608: the BDIC newsletter






spring issue!

The Spring Semester is now in full swing, and we hope that all is going well with your classes, internships, independent studies, and all your current endeavors!


Environmental Lecture Series

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, a Senior Research Scientist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, will be presenting this month's talk for the Environmental Lecture Series, entitled "Climate Change Impacts: Regional, National and Global Scales." Dr. Rozenzweig's lecture will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, March 30, in the Bernie Dallas Room of Goodell. For more information, visit the website at http://www.umass.edu/tei.

Get Published!

The Nexus is an exciting new magazine, dedicated to embracing diversity on campus in hopes to draw parallels between socially separated groups on and off the UMass campus. The magazine is devoted to the diverse experiences, expressions, ideologies, and most importantly identities that make us unique as individuals, yet powerful together in our quest for social change. The Nexus hopes to serve as the platform for students to voice themselves and their experiences with diversity, and begin to start an honest dialogue about the systems of oppression in our society today. For more information on submitting to NEXUS, e-mail TheNexusMag@yahoo.com.

Voices from the Inside

Come to room 135 in Butterfield on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. to hear women prisoners read their writing. Voices from the Inside is a writing workshop program for women prisoners and ex-prisoners to share their experiences with others, and to raise public awareness of prisonÕs effect on society. Refreshments will be served.

Community Service Opportunity

Into Amherst Community Service Day takes place every spring in Amherst with UMass-Amherst students and a variety of Amherst community members. Students can sign up in teams or participate individually. This year the event will be held on the Friday afternoon of April 29th from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.. The day will kick-off with a welcome from the Chancellor & the Town Manager and begin and conclude on the Amherst Common. There will bus transportation to town from locations around campus. With approximately 300 students and community members expected to participate in contributing their energy and enthusiasm to complete needed projects in Amherst and in surrounding communities, the day promises to be a productive one. Projects in Amherst include painting the interior and exterior of buildings, working in conservation areas, improving playgrounds, gardening and other projects organized through 29 local community organizations and Town of Amherst programs. The event represents and on-going and collaborative effort between UMass and the Town of Amherst. Contact the Office of Community ServiceLearning to sign up! 545-2015 or e-mail servelearn@admin.umass.edu.

Koffee Haus and Goood 4 You

The Van Meter Koffee Haus takes place every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Van Meter Basement. BDIC student Jessica Morgan sells her "Blissfully Organic Teas" and "Sustainable Foods" at the Koffee Haus each week. Her organic foods are "packed with love and the healthiest ingredients," so be sure to stop by and check out these delicious goodies! Goood 4 You foods can also be ordered by e-mail: Goood4YouLove@hotmail.com

Tell Your Friends!

If you have friends who want to find out more about our unique major where they can design their own course curriculum, tell them to stop by one of our BDIC information sessions! The sessions will be held in the BDIC office, 608 Goodell, on the following days:

     Tuesday, March 22 & 29:       1-2 p.m.
     Monday, March 21 & 28:        5-6 p.m.
     Monday, April 4, 11, & 25:     5-6 p.m.
          Or just stop by the office and chat with an advisor!

We're looking forward to meeting more future BDIC students!


BDIC Fashion

BDIC T-shirts are still on sale in the office, for just $10! The light blue shirts feature the BDIC logo on the front, with the pink flamingo mascot and slogan ("Stand Out in the Crowd!") on the back. Show your pride by wearing the shirt around campus!

Spring Proposal Class Deadlines

All final drafts of proposals are due in the BDIC office by April 1, with a cover sheet signed by your sponsor, a Curriculum Proposal sheet, an unofficial transcript, and a signed SOM memo, if applicable. Be sure to meet with your peer advisor before then to go over changes to your rough draft.

Deadlines for Graduating Seniors

Senior Summaries and Abstracts are due for seniors graduating in May on April 1. For help with the summary or abstract, or to see examples from past students, feel free to stop by the office. We are here to answer all your questions! Also be sure to schedule an appointment with your BDIC supervisor to make sure that you have met all your requirements for graduation.

Help With Papers!

Writing sessions are held every Monday from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. with Peer Advisor Erinn Ambs in the BDIC office. During this time feel free to come in and ask any questions you might have about your BDIC proposal, Senior Summary, or any other BDIC-related writing.

Graphic Design & Technical Writing Internships

There is a current internship opportunity available for students interested in graphic design or technical writing. For more information, visit http://www.intangibleinc.com and contact BDIC alumnus Stephen Kelly.

We Need Volunteers!

BDIC needs volunteers to help with our graduation party on Sunday May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please contact Linda or Davina at 545-2504 if you're interested.

Dana Sebastian

Dana Sebastian, BDIC's resident jewelry artist has a website that showcases his jewelry. Take a look at http://www.sebastianjewelry.com!

New Peer Advisors

This semester, we welcome new Peer Advisors Michelson Dorime and Kristen Hamill. Kate O'Connell, who works at the front desk, brings us news about the new advisors.

Michelson Dorime

     Michelson Dorime is currently in his final semester at BDIC. Concentrating in Community Health Studies, he plans to pursue a Masters in Public Health at either UC Berkeley, UNC Chapel Hill, or Boston University.
     Michelson attended UMass Dartmouth, for two years, and then decided to make the switch to UMass Amherst. During his third semester at UMass, he studied abroad in Australia at Deakin University, in Burwood. There, he met people from all walks of life, and made friends with a funny English pomy (boy) whom he still keeps in touch with today. Currently, Michelson is an RA in Baker Hall, located in Central. He also enjoys playing intramural sports such as gold, football and basketball.
     Born a Virgo, on the island of Haiti, he speaks three languages, Haitian Creole, French and English, and he has studied Latin extensively. As the oldest of four children, Michelson grew up in Boston. Once he graduates from UMass, he plans to move to California.
     It's always nice to have a fresh face around the office, and we are glad to have Michelson here to assist and advise our new students.

Kristen Hamill

     Kristen is another of BDIC's new peer advisors. Kristen is a sophomore, double-major with BDIC with a concentration in International Relations, and Journalism. She is also a member of Commonwealth College. In the future, Kristen hopes to work for a major news broadcaster, such as CNN, focusing on Middle East issues.
     Kristen's interest in the Middle East is due to the fact that she was born in Saudi Arabia, where she lived for ten years, and moved to Bahrain for another three years. She is currently in the United States, where she lives in North Andover, MA. Kristen plans to become fluent in Arabic, and is currently in her second year of Arabic classes. Also, she plans to spend a semester abroad in Egypt or Morocco at the beginning of her senior year.
     Back at UMass, Kristen plays for the tennis club, which, for part of spring break, will be traveling to San Diego, CA for the club's national tournament. After the tournament, Kristen will make her way to beautiful Mexico and spend the rest of vacation in Rosarito Beach with her teammates.
     In May, after a long semester of hard work, Kristen will be returning to North Andover to work, or hopefully to intern with Amnesty International in Boston. As you can tell, Kristen is a busy girl and we're happy to have her here with us in the BDIC office.


Attention all BDIC students! Have you ever wanted the chance to leave your mark on the BDIC department? Well, here it is! We are looking for a new slogan to be used for future BDIC publications and events, and it will be also featured on the new BDIC t-shirts being designed by Peer Advisor Jon Glass.

The BDIC mascot is the flamingo, and our current slogan is "Stand Out in the Crowd!" Your slogan should similarly reflect the unique individualism characteristic of BDIC. Submissions can be brought to the office or e-mailed to bdicslogan@yahoo.com, and are due 04/01/05. Be sure to include your name, concentration, and a way to contact you so that you can get your prize!

Winners will receive a free BDIC t-shirt with a stylish new design!


by Kate O'Connell

     It's about that time again! In two short months BDIC will be holding the annual Spring Projects Fair. This year, the Fair will be held in the afternoon on Wednesday, May 4 in the Student Union Ballroom. We are expecting a great turnout, and wonderful presentations as in previous years.

     The Spring Projects Fair is where the BDIC junior year writing students present their final projects regarding their concentration. These final presentations are divided into two parts. The first takes place in the classroom, where the students present to their classmates and instructor, Andrea Bergstrom. This part is more closely connected to the writing aspects in each given field and demonstrates many of the technical skills learned throughout the course of the semester. The second is the presentation at the Fair in front of peers, BDIC sponsors, support faculty and Alumni. This aspect is considered to be an expression of each student's given concentration. The final project and Fair are considered graded projects, however, the Fair is generally considered to be the showcase of the student's concentration in a more creative atmosphere while on display to the public.

     Every year, students come into this project with great anticipation and we hope that this year continues in that tradition. One thing that has changed, however, is the format of the Fair. This year the Fair will be held in the Student Union Ballroom where each student will be given an opportunity to present, independently, to the all in attendance. This year we are hoping to have record numbers of sponsors and Alumni in attendance. This is a wonderful opportunity for students not only to display their concentration, but to also meet with Alumni that may have traveled similar paths.

     Following the presentations, short question/answer sessions allow the student to informally talk about their project while at the same time, receiving positive feedback from the viewers. The presentations also allow students to see and other students' work and, in some cases, form partnerships. In the past, presentations during the Spring Projects Fair have lead students to internships and even job placements with choice alumni, sponsors and other audience members.

     The Spring Projects Fair is one of the favorite events for everyone at the BDIC office and we hope that you all can join us for what promises to be wonderful event for everyone involved.

Be a Part of It!

Do you have a project you'd like to display at the Spring Projects and Alumni Fair on May 4? Everyone in BDIC is invited to show off their talents at this large and festive event. The possibilities are endless! Some examples of previous displays are: films, art shows, computer graphic demonstrations, and overviews of various areas of academic research.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Linda Roney at 545-2504, or e-mail her at lroney@cas.umass.edu.


by Peer Advisor Michelson Dorime

Selecting a Major
Students planning to enter a medical, dental, optometry, podiatry, osteopathy, or chiropractic school after receiving a B.S. or B.A. degree should select a major department in the field of their greatest interest and ability. Many students choose a major in the sciences; however, a major in the humanities, arts, or other field is perfectly acceptable. The minimum requirements for most health professional schools can be scheduled with little difficulty in virtually any major. Students are encouraged to consider spending one or two semesters studying abroad. Study abroad offers a valuable opportunity to enrich and gain perspective on preparation for medical school.

The Pre-Medical Advisers
W. Brian O'Connor and Karen F. O'Connor consult with all students interested in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, chiropractic and other allied health fields. All interested students, regardless of academic major, who are completing their third semester at the University, and all transfers, special students, continuing education, second bachelor's degree, and graduate students, should register at the premed office. This allows the student to take advantage of advice and counseling from the advisers. Letters of recommendation for medical, dental, or other professional schools are written by the Pre-Medical advisers. They assess the student's academic performance at this University and when appropriate, relative to the academic performance of other students applying. A library of dental, medical, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, and chiropractic school catalogs and other pertinent materials are maintained in the Pre-Med Office.

Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental
N330 Morrill Science Center
Contact: W. Brian O'Connor
Karen F. O'Connor
Office: Shade Tree Lab
Phone: 545-3674

Minimum preparation
For the pre-professional student must include one year of inorganic chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, two semesters of biology, one year of college mathematics and one year of physics. These courses are usually satisfied in two years. Certain additional courses in biology, chemistry, or mathematics may be required or recommended by some dental or medical schools.

How does Pre-med or Pre-Dental relate to BDIC?
¥     Pre-Med or Pre-Dental is not a major. Not here or anywhere else in the country is it a recognized primary undergraduate concentration or course of study. Rather, it is a track intended to show medical schools that you have been prepared for and have the capacity to successfully matriculate into a medical school curriculum. With that said, if you are a BDIC major and also doing the Pre-Med or Pre-Dental Track, then you are not doing a double major. This university and medical schools recognizes you to be doing only one major.
¥     It is often thought that being a BDIC major may be a disadvantage when applying to medical schools, especially those that are conservative, because BDIC allows students to follow a non-traditional academic path. More often than not, that is completely false. Instead, medical schools appreciate students who take initiative to craft a major that is either not offered at their university or fusing disciplines which offer new perspectives in a field of study.
¥     Realistically, the only sure way to get into medical school is to have a 4.0 GPA and ace the MCATs. Since that does not happen very often, students are advised based on admission figures in the past 10 years or so. These figures include, but certainly are not limited to, a minimum of 3.6 GPA, scoring in the 85th percentile on the MCAT, and having a fair amount of experience in the health, community, and research area. These figures do not, by any stretch of the imagination, guarantee admission into medical school. Rather, it increases the chances of admission to 85%-90%.

Remember, the BDIC office is open every weekday from 9-5. Stop by anytime with questions about pre-registration, courses, summer plans, or any other concerns you might have! Good luck on all your midterms, and enjoy your spring break!

Enjoy Spring Break!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Additions? Contact paden@student.umass.edu.