment to talk.
Connolly Ryan, New BDIC Junior Year Writing Instructor
Connolly Ryan was born in Greenwich Village, New York in 1967. He received both a BA in English and an MFA in Poetry from UMass, Amherst. Between degrees he traveled in Ireland and Oregon. A quote by G.K. Chesterton which applies to Connolly's own life and philosophy: "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." He is currently a resident of Florence, Mass. and a professor of literature here at University of Massachusetts where he was thrice a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award. His visceral and witty poetry has been published in various journals including Scythe, Silkworm, Harvard Review, Slope, Meat For Tea, Pannax Index, and Old Crow. He is also a multiple Pushcart nominee. He has two finished Manuscripts: Fort Polio, and The Uncle Becky Chronicles. He is excited and inspired to be teaching writing to such a diverse gaggle of spirited perspectives.
Gloria DiFulvio, Civ-X Faculty Supervisor
Gloria is BDIC's newest faculty supervisor, taking over for John Reiff. Her area of specialty is Civ-X and Civic Engagement. Gloria is, in addition to her position at BDIC, an assistant research professor in Public Health and an instructor at Commonwealth Honors College. She also works with University Without Walls Health and Human Service Program to help develop Public Health classes. Gloria earned her doctorate in Public Health at UMass Amherst. Her current research involves the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, as well as issues of violence. She is also interested in the occurrence of mental health issues among young adults.
New BDIC Offices
As most of you already know, BDIC moved into a new main office last spring in 607 Goodell-just next door to the old office. We were asked to move because the previous office was chosen as the ideal site for a new state of the art team-based learning classroom. Already, classes are meeting there, bringing a buzz of activity to the 6th floor hallway.
What you may not know is that BDIC was also given an interior room in 604 Goodell (across the hall) and 602 Goodell which is a little ways down the hall. 602 will be BDIC's "state of the art" classroom and meeting room. Currently, it is being remodeled to meet our utmost expectations.
We hope you'll peak your head in the new areas when you're visiting the 6th floor of Goodell!
Registration for spring semester will begin on November 14 with seniors being ramped onto Spire first. The schedule of courses will be available on Spire a few days beforehand.
Registration is a good time to meet with your faculty supervisor and/or Linda and go over class selections, progress in the major and any concerns you might have. You can schedule an appointment by calling the BDIC office at 413-545-2504.
Students with advising holds must meet with Linda to have the holds removed. The holds were placed on anyone with a GPA below 2.5.
During registration you can also add a request for an ISOM class to the "wish list" or sign up for BDIC junior year writing (we have to add you manually to the class).
Anyone graduating in February? Don't forget that your senior summary is due on November 15. If you have any questions about the format of the summary don't hesitate to speak with Linda.
New BDIC Courses for Spring
Consider the following BDIC courses for Spring: BDIC 397A Introduction to Entrepreneurship (1 cr); BDIC 397B Leadership and Networking (2 cr); BDIC 397C Integration and Innovation (3 cr).
In addition, there are many interesting BDIC classes offered online through Continuing Education this spring.
Check the course descriptions on Spire and see if you can find the perfect class.
Tips on Class Enrollment
Friends, we are once again approaching that tricky time of the semester: class enrollment. This period is already challenging and stressful for students regardless of major; classes fill up, interfere with one another, or have restrictions that prevent registration. Crafting the perfect schedule that allows for the right combination of classes is hard enough for students in traditional programs where departments have formal tracks to follow. It's exponentially harder for us BDIC students—navigating the open seas of UMass academia, fending for ourselves. Not only do we have to cope with the standard tribulations of class enrollment, we also must finagle our way into classes that might otherwise be open to a small assortment of students
To help you through this process, we, your ever-benevolent peer advisors, have some advice:
School of Management Wish List
Be sure to sign up for your SOM classes through the wish list, located in the BDIC office. This is the most reliable way to enroll in ISOM classes as a BDIC student.
This is especially successful when you speak to professors a semester prior to that in which the course is offered, not during add/drop when professors get hundreds of emails from worried students about overrides, requirements, and the anxiety associated with that period of the semester. Many BDIC students note that meeting personally with professors to discuss their concentrations is often effective.
Though you may not be able to enroll before the semester begins, going to the first class can show that you are very interested in enrolling in the professor's class. Frequently, students drop classes during the first few weeks, freeing up slots for enduring BDICers.
As most will attest, professors don't enjoy being badgered by students. Professors aren't technically obligated to let you into their class just because you included it in your curriculum proposal. If, when you approach a professor, you express your genuine interest in the course content, you will likely have a better chance of convincing a professor to add you to their class.
Sometimes, getting into the exact class you would like is extremely difficult. For those situations, here are some more tips:
Overall, despite any initial difficulties which they might have encountered, BDIC students have been quite successful in enrolling in their choice of courses. We have found this to be true even in those departments which are in very high demand and/or restricted. Hopefully these tips will serve you well. Good luck with class enrollment!
-Your Peer Advisors
BDIC Travel and Research Grants
Are you planning to go abroad or work on a research project or internship during spring semester? Do you need funding help?
BDIC alumni generously support the BDIC scholarship fund. You can pick up a scholarship application in the BDIC office.
Erica Rothschild is an example of a student who was given funding over the summer of 2011 to intern in India. Erica helped develop academic and life skills of Buddhist nuns at the Jamyang Foundation in the Himalayas. In turn, the women in the Foundation serve as community leaders to improve the quality of life around them.
New BDIC Peer Advisors
Melanie is a senior and in her fourth semester of BDIC. Her concentration is Global Relations and Advocacy, which combines courses from the Political Science, History, Interpreter's Studies, and Marketing departments with the goal of creating a solid foundation in International Relations with outreach and communications skills. Melanie recently received a fellowship from the Institute for International Public Policy, and she spent the past academic year studying abroad in Paris, France. She's happy to be back at BDIC and start work as a Peer Advisor!
Ari is a junior pursuing a concentration in Marine Studies, Conservation, and Tourism Management. Her passion began young, growing up near the water in Barnstable, Massachusetts. She always wanted to pursue a career in the marine sciences field, but also found interest in promoting conservation through tourism. Ari is taking classes in the biology, geological science, natural resource conservation, hospitality, and management departments. These will prepare her for a career in ecotourism. She is studying earth systems, climate, resources and animal conservation, and marine-related classes so that she will successfully be able to predict, monitor, and conserve our marine resources. She is also learning the fundamentals of how to run a business, plan events, and manage tourism activities in hopes that one day she will provide hotel excursions promoting conservation in marine ecosystems. Another main passion of hers is marine mammals. Through her major, she hopes to prepare herself to do research in marine mammal conservation, specifically. A summer internship in the Marine Mammal Department of the New England Aquarium has solidified her desire to continue with this pursuit
Guillaume Pagnier is currently a BDIC student whose concentration is called Environmental Plasticity. This concentration examines exactly how the human brain can change at a neuro-chemical level due to the environment or other external factors. Guillaume first became interested in this during his high school career where a unit about epigenetics sparked his interest. Coupling with his desire to become a physician, this concentration will allow him to take specific undergraduate classes that will provide a strong basis for a thesis project and possibly lead to a neurosurgical or psychiatric career. During his time at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Guillaume has taken classes in the psychology, kinesiology, biology, sociology, and chemistry departments in order to give him a better understanding of how the brain works and changes in relation to the environment.
Stephanie is a junior with a BDIC concentration in Social Entrepreneurship. She is taking classes in the Marketing, Communications, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and Resource Economics Departments. Stephanie's major focuses on socially responsible business practices as well as applying business principles to the management and operation of non-profit organizations. She aims to work for a social enterprise or non-profit organization in communications, marketing and development. This summer, Stephanie won the David Roth Scholarship and with it she was able to accept an internship at Rosie's Place, a large non-profit in Boston that works with poor and homeless women in the area. There, she worked in the Development and Communications Department where she was involved in event planning, donor relationships, grant writing, public relations campaigns, and community outreach. On campus, Stephanie is a supervisor for the Boltwood Project, a student-run community outreach program that volunteers with people with mental and physical disabilities in the Amherst area.
Student Advisory Board
Ever have new innovative ideas to improve BDIC and no one to share them with? Come to the BDIC Student Advisory Board. SAD meets every Friday at 11:30am in Goodell 607. As a team we work hard to implement student ideas about BDIC. SAD is open to all and any BDIC students. Hope to see you there!
The Advisory Board is excited to announce that the First Annual BDIC Winter Dinner will be taking place Wednesday, December 7th! This dinner is for the recognition of our sponsors and all the hard work they have done for us. This is also a great way to network with fellow BDIC students as well as professors. You could even find a potential sponsor! Come to the Marriott Room on the 11th floor of the Campus Center at 6pm for cocktail hour. A full, five-course meal will be served at 6:30pm. Best of all, it's FREE! Just make sure to RSVP by November 1st and remember to dress in a business casual style. This is going to be a fun night, so don't miss out! If you have any questions, just call the BDIC office at 413-545-2504.
BDIC is looking for a Haiku poem that best describes the BDIC spirit. The poem will be used in promotional materials for the BDIC major. If your poem wins you will be awarded a BDIC t-shirt and recognition in BDIC publications. Please submit your poem to Linda Roney at email@example.com by December 1.
A Haiku Poem consists of 17 sound units divided into three parts: One with five units, one with seven units, and another with five units.