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!


Bowling with Bulldogs

April 21st, 2015

Transfer students are a rare and chameleon-esque breed -we have no identifying trappings nor do we boast unique characteristics. Walking around campus, one wouldn't  be able to identify one in the crowd -we look, act and present ourselves in just the same manner as any other Bryant student because that is who we are.

This past week however, transfer students were given the opportunity to come together as a single unit and celebrate shared commonalities. This opportunity was the first of its kind but hopefully not the last.

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When transfers enroll at our institution, they are placed in a 1-credit transitions class with other transfer students to help them acclimate to their new environment. This course goes over important resources on campus and serves as a forum for discussion. After this initial course, however, transfer students go their separate ways down their individualized course routes which means they may not see one another on a routine basis. Of course we all go on to make new friendships and connections, but it is always nice to unite with someone who can relate to your experiences. This event did just that -transfers from all different entry points were given the opportunity to connect over pizza, bowling and many memories to be made.

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"It is nice to have an event just for transfers. There isn't really anything in place at the moment which allows us to come together as one and talk about our shared experiences and identities as Bryant transfer students. I hope we do it again very soon" -Morgan Hunt, Transfer Student (Fall 2013)

 

-Camille Dings

Open Spaces for Smiling Faces

April 14th, 2015

Walking around campus, it is clear (no pun intended) that we here at Bryant foster a very open and visible community. Our architecture boasts spaces that provide for great transparency that creates a shared meaning of openness. This aligns perfectly with our mentality of ingenuousness and openness to ideas and acceptance of others.

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There is a limitation of distance between administration, students and faculty: we are all on the very same page. Shared spaces are very visible to provide for a welcome to all, including classrooms, campus resource walls and corridors. Faculty suites also invite students visually with the lack of confinement and restraint. The intimidation of prison like structures are nowhere to be found, and even the heart of our campus, the Rotunda glass dome, allow students to gaze into the prospect of their future.

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People who visit our campus often compliment Bryant's beauty, but just as individuals, true beauty doesn't lie on the surface but on the inside. When you get to those who call this community home you will find that they too process a great openness to assist, to collaborate and to make you too feel at home.

Have you experienced the true beauty of Bryant University?  We would love for you to see for yourself.

Schedule a visit today. https://bryantu.secure.force.com/events?type=CT

I hope to see your smiling face soon.

-Camille

Bryant Gone Wild

April 8th, 2015

Smithfield, Rhode Island. Not exactly the 'animal kingdom' town in this amusement park life. Sure, Bryant may have a pond and woods surrounding our community, but generally speaking we don't have the most exotic of wild-life (and I'm not complaining!)This past week though, that all changed.

Emmy-award winning television host, author and biologist Jeff Corwin who has worked for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems around the globe came to our small, northeast campus and brought a few friends along with him. During his show not only did he educate the audience about conservation initiatives and wildlife awareness, but interactively created a conversation regarding steps we can take to improve the local and global environment.

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 Volunteers were able to experience the action first hand …literally …by handling the various animals including a vigorous snapping turtle, a giant toad and even an American alligator to name a few. The turnout for the show, sponsored by the SASS organization was a great success, including student's faculty and members of the community. After his presentation, Jeff opened up to questions from the audience and gave a small taste of his adventurous lifestyle.

Our community is so incredibly fortunate to have such great speakers and presentations that not only serve our interests but supplement our education. I think were also very fortunate that some of those animals don't call Smithfield home (yikes!)

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Tune into Jeff's show, Ocean Mysteries, ABC at 9:30 on Saturdays

Surviving Procrastination-Nation

March 30th, 2015

During the late-March slump, it is sometimes hard for students to…stay focused. With summer just weeks away and for some of seniors, "the real world" is at our doorstep. Even though some of us may live in procrastination-nation, it is CRUCIAL to stay focused.

I have found a few tips and tricks to maintain a sense of direction, even when you'd rather watch Netflix than type your paper.

1)      Make a list: Lists are great because they provide visual inventory of what you have to do. With every ex you mark next to a completed task, you will find a great sense of accomplishment which will fuel your motivation to carry on.

2)      Keep your eye on the prize: With so much effort put into school, it would be foolish to start slacking off now. The sole reason why we pay for college is to receive an education. All the hard work, time and money would go to waste if you didn't dedicate your efforts to the progression of your education.

3)      Maintain a schedule: rewarding yourself with small study breaks after completing your tasks is a great way to stay motivated -as long as you stay committed to that time schedule. I once read of a student who would put jelly beans at the end of each section in her text book which she could eat when she got to it. This sounds silly, and fattening, but it was a good way to ensure she got all of her reading done.

4)      Turn off the distractions: if you are the type to be easily distracted by television or your cellphone, just turn it off! The temptation is too detrimental to your progress. You could even let your friend or roommate hold your phone until a certain time so you know you won't be tempted.

As college students, or job is our schoolwork. Slacking off and forming negative habits is so harmful to your overall success. By staying focused and accomplishing academic goals you will ensure feelings of achievement and the payoff will be great!

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I wish you all the best in all of your academic endeavors -Camille Dings

Transfer Talks

March 23rd, 2015

This past weekend, I had the great privilege of participating in a transfer student led panel before an audience of prospective transfer students and their families. During this time, myself and 3 other students of varying experiences discussed and answered questions regarding the paths we took to find ourselves as Bryant students.

During the session, I was able to get a better sense of hesitations and curiosities posed by students looking to join our community which I seek to outline and explain to anyone who may be reading this with similar interests:

What are the classes like? Coming from a community college often has a negative rep for having easily classes (so not true). But before I came to Bryant, I too had this worry that the classes would be very difficult in comparison to what I was used to. I feel as though my previous school did a fine job of preparing me for the challenges posed by Bryant's courses, and although challenging, the courses are manageable and fulfilling!

How did your credits transfer? One of the aspects of the transfer application process which I found so impressive was the sincere consideration when it came to my courses. From the 9 colleges I applied to, Bryant was the only one that accepted and really worked with my all my credits. I was able to stay on track and make a schedule that worked for me.

Was it hard to integrate into the community? As I have mentioned before, Bryant is notorious for their welcoming atmosphere. It is so refreshing to be part of an environment where people want to know your name! I found that joining clubs and organizations on campus is a fool-proof way to make connections with your peers.

Transfer students are really incredible assets to our community because each and every one of us offers unique experiences and perceptions to create a shared meaning in our new environment. 1 in 7 students in our small Smithfield community have transferred from other institutions -but you would never know it. Assimilation into Bryant's communal practices is almost instantaneous due to the welcome and cultivating nature of our community. While our experiences provide for foundations for new learning, new experiences are created each and every day that establish ourselves as Bryant students, not transfers.

 Interested in learning how you can transfer? click here

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A Healthy Community

March 17th, 2015

As any college student might tell you, maintaining a healthy lifestyle may be difficult at times as they try to juggle both academic and extracurricular commitments, the easy access of french fries in the dining hall and no supervision of parents to remind us to get enough sleep or eat our veggies.  The 'freshmen 15' may be less of a myth and more of a harsh reality for many.

Bryant University is much attuned to the health and well being of our students. Services such as nutrition advice and physical fitness plans are fully accessible to our students and healthy options are always on the menus and in the cafes around campus. Filtered water fountains are also are located throughout the campus to encourage hydration (and you're being Earth friendly when you fill up your reusable water bottle).

In honor of National Nutrition Month, Bryant Dining is sponsoring a Nutrition Fair on March 24th, from 10-4 in the Rotunda. This fair is open to the entire community and will feature food vendors presenting healthy recipes, fitness classes, cooking demo's by professional chefs, nutrition activities, lessons in sustainability, massage therapists, and of course everyone's favorite: free food and prizes!

Bryant University Dining Services is also hosting a healthy recipe contest throughout the month where students can Instagram a photo of their favorite healthy recipes! All you have to do is take a picture of your recipe, post it on Instagram and tag @BryantUDining!

 

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It is so great to be a part of community that truly cares for the health and well-being of all its members.

If you have any questions regarding this or any post, feel free to shoot me an email at cdings@bryant.edu... I would love to chat!

-Camille

Work, Study and Thrive!

March 4th, 2015

Living away home can present challenges, such as doing your own laundry or cooking for yourself; but with a little time, practice and concentration it can be quite liberating.

Managing your finances at school is very important and being attentive to where and how much money you are spending is crucial to maintaining a healthy bank account. While some decide to ration out summer job earnings and others may get some sort of allowance from their parents, some students find lucrative means to managing a job and school simultaneously -and its easy! The university offers many outlets for employment that allows students to focus on their school work while earning a little extra cash to cushion their school year expenses. I have found through my personal experiences and through interactions with my peers that working, either on campus through work study programs or through off campus options, can be very manageable!

"Working on campus is really nice! It breaks up the day and it's nice to have a change of pace in my schedule -it's not just all classes and meetings. Working in admissions allows me to meet incredible prospective students and their families and share my stories with them.  It is totally doable and it's nice to earn a little extra money, all without leaving campus" -Hannah Murphy, Office of Admissions Student Assistant

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"Working at Ace gives me the opportunity to interact with my peers, and gives me the opportunity to share my insight with others. Watching them grow is so fulfilling!. Working on campus is great because I get to set my own hours to my convenience. Additionally  I have found it builds my leadership and networking skills, I love it!" -Morgan Hunt, Academic Center for Excellence Peer Math Tutor

Bryant University is constantly looking for students in all aspects of campus life to work, study and thrive!

If you have any questions about this or any post, or anything regarding life at Bryant, I would love to help! Shoot me an email at cdings@bryant.edu.

-Camille

Life Hacks Bryant Edition

February 23rd, 2015

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 Who doesn't love a good life hack; a great strategy or technique to manage our time and activities in the most efficient and effective way possible. Let's be honest, our time in college is short…and the days sometimes just don't seem long enough. Academics, extracurriculars and our social life are all competing for our time and attention, so here are my favorite tips and tricks to get the most out of Bryant.

1)      Little known secret, the study rooms in the library are open when the library is not. Often times early morning or late night we may find ourselves needing a quiet place to study, these rooms are open and available to students but no one knows it! Classrooms in the rotunda are also available for study any time of day or night! You can even check online (Bryant App) when classes are using specific rooms, so not finding a space to study is no excuse.

2)      Set your class schedule to the lock screen of your phone during the first few weeks of class so you know where and when your class is meeting. Everyone gets lost in the first week or so, and this inconspicuous technique is perfect for any student on the go.

3)      Go to your professor's office hours: out of all my experiences this time will allow you to get clarification on information as well as build a relationship. An added bonus is you may earn some points and a positive reflection to your class participation grade.  This is a great opportunity for access to more course information that goes beyond your class lectures. But most importantly, it is an opportunity to build a relationship with your professor; seek insight about a certain career field or discuss future course selections.

4)      Love free food? Who doesn't? If you are strategic about it you could probably get three meals a day for free. Clubs, organizations, presentations etc. are CONSTANTLY holding events with free food. Learn a little, make friends and eat your heart out.

5)      Treat school like your job and you will be successful. Act like you're getting paid, do as much as you can throughout the day, prepare, ask questions, do your homework and you, my friend, will be golden.

 

I hope these hacks helped!

Until Next Time,

Camille

Cyber Studies

February 17th, 2015

With record breaking snowfall and blistering cold temperatures in our area it is no surprise that our community has been facing a few snow days. University administration is well aware just how difficult it is for commuter students, faculty and staff to face the whirling winds and mounds of snow to get to campus. Facility services have been working around the clock in recent weeks to best compact Mother Nature herself and to keep our pathways and parking lots clear.

But just what do these implications have for academics? With nearly a weeks' worth of class cancellations, teachers and students have turned to technology to salvage the missed class time.

Blackboard collaborate is an interactive online tool that allows for students and teachers to meet on an online learning platform. This virtual classroom allows class to be held in real time via cyber commute—participants utilize and online chat room with voice and video capability to meet and discuss class content. Professors may choose to make the content of their computer screen view-able to their students in order to go through PowerPoint slides or mediated content.

In a society ever advancing in the realm of technology, this snow-pocalypse has really given our community an opportunity to test the technological waters. From my interactions with my professors and peers it seems that the online classrooms have proven to be a great success during these severe winter conditions. It is nice to know that even when travel safety is at risk, our class progress is not!

 

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Have questions about this blog or anything regarding Bryant and my experiences? Shoot me an email at cdings@bryant.edu... I would love to chat!

-Camille

Opening Doors to the Future

February 11th, 2015

The Open Door: a symbol of opportunity, kindness and community. Through my experiences here at Bryant, I have found this metaphor to be incredibly prevalent to our communal life as a campus.

Through our academic stride and scholastic achievements, and through our hard work and associations: doors open each and every day to a brighter future.

As we seek guidance:  our educators and peers open doors (quite literally) to reach out a helping hand.

And too, as we walk through the maze of hallways, doors open by the will of our peers: eager to support one another at even the simplest of doings.

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We here at Bryant cultivate our communal bonds. There is pure understanding that we must work together for the common good, as corny as it may sound. Never have I experienced such a pleasure. As a transfer student, we sometimes experience some apprehension in our new environment but the radiating acceptance is palpable.

Come see for yourself just how many doors can open for you. Schedule your campus tour here to experience the sheer beauty of our beautiful facilities, lush landscapes and state of the art technology. Tours last approximately one hour and 15 minutes, and our led by members of the student ambassador program who live and breath love for our community.

If you have any questions about my experiences or in regards to any aspect of Bryant life, feel free to shoot me an email at cdings@bryant.edu.