Category Archives: success

Costa Rica: Crime, Culture & Consequence

On Friday, April 25, at 4:00pm in Daniels Auditorium, a presentation will be given by a group of students who went to Costa Rica over winter break. The maximum capacity for this event is 160 so be sure to get there early. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, specifically coconut balls, a cultural dessert the students learned to prepare while in Costa Rica.

From January 5 – 12, ten students visited Costa Rica as an elective part of the course called Crime, Culture, and Consequence. This trip, led by Professors Kimberly Charbonneau and Boyd Brown, allowed students to explore not just the culture of Costa Rica but the justice system as well. The majority of students attending were juniors and seniors, but a few sophomores were allowed to go in order to have the full ten students required. Each student was a Criminal Justice major or minor.

The day of travel to get to Costa Rica proved frustrating but students managed to keep in perspective that this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Repeated mechanical issues kept their plane delayed for a five-hour stretch, only to be continued by a two-hour stretch. The decision was made to postpone the welcome dinner planned, and students accepted food vouchers from the airline instead. Not to worry — a welcome lunch was given the following day, and Professor Brown gave a beautiful speech.

Once the group from Nichols College finally arrived, they settled in their rooms and got ready for an adventure. After a quick look around, the students realized they stuck out like sore thumbs — they were the only people in shorts! Apparently, in Costa Rica, shorts are not commonly worn. Other glaring differences between our two cultures were the use of toilet paper — which is thrown away and not flushed — and the use of broken bottles embedded in fences for added home security. Also, children stay in the home until marriage. Of course there are many differences between every culture, but these things were immediately noticed by traveler Skye Oliver, who was good enough to share not just her experience with the Bison Chronicles but her pictures as well.

Even in the middle of a large city, the students were struck by how quiet everything was. There were no blaring sirens and horns. The city was completely calm — how unlike our cities here in America! A peaceful attitude was evident all through Costa Rica. The country men and women were hospitable, laid back, and very open to the tourists. While walking around one day, Skye was given the peace sign by a man riding a motorcycle. Just one human being projecting peace and kindness to another.

Group photo

The food was enjoyed mightily on the trip. Salsa and tomatoes were big in the culture and heavily utilized at a cooking class given by a woman named Carolina, friend of tour guide Ania. This was an event the students enjoyed. The rice was spiced unlike it is commonly done here in America and was enjoyed by all. For breakfast, toast was served with fruits, rice, and beans. The students were there to learn but they also were allowed a trip to the Arenal volcano, a tour of a coffee estate, a zip-lining excursion, and their last day was spent on the beach while Spider monkeys chattered above in the trees. Bonds were formed on this trip, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that these ten students and two professors will now share forever.

Working as a group

A day in the court house provided the students with an inside look at how the justice system in Costa Rica works. Defendants choose which questions they do and do not answer. Yes, you read that right. Defendants are given the right to determine what they will offer for information through questioning. The judge was informal, speaking on her phone and braiding her hair through the start of the trial. A lawyer, German, invited the students back to his office and was very welcoming, preparing for the students and making them feel right at home. One interesting thing they learned is that once, 383 prisoners were released from prison on the same day. One of the prisoners committed a murder that day, and all 383 were hauled right back to the prison. Now that is a difference of culture!

All in all, this was a trip where students learned non-stop. If you are a student here at Nichols, or a student considering Nichols, please be aware that the college offers amazing opportunities for student learning. Trips sponsored by International Studies Abroad are common here at Nichols, so do not be afraid to ask.

View From The ARC: As Told By Alley

The #NerdHerd

Student success is an integral part of the Nichols education philosophy. So important in fact, that the motto of Nichols College states ‘Your Success Is Our Business‘. Time and time again, Nichols puts your money where their mouth is, offering just about everything under the sun to ensure students succeed during their college career and beyond.

Knowing when you need help and knowing where to go for that help can be challenging. Once you take that step however, doors open and confidence rises. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) at Nichols is designed to help students achieve their full potential, becoming stronger learners and realizing academic goals. The ARC provides the training necessary in improving study skills, peer assistance to recognize strengths and attack weaknesses, and the guidance and support needed as students climb the academic success ladder.

Be sure to follow the ARC on twitter: NC_ARC or ‘like’ them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NicholsARC

Please enjoy the next ten questions, as answered by Head Tutor Alexandra Euglow.

Alley Euglow, ARC Head Tutor

1. Tell me about yourself — why did you come to Nichols, where do you hope to go, where are you from, that sort of thing.

I am Alexandra Morgan Euglow; I am from North Smithfield, Rhode Island. I am 21 years young and the youngest of five children; I am also the only girl. I applied to several different colleges/universities, but Nichols College caught my heart the first time that I came to visit. I loved the atmosphere, the college itself and the home-like feeling I got when I visited. I chose Nichols College because I have always wanted to become a teacher and I love the education program that they offer here. Dr. Newcombe pulled me in with her crazy love for the color purple and the passion she has for teaching was the icing on the cake for me to attend Nichols College.


2. How did you originally get involved with the ARC?

I originally got involved at the ARC because I got an e-mail to apply to be a tutor during the second semester of my Freshman year. After reading the e-mail, I could not wait to apply! Tutoring, to me, was a form of doing what I love to do…teaching. I applied and became a tutor starting my Sophomore year at Nichols.


3. When did you become Head Tutor; were you excited about that?

I was given the Head Tutor position at the end of my Sophomore year, which I would begin at the start of my Junior year. I honestly started to cry when I was offered the Head Tutor position. I had no idea I was going to be given such an amazing opportunity. The ARC is definitely more than just a job for me at Nichols, it is my home and my passion.


4. Tell me about the ARC. What do you want students and faculty to know about the ARC? What services do you offer?

The ARC is a free tutoring service that Nichols College provides to all students; it is students tutoring other students. I want the students and faculty to know that the ARC is an excellent resource that anyone can use, it does not matter if you are an A student or a D student, there is always room for improvement or review. We offer several different services at the ARC, one-on-one tutoring, group tutoring, weekly tutoring sessions, review sessions and so much more!


5. Tell me the funniest thing that has ever happened at the ARC.

The funniest thing that has ever happened at the ARC occurred during the last day of my Sophomore year. As we were getting ready to say our ‘see you later’ to our four Senior tutors, we put on some Pitch Perfect music. We were all gathered around our front desk where we were singing at the top of our lungs. I took a step back to look around and I appreciated and cherished every single person that was in that room. We had finally become our own; we were the #NerdHerd.


6. The worst thing?

There are not many bad things that happen at the ARC, but the worst thing that happens to us here is when TutorTrac, which is our online schedule tracker, goes down or decides not to work for us. One of the worst times was the beginning of this semester on the first day we opened, TutorTrac was going crazy and we were having trouble scheduling appointments. We were pretty lucky because our director, Marissa Loon, got right on the phone to fix the problem as soon as possible.


7. What changes have you made since you became Head Tutor?

During the summer of 2013, I worked with the ARC director, Marissa Loon, to present to the entire incoming Freshman at Orientation. I believe that has definitely helped because the number of appointments we had first semester has crushed all of our previous numbers. Since becoming Head Tutor with Bethany Greenlaw, we have tried to make the ARC a special home for all of the tutors. We also have tried to let the campus of Nichols College know who the #NerdHerd is.


8. Is there a common misconception about the ARC and tutors that you would like to debunk?

I would love to debunk the common misconception that only dumb or stupid people get tutored. Honestly, anyone and everyone can and should come to get tutored. I believe that the smartest students are the ones that realize they need help or might need help and come to the ARC to get that help.


9. What is one thing you want to ensure stays in place at the ARC after you graduate?

After I graduate, I want the ARC to continue to be the wonderful place that it is already. I want the numbers to continue to skyrocket and I want the ARC to be known as a powerful and positive FREE resource on campus.


10. Would you say the tutors at the ARC are a ‘family’ or ‘co-workers’? Do you guys have fun, like do you do things together or is it more just a job?

I will be the first one to tell anyone that the ARC is my family. I love being with the tutors! We have so much fun when we are around each other, you will always hear us laughing at the ARC. I absolutely love being able to be a complete goof ball when I am at the ARC…I get to be exactly who I already am. The ARC will always be my home away from home. #ARClove

Alley and fellow tutors showing Bison pride!

 

 

 

To be or not to be…an English major/minor at Nichols College.

The answer is yes. Major in English. Minor in English. Do something that has to do with broadening your horizons in the world of reading, writing, imagination, and contemplation. You can utilize these skills beyond the classroom, despite what you may have been told. Writing and communication skills go a long way in almost every field I can think of, except maybe if you were to be a mime (although the drama classes may come in handy here). The “people skills” you learn with an English degree will take you anywhere. You learn persuasion, negotiation, mentoring, supervising, instruction… these are desirable skills when hiring a new employee.

All too often we English majors hear this question after admitting our degree goal: “Oh, you want to be a teacher?” We answer, and if the answer is no, the next that comes? [Insert odd and uncomfortable look here] “So…what are you going to do, then?” Well, person asking who generally has no idea what an English degree entails, I am going to do lots of things. I can enter the business field if I so desire, the service or hospitality world, or the world of retail. I can go to grad school. I can go to law school. I could even start my own business, or…yes…teach. The answer is that I have foundation skills that far too many others are lacking these days.

The English department at Nichols is unbelievably incredible. The professors generally come from high-ranking universities and colleges, and are genuine human beings who care about their students. The small classroom size and individual attention open opportunities one might not get in a larger pool of candidates.

You don’t have to major in English (although you should). You can minor. You should absolutely and positively make the choice to minor in English. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so, as pointed out in the first paragraph by the list of “people skills” obtained. If you are an International Business major with an English minor, this showcases your ability to communicate, understand, and negotiate with others. That’s impressive. Same for any other major combined with an English minor. Just do it. It’s important stuff.

Besides all of these excellent points, English is fun. How can you not love reading? There are all different things to read, you know! And writing is one of the best releases from a day of frustration. The theater, film, poetry, music — all of these things have to do with the English language. Dive in. See for yourself.