Friday, February 1, 2013

Reflections of a First-Year Student

From first-year student John Logan's blog on the Bryant University admissions website:

Honestly, from personal experience, this program was an inspiration for many teachers, visitors, and students (like myself). As a participant, I truly believed I learned much more valuable information compared to an "average" academic classroom setting. To create an innovative, practical design for a real life issue–while only having a few days– far surpasses studying vocabulary words, memorizing information, and reading textbooks in terms of "learning". This unique program has taught me to work with others in a more efficient manner, create innovation for the 21st century, and realize that it's acceptable to have new, but wild visions for the future.... 

...To sum it up, unfortunately, as most people grow, their imaginations begin to dissolve. One of the best things about being young is that we don't let the facts get in the way of our imagination.  For instance, most of us had a vivid imagination when we were young. Now, it's hard for us to even think of a fictional story on the spot as we let society and reality get in the way of our creativity. A factor that separates children from adults is that children aren't trying to get anywhere. As adults, we think too much about the next step, while children use their creativity, and innovation to live for the moment. During the IDEA Program, I felt like a kid again experimenting with new ideas, creating ways the world could be better, and realizing that having an imagination is one the best qualities a human being can ever possess.  For the past three days, I had the ability to time travel to my childhood mind this past week.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Students Mentoring Students

As part of the IDEA program, 31 juniors or seniors mentored our first-year students.  Each junior or senior was selected because he or she served as a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.   Each mentor worked with a group of 25 first-year students.  They did an incredible job!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Terrific Video - Captures IDEA Beautifully

President Machtley's Message to the Bryant Community about IDEA

To the Bryant community,

Congratulations to the many students, faculty, and staff who played a role in Bryant's spectacular first IDEA. The premiere of the IDEA, an exciting component of our nationally recognized First-Year Gateway Experience, delivered a powerful 72-hour learning experience that we can all be proud of.

We were fortunate to have 746 first-year students, all talented and and-working members of Bryant's Class of 2016, participating in the program this year. Their active involvement and participation, clear focus, and commitment to learning was absolutely outstanding. Working in close-knit cohorts and eagerly tackling the 31 challenges faced by companies and organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, our student participants developed creative ideas and innovative solutions that were exemplary. I hope that they will take this experience and follow up on the IDEA learning by continuing to use and demonstrate design thinking and creativity throughout their four years at Bryant and beyond.

From the very first seed of the IDEA that was shared with me two years ago to last night's energizing presentations, this innovative program has been embraced by everyone involved: members of the Class of 2016, student mentors, faculty, staff, and alumni. The process of developing the program, from concept to completion, is a model of what great things the Bryant community can accomplish when we set our sights high and work together to achieve ambitious goals. IDEA's 72-hour immersion was a success in every measure; in particular, the program's creators modeled crucial teamwork and creative problem-solving skills even as they developed the inspirational learning experience for our students.

This unique opportunity was developed by a dedicated group of Bryant faculty and staff led by Dr. Jose-Marie Griffiths, vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. J. Thomas Eakin, our vice president for student affairs. Special recognition goes to Trustee Professor Michael Roberto, D.B.A., director of Bryant’s Center for Program Innovation, and to his IDEA team including Kristen Biggins, Lori Coakley, Rich Holtzman, Rich Hurley, Bob Shea, and Jim Segovis.

Next week, on Friday, February 1, at 12:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, Bryant will begin celebration of our 150-year tradition of education that anticipates the future in a changing world. Innovative academic programs that integrate theory and practice are hallmarks of a Bryant education. The First-Year Gateway, and the IDEA, are fantastic examples of Bryant's ascension as a leader in education. I am extremely proud of what this program represents in terms of preparing students to use the knowledge they obtain for success in real-world situations. Congratulations, everyone!

Best regards,

President Ronald K. Machtley

For details regarding IDEA and our prize-winning student teams, visit the homepage Visit Bryant's Social Media Hub,, and find us on Facebook for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at IDEA For press coverage of the Bryant IDEA, visit