Tufts Seniors – what are you doing next year?

We have a position available for a Program Assistant for the 2011-2012 academic year. The deadline for applications is SOON — April 1st — so you should apply NOW! Here are some of the specs:

This position is a full-time, 9.5 month position with pay and benefits starting in mid-August 2011 and ending by the end of May 2012. This position provides a recent graduate with a unique opportunity to work, in a collaborative fashion, as part of the Ex College staff. He or she will learn — from the inside — about the complex processes of an innovative academic unit.

The person in this job should have an interest in becoming involved in all aspects of the Experimental College. Responsibilities are varied and include:

Ø  Providing support in the day-to-day operations of the department

Ø  Taking a lead role in planning, creation, and implementation of PR/marketing

Ø  Coordinating the semi-annual review of between 80 and 100 teaching proposals

Ø  Overseeing the scheduling of audio-visual and filmmaking equipment and AV-equipped classrooms

Ø  Assisting in the planning and execution of special projects.

Please Note: the Program Assistant is also a member of the Board of the Experimental College which meets most weeks on Tuesday, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

The ideal candidate should have a high energy level and be a “team player.” He or she should also have excellent organizational skills, strong writing ability, marketing/PR experience, solid computer skills, and an ability to relate well to students, faculty, and administrators. Experience in program planning preferred. Familiarity with desktop publishing, graphics, or design software is a plus.

From Medford to Colombia

The following was submitted by Adam Grenier, instructor of EXP-0087-S: Microfinance:

As part of a “Legacy Lending Experiment,” each student was given $25 in the form of a gift card to be used on the kiva.org website courtesy of the Distler Family Endowment.  Students were instructed to browse and read the profiles of microcredit clients/borrowers from around the world.  Each student identified a borrower with whom they felt a connection.  In the past, connections have been made because of the age of the borrower, their gender, how they make a living, where they live or simply because they had a radiant smile in their profile photo.  Eventually, upon complete repayment of the loan to the lending organization, each student will have $25 back in their kiva accounts to lend to another person possibly in a different part of the world.  Hence, a lending legacy is created.Hot Dog Stand

Sidenote that may be of interest:  One of my students, Thomas Didio, chose a young man who runs a hot dog/hamburger cart in Colombia (http://www.kiva.org/lend/281698).  This past week I took a research trip for the class to Colombia and was able to track down the young man for an extensive interview.  We explained the connection between him and my students and showed him pictures of the class.  He was very touched.  We essentially followed the dollars from Tom at Tufts to Rosemberg in Colombia.  It was very cool.  I captured the whole adventure on film.

The Comfort Zone

More quotes from mid-semester evaluations of ExCollege courses…

“When I tell people about what I have learned and how I am applying the class to my life, they are shocked and impressed.”

“For me personally, the assignments (have been most beneficial) because they force me to practice the skills independently and figure things out on my own.”

“The in-class exercises…definitely push me out of my normal comfort zone.”

What College Should Be

It’s break for Tufts undergrads, so it’s pretty quiet here at 95 Talbot. I’m catching up on some work, including reading the mid-semester evaluations that students filled out in their ExCollege courses. Thought I’d share some of the highlights…

“Best (course) since being at Tufts…informative, stimulating, entertaining. Feels like this is what college should be like.”

“I really like this class. I look forward to it almost as much as my weekends. :)”

“I also enjoy the articles we read — they are so compelling and seeing each others’ responses on Blackboard is interesting.”

“The subjects discussed are interesting, relevant, and extremely important to all American citizens. I am thrilled by the in-depth readings, lectures and debates on these subjects.”

Deadline, Schmeadline

Deadline Extended for Explorations and Perspectives Apps

Deadline Extended for Explorations and Perspectives Apps

If you’ve known the ExCollege for a while, you might realize that we never met a deadline we didn’t want to extend in some way. We like pushing the envelope and giving folks every opportunity to take advantage of what we have to offer. So it is in that vein that we are now extending the deadline for teams of rising juniors and seniors to apply to teach an Explorations or Perspectives seminar in Fall 2011. Were you thinking about applying but felt like you needed a little extra time to pull it all together? Did you have a great idea but not enough time to convince a teaching partner to join you? Well here’s your chance. Just get in touch with us (617-627-3384 or excollege@tufts.edu) to let us know you are out there and to talk about how much more time we can give you. Oh and if you want to check out some videos of previous leaders talking about their experiences, go to our YouTube channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/ExCollege.

Flipping Out

Since I don’t have enough disposable income to buy all the newest toys for myself, I’m always excited when I can buy new stuff for the ExCollege. Usually Howard gets to buy the fun filmmaking equipment, but I beat him to it this time. I just ordered 4 Flip MinoHD video cameras to use for our Perspectives program! These cameras, along with those that can be borrowed from Tisch Library now, will help to replace the ancient mini-DV camcorders we’ve been using for training and small-group projects in Perspectives seminars. They’ll save us a lot of hassle over downloading issues and computer compatibility. Not to mention they’re way cooler. And when we’re not using them for Perspectives, they’ll be available as loaners for Joe and Jane Student doing a video for Arabic class or whatnot. Just another reason to love the ExCollege!

Flip MinoHD video camera

Flip MinoHD video camera - coming soon to the ExCollege!

Best. Students. Ever.

We are very lucky here at the ExCollege. We have a cool house with wireless and air-conditioning (okay the air-conditioning doesn’t seem like a big deal right now, but it will), we get to meet interesting lecturers every semester, and students like us (right? you do like us, right?). But one of the best things about the ExCollege is our staff of office assistants, a.k.a. student workers. Dave, Jessie, Keli, Kyle, John, Sarah, and Ben put in hours and hours of work every week to keep us running smoothly. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to offer many of the programs we manage to offer. They do some of the thankless tasks like postering in freezing weather, alphabetizing countless files, processing hundreds of proposals (see previous “Piles” post), and making lots of copies. So this post is a shout-out to our committed student staff. Thanks for all your hard work!

Keli Young processes new course proposals - with a smile!

Keli Young processes new course proposals - with a smile!

Teaching and Learning

Lots going on at the ExCollege right now. One big thing is the upcoming deadline for teams of rising juniors or seniors to teach an Explorations or Perspectives seminar. Apps are due next Wednesday, March 16th. Folks who have taught in the past are gathering Friday to make a video about what the experience was like. Check back here to see it!