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Featured Student: Olivia Mathieu

Olivia Mathieu is the originator of the ODY DB program, which is short for ODY’s Donation/Borrowing textbook program. 

The project was her Honors Senior Year Experience that was supervised by Jess Prody.  The idea for this SYE project originated from a class that Olivia took in her sophomore year with Juraj Kittler, where she wrote an investigative research paper that focused on the large issues in academic publishing, and notably the high cost of academic material. Olivia then developed this paper into a semester-long project during her Junior year, in which the class required students to identify, address and fix a local problem that existed in the Canton Community.

Given Olivia’s previous knowledge about the structure of academic publishing companies and their influence on the price of textbooks, Olivia set out to solve this problem of the high costs of textbooks at St. Lawrence that she discovered to be so prominent amidst researching for her paper in her sophomore year.

During the semester-long project her junior year, Olivia was able to accomplish a lot of the investigative work to set herself up to really accomplish the project during her SYE this past Fall, 2017. “I originally did a bunch of legwork to see what was happening on campuses nationally and what the implications might be for SLU. I focused on what St. Lawrence was lacking (an on-reserve textbook library) and started to set attainable goals that would be applicable for SLU.” Olivia was happy to do the project, and is very excited to see how the ODY-DB develops over time and how students will utilize the program.

“It was a lot of work at the beginning of the semester, but now that it is launched, I believe the program has a lot of potential and can become a staple alternative textbook resource that will always available to students”. Olivia has teamed up with Academic Affairs committee of THELMO to institutionalize the ODY-DB and ensure on-going sustainability of the donation/borrowing textbook program.