Surrey Science Advisor's Blog

September 26, 2020

Blog Post

Connecting Your Studies with Current Events

I recently attended a REDress campaign event in the mezzanine here at Surrey campus (read as Red Dress).  This was actually an art installation with a program of speakers, drumming, and food focusing on missing and murdered indigenous men and women in Canada. About five years ago a Metis artist - Jaime Black - created the project and it has taken various gathering shapes across the country since.  

I found the event at Surrey moving. The red dresses drew me visually in, but the stories held my attention.  People of various ages went up to the microphone and acknowledged their own missing or murdered family members - one women spoke of her murdered brother, another of her missing grandmother, another of a step-daughter, and so on.  The gathering was small - only about 60 or so people - but the number of missing and murdered people in relation to it is still shocking.

So how can this relate to courses you take at SFU?  Forensics immediately comes to mind.  This is (unfortunately) a necessary skill used towards identifying remains and collecting evidence.  Students interested in supporting the missing women via forensics should focus on MBB, CHEM, and BISC courses (DNA analysis, toxicology, entomology, botany, etc.).  There is also an upper division Criminology Forsensic Studies class at SFU (CRIM 355) and a certificate program that can be worked on alongside a major in MBB, CHEM, or BISC or a double minor program in two or all three.  

Psychological support is necessary for survivors, family, friends, coworkers, professionals working on cases.  You can minor in Psychology with any Science major or use PSYC in a double minor program.  You can also take just one or two PSYC introductory courses which have a Breadth- Social Sciences designation and use them towards fulfilling your WQB requirements. 

Interested in historical, social, economic reasons and theories as to why Indigneous people are victimized?  We have courses like FNST 327-3 Aboriginal Women in Canada and SA 388-4 Comparartive Studies of Minority Indigenous Peoples which can be used towards your upper division degree requirements.  

If events like REDress affect you personally, please be aware we now have a Mental Health Nurse on campus - call 778-782-5200 to book, ask for Surrey Mental Health Nurse booking -  the MySSP app, and personal counselling.  

October 10, 2019

Blog Post

Student Learning Commons Workshops

Other than your advisor recommending one, why would you attend an SLC workshop?  The better question is, why wouldn't you?  You may think your skills are already up there in the excellent range.   ("I already learned this in high school" "I know how to study" "Who comes to university without study skills?!") Well, you might be right. Or, you might be questionable.

Its one hour (actually less - most are 50 minutes) of your time, and its free.  If you already know everything, its a carefree refresher.  Maybe you can even help another student in the session and bank the karma!  Maybe you'll get ONE tip or strategy you haven't thought of before, or you'll connect with another student in a shared class for later study sessions.  Or you'll hear about a random program at SFU that you've never considered in the course of the workshop discussion.  

Whatever you might get out of it, you will get something.  And for other students, you'll get a ton.  There are multiple types of workshops for different skill sets. Two of my favourites to recommend:

Quantitative Study Strategies.  Focuses on skills for Q course studying.  How many Q courses do you need to take as a Science student?  Likely at least six.  Get started or reviewing learning skills early on in your first term, take the workshop again to refresh or update on new skills.  Usually held in the first few weeks of classes each term. Called various titles such as How to Succeed in Quantitative Courses, Quantitative Study Skills, etc.  Upcoming on Tuesdsay, September 17th at Surrey.

Crunch Time: Survival 101.  I like this one for dealing with exam anxiety early on. It talks about habits before exams, calming down, ways to prepare, and a little bit on strategies during the actual exam.  If you have never dealt with exam anxiety before, consider it a blessing and yourself a rare person.  Its really common and normal.  With prep and learning coping strategies, exam anxiety effects can be minimized.  You really can get through them and not feel completely awful.  You're welcome to come visit me and ask for the story about exam vomit...I'm still around to tell my tale and have a degree successfully behind me! This workshop is usually held a bit later in the term after first mid-terms to help those who discover/admit to their exam anxiety then.  Currently scheduled for Monday, November 18th at Surrey.

All workshops are viewable on the Student Learning Commons website:

October 10, 2019