FYS Roundtables highlight student work

ALEXANDRA BODE | Staff Reporter

Professors Angela Hofstetter, Susan Neville, and Natalie Carter were brainstorming ideas for a First Year Seminar conference when they came up with the idea of FYS Roundtables.

They began this brainstorming because “FYS students are doing so much really hard, really good work that others may not know about,” Carter said.

These roundtable discussions involve three FYS faculty members, one of each of their former students and an audience that is open to the public.

The audience is made up mostly of students but also includes some faculty members that want to show their support, Carter said.

Former students are asked to participate because it allows them to discuss what they took away from the class a year or more later.

“The roundtables consist of an ongoing conversation on common themes in the three different classes, and then a question and answer portion from the audience,” Carter said.

Even though three different classes are represented, each event has its own topic.

This is possible because the titles of the courses may differ, but the subjects of FYS courses often cover similar themes.

The first FYS roundtable discussion was held last semester on Sept. 13, and the theme was Monsters.

“FYS is one of few opportunities students have to take a class just because it interests them, which is a really exciting moment intellectually,” Carter said.

FYS classes are designed to have a community feel. The roundtable sessions are meant to extend the community feel.

In addition, FYS classes were organized differently this year  than in previous years—freshman orientation groups were formed based on students’ FYS classes and not by their majors, as in years past.

“I really liked (orientation) because, on the first day of classes, I knew people and it made my first day easier,” said Addie Barret, a freshman in the first semester Faith, Doubt and Reason FYS.

In many cases, the professors who served as Faculty Orientation Guides were paired with the group of students who were in their FYS class.

“I thought it was fantastic and a great idea because it helped me grow closer with my class before the first day of classes,” said Carter, who served as a FOG.

David Kennedy, a sophomore business student who served as a Student Orientation Guide in the fall, said he found it beneficial his freshman year to have the same students in his orientation group as in his Freshmen Business Experience course.

“I think the change hurt the business students, but was probably better for the freshman class as a whole across all majors,” Kennedy said.

The second FYS Roundtable will be held Friday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing. The theme for this event is Music and Politics.