"The lab experience helped me take the knowledge that I learned from the class and get hands on experience with guiding students with their own cognitive, affective and behavioral learning. The lab allowed me to get to learn about other people and see how they interact, participate and learn with one another. Facilitating allowed me to improve my ability to guide others in certain situations, deal with unexpected problems and also help my own understanding of different cultures. The elements used in the lab help you see what you are capable of handling and more importantly what you can do. The lesson plans, activities and discussions help you learn not only the concepts better, but also I learned so much about others and how they see the world. I found it a great social experience and really enjoyed every moment. The more confidence you get, the better you feel each lab. With each semester I learn what works, and what does not work in a lab, and have also came up with my own activities and discussion ideas to use in the lab. The support in the Communication Department is wonderful and the guidance you can receive from the professors allows you to feel confident in yourself, as well as in what you are part of. The social aspect with the students and other facilitators has been positive and although each lab group is different, I tend to try and make sure I develop a bond with each group. This is important to me because it allows them to feel comfortable and respect me as well. Working with other facilitators over the years has been a great aspect of the department. I have learned that everyone will experience similar situations and I was pleased to have someone there whenever I needed them. The experience has been unforgettable and I have grown, learned, and gained a great deal over the years." - Kyle Burke (2008-2011)
"I graduated with BA in Communication in 2008 and facilitated interpersonal and public speaking labs for 3 years. Being a Peer Facilitator in the Communication Department greatly enriched my university experience. The Communication Department/Peer Facilitators gave me a family to go through school with that helped me grow as a person, a student and as a facilitator. It is because of the facilitation and assessment skills I gained from this program that I was able to secure a job two weeks before graduation. I have been a caseworker with at-risk youth for the past two years and use these skills daily." - Carly Turnbull (2005-2008)
<"In terms of communicating with younger people, facilitating taught me the importance of having a sense of humour and of empathizing without necessarily agreeing. The labs forced me to be clear and concise and to be mindful of any language or expressions that might be offensive or hurtful to others. It also made me aware of the challenges faced by many students whose first language isn’t English and also forced me to find better ways to explain myself. I learned leadership skills and how to confidently lead a group in discussion or an activity. I also developed a stronger ability to show empathy when a student (or just anyone I know) is struggling or having a bad day." - Emma Russell (2005-2007)
"I really enjoyed my time as a facilitator! Facilitating is a great way to gain experience working with a group of learners. It helped me to work on lots of important skills, such as time management and organization. It also helped me to feel more confident and comfortable with myself in front of a group of my peers. Working with small groups of adult students of varying ages challenged me to seek out the best ways to adapt my lessons to fit my students' needs, for them as individuals and as a group. Some of the activities that I've used in facilitation labs, I've adapted and used in the classroom with my students!" - Tiffany Briand (2005-2008)
"I feel the Communication Labs helped reinforce what was being taught and also gives other people an understanding of how it may affect their lives later on. I had the chance of facilitating for about three years I found I grew more comfortable in what I was doing and found myself to be more confident. As you are facilitating you are also practicing your own nonverbal and public communication skills (in my case) because you want to set a good example for others to follow. Before, being a facilitator I did not realize how beneficial it would be towards my entire life and so grateful that I had the chance to become one. Also, by facilitating labs I was able to bring with me the skills to facilitate several other programs my work has to offer. I facilitated several programs across Cape Breton the last two school years." - Erin MacNeil (2007-2010)
"The facilitating experience assisted me indefinitely with confidentiality. Anyone can talk to me and I feel comfortable having that, I find I am more approachable now than I was prior to facilitation training. I feel like personally I have come a long way in my own communication. In my current occupation I still deal with students on an applicant level. I found that the ability to calm and make people comfortable by establishing rapport very significant. That came in handy and I needed to use that often in the lab setting. I was able to establish lasting bonds with some facilitators and even some students; the biggest thing that I think can reflect into the real world setting from the lab is the interview." - Kirsti Carmichael (2005-2008)
"When I first signed up to be a facilitator I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I only knew what it was like being part of a lab, and not being on the other side of it. I can say being a facilitator has helped me out in my life after university. It was definitely an experience I wouldn't going through again. For those who know me and know that I am a very soft spoken person, and being a facilitator really helped me work on projecting my voice. It turned out that after graduation I got into insurance sales and we all know, no one would buy anything from someone who didn't sound confident. So looking back at the lab the constant feedback from both the students and the professor about speaking louder and projecting my voice showing more confidence helped me become successful in my work. The lab experience also helped me in my school work as well. When you help prepare speeches and teaching them how to take notes and not writing out a full speech when going to speak, I found that strategy helped me when it came to writing papers. It made my thoughts more organized and it took me less time to do papers and assignments. I still use this strategy whenever I have to present anything at work. It has become second nature to me thanks to the constant practice I had. I feel I have become a better public speaker thanks to that."
"Besides the lab experience, I found all the people in the Communication Department were very helpful. If had a problem with something, doors were always open and I found I was never stuck. From Dawn to all the professors and the other facilitators I knew there was always someone willing to listen. All in all it was a great experience and would recommend it to anyone. I have done a lot of things after university and I still think back to the things I learned as a facilitator to help me be more successful in my career and as a person. I learned to be more responsible as well, because we were dealing with other students grades and procrastination, and doing a rushed job when it came to grading would not have been fair." - Kele Zidana (2005-2006)
"Facilitating communication labs prepared me for the world of academia in more ways than I can count. It gave me confidence in my ability to guide students through lesson plans and complex concepts, confidence that made my first days as a graduate teaching assistant so much easier! The lesson plans and activities we used in those labs have come in handy as ice breakers and activities in the classes I teach now (public speaking & performance studies), in workshops I have led, and in collaborative projects with my artist/researcher peers. I especially enjoy having my students do practice speeches without bodies—i.e., introductions and conclusions with no middle. They think it’s silly, but they learn! Students have also enjoyed the toilet paper introduction game, though they seem to catch on fairly quickly!" - Shauna MacDonald (2003-2005)
"Communication labs at CBU were one of my favorite experience there. Taking the labs really helped me come out of my shell and facilitating them allowed me to grow as a student and gain a great deal of experience at the same time. As a facilitator it was great to have an installed group of friends and a place to go hang out. The department in general was very supportive and made you feel welcome. I am now working in recruitment at CBU now and I use the skills from my Communication degree, and the skills from lab, everyday. The experience in the lab and the whole experience really defined my time at CBU." – Mark Carabin (2004-2007)
"My favorite memories of [CBU] are unquestionably those that involved my time in the Communication Department. It felt like a family. Some of my closest friends are those I met while facilitating Communication Labs. The courses prepared me for all experiences I have had since leaving University. The professors are so invested in their students and truly have a passion for their work. I do not think I would be managing a not for profit organization today were it not for their encouragement and support. I have stayed in contact with many of them, and one has even become a close friend. Communication is key to most positions, be it in business, the arts, or the sciences. We all need to learn how to interact with one another. I cannot say enough about the value of Communication at [CBU]. To me, it is one of the best things the University has to offer. I will always hold the memories of those times in the labs and in the classrooms very close to my heart." Jeannine McNeil, BA (CBU), MA (York)
"We are delighted to have graduates
from [CBU] come to University of Maine for graduate study.
For nearly three decades,
[CBU] students have impressed us with their academic preparation, their overall knowledge
and understanding of communication, and their willingness to work hard in a
challenging program. They successfully compete with applicants from across North
America and have helped to make our graduate program one of the top M.A. programs in the
United States." Eric E. Peterson, PhD,
Department of Communication & Journalism, UMaine.
"As a Communication student, the courses benefited me personally and professionally. I was able to better understand my own relationships and identify my communication strengths and weaknesses. I became more confident in public speaking and in expressing myself. This benefited me in class, as well as in my job. Because of this I decided to become a peer facilitator in the communication lab. The lab is an excellent experience because it enables students to put the theory learned to practical use. Through the discussion and activities, students learn about the material as well as themselves. No matter what field or program of study you are following, communication is always an asset." Laura Dunlop, BA (CBU), BEd (St. F.X.)
"The [Communication Department] faculty are
great; I had the opportunity to take courses from all of them.
Although they each have
their own teaching styles, they work well together as a department and this is reflected
in the program. I actually switched to Communication after taking the required courses the
first year of the business program. Also, local elementary schools often ask the peer
facilitators to help with public speaking courses which are now taught as early as grade
four and it's truly amazing to me to see what these children can do in terms of public
speaking." Bruce Gillard, BA Communication (CBU), BEd (St. F.X.),
"I am very grateful to the [CBU] Communication program and have been involved with it since 1996 when I took my first Communication course. I spent three years as a peer facilitator (Fall 1997-Winter 2000) and enjoyed the experience thoroughly. It helped to prepare me for my assistantship work at UMaine and gave me an even better understanding of communication concepts and experiential learning." Bryce McNeil, BA (CBU), MA (Maine), PhD (Georgia State University). Student Media Advisor (GSU).
"I do think this course [Communication 105] will
help me in other areas of my life. For example, Im in the BBA program which has
various courses, that require me to give presentations and speeches and to use visual
aids. Using visual, vocal, and verbal communication will enhance my in class speeches and
in the market place, it will give me a competitive edge. I am now prepared to not only be
interviewed, but to interview people." Daverro Smith, BBA (CBU)