Author Archives: Jennifer Macaulay

CWAA Mythbusters

The Center for Writing and Academic Achievement (CWAA) is located on the third floor of the library and offers free peer tutoring and writing consultations. Our subject tutors strive to help students understand course material, apply concepts on assignments, and perform well on exams, while our writing consultants work closely with students to enhance their writing. We’re out to bust some myths and misconceptions about the services we offer. Read on to see what the CWAA can do for you!

  • Myth: You need to be doing poorly in a course to seek help.
    Fact: It can be beneficial to attend a tutoring session simply to maintain a consistent understanding of the material. This might mean coming in even if you’re doing well in the class to stay on the right track.
  • Myth: You need to have a completed paper in order to work with a writing consultant.
    Fact: We encourage students to come in during any stage of the writing process. Whether you are still working on developing ideas, focusing on incorporating evidence, or fine-tuning your thesis, we can help alleviate your concerns and suggest new methods to better prepare you for the next paper.
  • Myth: Group tutoring sessions are not as productive as individual sessions.
    Fact: Sometimes learning from your peers is just as effective as learning from a tutor. Having a conversation about the material can create a clearer understanding of the content, and may even offer a new perspective.
  • Myth: If you come to the CWAA, you can get answers to your homework or an A on your paper.
    Fact: We emphasize comprehension over getting the answers. Our goal is to encourage the learning and writing process. We want to help students understand critical concepts so they can apply them independently in the future. Therefore, the tutors will not give you answers, but instead help you develop the necessary skills to reach the answer on your own. Likewise, meeting with a writing consultant will not guarantee you an A on your paper, but rather will empower you to communicate efficiently and become a more confident writer.
  • Myth: All Writing Consultants are English majors.
    Fact: Our staff consists of consultants from all disciplines, including political science, biology, religious studies, and economics. Each consultant enrolls in a semester-long course prior to working in the center to develop a skillset for assisting students with writing in any subject.
  • Myth: Attending a subject tutoring session can serve as a replacement for going to class.
    Fact: Tutoring should be used as a supplement to lecture material, not as a replacement.
  • Myth: You can only meet with a writing consultant on a paper for a course.
    Fact: Writing consultants are also trained to help with nonacademic writing, such as scholarship essays, personal statements, and cover letters.
  • Myth: You need to set up an appointment in order to meet with a writing consultant.
    Fact: Writing consultations are on a walk-in basis, so making an appointment is not necessary! However, if you’d like to meet with a professional tutor, limited appointments are available through the CWAA website.

Students who come to the CWAA know the benefits of tutoring. As one student said, “Walking into the CWAA, I was thoroughly confused on the material, but when I left I felt as though I had a much clearer understanding, and felt significantly more confident walking into class the next day.” Another student commented on an experience with a writing consultant, stating that “the [consultant] really made me think about… what would make the paper stronger, instead of telling me what to do.” Ultimately, the goal of CWAA subject tutors and writing consultants is to facilitate learning and encourage confidence. Our schedule for writing and other subjects can be found on the CWAA website. We hope to see you soon!

Your CWAA Mythbusters are Senior Tutors Joe Conti, ’18, Cassie Daisy, ’18, and Olivia Peterson ’18.

Stonehill, King Philip’s Cave and Native American History Month

Stonehill Excavations: Shown here reviewing the map plan for digging are, left to right, Dr. John P. Sullivan, of Easton, assistant professor of American history; Leo J. Kelly, 20, of Braintree; William Nowick; and John Donovan, 29, of Jamaica Plain; April 16,1957

Whenever I am asked why Native American history is important to me, I offer one anecdote in explanation. In 2009, I was working on my senior history thesis here at Stonehill. During a research visit to the Plimoth Plantation library, I was given the opportunity to walk through the Wampanoag Homesite, where I stopped to watch a mishoon (a type of Wampanog canoe) demonstration. Visitors bombarded the Wampanoag (yes, he was actually Wampanoag) interpreter with questions. One question in particular left a lasting impression on me: “Do Native Americans still exist?” In that moment I realized the “myth of the vanishing Indian” I read so often about in class was a reality. From that moment, I was determined to better understand the historical dynamics that lead to such beliefs.

As I set out on various research projects I always ended up returning to Stonehill’s Native American history. At the start of my senior thesis, I learned about King Philip’s Cave and the archaeological investigations that sought evidence of Native American settlements on Stonehill’s campus. Since 1948, several archaeological excavations took place on campus, but only one produced evidence supporting the belief that Native Americans once resided on parts of campus.

During the fall of 1956 and spring of 1957, an 8-person team consisting of Stonehill College students and faculty, as well as off-campus volunteers began archaeological excavations of King Philip’s Cave. The group initiated the project in order to ascertain evidence confirming King Philip occupied the cave atop Stone House Hill during the mid- to late-1670s. Under the guidance of Stonehill science professor Dr. James Reedy, William Nowick ‘57, Leo Kelly ‘57, Paul Flynn ‘57, and Timothy Maloney ’59 painstakingly excavated the cave floor and uncovered evidence of Native American habitation of the cave during pre-contact and colonial periods. Though the excavations proved successful, Stone House Hill’s Native American history remains shrouded in local legend and misinformation.

All that remains from those excavations is the final report, a couple news clippings, and several photographs. Objects are extremely valuable when interpreting the past, and the artifacts uncovered by Nowick and his fellow excavators could have helped interpret history to shake off myth and legend. Alas, the artifacts uncovered during the excavations vanished. Since the 1970s, Archives staff have made multiple attempts at locating the lost artifacts, but these searches all led to dead ends. To make matters worse, throughout the twentieth century looters stripped the site of much of its material culture. Much like other Native American historical sites, Stone House Hill’s former abundance of lithics (stone tools, such as arrowheads) attracted amateur archaeologists, collectors, and hobbyists.

Losing artifacts in many ways led to a loss of history, culture, and identity. With the missing and looted evidence, Stonehill Anthropology and History faculty along with Archives staff could conduct additional analyses of the material remains in order to better understand Stone House Hill’s Native American history. While the 1956-1957 digs produced no conclusive proof indicating King Philip camped on Stone House Hill, the name, King Philip’s Cave, endured. The lost artifacts in all likelihood could have corrected this misnomer and replaced myth with an evidence-based history.

As we observe Native American Heritage Month, it is important to reflect on the intermingling of history, culture, and myth. Though there is still much to learn about Stonehill’s Native American history, it must also be acknowledged that the past peoples we seek to learn about did not go extinct. They, like all extant cultures, struck—no, strike a unique balance of maintaining and transforming their cultural identities. As a historian, I know full well I cannot use a 600-year-old stone hand tool or 300-year-old earthenware pot to interpret how Wampaoag communities exist today. Why? First, because a Wampanoag tribal member can buy a hammer at Home Depot and purchase soup bowls at Ikea. Second, and most importantly, because I do not need artifacts to interpret how Wampanoag tribal members live today. All I need to do is ask.

Written by Jonathan Green ’10, Assistant Director of Archives and Digital Manager

Chocolate Myths: Is It Really Good For You?

Just in time for Halloween, research finds that perhaps chocolate isn’t as good for us as we hoped. Vox reports that the Mars company has sponsored hundreds of scientific studies to show cocoa is good for you, leading people to believe that chocolate has all sorts of health benefits, including aiding everything from your memory to your heart health.  The truth is far more modest than we’ve been led to believe by flashy articles on websites, magazines and TV programs.

Research about the benefits of chocolate is available all over the web, and can be found in reputable sources. One examples of this research includes the article “To Improve a Memory, Consider Chocolate” in The New York Times, which explained that the study participants who drank the high flavanol beverage “performed like people two to three decades younger on the study’s memory task.” It sounds like an amazing finding, but you have to read more to discover that they are looking at the consumption of a specially formulated drink, and it would take the consumption of seven larger candy bars to get a similar amount of flavanols. The study also had a small number of participants and several other important caveats. Original research is often much more nuanced than articles in newspapers and magazines.

The lack of detailed analysis in many popular articles is compounded by the fact that many industries produce a substantial body of research to persuade consumers that their products have benefits, which may be overstated in secondary reports. This is where the library comes in! When reading reports on the web and in magazines, it is always best to try to go to the original source to see if the results have been reported accurately. For example, the HuffPost recently had an article 9 Reasons you should Eat Dark Chocolate Every Single Day; the original articles are often buried many clicks deep, but once you get to them, you’ll find full PDFs in library databases like Science Direct or PubMed. The original studies report results that are not nearly as dramatic or conclusive as articles like the HuffPost piece suggest. Sadly, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

For an amusing look at the ways food companies manipulate research about candy, watch John Oliver’s expose on Sugar.

You Asked. We Answered: Introducing the Library’s New Workshop Series

Each year, we survey students to find out what services you’d like to see the Library offer. In last year’s comments, we noticed a theme:

  • “Hold library information sessions early on in each semester [that] are accessible at a variety of times.”
  • “Have more workshops.”
  • “Advertising the resources available at the library more, and holding events once a month on how to use the library resources.”
  • “I think holding more workshops in the library that students are required to attend would encourage more people to spend time there.”

We’re not requiring you to attend, but we are offering a new series of library skills workshops.  We asked students to vote on the workshops that sounded most interesting to them, and selected workshop topics to address common concerns that students may have.  Workshops are hands on and encourage students to bring their laptops and upcoming assignments.

Video versions of the workshops are available at additional workshop videos are added as they occur. Faculty are also welcome to add the workshop videos to their eLearn pages.  New workshops will be designed and held to respond to requests, so if you don’t see what you want, email and we will be delighted to accommodate your needs. Additional videos addressing library skills like searching the databases, finding full text and creating annotated bibliographies are available at

Workshops on Time Management and Refining your Research Question have already been held.  Workshops are held on Mondays at 8PM in the DisCo. Additional days and times will be added.

Upcoming workshops in the DisCo:

  • Monday October 9 at 8PM
    Refining your Research Question
    Have an upcoming paper? Not quite sure how to formulate a good research question? We can walk you through the process of refining your research question to make your research easier and more efficient.
  • Monday October 16 at 8PM
    Get your stuff together
    Have you saved so many things to the desktop that you can’t find your most recent download? Are you starting a research project that requires a lot of steps? Are you taking more than one class at once? Do you want to learn how to organize your inbox so you can find what you’re looking for? This is the workshop for you! Please bring your computers, questions, and enthusiasm as we get your emails, PDFs, word documents and more organized.
  • Monday October 23 at 8PM
    Google like a Pro
    Looking to take your google search to the next level?  We’ll go over advanced search techniques that you can use in google to find the credible sources and information that you’re looking for. Please bring your computers, questions, and remember: Don’t “just google it”, google it like a professional.
  • Monday October 30 at 8PM
    Manage your Citations
    APA, MLA, Chicago and more! Interested in learning about a program that can organize your citations and help you with in-text formatting? This workshop will go over how to utilize the citation manager Refworks to organize your research, create bibliographies and in-text citation. Please bring your laptops and some sources you would like to organize (if you have them).

Additional topics coming soon include:

  • What’s a Scholarly Source
  • Keep Up with the Times
  • Research at the Beach
  • HTML + CSS Basics
  • Primary Sources
  • Record Your Genius

What Can I Book?

You can check out a book, but you can’t book a book…

So what can you book in the Library? You can book group study room and book appointments with a librarian, all online.

Library study rooms are bookable online through the College’s R25 Live Calendar:

    • Study rooms may be booked up to one week in advance
    • Study room bookings may not be renewed
    • Study rooms may be booked for no longer than two hours
    • No bookings will be taken over the phone
    • Walk-ins will be booked as space permits

Study rooms are in high-demand as the semester progresses, so advance booking is preferred. Visit the page “Book a Study Room” for more information about each of the group study rooms, equipment available, and instructions.

For more information or assistance booking study rooms, please contact the Circulation Desk at 508-565-1313.

One-on-One Consultations with a librarian are bookable through LibCal:

  • You can select the calendar for a specific librarian, or view the availability of the entire Reference team.
  • When booking, please include brief information about your assignment and research questions.
  • We can assist with finding sources, evaluating sources, and citation information.
  • Consultations generally take place at either the InfoCafe or in the new Huddle Space, both on the first floor of the Library.

For more information or assistance booking a one-on-one consultation, please contact the Reference Desk at 508-565-1203.

4 Days, 40 sessions: FYE’s new Digital and Information Skills week

This year, for the first time, first-year students at Stonehill have participated in a Digital and Information Skills orientation in the MacPhaidin Library as part of the First Year Experience (FYE) program.

Senior and FYE co-faciltator Cassidy Ballard ’18, writes “I think that the most beneficial part of the program was the wide variety of information presented to the students. It often takes Stonehill students a year or more to figure out all of the information that was presented at the FYE program on their own. This way, the students know what resources are available to them at the beginning of their Stonehill careers.”

From September 19th to September 22nd, the 40 sections of FYE visited the Library for an introduction from Information Technology, the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement, and the Library. Moving through the first floor in groups of nine, students spent half of their 75-minute class session in the DisCo learning about IT systems, then spent the other half at five CWAA and Library stations to introduce them to the array of people and resources available to support their writing and research.

83% of FYE Instructors and Co-facilitators surveyed “strongly agreed” that the information included in the program was valuable, and 92% of students either “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” with this statement. We plan to include a question in our annual student survey at the start of spring semester that will ask first-year students whether they used any of program’s information or skills during their first semester.

“Our overarching goal for the program,” says Liz Chase, Head of Collections, Assessment, and User Engagement, “is that if they remember nothing else, students remember that there are friendly, welcoming people in the Library, CWAA, and IT who can help them find the answers to their questions and be successful in their classes.”

Students who participated in the session were introduced to:

IT Learning Stations

  • Searching email: how to find lost emails from your Professors and Staff
  • How to save to OneDrive: how to never lose your work the night before a paper is due
  • Creating folders within OneDrive: save time for the next four years by organizing your assignments by semester and class
  • Editing the my courses module in eLearn: save time by making sure your current classes are front and center
  • Where do you find the answers to your questions? Learn how to access the Knowledgebase & training resources for answers to all your IT questions

Library Learning Stations

  • Learn where in the Library to get research and IT help.
  • Have a paper or project coming up? Need a quiet place to work? Need help getting started? Learn how to book study rooms AND librarians for consultations.
  • It’s not the Dewey Decimal System: Learn how Library of Congress classifications works so you can find the books you need for class and get them checked out.
  • Don’t pay for that article! You already paid your tuition bill, don’t let a paywall in Google Scholar stop you. Find out how to access peer-reviewed and empirical articles for FREE.

CWAA Learning Station

  • Learn about the services offered by the CWAA, where and when to get subject-specific tutoring, and how to book tutoring appointments.

Residence Director Bridget O’Brien noted that “I think this was truly important for our students, and precisely the kind of work that FYE should be doing. I especially commend how active the presentations are, and how they involved students in finding their own information, not passively banking knowledge.”

From the FYE instructors:

“I loved that it was interactive.”

“As an FYE Instructor, I learned a lot!”

“I think that this was a really great, informative program. I wish it was available my freshman year because I know I would have found the information helpful and relevant.”

From the students:

“I thought it was extremely helpful”

“Thought it was very interactive and informative!”

“I liked it.”

We liked it too! Though we were exhausted after delivering our presentations 80 times in 4 days, we hope that first year students will benefit from having Library, CWAA, and IT information at their fingertips as we head into midterms!

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Liz Chase, If you’re a student and you’d like to set up a one-on-one consultation or learn more, please visit the following:

The MacPhaidin Library Turns 20

Come celebrate with us over the next year as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the construction of the MacPhaidin Library. Construction began in late May of 1997, and the library opened at the beginning of the fall semester in 1998.

Follow along with us as we share pictures and stories of the construction and opening of the library over the next year in the newsletter and on our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest).

The images above were taken on September 3, 1997 when the college had an official tree topping-ceremony to celebrate the start of construction. Members of the college community were invited to sign a beam that was then raised into place in the library during the tree-topping ceremony.

What is a tree-topping ceremony? We wondered, too. Here’s an article from Slate explaining the history of the tradition.

Security Certificate Warnings in Library Resources

What to Do When You Get a Security Certificate
Warning Trying to Access Library Databases

The library provides off-campus access to databases via a proxy server; due to websites increasing their security protocols, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of security certificate warnings received when trying to access resources. Our library system vendor does have an updated method for allowing off-campus access that should eliminate this problem; to implement this new method, our system needs to be upgraded.

To complete the upgrade, the library will install new hardware, update our software, test the new system and then test and replace all of the library’s links that we use to access the databases. This process will interrupt access to resources and will change many of the links used in eLearn and for course reserves. Therefore, the library will implement the new system in May of 2018 in order to minimize the impact of the upgrade.

Whenever a security certificate warning appears in a browser, people can click through the warning to get to the resource (instructions are below). We are providing you with this workaround and preparing for a May 2018 rollout of the proxy fix because implementing it during the academic year would result in broken links. Proceeding with the instructions below will ensure students, faculty, and staff can access all library materials. After analyzing the problem and possible solutions, this is the least disruptive option for faculty and student access while classes are in session this year.

We will work closely with faculty teaching during summer of 2018 to ensure all of their links are updated to the new protocol and will have instructions for faculty to update existing links in their eLearn course packages well in advance of the fall 2018 semester.


In Google Chrome:

This is the warning screen you may see:

Click on the Advanced link. 

You will see this window next:

Click on the Proceed to [url for various databases] to get to the resource. 

You will see this message in the URL bar:

In Microsoft Edge:

This is the warning screen you may see:

Click on “Continue to this webpage (not recommended)” to get to the resource.

You will see this message in the URL bar:

In Internet Explorer:

This is the screen you may encounter:

Click on “Continue to this website (not recommended)” and you will be brought to the database.

You will see this message in the URL bar:




In Mozilla Firefox:

This is the warning screen you may see:

Click on the “Advanced” button to proceed.

You will then see the following screen.

In Firefox, you must add the site as an exception. Click on the “Add Exception” button.

The Add Security Exception screen will pop up.

Click on “Confirm Security Exception” to add this site as an exception and to be taken to the database. You can check the box next to Permanent store this exception and you should not have to go through this process next time you visit this database.

You will see this message in the URL bar:




In Safari:

This is the warning screen you may see:





Click “Show Certificate”.

Click “Trust” to open the drop-down menu.

Select “Always Trust” in the drop-down next to “When using this certificate,” then select “Continue.” Once you select Continue you will be prompted to enter your password to approve the system change.

If you have any questions, please contact the Library at 508-565-1313.

May 2017 Hours

The MacPhaidin Library

The Library will close at 4:30pm on Friday, May 12th, and will be closed Saturday and Sunday, May 13th-14th.

During the rest of May, the library is open 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday, closed on the weekends and will close at 12pm on Friday, May 26th and remain closed until the morning of Tuesday, May 30th for the Memorial Day holiday.