TEAMWORK CLICKS WITH DEPARTMENT OF VISUAL AND INTERACTIVE COMMUNICATIONS AND NIKON
For student photographers who fantasize about shooting assignments with state-of-the-art photography equipment, the dream has come true. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Professor Anthony Golden and Nikon, students in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications can now focus on their subjects with the highest quality photo gear.
According to Golden, chair of the Department of Visual and Interactive Communications, the arrangement allows for students to use equipment worth about $60,000, including camera kits and highly sensitive lenses. Nikon, in turn, depends on students to provide feedback. "Nikon is aware that Newhouse offers a unique perspective on photography in this program. It is deeply rooted in the latest technology and the arts," Golden says. "This equipment is specifically for our students, since they are the most important feature of our program."
Golden believes the equipment allows for greater possibilities in photography, giving students the ability to perform more challenging assignments. "This major depends on good equipment," he says. "The project with Nikon enables faculty members to give assignments they would be reluctant to give otherwise."
The equipment, for example, is a valuable asset for photographers covering sports events. "The images in sports photography are greatly enhanced," Golden says. "Shooting games in the Dome will be a breeze."
Photography graduate student Todd Whalen appreciates the initiative, believing access to the high-caliber equipment, which students must sign out, will improve student work and put everyone on equal ground. "Everybody can finally use the same equipment," he says. "It doesn't depend on who can afford to buy better cameras anymore."
Golden established the project with the assistance of Richard LoPinto, vice president of marketing for Nikon. The two met through a Nikon-sponsored, nationally televised videoconference at Newhouse that dealt with business processes in professional photography. LoPinto visited Newhouse in the spring to get students' opinions on the project. "To us, this collaboration is a support program conducted for future photojournalists," says LoPinto, noting the company is involved in similar programs with two other schools.
For Golden, the partnership is a perfect match. "We chose the company because its products are the best and most appropriate for the project. And this school is the right place for Nikon to make this investment because only top students come here," he says. "Everyone in the department is pleased with this project; it's important for us to do everything we can for our students."
STUDENTS SHARE LEARNING EXPERIENCE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN PEER-TUTORING PROGRAM
When students in the College of Nursing struggle to understand what's going on in class, they have people to turn to for helptheir classmates, who are ready and willing to lend a hand. The college offers an academic-support program called Empowering Students to Learn, Care, and Succeed in Nursing (ESL-CS). One element is peer tutoring, now in its second year.
"The peer-tutoring component is essential for the academic and developmental success of students," says Mariama Boney, counselor for academic services in the College of Nursing. Research shows peer tutoring is one of the most effective ways for students to learn, Boney says. The reason? Peers can break down information on individual levels and present it in a way that students grasp it better than they do in the classroom. "Peers are excellent facilitators of student learningmuch better many times than an instructor," says nursing professor Bobbie Perdue, who coordinates and trains tutors.
"I love to teach," says peer tutor Melody Attah, who graduated last spring from the College of Nursing. Attah found tutoring a rewarding experience because she witnessed student improvement through her contributions. "Some students were actually failing courses and they didn't fail because of the tutoring help they received from the ESL-CS program," she says.
Student participants in ESL-CS, which is funded through a federal grant, are required to go for tutoring. Other students can receive assistance on a walk-in basis. Last academic year, the program tutored 120 students. "Students who go to tutoring improve," says Boney, noting some have improved two letter grades from one exam to the next. "Then they either maintain or keep going up from there."|
Tutors are expected to be fully involved in their roles and truly dedicated to student development and success, Boney says. To tutor, they must have a 3.5 GPA and be recommended by a faculty member. They also participate in monthly training sessions that focus on how to work with different learning styles and develop an empowering relationship to make students feel comfortable with the tutor. "We try to put tutoring in the light that it's something for you, an activity that's going to help you enrich yourself," Boney says. "It's an accomplishment if you come and get the extra support."
Attah looked forward to working with two students in particular. "They were the best," she says. "They were always prepared. They would bring questions and we'd go over important concepts for the class. I made sure they understood the concepts, and they made sure they did, too."
Natacha Simon, a peer tutor and senior in the College of Nursing, enjoys the rewards of tutoring as well. "Students come in the day before a test, and I feel they know a little bit more when they leave," she says.