Monthly Archives: February 2015

Communicating science

We had a workshop today on communicating science. The workshop aimed at teaching us some basic communication skills especially communication with people out of our fields. The instructor did so by letting us play some games that are carefully designed to give lessons. These games aim at encouraging you to melt the ice in your communication with new people that are out of your discipline.

I passed very good time with many partners in this workshop. I talked with someone about my hometown. Usually, I can say only two or three sentences about my hometown but today, as we were asked to speak for a specific period of time, I found many things to say about the history of my town and cultures there. In the same time, I learned some habits and customs from my partner’s hometown.

In another game, with more partners, I gave some information about myself. I chose to be the last one to speak about myself. I actually learned from them some new ideas in introducing yourself. I think this will help me in the future when I’m trying to introduce myself or get to know new persons. Again, I made use of the way everyone talks about himself and found out new points to speak in that I haven’t thought in before.

I also shared some story with another partner. She had a sad story but she was able to overcome it with the help of her students and friends. I actually was sad for her, but I felt that this story is inspiring in the way she was able to overcome a very sad event she had passed.

Other games were also there and were all useful. I’m sure that this active communication we had today will help a lot in preparing us as future professors. Being a professor requires you to have good communication skills.

I usually classify myself as a shy person, but today I found out that I can be some way social and interact with other people without having problems. I hope that the incentive I had today, continues with me and helps me to be able to participate in future lectures or talks. Finally, I had a very good day and I need to thank the instructor and my partners.

Mission statements!!

This article is not about a mission that I plan to go on, I hope it was but let’s postpone this story to another time. This article is actually about my view for the mission statements of two universities. When I decided to choose two universities to talk about their mission statements, I got the idea to look for two high ranked universities.  I think as these are high ranked universities, then they have made good missions and were able to follow them. Although this is may not reveal the complete picture as we may find fabulous mission statements in other universities especially fast developing ones, but I’ll go for two high ranked universities this time which are MIT (Massachusetts Information Technology) and UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).

Both MIT and UCLA are located in the united States of America and both are high ranked universities. They differ in that the former is a private research university while the later is a public research university. At a quick glance, we can see that both mission statements are well written and are focused on actual goals. They are not that lengthy and are concentrated.

By a deep looking at the statements, we can figure out that both universities are interested in developing their people. Both universities look at a diverse nation where they need to deal with many different cultures and visions. MIT took this from the perspective of serving the whole world while UCLA took this from being located in one of the world’s most diverse and vibrant cities. Both universities seek to provide students with a fundamental understanding of a broad range of disciplines beside being able to be creative and innovative for the betterment of humankind.

What actually differs UCLA from MIT, is that UCLA in its mission statement seeks to serve society. This is of course because of its nature of being a public university rather than a private one. UCLA does so by aiming to educate successive generations of leaders, and to pass on to students a renewable set of skills and commitment to social engagement.

In a nutshell, both MIT and UCLA made very good mission statements that focus on developing students through knowledge and experiments to be creative and innovative in order to benefit the world. However, UCLA increased the goal of serving the society to its missions.