October 2016

Associate Dean Newsletter

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

October, 2016
Dear Arts and Humanities students,
Whether you’re back from your summer break or here for the first time, I extend the warmest of belated welcomes to you as we enter into the thick of the Fall term. Fall term is always an exciting time, filled with hope and opportunity – a fresh start, blank page, clean slate, new chapter – whatever your metaphor, it’s a time of promise. I hope you’re all feeling as energized as I am about the months to come.
Here are the things I’ll be covering in this newsletter: 
  1. Undergraduate Awards 2016
  2. Important dates
  3. What to do if you miss exams, classes, assignments, etc.
  4. What to do if you’re struggling
  5. Asking for an explanation of your grades
  6. Scholarship eligibility
  7. Faculty of Arts and Humanities Scholarships
  8. Upcoming events
  9. Announcements from your Arts and Humanities Students’ Council

1. Undergraduate Awards—Congratulations!

Arts and Humanities fared well yet again in Dublin’s Undergraduate Awards. As the Awards website http://www.undergraduateawards.com/ explains: “The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest academic awards programme. It is uniquely pan-discipline, identifying leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework. The Undergraduate Awards provides top performing students with the support, network and opportunities they require to raise their profiles and further their career paths, as well as coming to Dublin for an all-expenses-paid trip to receive their medal.” This year, six Arts and Humanities students were in the “Highly Commended” category, meaning that they finished in the top 10% of their subject category. With over 5000 submissions from undergraduate students at 250 universities covering 39 countries, landing in the “Highly Commended” category is a remarkable academic achievement.

Congratulations to Michelle Bunton (Scholar’s Electives, Visual Arts), Maryam Golafshani (Scholar’s Electives, SASAH, English), Andrea Holstein (Classical Studies, Visual Arts, History), Angel Leung (Scholar's Electives,  Women's Studies),  Adam Mohamed (English), Naciza Masikini (Scholar’s Electives, Women’s Studies), Rebecca Meharchand (Women's Studies, English), Victor Parchment (Philosophy), Dylan Vallance (Philosophy) for their outstanding achievement in the 2016 Undergraduate Awards.

2. Important Dates

  • Fall Study Break: October 27-28, 2016
  • Last date to drop a first term half course or a first term full course without academic penalty: November 5th, 2016
  • Last date to drop full course and a full-year half course [on campus day and evening and Distance Studies] without academic penalty: November 30, 2016
  • First term classes end: December 7, 2016
  • Study Days: December 8-9, 2016
  • Mid-year examination period: December 10-21, 2016
  • Classes resume: January 5, 2016
  • Last day to add a second term half course: January 13, 2016 

3. Missed classes, tests, assignments, exams etc.

If a situation arises in which you miss a significant amount of classes, or any assignment, test, exam, etc., you should seek official accommodation. Usually students are not excused from any course responsibility without a professionally documented reason, i.e., illness, death in the family, legal commitment, etc. Any request for accommodation must come through the Faculty counselling office in the International and Graduate Affairs Building room 1N20. If you have to miss an exam, assignment, etc., due to illness, you should see a doctor right away, both to be treated and to document the illness. For documentation,  don'twait too long since some doctors will not issue notes to excuse you from an exam if you aren't exhibiting any symptoms of the illness that caused your absence. In turn, you must submit your documentation to your academic counsellor in a timely manner. If you sit on a medical note and only see the Counselling Office a month later, we will likely not be able to accommodate your need. By the way, for medical accommodations, you have to use the form that is found at the following link: http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/medicalform.pdf  

4. If you’re struggling

Should you run into any difficulties whatsoever during the course of your studies, please don't hesitate to communicate with your instructors if it involves a single course. If the difficulties affect more than one course or you feel that they are too personal in nature then please stop by the Academic Counselling office at IGAB-1N20. Anything you relate to our counsellors is done so in private and any dealings with course instructors, or any other individual, is done in complete confidentiality. There are stringent privacy laws in this province and we adhere to them. Counsellors are also able to direct you to the appropriate support services if you require counselling that goes beyond academic counselling.

5. If you’re unsure why you got the grade you got

If you are uncertain why you received the grade you received on a piece of work or for a course, you may ask your professor for an explanation. If her/his explanation doesn’t satisfy you, then you have every right to appeal to the undergraduate chair of the department offering the course. This is your education and you have a right to an explanation of how you were evaluated in a course. Ultimately you have the right to submit a formal appeal if you do not believe that your work has been assessed fairly. The appeal process is spelled out in the University Senate regulations (http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/appealsundergrad.pdf) and is also a confidential process. Ordinarily, the instructor is not involved in the appeals process.

6. Scholarships eligibility

To be eligible for or retain any scholarships, awards or bursaries you need to have a 5.0 course load in any given year.

7. Faculty of Arts and Humanities Scholarships

Our Faculty has a number of scholarships. Many you are considered for automatically, but there are a few that you need to apply for. A list of these awards is available on the Arts and Humanities website at http://www.uwo.ca/arts/counselling/awards/index.html. I encourage you to apply for any award for which you might be eligible -- we've had large awards that have gone unclaimed even though we knew we had students eligible for them simply because many felt they didn't have a chance of being awarded one. There are awards based on merit, need, and a combination of these two criteria. Students may only submit for need-based awards if they have applied for (and had approved) an a Financial Assistance Profile Application (was due September 30)http://registrar.uwo.ca/student_finances/scholarships_awards/need_based_awards/index.html

8. Upcoming Events of interest

International Opportunities Fair - Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm, London Hall Residence (LoHR): In this session, students will hear about international learning opportunities available through or supported by Western International and Student Success Centre.  These opportunities include exchange, study abroad, Alternative Spring Break, international courses, internships and research.

Gov't of Canada - Recruitment of Policy Leader Program - Monday, October 3, 2016, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm, University Community Centre (UCC)_Room: 147 A/B, FREE: In October 2016, The Government of Canada will welcome applications for the Fall 2016 Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) program. We would like to invite you, as an exceptional Canadian scholar with proven talents, to consider applying.

Manage Test Stress Presentation, Friday, October 14, 2016, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm, Western Student Services Building (WSS)_Room: 3134, FREE:

Ongoing workshops to improve writing and learning are available through Learning Skills on campus. To find out more about what’s being offered and to sign up, visit their website:https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/workshops/learningWorkshops.cfm.

For a full listing of A&H events, visit the Arts & Humanities Events Calendar

9. Announcements from your Arts and Humanities Students’ Council

Arts Market: Get the opportunity to sell your art and handmade creations at the Arts Market 2016! Applications to sell your work available here: http://www.ahscwesternu.com/applications. Applications are due by October 7th. Check out our Fb call for submissions here: https://www.facebook.com/events/190382844722067/

Antigone, AHSC 2016/17 Play: The Arts and Humanities Students’ Council is announcing audition and crew calls for their interdisciplinary, experimental production of Jean Anouilh’s ANTIGONE! Antigone will be performed March 8-11th in the London community, and will feature incredible acting, technical, and cinematographic talent from the Western and greater city pools. This adaptation of Sophocles’s iconic Greek tragedy, which was written in the mid-twentieth century, uses modernist dialogue to expose the complex relationship between the individual and the state in today’s world of fraudulent elections and dishonest campaigns. For more information, or to book a crew application and/or audition, please e-mail CINTSON@UWO.CA expressing your interest. Check out the FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/AHSCAntigone2017/  

AHSC Social platforms: 

Our website has everything AHSC 24/7! http://www.ahscwesternu.com/

Like our Facebook page for a chance to win cool prizes and learn about AHSC events! FB page: https://www.facebook.com/ahscwesternu/ 

Date with a Book: The AHSC is currently collecting used novels and other leisure reads for our popular charity event Date With a Book! For this event we request students donate their books by dropping them off in our AHSC office IGAB Room ON20D any time Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-3:30pm from now until November 1st. The books will later be sold with all proceeds going to charity! 

Make you Smile Mondays: on October 17th join the Arts and Humanities Students' Council on Concrete Beach for the first instalment of our Make You Smile Monday events! With a focus on mental wellness, expect activities which spread positivity as well as foster healthy minds on campus. This month, from 12-3 on Concrete Beach we will be doing a chalking as well as giving out all kinds of goodies! Hope to see you there!

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Isaacs