Camille Dings

cdings@bryant.edu

Hello! My name is Camille Dings, and I am a current senior from Harwich, Massachusetts studying Communications and Management here at Bryant University. Although I consider myself a true Bryant student at heart, my educational journey did not start here. After high school, I attended a community college for two years, and after receiving my associate’s degree, I transferred here to Bryant. I feel as though this dual-perspective has blessed me with a well-rounded perception as to what college can, has and will be. It is with this perspective that I wish to enlighten future and current students, and I hope to offer my unique outlook through my blog posts. I encourage your thoughts, viewpoints, questions and feedback and hope my posts inspire you on your own educational journey. Send me an email at cdings@bryant.edu and tell me what’s on your mind!


Advice for the Class of 2018

September 16th, 2014

As I reflect on my time here at Bryant University, and to my prior years of education, I feel as though my wisdom and knowledge may help those just starting on their educational path to form a well-rounded experience.

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Here are some helpful tips to ensure a successful foundation as a college student.

Get acquainted with your classmates

Some may feel embarrassed or shy to introduce themselves to their classmates… but the awkwardness will fade and these strategic associates will prove beneficial when studying for exams and getting notes if you missed a class. Maybe you will even become good friends, who knows?

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You can do anything, not everything

Within the first weeks of your freshman year, clubs, organizations, teams, sororities, fraternities and all sorts of extracurricular will be reaching out to you to get involved, and that's great! I urge you to do so - it is a great way to get involved and meet great people. However, when committing to an extracurricular you must play your cards right and only get involved with things you truly feel as though you have time for. It is not fair to you, or the organization if you spread yourself too thin, so really be aware of your schedule and yourself when committing your time to others.

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Study. Plain and simple.

Even if you think you know material, it never hurts, and always helps to re-look it over. Staying on track syllabus wise with readings and assignments ensures your best chance of getting and A in the course. A little extra effort goes a long way and it always pays off in the end.

Its never too early to start!

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Beware the freshman (15+)… it's a real thing.

The horrors your friends and family have been telling you regarding first-year weight gain is no myth. Some students find comfort in food and use it as a way to cope with their new stressful environment. If you find yourself stressed, enjoy a nice walk around our beautiful campus or take a few minutes to yourself.

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Dorothy was right, "there is no place like home!"

Lots of times your freshman year, you may get caught up in the "oohs and aahs" of your new life - sometimes forgetting your loving family back home. You mustn't forget that most often your family is your biggest support system (emotionally, and often times financially) who want to know how and what you're doing. It takes little time and effort to shoot mom and dad a quick phone call every once and a while to let them know you are okay, and that you love them. (Staying on their good side is always a bonus!) You never know, by the time Columbus Day rolls around you may be yearning to sleep in your own bed and eat a home-cooked meal.

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My number one tip? Get the bang for your buck. You or your parents are paying a lot of money for this education. Make sure that you get everything out of your time at Bryant to ensure a successful future in the years to follow. Go to class, be prepared, get involved and make memories to last a lifetime.

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Best of luck in all of your Bryant endeavors.

Until next time,

Camille

A year of Transition and Reflection

May 9th, 2014

Transferring to a new school is undoubtedly a journey. A journey which proves to be at times, a challenge, but that challenge is nothing but a thrill and an incredibly fulfilling experience. Through times of nerves, anticipation and joy I have experienced a transformation which has lead me to one of the most brilliant opportunities of my life -Bryant University. Although I sometimes wish that I would have taken the conventional path, my experience through the transfer process has granted me troves of wisdom and enlightenment, and most of all gratitude and appreciation. The transfer population knows all too well to appreciate our new educational environment, for we are all aware of the reason why we have come to part with our previous situations.  Though my time here at Bryant may be shorter than that of my new peers, I do not love it, nor appreciate it any less. This year has been like a dream that I have wished for all too many times in the years preceding my transition.

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To any student thinking about transitioning as a transfer… a word of advice: Do not let the nerves, nor the stigmas get in the way of your goals. Second chances are rarely given and life and this is your opportunity to learn and grow.

Although on my transcript I may be a transfer student, but at heart, I am a full-fledged Bryant student.

For any student wishing to further discuss my transition, or advice applicable to your own decisions and transitions, please feel free to contact me at cdings@bryant.edu.

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Best of wishes, and happiest of thoughts,

Camille

Questions with Camille. Take 2.

May 9th, 2014

  Recently I had the pleasant surprise to find an inquiring transfer had emailed me with additional questions and concerns about the transfer experience. I thought I would share those questions and responses to all of my readers in case you too have similar questions.

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 -Did you transfer from community college or another college? Yes! After facing financial difficulties my senior year of high school I decided to attend Cape Cod Community college where I received my Associates in Arts. After two years I transferred here to Bryant University.

     -If you transferred from another college, is it hard to transfer the credits? Because I know that some credits from one school don't work for others. This is a very common concern for many students wishing to transfer. I can assure you that our Transfer Admissions team works incredibly hard to ensure that your credits will apply towards your Bryant degree. All of the credits that I had worked very hard for at my previous institution indeed transferred here to Bryant but it all depends on the course and where you attended.

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 http://www.bryant.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/applying-to-bryant/transfer-applicants.htm

     -Does Bryant provide scholarships for transfer students, especially international students like me? And how much are they usually? Merit scholarships are available for outstanding transfer students for the fall and spring semesters and range from $9,000 to $20,000. Scholarships are based on the application for admission and are renewable.

     -Are there any other difficulties that you encounter during the process of transferring to Bryant? One of the reasons I decided on Bryant is because of the kind and efficient attention I was given during the admission process. Compared to other schools, the attention & care I received from admissions staff was second to none. They understand that transferring is much different than conventional first year experiences and they really work with you to ensure you receive a seamless transition into the community.

     -Any other advice? If your current school offers transfer counseling I recommend that you meet with a counselor before planning your transition. They will advise you on what courses to take and will help you with your applications. It is never too early to start planning your transfer! Also, if you have not yet had the chance, I recommend that you visit Bryant! During my campus visit I found myself making my final decision to attend. Online research and student testimonials are great, but the Bryant community speaks for itself!

Please Please Please if anyone has any other questions I would be thrilled to answer them. Even though school may be adjuournig for the summer months I will be sure to check my Bryant email (cdings@bryant.edu) in hopes of speaking with all students interested in Bryant University,

...and thank you so much for reading my blog,

As always

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Camille

Home away from Home

April 10th, 2014

In most situations college is the first time in a young person's life living away from home.  Without the comfort of mom and dad, this experience may present many excitements, challenges and worries in a young person's mind. How do I do laundry? Who's going to wake me up for class? How do I fold a fitted sheet? Although some of these questions take time and experience to figure out, one thing is for sure—you want to be comfortable in your space. Considering your new home is probably much smaller square footage than your previous abode,  it is vital to create an area that not only reflects your personality, but a space where you feel comfortable and proud of.

A great way to make a space more appealing is to stick to a color theme by incorporating colors and patterns that appeal to you the most. Although here at Bryant we cannot paint our walls, we can hang, tack, nail and scatter crafty, personal touches to our little hearts content. The use of photos of friends and family and vinyl decals are also very popular decorative hints that plaster the walls of our students.

"I think it is important to have a space that reflects your lifestyle," says student, Morgan Hunt. "I feel much happier surrounded by aspects of my life that may be far from here."

Maybe you won't figure out how to iron your pink Oxford shirt like Mom does your first day and maybe you'll wash your whites in cold water. Living on your own is a learning process... but you will figure it out.

At the end of the day, whether posters of Tom Brady or life-sized, stuffed animals give you that "ahhh I'm home" feeling all the power to you! Whatever it takes to bring a bit of comfort to your home away from home.

 Wishing you the utmost of comfort in all of your days,

Camille

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“From this land blossom knowledge and opportunity”

April 3rd, 2014

Sometimes in order to understand the direction of the future, it is essential to understand the history.

As some of you may or may not know, Bryant University was incorporated in 1863. Our original campus was actually located in Providence, Rhode Island where Brown University currently presides. Earl Tupper, the creator of Tupperware, donated the 428 acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island where we have been situated since 1971.

Fast forward 43 years later to the year of 2014 and here we are… carrying on our everyday Bryant activities as if it was all the world has ever known Bryant to be.

Recently I gave an hour and 15-minute tour to about 13 individuals from around the Unites States. As I naively rambled on facts of our past and discussed the history of Bryant University… I come to find out there was a very special person listening in—someone who was actually there.

After the tour had concluded an elderly man approached me from the rear of the group to thank me for showing him and his daughter around..."It is the first time I have seen the new campus," he said.

I unknowingly had the great pleasure of showing this gentleman, who had graduated Bryant College of Providence, Rhode Island to our new Smithfield home.

He expressed great excitement at what he had seen. "There is such great beauty here, and it is so vast compared to the limiting confines of our previous campus," he said.  "There is so much area for growth and development -It is truly spectacular".

Just inside the boarders of our limits lies the "Tupper Stone", donated too by Earl Tupper.  Its Latin inscription reads "from this land blossom knowledge and opportunity".

Although our history is ever broadening, although the number of our alumni will forever soar and although our legacy is forever solidifying… one thing is for certain: From this land, or any land that carries the Bryant name, knowledge and opportunity flourishes and lies deep inside all that call our campus home… always.

May your future too forever flourish in success,

Camille

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Take One: Flat Tupper

March 28th, 2014

One of my favorite places on campus is a Com major's haven- the studio located in the Koffler Communication Complex. This state of the art studio houses thousands of dollars' worth of HD production equipment, three production sets and a novel, fully-functioning control room accessible to all of Bryant's students, even of those not receiving a degree in Communication.

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It is really special to have such technology at your immediate disposal. Many schools with similar equipment don't allow for such high-functioning student use.

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Currently, i am enrolled in a studio production class where my peers and I produce news and talk show segments.

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Where is your favorite spot on Bryant's Campus?

Until Next time,

Camille

Q&A with Camille

March 25th, 2014

 Last week i had the pleasant surprise of opening my email to find a lovely message from a prospective transfer student. Not only was I excited to know I had readership (woohoo!) I was even more excited to speak about my experience in hopes of clarifying any questions this individual had.  Bellow are some questions that this prospective student had... I thought it would be a good idea to share my responses in the case that others are inquisitive about similar questions.

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1. Did you have any issues with any of your credits transferring?All of my credits from my previous school transferred seamlessly… besides for my marketing class. Because this class is considered to be a "core business class" I had to take a "validation exam" in order to earn credit for this course. If indeed you need to take one of these exams you will be notified by the Office of Admissions. Shortly after you receive your acceptance letter, you will be given an evaluation of your credits and be notified if they do indeed transfer.

2. I know suites/townhouses are available for upperclassmen, but is that the same for transfers? Where do they get placed? And are they with other transfers? This year in particular, Bryant experienced a very large freshmen class. Normally speaking from previous years, transfer students would live in hall #16, but this year it was taken over by freshmen. This year transfer students were placed primarily in suite style living situations with either another transfer student, or in some cases with pre-existing Bryant students. This may change next year depending on the size of the freshmen class, but it is unlikely you won't be living with freshmen.

3. Did you find that there were any struggles coming in as a new student your junior year?As many students, I felt a lot of apprehension about entering a community with set friendships and existing norms. But to my pleasant surprise everyone is very welcoming and supportive of the Bryant community. As our transfer admissions director says, "Once you step on campus for the first time you are no longer a transfer student, you are a Bryant student" and I found this to be true. I don't feel labeled as a "transfer student". Unlike high school where new students who jump in often feel targeted, or out of place, students are really very accepting.

4. I know that there is a business minor required. I'm a little concerned that if for some reason some of my classes don't transfer then I will be pushed back a year possibly considering I'd have both a major and a minor, if that makes sense. Was that true for you?There are a lot of "open electives" built into the Bryant curriculum. When my courses transferred, if they did not fit into the major or minor requirements, then they were considered an elective.

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5. What do you like about the Communications program? Is there anything you don't like? Bryant is obviously seen in the eyes of many to be a business school. But, the communication program is honestly, what I like to think anyways, a hidden jewel. Unlike colleges with large communication programs, Com students are given the opportunity to really get involved in our campus assets associated with Com. The professors are as distinguished as you could ever imagine. I really like how the Com classes are very diverse… you could be taking a class in studio productions, nonverbal communication, and gender communications… all very diverse but all incorporated into this vast field. A communication degree allows you to explore so many options in the real world whether it be PR, broadcast journalism, or HRM.

6. Are there any clubs/orgs you recommend I get involved in as a Com major, or just any advice regarding the program in general? A club I am involved in, "the podium" is a great club if you are interested in brushing up on your public speaking skills. Also we have the media production club, WJMF radio show and the Archway newspaper… I hope I am not forgetting any.

7. Do you like living on campus? Living on campus definitely has its advantages. I would say that living on campus allows you take make quicker social connections. It is also beneficial because lots of times you will have late group meetings, or your there may be a time gap in your classes and it is definitely beneficial to have a place to go and, maybe if you're like me, take a nap.

8. Would you say the school has an "active atmosphere"? Like people actually going to games and not going home on weekends? Bryant has lots of student run committees, such as Bryant at Night and the Student Programming Board who really provide for extensive amounts of activities for students. You won't be bored on campus. There are always games and movies and speakers etc. But to answer your question, no, I would say that this is definitely not a suitcase school. The campus community is crawling with students and activities on the weekends… not a lot of people go home.

9. What is the best part of the school as a whole? When I decided to transfer, I was accepted to 15 schools… I was obviously a bit indecisive when it came to applications… But the reason I really chose Bryant to be honest is the community. I know you probably hear it at every campus you visit and students all across the globe will speak about their "campus community". In all honesty the Bryant "experience" is so unique and powerful. There is such a pride and family atmosphere that resonates with everyone here in our small Smithfield school. Bryant too offers so many services that sets it apart from others. For example, when it comes to placing students in jobs and internships, our center for career excellence is second to none.

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If you find that you too have any quesitons about what it is like to be a Bryant transfer student, please feel free to email me at cdings@bryant.edu.

As always, Until next time,

Camille

March 7th, 2014

Bryant offers something special. A certain "something" that can't easily be explained, described or labelled -it can only be felt. This "something" is so very special and unique to our community, it is strong, powerful and ever omnipresent. It is a feeling of security and pride for who we are and what we belong to … I call it the Bryant experience.

Not every university allows for such a closeness and understanding among all of its dwellers. There is a communal acceptance of one another's individualities and a strong support for personal and team achievements.

Before I transferred to Bryant I was haunted by anxieties associated with the "unknowing" related to diving into a new environment where I knew no one and on one knew me. All of these worries were alleviated the moment I called Bryant home and I felt this over powering feeling of closeness among the community. It is so comforting knowing that Bryant truly is your home away from home, and the people here truly car about you.

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Bryant isn't just a place for learning. It is a place to learn, grow, share, laugh, love and strive for all of your aspirations with a strong support from everyone around you. Our community is composed of individuals from 33 countries and various backgrounds, athletic abilities and social standings… but none of that matters. It doesn't matter because individuality is fostered and our students don't fit into a certain "mold".

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Until Next Time,

Camille

Prospectives Flock to Bryant

February 21st, 2014

As many high schools in the New England are vacant and lifeless during this week of winter break, Bryant University is flourishing with fresh faces of prospective students, eager to get a taste of the Bryant experience.

This time of year in a high school senior's life is crucial, as many are making important decisions for their future. Perhaps during their previous years, these seniors spent their vacation days sledding and spending carefree hours playing with their friends or dreaming of their forthcoming futures—but this year is different. This year is when they make the important decision on which path to take to lead them to the greatest of potential success. Even though this decision may be daunting, seniors should seek comfort in the resources available to them such as campus tours and informational sessions.

 According to the Institute of Education Sciences, fall of 2013 was a record year in college enrollment -about 21.8 million nationwide… and the number is only projected to grow.  Seniors are hustling to submit applications, schedule interviews and visit their revered universities -especially Bryant University. Within the last few weeks, Bryant has been swarming with high schoolers looking to get a taste of Bryant, and our community could not be more excited or welcoming.

Just this past week I had the opportunity to talk with a few prospective students visiting Bryant for the first time. As I watched them take in the charmed atmosphere offered by this campus, I could not help but reflect back to the very day I fell in love with Bryant University.

My advice to high school seniors? Take a deep breath and listen to your heart. Although this decision may seem like one of the most intimidating, important decisions of your life, if you listen to your heart you will never be repentant.

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Good luck and best wishes,

Camille.

Twas the night before Valentines Day

February 16th, 2014

T'was the day before Valentine's Day, and all through Bryant's grounds

Not a creature was stirring not even a hound.

The students where nestled, all snug in their twin XL beds

While visions of bulldogs danced in their heads.

While in their emails arose such a  clatter,

They arose from their beds to see what was a matter

President Machtley had called it, "No class for today,"

"Now go outside! In the snow you will play."

Snowmen were made, and hot chocolate was poured,

Freedom from classes, the students adored.

Teachers were understanding–what could they say?

Everyone on campus deserves a snow day.

Facilities cleared the masses, as the snow fell down fast,

But too soon enough, the day had come to pass.

As darkness set in, students studied—in their notebook they did write,

Merry Snow day to all, and to all a goodnight.

xox,

Camille

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