Student Speak

Shelly Kowalski

Shelly is the General Editor of the Student Speak blog and is a fourth-year Communication and Digital Media Studies student. Shelly is a part-time lifestyle and travel photographer who also freelances with Discovery Channel. When not working or in class, you can find her binge-watching the latest shows on Netflix or finding new ways to make baked Brie.

Recent Posts

7 myths about university debunked

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on August 5, 2016 at 3:59 PM

It’s typical for high school students who are going into university to hear advice and stories from friends and family about their time in post-secondary education. Some of this advice can definitely be sound, but other words of wisdom might be a bit exaggerated. It’s hard to know what’s true and what isn’t, and as a first-year student, being prepared is something you probably worry about.

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Topics: Student Life

5 ways to survive an 8 a.m. lecture

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on August 5, 2016 at 3:58 PM

There’s nothing like the start of a new semester to really make you feel inspired and empowered. I know that when I begin a class I have all these expectations for myself – attend every class, participate, get an A+ and maybe even write an amazing paper. What I don’t think about is how I can do all of that as a walking zombie – because unfortunately, as I have learned throughout my studies, 8 a.m. classes do exist and they can be tough to get through for night owls like myself. Luckily, I have found some really great ways to survive the dreaded early morning lecture, so I’m not too worried about not meeting my own academic expectations.

Here are my top five tips for students who might need the extra help getting through an 8 a.m. class!

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Topics: Student Life

5 reasons to get involved at university

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on July 15, 2016 at 3:36 PM

When you go to university, sometimes getting involved is the last thing on your mind. Between picking classes (and finding them!), arranging residence if you're moving away, figuring out how to write a university paper and keeping your grades up, it can be difficult to imagine splitting your focus yet another way. But getting involved can actually be a really positive thing for your undergrad experience, and actually, benefits students in a lot of ways.

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Topics: Student Life

What is the Technology-Enriched Learning Environment (TELE) program?

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on July 11, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Going to university in the technology age is a lot different than it was for the generations that walked the halls of post-secondary institutions previously. These days, before even accepting an offer, you can research and apply to universities online, take virtual tours, and read about or watch experiences of current students. When you do finally become a student, a lot of classes are offered online, assignments are submitted through an online portal and in-class learning will often utilize PowerPoint and other digital resources that are later shared with the class via online tools. With technology constantly at our fingertips, it’s no wonder so many students are bringing laptops with them to university.

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Topics: Academic

Living local – tips on staying involved as a commuter

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on July 8, 2016 at 3:04 PM


Deciding whether to move to residence or commute to university is a tough choice. For those who commute, there’s always the worry that it will be harder to get involved with campus life. While residence does offer an advantage for being where the action is, that doesn’t mean commuters will necessarily miss out. After all, someone living in residence could decide to spend all their free time watching Netflix in their room.

With that being said, getting involved and student life, much like your academic experience, is exactly what you make of it. So, here are some tips for how to get involved on campus, even if your destination at the end of the day is an off-campus home.

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Calling all writers/vloggers: Student Speak wants you!

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on June 23, 2016 at 1:33 PM

It’s that time of year again! Student Speak is looking to hire enthusiastic writers and/or vloggers with a passion for UOIT and university life! Think you know the best ways to survive an 8 a.m. class? Have a faculty member you think needs featuring? Want to review a restaurant you think students might like? Then being a part of the Student Speak blog might be for you!

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Topics: Student Life

Fighting the fear of public speaking for cancer research

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on May 31, 2016 at 8:59 AM

Ever given a speech? If you have, you'll know that it's a nerve-racking process. You get up in front of an audience and everyone is looking up at you and waiting for you to tell a story, or give them some kind of motivational wisdom that might be relevant to their lives. And there's a lot to think about when you're giving a speech - like determining what an audience will be interested in and trying to communicate that in a confident and charismatic way. 

But public speaking is not exactly everyone's forte, and while giving one speech might be pretty anxiety-inducing, imagine giving 23 speeches in the span of 24 hours. It sounds crazy, but it's exactly what Franco Scanga, Manager, Technology Assets at UOIT, did. In an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for most speeches given in 24 hours, Franco spent one day delivering 23 speeches to 23 different audiences. The cause? Fighting his fear of public speaking to raise money for cancer research. 

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Topics: UOIT Spotlight

8 ways to de-stress during exam season

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on April 13, 2016 at 3:48 PM

Exam season has commenced, which means for many students (including myself) stress can come on full force, giving you enough reason to want to crawl up in a ball and hide under your covers in bed all day.

And while that might be comfy, it’s not exactly productive. So, to combat this negative side effect of stress-overload, we’ve asked some UOIT students how they de-stress during exam time and made sure to tag a study buddy who might need some extra help remembering that a healthy mind, body and attitude can be the best tool for success at this time of year.

Here are what our students had to say on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Topics: Student Life

Rick Mercer at UOIT's FIRST Robotics competition

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on March 24, 2016 at 1:29 PM

This past week Rick Mercer visited the UOIT campus to attend (and even take part in) the FIRST Robotics competition, where high school students design and build robots to compete in challenges.

Check out the video below and watch while he finds out aas he learns little bit more about this amazing competition, and even gets the chance to control a robot himself. 

 Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

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Topics: UOIT Spotlight

5 reasons why you should get an arts degree

Posted by Shelly Kowalski on February 29, 2016 at 9:46 AM

“Why would you want an arts degree? There aren’t any jobs for social science grads!” I often hear statements like this one from the mouths of my parents, friends, acquaintances, that uncle I haven’t spoken to since I was eleven and even sometimes strangers who overhear my conversations. For some reason everyone and their brother thinks that having an arts degree is a bad thing, and they claim that I won’t be able to find work when I graduate.

Luckily, through informative lectures, chats with professors and employers in the arts field, I’ve found that this is simply not true. Here are some reasons why an arts degree has big benefits:

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Topics: Faculty of Social Science and Humanities