Tagged: Spotlight

Spotlight: New Admissions Reception Center opens

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer

Thinking back to when I was a prospective student trying to find the college of my dreams, I remember certain campus elements that I often compared: the dining hall, the library, the fitness center… and the admissions building.

While Boston University’s old admissions building is nice, I remember that when I visited there wasn’t enough space for the amount of prospective students and their families. The spot on Bay State Road where it resided was pretty, but it was further away from the George Sherman Union and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The new BU Admissions Reception Center relocated to 233 Bay State Road, which is a five-minute walk from the GSU and the School of Management. It’s next to the BU Castle, has a better view of the Esplanade and is a larger space that will accommodate more prospective Terriers.

This address used to be the Hillel House, but has since been renovated and enlarged. The building is now connected to the Castle, which provides restroom access and better transportation for handicapped guests. The interior was enlarged to improve circulation and to meet capacity regulations.

Not only was the interior of the building improved, but the sidewalks and plaza next to it were expanded as well. As the face of BU, the center gives the university a more modern vibe. Were I a prospective student this year, I would be very impressed.

Spotlight: Visit the MFA

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer

Visit the MFA: it's free for college students!/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Kan Wu

Visit the MFA: it’s free for college students!/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Kan Wu

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston is free for college students, only a short distance from Boston University and has a lot of neat exhibits on display right now that are really worth checking out. Here are a few that can only be seen for a short time! Did I mention admission is free with your BU ID?

1. “To Boston with Love

Flags sewn in response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings are on display in the Shapiro Family Courtyard this month. The MFA brought back the display as the one-year anniversary approaches. More than 1,700 flags were sewn with words of encouragement and thoughtful designs to show love and peace to the Boston community. These flags come from all parts of the world, and show global support for Boston.

2. “Permission to be Global

On display in the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery until July 13, “Permission to be Global” features Latin American art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection. It shows what it means to be global today and includes paintings, photography, video and performance art.

"Think Pink" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ PHOTO BY Rosemary Merrill Loring and Caleb Loring, Jr. Gallery of Textiles, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

“Think Pink” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ PHOTO BY Rosemary Merrill Loring and Caleb Loring, Jr. Gallery of Textiles, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

3. “Think Pink

“Think Pink” explores how the color pink has changed in meaning and has influenced art and fashion over time. It’s on display in the Loring Gallery until May 26. The exhibit includes dresses, men’s clothing, jewelry, accessories and paintings.

4.”Quilts and Color

In the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery until July 27, “Quilts and Color” features approximately 60 quilts of bright colors and designs. Artists Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy put together the collection to show the work of mid-20th century art.

With hours upon hours of exhibits to explore, be sure to check these out before they are gone! These displays can’t be seen anywhere else!

Spotlight: The BU Castle

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer

BU has it's own castle, jealous yet BC?/ PHOTO VIA http://www.bu.edu/castle.

BU’s castle is also home to the Pub where you can attempt the Knight’s Quest./ PHOTO VIA http://www.bu.edu/castle.

Well, after attending Boston University for seven months I finally learned that we have a castle… a legit castle.

Located at 225 Bay State Road, this Tudor revival mansion is used mainly for special events, wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and is also home to the infamous BU Pub.

On the first floor you can find a library, dining room, Great Hall and a music room. It has a capacity of 125 people for a standing reception, and can seat 92 for a dinner.

The construction of the castle was completed in 1915, and after the death of the owner BU acquired it in 1939. Until 1967 the castle housed the president of Boston University, but it became a primary spot for events instead.

Alongside the beautiful early Renaissance architecture, a breathtaking view of the Charles River makes the visit worth it. The castle has select open hours, though they vary due to room rentals. A call ahead would be smart to guarantee a successful visit.

The BU Pub is located in the lower level, for the 21+ crowd. With a long list of signature sandwiches and an old-world Boston pub style, it’s definitely a must see. It’s the only university-operated establishment on campus that serves alcoholic beverages.

Pub-goers can also participate in a Knight’s Quest where participants must drink 50 types of beer. Upon completion, participants get a special mug to use while in the pub and also become knighted in a ceremony.

So seniors, if you haven’t been knighted at the pub or seen the beautiful views of the river, definitely add a visit to the castle on your to do list before graduation. It’s another place that makes BU so special and you don’t want to miss it!

Spotlight: Stay Studious During Spring Break

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer

With Spring Break only days away, school is the last thing students (myself included) want to think about. But staying on top of school during the break can really help your stress  level and well being for the remainder of this semester. Here are some tips you can use to get ahead and use time wisely during spring break:

1. Look at your syllabi.

Find your syllabi for each class and focus on the next two weeks of classes after the break.

2. Make a list.

Write down the assignments, readings and homework for each class for these next two weeks.

3. Choose a few assignments to complete over break either from each class or from one or two classes.

Getting future readings done is a good use of time and they’re easy to do while lying on the beach, flying on a plane or riding in a car. If the readings are for the not-so-near future, take notes in the margins or on a laptop so that before the due date you can review what you read. It’s a real time saver!

4.Figure out when you’re going to accomplish your academic goals.

Instead of simply packing homework, plan ahead: allocate time to work. I usually pick one assignment per day. I know I’m going to the beach during my break, so I’m going to read a book for my International Relations class on those days. So, don’t let the work get in the way of your plans, but find a way to fit them in.

5. Find a way to reward yourself!

Getting even one assignment done during the break is an accomplishment in itself, so find a way to reward yourself. It’ll help motivate your studies.

Homework is important, but remember to also have fun. Spring Break should give students a breather from the busy life of a BU student. Get work done, but in the words of Donna and Tom from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, “treat yo self” to a fun week. We all deserve it!

Spotlight: BU Entrepreneurship Club


Looking for a way to make some dough? Try turning your ideas into reality. PHOTO BY/ Heather Goldin

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer

If you have ambitions of starting a business and are in Boston University’s Entrepreneurship club, you’re on the right track! First time you’re hearing of it? Here’s some Q and A on the club to get you started:

Q: What is it?

A: E-Club acts as a networking organization and advances dreams of aspiring undergraduates. From meeting with successful entrepreneurs to sharing ideas with one another, the club is an easy way to build relationships with those in the small business world and start new business adventures.

Q: What does the E-Club do?

A: The club has bi-weekly meetings, holds seminars and has annual events. The club’s main event is what is known as the “Start-Up Weekend.” It’s a three-day affair in the ballroom of the School of Management where students have the ability to create prototypes for businesses, share ideas and converse with business owners and creators.

Q: Is the club successful?

A: Yes! Many club members have started their own start-ups, and used their skills learned to help them achieve. In face, here are a few students who’ve gotten into the entrepreneurial spirit and succeeded:

Dave Basheglia:

Basheglia founded the E-Club, and went on to co-found and serve as current CEO of Tap Lab, a social mobile gaming company. He recently returned to BU to speak with the E-Club about his successes and how the club helped him in his career.

Connor McEwen:

McEwen, a senior in the College of Engineering, works for Dorm Room Fund’s Boston team, a great example of student venture capitalism that invests in student’s start-up ideas. Dorm Room Fund’s goal is to support and inspire more careers in the start-up industry by helping students take their ideas from their dorm room into the market.

Esteban da Cruz:

Da Cruz, current E-Club president, currently works part time at a Yoga studio as well as at local start-up company as an intern. In addition, he just went out on an interview for a start-up in Boston. Da Cruz acts as a mentor for the members by giving them advice and holding office hours where members can get one-on-one help.

For more information on BU’s E-Club, find them on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, McEwen encourages students looking for funding on their start-up ideas to fill out the Dorm Room Fund application on their website.

Take advantage of these links! If you want to turn your ideas into moneymaking corporations, E-Club is the place to be.

Spotlight: Summer Storage Made Easy

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer

Don't end up lost in a maze of storage units./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Brian Pennington

Don’t end up lost in a maze of storage units./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Brian Pennington

With the spring semester going so fast, summer plans are in the back of our minds. Want to get a head start on summer preparation? Finding a storage company for all your college belongings is a great way to start. Below are some of the most commonly used services by Boston college students.

1. Cubbyhole

BU alum Jason Kaplan is the cofounder for an app called ‘Cubbyhole’ that finds nearby homes with extra space to store boxes, objects, luggage, etc. Storage can last one day, one month or even one year. Different rate plans are available, starting at $15.

The most popular usage of the service has been college students leaving for the summer or one-day travelers needing a place to store luggage before a flight.

Cubbyhole asks users to login with Facebook and then after determining his or her location, finds storage options nearby.

Users can also be hosts, offering space from a drawer size to an entire room. Hosts keep 70% of the fee, with the remaining 30% going to the Cubbyhole company.

2. Cubesmart

Students can save up to 15% and even get the first month free for using the service Cubesmart where users select a location, choose a cube size and then reserve a unit. Prices for students start at $79.90 per month.

3. Sparefoot

On Sparefoot, users can enter their location and get results for different storage services nearby displaying prices from lowest to highest. Storage space size varies from a 5’ x 5’ cubicle to 10’ x 30’.

4. Fetch- Storage at your Service

Fetch storage picks up the items to be stored, stores them and then returns them. Prices start at $3 for a small crate and then escalate to up to 70 cubic feet for $62 per month. Fetch also offers a cheaper rate to buy boxes and rent crates.

Spotlight: Get to Know Some of BU’s Newest Faculty

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer

New professor's on campus/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Lisa Padilla

A new semester brings new professors to campus/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Lisa Padilla

A full-time faculty count of 2,628 and a student body of 29,978 people can be overwhelming to the average student. With so many faces to know at Boston University, sometimes its not as easy to get to know who our teachers are beyond what they teach in the classroom. However, we’ve made it a bit easier to recognize some new names on the staff to look out for and what they are involved in besides teaching at BU.

 1. David Carr

This New York Times media columnist teaches about supporting journalism in the digital era. He still writes for The New York Times and is planning out curriculum this semester for his two courses next year. Carr will be teaching two courses inspired by his column, one for Fall 2014 and one in Spring 2015.

2.  Dirk Hackbarth

This international scholar in dynamic corporate finance teaches as an associate professor of finance in the School of Management. He’s also an associate editor of Management Science and Review Finance, and has been published in multiple academic journals.

3. Robert G. Loftis

A retired foreign service officer and United Nations worker now serves as a professor of the practice of international relations. He recently was appointed the Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements, where he helped negotiate with Iraq on the Status of Forces Agreement.

4. Ksenia Bravaya

Known as a leader in quantum mechanical calculation of complex materials, Bravaya is now an assistant professor of chemistry. She has contributed as a presenter at more than 30 conferences and co-authored a publication of 19 peer–reviewed pieces.

5. Anthony Janetos

Janetos had a previous career in high-impact global change science where he presented before Congress on various environmental issues many times. Now a professor of earth and environment and the  Frederick S. Pardee Center Director, Janetos continues to pursue the studies and influence of global change research.

6. Minou Arjomand

Having published articles in Theatre Survey and Perspectives on Europe, Arjomand now serves as an assistant professor of English at BU.  She is a co-founder of Morningside Opera and is currently writing a book about how post-World War II trials frame modern drama.

Spotlight: Why I Should Be Going To Class

By Amy Gorel, Staff Writer

Listen to Dwight and pick two./PHOTO VIA quickmeme

Chugging a coffee during the last five minutes of lecture, distractedly checking social media, my foot is tapping on the ground and I’m hoping that the professor lets us out early. He gloriously says, “Okay, any more questions?”

Sweet. I’m out of here. Going to print out that paper due next class and call my boss to tell them I can’t make it to work because I have this thing and that thing to do. 

But wait, there’s a hand up in the back of the lecture hall and now another one. Who are these people? He was about to let us out early! 

And then I realize that their questions encouraged the teacher to clarify some important and interesting info that was covered in class. Ugh.

Those hand-raisers were more concerned about the here and now–the lesson covered in this class–than they were about rushing off to do the next thing.

When every freshman gets to college, either through some orientation talk or an Internet meme, they hear the options they have: “Academics, sleep and social life. Choose two out of the three.” And sometimes more comically and probably more correctly, you find Dwight from “The Office” telling you that you could only choose one.

American college life emphasizes “doing it all.” Get good grades, join all the clubs, have an internship, make some money (and sometimes a lot of money if you have to pay for your own tuition), have an exciting social life and be a healthy and rested human being. Easy, right? Just the idea of balancing all that reaffirms my practice of keeping a backup thermos of coffee in my backpack.

Let’s stop to think. What are we paying upwards of $50,000 a year for? An education. We’re paying for the opportunity to learn from professors and from the readings and homework they assign.

We could learn to cook on our own and go out at night without paying that astronomical price. I only have to pay about $2.50 at Pavement for permission to sit for hours–and they don’t even ask me to complete a certain amount of reading before I visit again.

The hand-raisers happened to be part of the Evergreen program–students over the age of 58 who audit classes at BU. Speaking to them after class, I realized that they were here for the reasons the rest of the students are supposed to be here for–a love of learning. They are overjoyed to come to class, while the majority of undergrads grumble about waking up at the early hour of 10 a.m.

They’re here because they want to be here and they want to learn. They don’t have to stress over what they are going to do with their lives or how to follow the proper class structure to finish their major in time. While the “what am I doing with my life” stress won’t go away as an undergrad, it’s a good thing to stop and think about why we want to be here in the first place.

Spotlight: Education Goes Alternative

By Samantha Wong, Blog Editor

There is a distinct difference between enjoying a class and merely going just to go. Students have this tell, this look, that shows that they have to go to class and are about to endure what will feel like an eternity (i.e., an hour or an hour and thirty minutes) of pain. Take note that this is not absolute. Not every student gets that look on his or her face; some people want to be there and enjoy it. Though, in a perfect world, students would be going to class not only because they have to but also because they want to.

Centuries ago, in Ancient Greece, students used to form small groups with one lecturer. This was where Ptolemy and Aristotle learned the hows and whys of the world. This is, to some effect, how most of the intelligentsia and the not-so intelligentsia have learned and have come to share information.

Grecian methods are more or less what is being used in this day and age with a few modifications. The modifications are tacked on with the passing of time, with the hopes that, with each modification, with each alternative method, education will improve.

Some such modifications are that the size of groups has grown considerably; the student to teacher ratio definitely increased. Especially at a school like Boston University where there are about 15,800 undergrads. Another is that, as the world evolved, growing more and more technology savvy so did schools. Boston University, as most students know, has been online for a while, employing tools like Blackboard and Blackboard Learn.

While some are resistant to change, change, admittedly, brings about its own impacts. Though, it seems that change can mean the difference between a student performing to best of his or her ability to not performing at all. Change can mean the difference of being able to teach a student and cater to him or her on an individual level.

Some may argue that a standardized method of education may be better while others argue that innovation is key to collecting information and being able to grow for the better.

Hopefully, with the coming of time, Boston University will provide complete flexibility for classes that will increase student interest and participation. That, in addition to making attendance rates soar.

Spotlight: What Goes Into Maintenance at BU

By Amy Gorel, Staff Writer

Though everyone has different opinions about what needs to be updated or renovated on campus, many students don’t realize the extensive planning that goes into each of the changes we see popping up.

Extensive research and bureaucratic processes go into deciding what new buildings to build, what areas need renovation, and where money spent will produce the most profit and have the most effect. The BU Institutional Master Plan outlines what the university is planning in terms of physical growth in the next ten years, but only after identifying every area of weakness and problems throughout campus. The strategic plan website outlines more of the university’s thought process on this.

For those who don’t spend their days perusing the Facilities Management & Planning website, check it out. It lists all of their major (and minor) projects around campus including ones related to academic spaces, athletic spaces, residences, administrative, research and student activities. You could find out more about why you see workers replacing windows on CAS in the middle of the night to which brownstone you should choose to live in as an upperclassman because they’re renovating it this year (it’s 2, 3 and 5 Buswell St., by the way).

So as you can see, it’s not quite as simple as saying taking care of those ugly lockers in the the College of Arts and Sciences is more important than putting new furniture in the School of Management lobby – even though its already arguably the most beautiful building on campus.

The renovations and new buildings show the school’s progression; these are decisions that denote that certain areas are growing or should be growing in the next few years. Physical renovations and buildings are evidence of academic growth or potential academic growth.