#SocSciSummer contest is here!


McMaster Soc Sci students are amazing! You have a unique way of viewing the world that includes a deep appreciation of the diversity of people, cultures and experiences and the value of community engagement.

Every September we hear stories of the interesting, fun and just plain awesome things you did over the summer. This year we want to share those stories as they happen, because the Office of Experiential Education loves to hear about great experiences!

How to Enter

To be entered into the contest just tell us what you are doing with your #SocSciSummer.

  • engaging in a rewarding volunteer experience?
  • working in a unique summer job?
  • exploring food and culture around the world?
  • studying abroad?
  • conducting research?
  • attending cultural events?
  • getting ready to come to university?

Whether you are currently part of the Soc Sci family, about to join us in September or have just graduated, we want to hear what you’re up to!

Tell us what you are doing or where you are this summer in a social media post that includes a pic and #SocSciSummer.

t: @McMasterEE

f: McMaster Experiential Education

i: @McMasterSocSci


We’ll be giving out prizes each week via random draws. Contest ends August 26 at 12 p.m. with a grand prize draw for a $100 Campus Store gift card!

Looking to be Insta-Famous?

We’re looking for students to do a @McMasterSocSci Instagram takeover for a few days, showing us your #SocSciSummer. Contact us if you’re interested!


Students Learn Lessons from Premier Kathleen Wynne and Local Leaders

BAES Kathleen Wynne

“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.

Continue reading

Ambitious Student. Ambitious City.

By Cam Galindo
(Political Science)

Every so often, students at McMaster University are offered the opportunity to experience something new and go beyond the books. Last month, I did just that. Through my Experiential Education (EE) office in the Faculty of Social Sciences, I was made aware of an event that was being hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce called Ambitious City 2015, Is Hamilton Canada’s Brooklyn? The cost of attending the event was covered by an experiential grant, called the Hamilton Matters Fund, offered through the EE office. I’ve always been one to experience as much as possible so I accepted the offer and attended the event with a friend.


The event was more of a spirited panel conversation between experts on the movement fuelling Hamilton’s fresh identity and new economy. The discussion ended up being moderated by none other than Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s the Agenda, and someone whom I look up to as a Political Science student. Also in attendance was the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Scissura, and a few local notables.

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Do you remember your first McMaster experience?

Written by: Ruthanne Talbot
Programming and Outreach Manager, Experiential Education

This past Saturday I attended Fall Preview – the day when excited, ambitious and sometimes tentative high school students visit Mac. Our job as staff is to help them fall in love with our campus and academic programs and, ultimately, see themselves as part of the McMaster and Social Sciences family. We also want potential students to see the great value in their Social Sciences degree and the benefits of participating in Experiential Education (EE) programming.

20151121_141040We were thrilled learn that one potential Social Sciences student who attended Fall Preview, Felicia, actually wrote a blog post about her visit to Mac. She attended one of the Social Sciences info sessions and is already well on her way to being a member of the Soc Sci and EE family! She’s got a plan for her degree program, she knows about EE internships (we’ll tell her about all of our other great EE stuff when she gets here), and she WANTS to be here at McMaster (who wouldn’t?).

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Happy Summer…and Welcome to the New Blog!

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

Hey everyone!!

Sorry I’ve been absent for so long, I promise I haven’t forgotten about you all!! 😛

In my opinion, summer is when exciting things happen. Most of my most significant memories from my university years are remembered by summer, rather than by what ‘year’ of my program I was in. This summer is no different. Summer gives you the chance to refresh, regroup, and make some serious goals for your upcoming year of school. If you start planning early, you might realise you need to enrol in a summer term class or two, and you might even start applying for fall internships through EE!!

Me, I’m over in a little town called Bradford, England completing an opportunity of a lifetime internship at a little family firm called The Mineral Planning group. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you spend your days in a small office with four people. No coffee runs for this intern!! While my internship was self-guided, I know that EE strives for the same goals – they want to secure student internships that are meaningful and educational, with the hopes that if you don’t know where you want to go with your career, maybe an internship through EE will help you figure it out.

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HIVEX Conference

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

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

Hey Mac!!

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

When I think back to my very first year at McMaster (longer ago than I’d like to admit!!), the one thing that resonates with me is that I wish I had had a mentor. Someone to guide me through the hard parts, tell me when I’m doing a good job, and give me a few tips to make it all easier. Let me tell you a little bit about myself; I’m back at McMaster for a second degree. Currently, I’m enrolled in Sociology level III, but I’m shadowing the Department of Geography and Environmental Science to change programs at the end of this term. My first degree is in Physical Anthropology and Archaeology. I’ve been very active throughout my undergraduate time at McMaster, volunteering extensively for the Society of Off-Campus Students and the McMaster Anthropology Society. I’ll never forget the day after my convocation. I remember sitting in my room, so proud of myself that I was finally done. I could finally move on to bigger and better things. But then I thought to myself – what does that all mean? Where do I go, and what do I do? How do I get there? What does this piece of paper with a fancy stamp actually mean? Continue reading