April 2017

Associate Dean Newsletter - April 2017


Tracy Isaacs, Associate Dean (Academic)
Faculty of Arts & Humanities 

Dear Arts and Humanities Students,

We are all very close to the finish line of the 2017 Fall/Winter terms. Now more than ever is the time of year where time management is the name of the game. Add to that some space in your schedule for leisure, sleep, and decent meals, and you should make it through the final push and exams reasonably well. Some stress at this time of year is normal. Feeling overwhelmed on occasion is also not unusual. If it’s any consolation, your profs experience it too. So do your fellow students. And so do I. If you feel you could benefit from some help and support, please make sure to check out the section of my newsletter on “Resources for students in need.” If a little pick-me-up will do the trick, check the Wellness Events Calendar for a meditation session or an opportunity to spend some time with the therapy dogs: http://www.events.westernu.ca/events/wellness/?dateType=start_date&startDate=4/1/2017&endDate=4/30/2017

In this month’s edition of the Associate Dean’s Newsletter, I’ll be covering:

1. Message from Dean Milde concerning course cancellations
2. The Undergraduate Awards
3. Congratulations to four fabulous teachers in Arts and Humanities
4. Important Dates
5. Final Exams – Important information
6. Grade Submissions and Incompletes
7. Apply to Graduate
8. Summer Courses
9. Artwork in Counselling
10. Resources for Students in need
11. Events

1. Message from Dean Milde concerning course cancellations

As some of you have already discovered, many of our departments in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have had to cancel courses offered in Intersession and the Summer term. We understand that this has created some challenges for our students, who often look to our intersession and summer offerings to fulfill program requirements, experiment with new ideas, or lighten their course load during the Fall/Winter term. The reason for this reduction in offerings is that, due to an upcoming change in the government of Ontario’s model for funding universities, we have had to make budget adjustments that have reduced the amount of funds available for limited duties (part-time) instructors. Since the majority of our intersession and summer offerings are taught by our limited duties faculty, departments have had to cancel some of those offerings in order to respond to the budget reduction. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is committed to providing high quality instruction and programming to all of our students. As we manage our transition to the new budget model, we will make it our highest priority to ensure that you have sufficient choice and offerings to complete your degree requirements.

2. The Undergraduate Awards

I encourage you to submit your best essay to be considered for the Undergraduate Awards, an international competition that Western has been invited to participate in for the past number of years. Students from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have done us proud, achieving great success in this competition. The Provost has paid for Western students who have won in their category or whose work has been in the "highly commended" group (for the top 10% of entries in their category) to go to Dublin, Ireland for the awards ceremony in the fall. 

The deadline for entries is June 13, 2017. Information about eligibility and how to enter is on The Undergraduate Awards website: http://www.undergraduateawards.com/ 
You are a talented group of students who already have a distinguished record of success in this prestigious award competition. I have no doubt that we will continue this pattern of accomplishment this year. If you have an eligible essay that received a high A or A+, please submit it to The Undergraduate Awards for consideration.

3. Congratulations to four fabulous teachers in Arts and Humanities

It’s my great pleasure to share with you some excellent news about our teaching awards recipients. Professor MJ Kidnie (English and Writing Studies) has been awarded the Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Miranda Green-Barteet (Women’s Studies and Feminist Research/English and Writing Studies) has been awarded the Marlyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Mary Helen McMurran has been awarded the Arts and Humanities Teaching Excellence Award (Full-time). Professor Jennifer Epp has been awarded the Arts and Humanities Teaching Excellence Award (Part-time). We in Arts and Humanities are extremely fortunate to have these outstanding teachers in our Faculty.

4. Important Dates

• April 7th – Fall/Winter term ends
• April 9th – April 30th - Final Exam period
• April 30th – Deadline to apply for Spring Convocation

5. Final Exams – Important Information

Please carefully review the information regarding exams found on our website: http://www.uwo.ca/arts/counselling/procedures/examinations.html

The final exam schedule can be found here: https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/Exams/

Be mindful that accommodations for missed exams are not granted for sleeping in, misreading the exam timetable, or not being able to find your exam room. If you fall ill, please note that you must go and see a doctor and obtain a Student Medical Certificate, which must be filled out. You can find the Student Medical Certificate on our website here: http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/medicalform_15JUN.pdf

6. Grade Submissions and Incompletes

Course instructors must submit grades for their course a week after the final exam or, in the case of a course that doesn't have a final exam, a week after the end of classes. If you are unable to complete your course requirements because of documented reasons then you must see us in Academic Counselling immediately (see our website for more details on this: http://www.uwo.ca/arts/counselling/procedures/medical_accomodation.html)

7. Apply to Graduate

For all students who are eligible to graduate, please visit the Convocation information page: http://www.convocation.uwo.ca/ especially “preparing to graduate,” http://www.convocation.uwo.ca/preparing_to_graduate/index.html

which outlines what you need to do to ensure that you receive your diploma and are eligible to walk across the Convocation stage. Most importantly, if you are unsure about the programs you think you are graduating with, please consult your academic counsellor sooner than later. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2017.

8. Summer Courses

Summer registration began on March 2nd, but you can still register in courses. Please note that you must do your summer term activation first – you can find information about activation, courses and dates on the Summer Academic Calendar: http://www.westerncalendar.uwo.ca/pdfs/Summer2017web.pdf

9. Artwork in Counselling

We currently have some beautiful pieces on display which can be found on our website: http://www.uwo.ca/arts/counselling/about_us/office_art.html

10. Resources for students

Across campus we have various activities and resources to assist students. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, please reach out to someone and be aware of the resources available to you.
Student Development Centre: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/

SDC has many resources, from individual counselling to learning skills. They are located in Western Student Services Bldg (WSS), Room 4100 and their hours are 8:30 – 4:00.
Learning Skills Services: https://www.uwo.ca/sdc/learning/index.html

Learning Skills Services offers valuable resources to help students with challenges including exam preparation and time management. They also host ongoing workshops to improve writing and learning. To find out more about what’s being offered and to sign up, visit their website: https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/workshops/learningWorkshops.cfm

Wellness Education Centre: http://se.uwo.ca/wec.html

The Wellness Education Centre (in the basement of the UCC) is a safe environment where you can discuss the various resources available on campus.
Wellness events can be found here: http://www.events.westernu.ca/events/wellness/?dateType=start_date&startDate=4/1/2017&endDate=4/30/2017

Student Wellness Guide: http://westerncalendar.uwo.ca/pdfs/mhwrg.pdf

Mental Health and Wellness Resources: http://www.uwo.ca/health/mental_wellbeing/resources.html

11. Events

Please follow this link for events on campus: http://events.westernu.ca/?dateType=start_date&startDate=4%2F01%2F2017&endDate=4%2F30%2F2017

This is my last newsletter until September. May you all have a successful end of term and exams. To our graduates, congratulations and I look forward to seeing you at Convocation on June 19th.

To everyone, I wish you all the best for a summer that’s full of exactly what you need, whether that’s rest or travel or employment or further studies or some combination of those things.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Isaacs