Undergraduate News & Notes
Alumni Spotlight - Mike Bickerton (MIT '01)
The Real Housewives of Vancouver; The Bachelor Canada; Canadian Idol; Top Chef Canada; So You Think You Can Dance Canada; Canada's Next Top Model…Mike Bickerton has them all on his resume.
As a director, producer and writer, MIT grad Mike Bickerton has spent much of his career thus far working on reality and competition format shows, particularly Canadian adaptations of international programs. This Spring, he dipped his toes into some on-camera work as Host of the Real Housewives of Vancouver reunion show.
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Current town: Toronto, ON
Education: BA (Hons) MIT 2001 at Western; MA Communications and Culture 2003 at York and Ryerson Universities.
Career Highlight: Producing live events during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Q & A:
- Your most fun job since graduation?
“The most exciting and challenging job I've had since graduation was as a live event producer for the London 2012 Olympic games at Hyde Park this past summer. It is the biggest production in the world and I ended up at the heart of one of the biggest Games venues producing events for 100,000 of spectators. I get tingles just thinking about the experience.”
- The undergrad course that had the biggest impact on you?
“An English department class called "Reading Popular Culture." My friends in other faculties were taking it as an elective and it was the course that made me realize I could study pop culture as a legitimate subject. After taking that class I found MIT and found a place where I could apply critical thinking to popular or common media. It absolutely has had a major impact on how my life unfolded.”
- The person I’ll always remember from FIMS is…?
“Kathie Hess, although this was back in the days when she was Kathie Barrett. Kathie really cared about the students in the MIT program and she was always there to help with talking through ideas or plans or concerns I had. I had many question marks as a student and Kathie was someone I could count on to give me an objective opinion. “ Honorable mention: Romayne Smith Fullerton. “Her class on representation opened my eyes to the idea that rules are made to be broken.”
The inaugural edition of Mediations: FIMS Undergraduate Academic Journal was posted on the FIMS website in July 2012. The journal features a selection of the best academic essays produced by undergraduate students throughout the year. The six final selections included in the journal were chosen by a panel of faculty members including Selma Purac, Tim Blackmore and Michael Daubs. Titles include “The Internet as Anti-Democratic Technology,” “Tupperware: An Agent of Social Control in Postwar America,” “Personas and Pickaxes: Human Motivation in the World of Minecraft,” “The Bloodless Revolt: Divine Violence in David Fincher’s Fight Club,” “’Talking to Americans’: Canadian Identity, Satire and the ‘One Way Mirror’,” and “Killer Discourses: The Representation of HIV/AIDS in Contemporary Media.”
MIT Students’ Council gets a new name
Formerly known as the MIT Students’ Council, the official body representing undergraduate students in FIMS has been renamed the FIMS Undergraduate Students’ Council. Current Council President and MTP student Jordan Coop explains that it is all in an effort to be more inclusive of all undergraduate programs in FIMS.
“By changing the name of our students' council to include all of FIMS undergraduates, I therefore felt that we could not only make the name more accurate, but that we could also, by extension, foster a greater sense of cohesion within the FIMS community at large.”
New Space, New Staff
Undergraduate Student Services has undergone some major remodeling in a process that began over the summer. New staff and new space highlight these changes.
New Staff: Over the summer FIMS added three positions in UGSS; one pre-existing role was re-staffed, and fresh faces were hired into two new positions.
Joining the team as a full-time academic counselor is Aaron Murray-Nellis, who comes to FIMS from Paris, France. Aaron spent the last 5 years at the American University of Paris serving as a Student Counselor in the Office of Student Affairs.
Also new to the team is Lindsay Sommerauer, who has taken on the academic counseling role on a part-time basis. Lindsay spent last year teaching high school in Ottawa, and prior to that she was teaching in Kuala Lumpur.
Sharon Campbell, who previously worked with Graduate Student Services in the co-op office, has moved to the undergraduate side of the house. Sharon is supplying students with frontline assistance as an Undergraduate Student Services Assistant. Kathie Hess continues to manage the team as Senior Academic Counselor, while Wendy Daubs and Susan Weekes continue in their roles of Programs Assistant and Internship Coordinator.
New Space: In an effort to streamline services for undergraduate students, a new undergraduate student reception area has been created on the second floor of NCB, while many of the UGSS staff offices have been concentrated in the same hallway. This should provide an easy, one-stop-shop for undergrads when they need to access administrative services.
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