Champlain College’s initiative to be inclusive and diverse in its curriculum continues at the Montreal Campus. SWK 230, new to Montreal as of fall 2018, taught by Jann Tomaro, focuses on the local LGBTQ community. The course brings students into the community to explore how an individual’s identity affects how they interact with society. The class addresses various topics such as the history of the LGBTQ community in Montreal, the current obstacles the community faces, and LGBTQ empowerment. Continue reading →
Adam van Sertima has been a professor at Champlain’s Montreal campus for five years and is, in his own words, a “Dad, philosopher, art historian and Games Studies specialist.” I sat down with him to talk about his expansive professional background, his passion for teaching, and his interests in film and video games.
Megan Hoins: Where did you go to college and what was your major?
Adam van Sertima: I went to Concordia University here in Montreal and I double majored in Communication Studies with a focus on Film Production and Philosophy, so I graduated in 1994.
Summer Program Participants (l-r) Kenya Cummins & Julia Lenoard in Old Montreal
I had always wanted to study abroad, so when I got the opportunity to attend Champlain College’s Montreal Summer Culture Program I immediately took the chance. I had traveled many times to cities both in and outside the United States before; I had even traveled to Montreal in the past for weekend trips. I always thought that Montreal was similar to other major North American cities. But after living in the city for over a month, my opinion of the city has changed; Montreal does not fall into the typical mold of the US or Canadian city. Its bilingualism and mix of cultures offers residents and visitors a one-of-a-kind living situation. Anyone who tells you that Montreal is more similar to the United States than different is wrong, but you can only learn that from spending a good amount of time here. Montreal is a valid and excellent study abroad option; you get to experience a different language being spoken around you while being in a truly foreign place. The culture of Montreal, and Canada in general, is also unique because there is not an emphasis on assimilation of “different” groups; each ethnicity found here is fully represented, whether that be through food or art. Continue reading →
When it comes to what my goals in life have been, the opportunities I’ve found often presented themselves to me in ways I wouldn’t have particularly chosen. In that way, I have chosen to take that as a lesson to be more excited for the times in my life that I didn’t plan for: Where things don’t go according to plan, and seeing how I am able to get to the same place I was going from where I ended up, or for finding a new place to go to with what I learned. For better or worse, I feel like this way I learn a greater amount about the world and myself. With all the highs and lows unexpected experiences that stem from the mystery of the unplanned unknown might bring me to, it all leads to me being whoever I become, wherever it ends up leaving me. I’ve accepted this as an inherent good aspect of life, even if it takes for some struggles to find the good it brought me. Continue reading →
Earlier in the week my Emerging Media in Montreal (CCM 301) class was lucky to visit the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Montreal’s Olympic Park just a short walk from the Viau metro station. We watched two shows: Space Nextdocumented the past and predicted the future of space exploration, and EXOtracked humanity’s search for other forms of life in the galaxy.
MKT 350 teacher Mariella Katz in the classroom (Sophia Penna)
Digital marketing (MKT 350) is a new course offered on the Montreal campus, taught by first time teacher Mariella Katz. I decided to take this course because my advisor and I both believed it would be a beneficial class to take as a Graphic Design major. My hopes before entering this class were to learn how to better market myself as an artist as well as any businesses I may work with in the future.
Mariella started her career as a photographer when she was just 16 years old, six years after her family moved from Bulgaria to Canada. She later went on to study interactive media and web-tv in college and then advertising and public relations. Mariella used her experience as an influencer and her background in marketing to take a risk and open her own company, Frenzr, which works with clients by managing their social media accounts and creating relevant, marketable content. They work with clients in an effort to pair them with influencers to make the brand seem more tangible. Mariella also hosts social media workshops where she teaches companies how to use social media to their advantage. Many of the topics she brings to MKT350 come directly from these workshops. Continue reading →
Let me just open this blog post in a very honest way – I am a huge baby when it comes to insects. They are really small but absolutely horrifying, they have skeletons on the outside of their bodies, and some have more legs than I have fingers which is the most horrifying thing in the world. Whenever I see a bug or have an unfortunate interaction with one, I’m paranoid for the next five minutes about what may be crawling on me that I’m unaware of. When I volunteered for this blog post, I figured I could give myself a reason to enjoy what otherwise would be a very neutral experience for me, but what I found is that I didn’t really need an excuse, the experience was quite interesting.
After our SCI 155 class departed from the metro station and arrived at the Insectarium, which was a much smaller building than I expected. I remember thinking that there wouldn’t be many bugs on display because of lack of space, but then I promptly remembered how small bugs are. Once we were inside, I saw the corny graphics on the wall of their stick bug mascot, there to inform us about the wonders of insectoid life. There was a large dome-like room with stairs descending down to the displays. The factoids on the wall were interesting with some good nuggets of information about what certain bugs eat, how they defend themselves, adaptations they may develop depending on their environment, but I’m a visual learner. The wall graphics weren’t nearly as interesting as the legions of mostly dead insects in glass cases, all staring at me with their wicked eyes and antennae.
Environmental change is a “big” issue, in the sense that it’s something too expansive for me as an individual to influence or change. It’s important, yes, but how is a single person supposed to influence this issue? Do the efforts of little each person really count?
With that in mind, I went with my Environmental Science in Montreal (SCI 155) class to the Concordia Greenhouse, a collectively run and consensus-based nonprofit organization. Their main goal is to promote sustainable horticulture and education through workshops, open exhibits, and a welcoming atmosphere created by the horticulture. They allow other groups to use their space for the purpose of displaying or experimenting with new techniques of growing, adding to the educational diversity it has. The greenhouse itself holds dedicated growing rooms or communal spaces, where more plants can grow in a less controlled environment. The dedicated rooms either held projects by the greenhouse or those who rented it out and growing rooms for specific plants. They are a promoter of the idea of urban agriculture, which is the idea that the urban landscape can work with sustainable growing methods to maximize the usefulness and value of space in cities through rooftop gardens and other urban agricultural solutions, such as smaller-scale greenhouses.
Our amazing student volunteers, who made everything possible! (Hannah Cartmel)
In 2007, Champlain College realized a long-held dream to open a study abroad campus outside the United States. Montreal, Quebec, Canada was chosen not only because of its eclectic mix of languages and cultures, but also due to the city’s exciting learning and professional opportunities in Emerging Media. Since then, Champlain Abroad Montreal has seen more than 600 students pass through its doors, placed 131 interns at companies like Ubisoft and Behavior, and now has over 20 alumni working and living in the city. With all of these achievements and more, it was time to celebrate!
As part of our weekly labs in the Earth Science class here in Montreal, there are a number of ‘excursions’ to various sites throughout the city that help students better understand some of the concepts taught in class. This past Friday, we spent our morning exploring the Redpath Museum and all of its little intricacies. The Redpath Museum is a natural history museum located the center of the McGill University campus, and has been around for a number of years, cementing itself as a Montreal institution.