“Overall, it was an inspiring feeling to be seated in the same room as some of the most important business and political leaders in our community.”
Written by: Cam Galindo
Political Science Level IV
On June 21st I attended the Bay Area Economic Summit hosted by the Hamilton and Burlington Chambers of Commerce at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The cost of attending was covered by an experiential grant called the Hamilton Matters Fund offered through the Office of Experiential Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The theme of this year’s Bay Area Economic Summit was “Leading Change in a Regional Age”. The idea was to further strengthen the cooperation between neighbouring communities as shared interested are advanced in a global economy.
Discussion topics included world economic trends, inspiring stories of regional collaboration, driving innovation in the public and private sectors, and lots more. Much of the information was conveyed through panel discussions, breakout sessions, and several key note presentations. The conference took place throughout the entire day, and concluded with an address from the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne.
Her speech touched upon several points including the importance of local businesses and organizations working together to achieve similar goals. Not surprisingly, the Premier reinforced her support for Light Rail Transit in Hamilton and other transportation infrastructure projects in the GTHA that include the expansion of the GO Transit system. She even spoke to her government’s commitment to provide free tuition to low income families by mentioning that, “Brainpower is not determined by a family’s purchasing power.” Thus, once again reinforcing her government’s commitment to creating equal opportunities for students. Overall, it was an inspiring feeling to be seated in the same room as some of the most important business and political leaders in our community.
Written by: Robert Revington
Religious Studies ’15
Sometimes, it’s easy to feel guilty when you take advantage of an Experiential Education opportunity. You ask: is this right? That’s because with some Experiential Education offerings, your university is giving you money to do things that are so enjoyable that they do not seem like school! Student Experience Grants enabled me to travel through the United States and England in consecutive years for academic conferences. Obviously, I got to learn a lot from an academic perspective, but I also got to see a lot of cool places and learn a lot about the world–for these were my first trips outside of Canada alone.
For my first Student Experience Grant, in November 2013 I traveled to a biblical studies conference in Baltimore. It was fascinating to see how professors could take things from popular culture–like Star Wars–and make them the basis for a lesson about an ancient text.
Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Have you ever attended a conference? Until now, I hadn’t. I was extremely shy about this – people around me seemed to be attending all of these amazing conferences and meeting all of these awesome professionals in their field, and gaining this valuable life experience. I sat and watched, thinking to myself, what do they have that I don’t? When I was asked to volunteer at the ‘Business of the Local’ session at the 2014 HIVEX conference, it was just around the time that I had begun collaborating with Experiential Education to start this blog. In deciding to take a leap and accept the volunteer position, I finally, after 5 years, answered my own question. Continue reading →