UD expands Mayterm to greater serve student body

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Officially announced on Friday, March 4, the University of Dallas’ Irving Summer program will be in effect as of May 2022. Directed by professor Kyle Lemieux, associate professor of drama, Irving Summer will provide students with the opportunity to stay on campus, take classes and explore Dallas, as well as take online Summer I and Summer II sessions. 

For students wondering about the flyers of a Greek goddess wearing sunglasses and holding a sign that says “Summer” scattered around campus, wonder no more. Maia — goddess of May — is a sign of great things to come.

Modeled off the summer Rome program, the revamped Mayterm will offer seven Core classes for students to take. 

Lemieux explained, “There’s a lot of opportunity to kind of investigate what is the best way for us to offer a uniquely University of Dallas summer, one that embraces our academics, our mission, but also takes advantage of the fact that it’s not the fall or spring, and we’re in one of the largest and most exciting metroplexes in America.” 

When Dr. Tammy Leonard was appointed interim provost, she began an investigation into the university’s summer options. Since the university had no centralized individual in charge of UD summer information and programs, Lemieux stepped in to help.  

“I’ve always felt that summer is a really special time for undergraduate students. It’s a time to discern and reflect on things in ways that are not always available during the comparatively busier fall and spring semesters. I would love to see us develop [an] undergraduate summer program that meets students’ needs with the very best that the University of Dallas has to offer,” said Leonard. 

“My vision is to create the best of UD in a summer program that can uniquely serve our own students, and perhaps also be a way for students at other universities who return to UD in the summer to enjoy a taste of what it means to be a student at the University of Dallas.” 

Mayterm 2022 is the pilot program for UD Summer. Apart from academics, students will have access to school-sponsored excursions into Dallas, a full meal plan, athletic facilities like the gym and pool, as well as the library, printing lab, campus ministry and the clinic for mental and physical health resources. 

To encourage students to participate in Mayterm, living on campus in Clark Hall will be discounted from $300 to $0 and the comprehensive fee for the program will be discounted to $200, which includes access to all the open facilities on campus and the excursions into Dallas. 

“During Mayterm, we are hoping that the students will bond and form a community of learning together, with the meal plan, activities, and excursions we are planning,” said Dr. Philip Harold, dean of Constantin College. 

Among the classes being offered during Mayterm is Second-Year Spanish II with Dr. Christina Ivers, assistant professor of modern languages, who is teaching a summer class for the first time. 

“I hope the students who take my class in Mayterm will put their language skills to use as they study not only the rich history and cultural production of the Spanish-speaking world, but also discover connections to Spanish-speaking people and cultures in Irving and the broader DFW area,” said Ivers. 

Looking ahead, Lemieux explained that once Mayterm 2022 ends, he will assess what will need to be adjusted for Mayterm 2023. He also hopes to establish a permanent schedule of courses offered during both Mayterm and the summer sections. 

“Particularly for our students who are pre-med, for heavy major [requirements] or double majors, this can be a real help in getting them to graduate or go to Rome, so they can just plan their time here,” said Lemieux. “So that would be a sort of long-term goal, and then eventually rolling out some version of Irving summer, where it’s very much a part of the University of Dallas, but has its own unique identity.” 

Historically, schedules for May and summer terms have come out late, making it hard for students to take full advantage of the classes offered. One of the main reasons for this delay stems from the difficulty of getting professors to pick up these extra classes.

“It’s a big ask for departments to say, ‘Can you commit to teaching Lit Trad III every summer for the time being?’ I have to figure out how to staff it because faculty are on nine-month contracts, so they have no obligation to teach summer courses,” explained Lemieux. 

In order to incentivize professors to teach summer classes, Leonard and Lemieux were able to increase the compensation for the faculty — something that has helped ensure a more robust schedule for this year.  

With all these changes, Lemieux and Leonard also discussed the university’s dedication to academic excellence. To ensure that the education being offered over the summer is on par with the fall and spring semesters, the Summer I and Summer II programs are also being improved. 

“Over the next several summers, we also hope to be revamping our online courses to ensure that we are offering the very highest quality programming possible,” said Leonard. 

In order to accomplish this, Dr. John Norris, the associate provost, is chairing a committee for online course approval. By the summer of 2023, every online course offered in the summer will be approved by an online content delivery committee. 

As for Mayterm, Lemieux has many plans for how to make it both educational and fun for the students involved. From going to see Shakespeare plays and visiting art museums to going to a Rangers game and having campus cookouts, great events are in the works.  He said, “It’s gonna be, you know, summer crank camp for smart kids.” 

If you’re looking for something to do this summer, check out Irving Summer at https://udallas.edu/irving-summer/ to get more information on offered courses.

Corrections:

Dr. Christina Ivers will be teaching Second Year Spanish II during Mayterm, not Second Year Spanish.

Dr. Christina Ivers is an assistant professor of modern languages, not an associate professor.

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