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Hi. My name is Anna Katherine Verdillo.

I am in my third year majoring in Combined Honours Communication Studies & Multimedia, hoping to claim a minor in Community Engagement.

One thing I love about McMaster is the number of opportunities there are to get involved, not just at McMaster but also in the Hamilton community. Some of the activities I am currently a part of are working as the Vice-President of Promotions for the Society of Off-Campus Students, working as a part-time New Media Intern for the Communications and Public Affairs Office, and playing intramural flag football. I have also applied to work as a teaching assistant second term.

Welcome to SOCS :)

SOCS, the Society of Off-Campus Students, is aimed at students who do not live in residence. We provide these students with engaging programming to help them get involved in the University's student life.

​As the SOCS Promotions Executive, I am responsible for taking pictures that capture our events to provide keepsakes for participants and to promote our events in the future. This photo of our reps and first-year students has to be my favourite. During Welcome Week 2017, we had many first-year, off-campus students come out to our events. We had a blast!  

O is our signature move!

“OHHHH! We are the S-O-C’s, raiders of the night!”

It’s amazing how one little action can have a big impact. SOCS reps and first-year students came together to help raise money for SHINERAMA (a fundraising initiative collecting donations for Cystic Fibrosis Canada). It's a Welcome Week tradition at Mac. SOCS definitely showed how they shine. We won the Residence Cup, raising a total of $4,544!



This was an event to remember! The many cars with tinted windows rolling onto campus had so many reps, students, and parents questioning what was going on. “It’s Justin Trudeau,” screamed a rep! Excitement filled my body. SOCS rep Jordyn and I ran over to the crowd and made our way to the Prime Minister to take the infamous selfie. I was speechless! Go Mac Go!







The SOCS Office hard at work

Now that a week filled with assignments and mid-term exams is over, I can finally breathe again and catch-up on the sleep I left behind. I feel a sense of accomplishment because of how hard I worked from the start of the school year until today.

Here, I stand in the SOCS Office with my fellow executives and reps, discussing the upcoming events we are hosting for students. Through collaboration - with SOCS representatives and first-year students - we can provide a wide range of events catering to everyone’s interests. We are very excited to engage with the group and help first years… after all, first years first!

Our go to Mac staff liaison

Society of Off-Campus Students Manager, Jennifer Kleven, showcases the Off-Campus Resource Centre to students in the MUSC (student centre) atrium. If there is one person who knows everything about off-campus housing lease terms, common unforeseen issues, or anything else you can think of about living off-campus, it is Jennifer Kleven! She works in the MUSC basement, room B112!  Students can go to her office hours to ask questions or even just to say "hi!"

Thank you!

I received financial support from the Julia Hurtig Bursary - which was so very much appreciated. And, through my job I have learned about the many ways students are impacted at Mac by gifts to the University. I am grateful to all those who make gifts to support students like myself. Thank you very much!

The campus is beautiful in winter

❄️I never get bored of how nature integrates with campus life and the bliss of spending time in nature. Did you ‘snow’ there is a trail behind Hamilton Hall? This beautiful trail overlooks the nature right behind campus and extends to The Pheonix Bar (graduate-run bar) and Bridges (vegetarian eatery).

SOCS Frost Week was a blast! With the second semester starting in January, we held events during the first week back - including skating at Pier 8 in Hamilton - and joined in events led by the Mac Students Union.

Many of our Society of Off-Campus students commute from other cities. The Go buses are a lifesaver to get to campus - especially in the winter.  It’s not so bad commuting though. Sometimes beautiful scenes are there to mesmerize you during your ride.

I took this photograph from the fifth floor of CNH (Chester New Hall) and was amazed by the view from this vantage point.

Charity Ball

Once an off-campus student, always an off-campus student! We’re not just an organization, but we’re also friends.

These are some of the SOCS reps and first-year students who enjoyed a night at McMaster’s Charity Ball, celebrating a great cause helping the Eva Rothwell Centre. Charity Ball is another McMaster student tradition.


My teaching assistant experience

After hearing the news that the School of the Arts was hiring teaching assistants for one of their courses, I didn’t hesitate to apply. I took the course in my first year, and I enjoyed the professor and teaching assistants. Their teaching and leadership made for a great experience and made me confident as a student. I wanted to do the same for others.

It has been an important and fascinating experience. I have had the opportunity to teach students in their difficulties and strengths throughout the course. I’m also learning a lot from them. My professor told us to be understanding and to help students beyond the assignments given in class. The course has a lot of international students, so I help them with their sentences and grammar. With patience and passionate teaching, I've seen the students find success.

My part-time job

As a New Media Intern working for the Communications and Public Affairs Office at McMaster, I get to take pictures and assist with video shoots as part of my excitement-filled job!  Helping to oversee Mac's social media content lends well to my area of study and provides great hands-on experience.


Filming for a Brighter World

We use video a lot on the University's social media channels, including interviews with Mac professors and researchers to promote the University's Brighter World website. This photo is a look behind the scenes of filming with Dr. Hendrik Poinar, Principal Investigator at McMaster's Ancient DNA Centre, talking about mapping the genomes of elephants and their ancient relatives the mammoths and mastodons to understand their evolutionary history. You can view the final video we shot that was used on Facebook by clicking here.



Amazing! The remnants of a woolly mammoth.

It was incredibly neat to be in the presence of remnants of a woolly mammoth. Filming here is my colleague JD Howell. The protective gear was needed to protect the samples.



Colours still burst amidst the dark

This is a Communication Studies & Multimedia project that is quite meaningful to me. The assignment tasked students to submit a photograph, a self-portrait that describes our identity. In this photograph, I am wearing a garbage bag - a representation that many people are made to feel they are not good enough. The bright colours in my photo can represent anything someone might want them to, whether it be your skin colour, your background, your interests, or simply just your favourite colour. I wanted to show that everyone is different and recognizing that should be the first step of acceptance. For me the colours represent my filipino background, coming to Canada as an immigrant and receiving my Canadian Citizenship when I was eight years old. My colours represent my journey and my acceptance in Canada. Colours are powerful and can outshine the dark.

And that's a wrap!

I had a beautiful third year - successful and fun. So many things happened that I am grateful for. I cannot wait to experience more.

I am closing my year with this photograph. This sunset brings an end to a day filled with blessings and brings new opportunities for tomorrow.



Thank you for reading about my year at Mac!