Tammy L. Murray

Official Author Website

Third year 2008-2009

Victimology (criminology first term course) ~ Josephine Savarese:
This course took a critical look at crime through the eyes of the victim.  Types of crime discussed included domestic violence, school shootings and racially based violence.  We looked at services and programmes available to victims of crime as well as problems in policing such as racial profiling.  There were some excellent presenters who shared their expertise and experiences with us.  Rina Arseneault told us about her work at the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre and the Silent Witness Project.  Carlos Gomez gave a very moving account of his life, and then led us through a smudging ceremony.  This course taught me to think critically about our criminal justice system and victim’s services. 

Social Problems I (sociology first term course) ~ Dr. Peter MacDonald:
An interesting course on what a social problem actually is.  This course worked to define what is considered a problem in society as compared to what is actually a problem in society.  We explored concepts such as moral panics, moral crusaders, and actual harm.  Specific topics included child abduction by strangers, the use of marijuana and other drugs, obesity and tobacco use as social problems, and the use of prison as punishment for crimes.  One of the most fascinating parts of this course was the study of the Great Incarcerations; a fascinating transition in history.  This course really opened my eyes to the problem of moral panics and folk devils; how quickly an issue can turn into a serious problem for society and then into a law which essentially criminalizes people who are otherwise law abiding citizens.  I would have loved to take Social Problems II but my schedule wouldn’t budge.

Dangerous Offenders (psychology first term course) ~ Dr. Peter McCormack: 
This course provided us with a fascinating look into the life of Charles Manson and other dangerous offenders.  We covered the various psychological profiles associated with dangerousness as well as predicting behaviours, success of treatment and risk of reoffending.  A great deal of theory coupled with interesting and at times scary accounts of actual crimes.  An indepth look at Charles Manson was accomplished by dividing the class into four groups.  Each group took a different aspect of Manson’s life and crimes, worked up an indepth essay presented in PowerPoint form.  Our group was assigned the music and pop culture at the time of Manson’s popularity.  Our group received the most favourable feedback for our presentation and top marks.  It was no small feat pulling off such a large project with so many people.

Television Journalism I (Journalism, first term course) ~ Don Dickson:
This course like all the journalism courses was self driven.  In groups of three we were required to host a weekly news broadcast using stories contributed by the various reporters in the class.  Those not hosting the show were required to film, write and edit their own stories based on either hard news, sports, features and opinions.  Those hosting the show were required to created the line up, intros and extros for each story, throws to their co-hosts and other features such as weather, sports section or entertainment.  These shows were then published to the STU Basement Tapes website, viewable to anyone with an Internet connection.  For this course I contributed a story about the high cost of textbooks for students, student stress at the Christmas season, a story and streeter about the York Street train station, and a story and reaction about the U.S. presidential election.  Along with our reporting and hosting duties, regular broadcast writing assignments and quizzes were thrown at us!  Journalism courses are not for couch potatoes!

Print Journalistic I (Journalism first term course) ~ Mark Tunney:
This course looked at writing stories for newspapers and magazines.  Developing story ideas and writing good leads are critical for success in the print industry.  This course was based on attending events and reporting on them.  I covered a dog training competition, St. Thomas guest speaker Moses Znaimer, and the St. Thomas Irving Chair for Journalism lecture, Stevie Cameron.  I also did a print story on the U. S. Presidential election and my final investigative piece was on the issue of access to high-speed Internet in New Brunswick.  This was a challenging course; not only covering the issues, arranging interviews, researching background and meeting deadlines, but also the process of communicating with my “editor” (professor) and making use of his criticism.  Writing is a very subjective exercise; there is format which you can learn and then there is style which just has to come with time and practice. 

SECOND TERM

Historical Roots of Contemporary Canada (History second term course) ~ Dr. Michael Dawson
A fast paced and challenging course looking at Canadian history from the 1600s to present.  Exploring how what happened in the past has created the Canada we know today as well as our impact in policy making around the world.  Dr. Dawson is theatrical in his delivery and is passionate and knowledgeable in his subject.  I learned a great deal about Canada that I’d never experienced before and left this course with a greater understanding of Canadian politics, contributions to the wars, and the social construction of the Canadian National Identity.  

Television Journalism II (Journalism second term course) ~ Don Dickson
This second part of Television Journalism added new challenges to our learning.  We had more flexible deadlines this term so we could work on longer pieces.  I did one long form piece with my partner Ayat Abed Isaid; we did a story on the high cost of the gluten free diet.  For this piece we travelled to a remote village in New Brunswick where a woman named Rosie produces fantastic sweets, breads, pastries and more for people who must live on a gluten free diet.  We had multiple interviews for this story including a telephone interview the CEO of Kinnikinnick Foods in Alberta.  My other long form story was on high school and university level wrestlers and the importance of scholarships so the athletes can move on to post secondary education.  My shorter pieces included a ‘rant’ about River Watch and flooding on the Saint John River, a short news story about Earth Hour and a fun piece on April Fool’s Day pranks.  I enjoyed this term because it allowed us to stretch our wings journalistically by telling longer more indepth stories.  Working with a partner was good experience in communication, trying to share a vision of the finished product and achieving that. 

Print Journalism II (Journalism second term course) ~ Mark Tunney
This course also allowed us to stretch more.  We were encouraged to write more investigative pieces, stories that interested us and that would interest and inform others; but as always news pegs were important.  I used Pink Shirt Day as a news peg to write a story about bullying, winter highway conditions to investigate how the anti-icing techniques affects wildlife and some changes in food labelling to look at the challenges of people dealing with food allergies.  My favourite part of this course was the magazine piece.  Being a nature and wildlife lover I took this opportunity to write a story I’ve been thinking about for years; the Moose crosswalk at Upper Gagetown.  This piece is posted in my Print Stories section, and I’m still very pleased with this story.

Science, Technology and the Earth (Science second term course) ~ Dr. James Whitehead
Not being a science or math whiz I wasn’t looking forward to this required content.  However Dr. Whitehead does an excellent job of making the Earth’s inside and out very accessible to non science whizzes.  For instance because of this course I have a much better appreciation for the current volcanic eruptions going on in Iceland.  I am a bit of a star gazer and now have a much greater appreciation of how they got there.  This course offered lots of hands on experiments which kept the course interesting and fun and it included a treasure hunt on campus where we had to identify various fossils and mineral types. 

Deviance (Sociology/Criminology, second term course) ~ James (Jay) Clifford
This was possibly one of the most fascinating courses in my four years at STU.  Jay has vast experience in the criminal justice system and he lectures from a sociological perspective.  He challenged us to challenge our belief systems, it was an amazing experience.  What one person considers a way of life, another will consider deviant.  Ideas we challenged in this course; prostitution, drug use, cross-dressers, homosexuality, sanity versus insanity, and poverty.  After three class lectures on these various subjects we worked within our assigned group to answer a questions such as: “Are you a drug user?”  It seems like a simple question but for an hour and twenty minutes we would define, debate and deconstruct the so-called deviance of drug use.  Jay is one cool cucumber but he continually challenged us to think outside the box, do some soul searching and redefine our tolerance levels.

Posted in Resume and STU Courses.

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