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Moving East for University: First-year student Sarah Kohut talks about choosing STU in her letter to future STUdents

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, January 19, 2018
Hey future STUdents!

My name is Sarah Kohut, and I’m a first-year student at St. Thomas University (STU) from Niagara Falls, ON. I’m pleased to be writing to you today, hoping I can help make the nerve-wracking decision of choosing a university a bit easier.

Making the Decision
I looked at numerous universities in Ontario, most of which had over 10,000 students. Being quite shy, the idea of such a large university worried me. After my school hosted an “Atlantic Universities Fair,” I was drawn to STU because of their slogan: The small university of big opportunities. Learning STU was focused exclusively on liberal arts and had many scholarship and bursary opportunities, I felt this was where I was destined to go.

My First Weeks

Before coming to STU, I didn’t know a single person at the university. I was moving away from my childhood home for the first time to a brand new province. I was nervous as my family and I approached campus on move-in day, but we were greeted by enthusiastic Welcome Week leaders holding signs and smiling from ear to ear—my nerves disappeared.

Welcome Week is full of fun and informative activities to help ease you into your new life at STU! I met a phenomenal group of people who are now my closest friends. Living in residence is amazing—my friends are just a walk down the hall! Before I knew it, the nervous person I was before coming to STU was replaced by someone who felt as if she’d lived at STU for years.

What Classes Are Like

Coming from a small high school, I valued having a close relationship with my teachers and classmates. The experience here is very similar, with classes capped at 60 students. The professors at STU are amazing; after the first few classes they know your name, and they are always available for extra help.

What St. Thomas Has Done for Me
St. Thomas has given me the opportunity to further pursue old passions and explore new ones. I’ve been able to grow not only as a student, but as an individual.

STU truly embodies its motto, as there are opportunities everywhere just waiting to be pursued.

Best of luck, and I hope you fall in love with STU just as I did!

Sarah Kohut

LEARN MORE about St. Thomas University and APPLY now

Choosing STU: Letter from a first-year student Erika Paola Ruiz Arenas

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, January 12, 2018
Hello future Tommies!

I’m Erika, a first-year international student at St. Thomas University. I come from Mexico City and this is my first time in Canada.

I know it isn’t easy to choose a university, there are a lot of things to consider. Believe me, I know what you’re going through—everyone who considers going to university has the same struggles.

Choosing STU

How did I discover STU? Well, I always wanted to study in another country, so I went to a Canadian University Fair in Mexico City. There were a lot of universities, but none of them caught my attention like St. Thomas. I considered my options, and decided St. Thomas was the best one for me. It was the first time I heard about the liberal arts, and I fell in love with the idea.

Living in Fredericton

STU is located in a small city, with a river that hosts different activities all year long. At STU, the classes are small, which gives you the opportunity to connect with the professors, and classmates. The professors learn your name quickly, and if you have any questions they will gladly help you—for them, it’s important that you understand and that you feel comfortable.
Outside of Class

You can get involved in different activities that fit your interests. Welcome Week will be where you meet most of your friends (like I did). If you’re interested in Journalism you can join the school newspaper. If you’re interested in law, I’m sure Moot Court will be a great fit for you.
I’m proud to be part of this community. It has a lot of international students, which gives you the chance to meet people from around the globe, learn their culture, and become friends with them. It also helps you grow as a person and student.

I hope to see you around soon!

Erika Paola Ruiz Arenas

LEARN MORE about St. Thomas University and APPLY now

Participate in Ireland Travel-Study - May 23 to June 20, 2018

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Irish Studies is offering a chance to study and travel around Ireland in 2018!
IRSH 3213-Lines of Vision: Landscape, Art and Irish Writing will provide students with the opportunity to explore the cultural and artistic values of Ireland while visiting the locations connected to the country’s myths, sagas and folktales. 
Highlights of the many sight-seeing opportunities the 28-day course includes visits to the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant’s Causeway, Newgrange and the Hill of Tara, as well as a bus tour of Dublin itself.   Students will stay in university villages or hostels, and will get a chance to learn from some local university professors through guest lectures.
The course will take place May 23 - June 20, 2018. 
There are a limited number of students that can be accommodated so please contact Professor Lorraine Nolan at or 460-0325 for more information and price for this all-inclusive trip.
Irish Studies

Irish Studies is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the opportunity to explore the heritage, culture, history, religion, politics, literature, fine art and film of the people of Ireland and the communities of its Diaspora.  St. Thomas offers an Interdisciplinary Minor in Irish Studies. 
IRSH 3213 - Lines of Vision: Landscape, Art and Irish Writing explores the cultural and artistic value of mythical Ireland and will allow students to better contextualize Ireland through viewing its landscape and creative community through the lens of myth and saga. This study-abroad course will help students learn how environment, landscape and produced images influence not only what is being communicated by a culture, but why it is communicated in that matter. 

Dr. Daniel O’Brien Study Hall Hours for December 2017

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, December 1, 2017
Hours Change as of December 8th, 2017

Monday to Friday: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm daily
Saturday December 9th & Sunday 10th: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday December 16th: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

Closed on Sunday December 17th

Monday, December 18th – 22nd: Open 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Closed from December 23rd, 2017 – January 3rd, 2018
The normal hours of operation for the Study Hall will resume on
Monday, January 8th, 2018

Time Management, Balance, and Hard Work: St. Thomas Honours Dean’s List Students for 2016-2017

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, November 28, 2017
By: Sean Crocker, BA'18

For St. Thomas students Nicholas Jackson and Samantha Arthurs, time management, balance, and hard work have paid off.

Jackson, third-year Economics, and Arthurs, second-year Philosophy, were among the 303 students recognized as members of the university’s Dean’s List for 2016-2017.

Coming from Prince Edward Island, Jackson found a niche in the St. Thomas community and has learned valuable lessons along the way.

“It’s all about going to class,” Jackson said. “It is so much more important to go to class than in high school, and if you have time management and do that, you have everything.”

He believes time management is the key to his success, and while this is the case for many, it’s even more crucial for him as a member of the men’s volleyball team.

“We practice an hour and a half every day, plus games on the weekends. It makes the schedule busy, so that makes time management vital to get all of your work done.”

Although the in-class learning is important, Jackson said there are many skills he is getting at St. Thomas that go beyond the classroom.

“University gives you a chance to learn a lot about who you are as a person,” he said. “I learned a lot about myself moving away from home. It’s not just another grade level, it’s a brand new experience.”

Arthurs, who came to St. Thomas from Saint John, NB, agrees the key to success is balance.

 “It is definitely about the balance,” Arthurs said. “You can’t only do stuff in the classroom, and you can’t always do it outside. Make the time to go and talk to your professors and soak it all in.”

One of the advantages of a St. Thomas education is the opportunity to explore multiple interests—something Arthurs is taking full advantage of.

“I’m developing as a person because I’m focusing on stuff I’m interested in, so I make sure I put in the time and effort that is needed for those courses,” she said.

Her advice for future STUdents is simple—do the work.

 “Do the readings and do the homework,” she said. “I find that is what makes it so much easier to learn and take in all the knowledge.”

For a full list of the 2016-2017 Dean's List students, click here.

Behind the Scenes – Meet Wei Qing Tan, Stage Manager for Theatre St. Thomas

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, November 27, 2017
In the first week of her first year at STU, Wei Qing Tan, from Malaysia, decided to get involved with Theatre St. Thomas. Hesitant about putting herself out there so early, she did it anyway.
“I knew there would be no one in the room I knew, but I was taught to make the most of every opportunity,” Tan said.
Tan, who is pursuing majors in Sociology and Psychology and a minor in Gerontology, became the stage manager for Theatre St. Thomas (TST) after just one year at STU. During her first year, she assisted former TST stage manager and recent STU graduate Danielle Chaisson. Tan said she was amazed at Chaisson’s ability to know every cue throughout a show.
“She taught me a lot, especially watching her work with Trudeau and the FLQ because there were hundreds of sound and light cues,” Tan said.
As she began her second year at STU, Tan was contacted by Artistic Producer and Faculty Advisor for Theatre St. Thomas, Dr. Robin Whittaker. He asked Tan to take over as stage manager for the fall production.
“I said yes, but in the back of my mind, I was like, ‘Am I going to be able to do this? Do I know enough?’”
From her previous experience, Tan had a good understanding of the role’s demands and knew she’d have to pull a lot out of herself to succeed.
“I’m a little reserved and quiet in nature, and in this role you have to be able to talk to people and communicate your ideas very clearly to others,” she said.
Tan dove into rehearsals for TST’s 2016 production of Tirso de Molina’s The Trickster of Seville as the stage manager. She said the dedicated work of all those who step foot in STU’s Black Box Theatre motivated her.
“I’m in awe of how much time and commitment people put into this,” she said about the rest of the cast and crew.
On opening night of Trickster, Tan took her position in the technical booth.
“I was actually less nervous than I expected,” she said. “I knew I had to be ready to go into that booth on opening night, and because I was so nervous I wouldn’t be ready, I made sure I went in confidently. I knew what was supposed to happen at what point. I knew when to call the cues—the lights and the sounds at the right times.”
After burning off her first-night jitters, Tan eased into her role.
“After the first night, I got excited,” she said. “You’re constantly taking notes and checking in with the actors. Gradually, the amount of notes gets fewer and the whole team is functioning like a well-oiled machine. I’m so appreciative to the cast and crew for the relationship we share. They put a lot of trust in me. I’m grateful for that.”
Now in her third year, a more seasoned member of TST, Tan’s most recent role was stage manager for Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (November 22 to 25, 2017). She said though she’s more experienced and more confident, she doesn’t take for granted that others may still be starting out.
“TST has always been such a welcoming environment for me. I have received so much from the theatre community, and I want others to have the same opportunity—especially the first-years.”
Tan is proud of the work TST does. She said the long hours are worth the reward.
“I love the entire rehearsal process. It can be very long, but after every rehearsal, I always feel like we did so much good work,” Tan said.

Bringing New Brunswick Authors to High School Classrooms: Tony Tremblay Develops New Brunswick Literature Curriculum in English

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, November 17, 2017
By Monica Furness, BA’18

Dr. Tony Tremblay hopes that his newest project, the New Brunswick Literature Curriculum in English, will promote greater awareness and appreciation of the province’s rich literary history.
The curriculum is a free web resource for teachers, students, and others interested in learning more about New Brunswick literature. Tremblay was inspired to create the resource while teaching courses about the subject.
“Every time I taught that course I would begin with a little survey. What I discovered was shocking – that the vast majority of students couldn’t name one New Brunswick writer,” he said.

“And the students were perturbed by that. They wanted more content. A majority of St. Thomas students come from New Brunswick, so they had been introduced to some of this content, but not in the depth that they wanted. They felt sort of short-changed as a result. That led me to the idea to put a resource together.”  
Tremblay, who recently completed his term as the Canada Research Chair in New Brunswick Studies, set about changing this by developing the curriculum.
Designed for use in New Brunswick high schools, the curriculum features 44 authors and poets who were from, lived in, or wrote about the province, such as modernist poet Elizabeth Brewster and Miramichi author Ray Fraser.
It includes selected readings, biographical information, and strategies for teachers who wish to use the material in their classrooms.
The resource has also been placed online for everyone – not just educators – to access in its entirety.
“My interpretation of my Canada Research Chair was to develop resources that people in the province could use,” he said.
Tremblay worked closely with several students to create the curriculum and ensure it met curriculum guidelines for use in the New Brunswick education system.
“All the projects that I’ve done have had a large student component,” he said.
He hopes that the curriculum, which he considers to be the capstone of his term as a Canada Research Chair, will be adopted by teachers, and that New Brunswickers will use the resource to learn more about their literature, their history, and themselves.
Visit the curriculum website here: