UCI Libraries, in partnership with the UCI Office of the Vice Provost of Teaching & Learning – Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUE), presents Profiles of Student Success - a fun campaign that features student stories that illustrate how the Libraries help them experience success. Enjoy the selected stories shared here, and on DUE's webpages and social media handles.
Robert Barry Ballard ‘18
Success sometimes comes from a particular event, and other times, it is experienced through new opportunities and gained understanding. The latter is the case with UCI student, Robert Barry Ballard. Robert is a recent transfer student studying Business Economics. He plans to graduate in 2018.
We recently connected with Robert to ask him about his student experience at the UCI Libraries, and how its resources and services are impacting his success. Here is what he had to say:
Which library resource(s) or service(s) did you use recently that has helped you to achieve success?
The Multimedia Resource Center, and working as a student employee in UCI Libraries Special Collections & Archives.
What success have you achieved from that resource(s) or service(s), and how has it impacted your student experience at UCI?
Not counting the countless hours spent studying and browsing through books in the Jack Langson Library, I have had two great experiences at the Libraries since I started my studies at UCI.
The first began when a friend told me about the wonderful resources available at the Multimedia Resource Center (MRC). The MRC allows students to borrow top-of-the-line equipment free of charge. For students living on a budget, it is a godsend. In community college I took a digital photography class and loved it, but since I don't own a DSLR camera I was unable to continue my interest in photography. Since being introduced to the MRC, I regularly borrow the Canon 70D DSLR and have thoroughly enjoyed taking photos while on my hiking and climbing trips. I also enjoy taking photos around our beautiful campus. I am a creative person, and through the MRC, I’m able to explore my interest in photography and enjoy a better life balance as result.
My second library experience has helped me successfully create a niche for myself at UCI, and that is through working as a student assistant in the Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives department. This job has opened my eyes to the amazing resources available to UCI students and community, and has caused me to reconsider my future career aspirations. The Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives hold the University’s rare books and collections, and offer these resources to students, researchers and the community. Seeing such amazing material; including a great collection on the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a special interest of mine, has been inspirational and has expanded my range of knowledge.
An even greater impact on me though, has been from learning about a career opportunities within academia from my coworkers and library staff. Talking with library staff like, Christine Kim, Kat Gaffney, and Sheree Baugh, has provided me with a glimpse into the various career options available to me after I graduate. I love the idea of working in the academically invigorating, and youthful University environment, and plan to pursue a position at UCI after graduation.
As a previous UCI undergraduate student and a current graduate student at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, I have benefitted greatly from the resources at the UCI Libraries, and in particular, the Multimedia Resource Center (MRC). The UCI Libraries have a plethora of materials to help students, including myself, complete homework assignments, projects, or research to the highest degree of excellency.
With the resources offered at the MRC, I have been able to complete projects in a professional environment and to have access to many creative outlets and tools. The MRC allows students to have a safe, quiet, and comfortable environment to successfully complete their studies in. The MRC's 3D printing program has given students like me a chance to have access to previously inaccessible technologies. This has, in turn, helped me pursue creative and interdisciplinary projects which I would not have been able pursue previously.
As an engineering student, the 3D printing program has allowed me to design and model my own pieces to be used in both my personal and academic endeavors. This resource has allowed me to further develop my knowledge, not only in the quickly developing 3D printing field, but also in the field of my studies. Overall, I feel that the UCI Libraries greatly help in furthering our education and giving us new avenues to explore both personally and academically that we would not have had access to before, and I hope they continue to offer such resources and benefit their students in this extremely positive way.