how to approach faculty

Adapted from a post written by former program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

FacultyWelcome, new students! Now that the semester has already started, you’ve probably realized that one of the best things about Hampshire is the accessibility to faculty. You may have lots of questions, and there are so many potential sources to give you the answers. But do you ever feel intimidated, hesitant, or just plain shy in approaching faculty? During this time of transition to college life, social adjustment can feel tricky in and out of the classroom. Knowing how to approach faculty members is a necessary skill in advocating for yourself and maintaining a successful academic experience. Here are some tips to building these important relationships:

  • Keep in touch with your advisor! During your first meetings, be sure to talk about classes, review your strengths and weaknesses, and share your future goals. Remember, advisors are a tremendous resource at Hampshire—there are here for you.
  • If you’re ever feeling confused, lost, overwhelmed or concerned in the classroom or about certain course material, don’t wait—communicate with your professor! There are a few ways you can do this:
    • Plan your questions, and approach them after class to discuss them. In my experience, this is the best way to get quick questions answered!
    • Sign up for office hours! Some professors are busier than others, and are therefore a bit harder to reach. Signing up for their office hours (usually posted on your course syllabus, their office door, and/or their Hampedia page) ensures one-on-one time with them, and is especially helpful when you’re looking to have a thoughtful conversation.
    • You can also contact them through email and their course website to try and find a time to meet outside the classroom. Just remember: faculty inboxes can sometimes be filled the brim, so if you’re waiting for a reply, it may be best to actually follow up in person with your professor. Note: when writing an email to faculty, make sure to include a greeting, provide a clear overview of what you’re writing about, and don’t forget to sign your name! The more information they have, the easier it will be for them to respond to you.
  • Teaching Assistants (or TAs) are continuing Division II or Division III students who help professors throughout the semester. They’re great conduits between you and faculty, so use them well!
  • The Deans of the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) are also available to help make connections. CASA’s expert tips helped to provide the framework for this blog post, and they have lots of great information to share. Don’t hesitate to visit their office, located in the Lemelson Building, or call them at 413.559.5498.
  • As with all campus communication, please make sure to check your Hampshire email regularly. Faculty, staff, community members, and other students will use this email address to reach you, and you are expected to follow up on email communication through this account throughout your time at Hampshire.

Faculty are always willing to help, but they can’t read minds, so it’s crucial for you to take the first step in approaching them. Introducing yourself and keeping in regular contact is a great way to start the year and to stay on top of your progress in class.

Best of luck with the start of the semester!

Questions or comments? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’d love to hear from you!

what’s the deal with work study?

What’s the deal with work study?

Great question. We’re glad you asked!

If you’re an incoming student with a work study award as part of your financial aid package, you’re probably wondering how (and when) to get started on the process of securing work study employment on or off campus. All work study-eligible students will meet with the Student Employment Coordinator, Janel R. Johnson on opening day and during orientation to review information about securing a work study position. But if you can’t wait to start thinking about employment opportunities, here are a few tips and FAQs to help you get started before you arrive!

Where can I view the available work study positions?
Available on and off campus work study positions are listed on the student employment intranet site, and will be updated more fully in mid-to-late August. These listings are as current as possible for this moment, but will certainly be updated as we move towards the semester. To get a sense of what’s available, you can browse the following sites. (Note: you will need your HampNet username and password to log on to the Intranet.)

On Campus Work Study Listings
Off Campus Work Study Listings

When can I begin contacting potential employers?
The student employment office generally recommends that students wait until mid-August to begin contacting campus offices. Many Hampshire offices are closed during the summer, while others operate with limited staffing, so you’re more likely to get in touch with offices once their full staffs have returned for the start of the fall semester (which generally happens around August 1). We’ve heard some stories about students contacting offices sooner than this and having success in doing so, but most offices don’t expect to hear from you until mid August. With that being said, it is a student’s responsibility to find and acquire their work study positions on their own, so one must be diligent when applying. Applying for at least 5 positions is highly recommended.

How should I contact potential employers?
Once you’ve identified potential opportunities in which you’re interested, you can begin contacting these offices to express your interest, see if the position is still available, and schedule an interview for early in the semester. Email is preferred by most offices, as it is easier to keep track of communication, potential candidates, and interview scheduling. Some listings will indicate how best to contact the office, so feel free to use this as a guide. If you cannot find contact information on a listing, feel free to contact the student employment office for more information.

How many positions should I pursue?
The student employment office suggests that students pick seven positions of interest, you should apply to at least one off campus work study position too. Many students have a work study awards as part of their financial aid package, and the more opportunities you pursue, the more likely you are to secure a position.

Are there any forms that I need to fill out?
Once you have interviewed and acquired a job, you will need to fill out a work contract, I-9, W4 and M4 tax forms before you will be able to be paid for your work. You can obtain the work contract through either the employer or the student employment offices. All work study-eligible students are required to attend the student employment meeting, which takes place on Tuesday, September 6, at which point you’ll fill out your tax forms and learn more about policies and procedures for student employment. It is very important NOT to fill out the tax forms before you come to campus. These are date sensitive and can not be accepted if dated before the student employment meeting during orientation. More information about this meeting will be available in the new student orientation schedule. Please note that you’ll need to have two forms of identification with you in the form of 1) a current passport, a social security card, or a certified birth certificate, and 2) either your Hampshire ID or a driver’s license. Please keep this in mind when packing for Hampshire!

Where can I find more information?
Visit the student employment office page on the Intranet for lots of great links, including information on contracts and a list of FAQs. Janel Johnson, the student employment coordinator, will return to the office in mid-August, but you can certainly send her an email, and she will respond within the business week, jjohnson@hampshire.edu. You can also contact Financial Aid 413.559.5484 with any pressing questions. They’re happy to help.

Still have questions? Curious about anything new student related? Feel free to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’d love to hear from you!

understanding the cel-1 requirement

CEL1If you’ve begun your advising questionnaire on TheHub, you’ve likely encountered a question about what types of campus service learning activities you’d be interested in during your first year at Hampshire. In addition to the seven courses you must complete in Division I, all first-year students are also asked to fulfill the Campus Engaged Learning requirement, affectionately referred to as CEL-1, in order to pass Division I and move on to Division II. You cannot sign up for CEL-1 activities until after you’ve arrived on campus, but for those of you who can’t wait to learn more, read on for lots of great information!

What is CEL-1?
CEL-1 is a Division I requirement that asks you to engage in 40 hours of collaborative work/projects/learning outside of the traditional classroom during your first year. CEL-1 activities thus take place on campus and/or enhance campus life. With an emphasis on mindful participation, documentation and reflection, CEL-1 activities provoke observations about the meaning of community and the relationship between your coursework and your other pursuits. The requirement allows you to weave together multiple experiences (i.e. you can complete more than one CEL-1 activity!) throughout the year that build a dynamic, comprehensive Division I experience.

How does it work?
CEL-1 activities are offered by the Hampshire community and take on several different forms. Each activity is sponsored by someone on campus. Sponsors include the array of community members on campus, including campus program staff, Hampshire faculty, Division II and III students and student group leaders.  You are welcome to craft your own CEL-1 activity, provided that it meets the guidelines and has a sponsor who is not a Division I student. You’ll be asked to document this work as you go so that you’re better equipped to write about it in your final Division I Portfolio and Retrospective Essay. Documentation can take many forms as well: journal entries, photography, collection of materials, video, artwork, etc.

What counts?
Past CEL-1 activities run the gamut of experiences, including various arts-based projects, design/build work, outdoor adventure and leadership, food/farm/sustainability initiatives, identity-based groups, student-run courses, social justice organizing, event planning, and so so much more! Membership in an recognized student group, completion of an Outdoors Program/Recreational Athletics (OPRA) course, and completion of an Experimental Program in Education & Community (EPEC) course can all count towards your CEL-1 hours, so there are countless ways for you to complete the requirement.

How should I begin?
Your tutorial advisor will help you discuss and decide on an appropriate CEL-1 activity, but  you are welcome to start brainstorming and getting involved in projects as soon as you arrive on campus and the semester begins! The CEL-1 website will guide you through completion of the CEL-1 process, and will provide an overview of the available activities once classes start. This website is where sponsors upload information about activities they are offering, and where Division I students can learn more details, browse opportunities, and register for activities. To browse available opportunities from last year (and get a sense of what you might be interested in), click ‘Old/Past’ in the Status toolbar on the Browse tab of the site.

When should I begin?
Because this is campus-based engagement, the expectation is for you to get here and familiarize yourself with the opportunities available to you. You will be updated about the CEL-1 process during and after orientation, and will be asked to sign up for activities after you’ve arrived on campus. You’ll be advised to begin this process early in your Division I, and will receive lots more information after classes begin.

Where can I find more information?
You’ll be receiving more information during orientation and after you arrive, but in the meantime, you can read more about the requirement on the CEL-1 website and the Center for Academic Support and Advising’s CEL-1 page. Have a burning question that can’t wait? E-mail cel1@hampshire.edu for more information. They’re happy to help!

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions about new student orientation, your arrival, or your first year at Hampshire. We’d love to hear from you.

people you should know: abby hanus!

Howdy! 

My name is Abby and I use they/them/theirs pronouns and am a proud plant parent. I am a recent graduate of Hampshire College and so excited to be the Orientation Assistant this summer. That title means I get to help assist with all the incredible things the New Student Programs does to make such a welcoming and exciting orientation! As a proud Virgo, it also means I get to organize and file A LOT of things, some of which you will get in the mail like the common reading! I can still vividly remember pulling into Hampshire for the first time, driving past all the farms and what have become some of my favorite local hiking spots, and being greeted by some of the friendliest faces. Hampshire quickly became my home and brought me some of my favorite people! In fact, I was randomly placed in a double and my roommate became my best friend!!

Coming to Hampshire was a really scary transition for me! Not only leaving the familiar people and places I had come to know so well but transitioning into a completely different academic system was very intimidating. Four years later I am a proud alum of Hampshire College. The interdisciplinary system of Hampshire allowed me to study education, youth programing, and photography in a fluid way no other college would let me. It was challenging and invigorating and led me to a three part Division III project I felt so deeply connected to. I had no clue I had such a passion for learning until I had the opportunity to learn on my own terms and was provided the support and guidance to do so. My best advice as you enter Hampshire is to keep an open mind about everything, to leave yourself room to adjust, and that it is always okay to ask for help.

Now that I’ve graduated you will probably find me hiking, biking, befriending any dog that will give me the time of day, hanging with my plants, Instagraming and hopefully answering any questions you may have about any aspect of the Hampshire experience. To know is not enough and that is certainly true with the next few months leading up to your arrival here at Hampshire College. Don’t be hesitant to reach out, I am here for you!

You can email me at ahanus@hampshire.edu 

You can find me instagramming plants and animals @abbyhanus

~ Abby 12F

welcome to the newtohamp blog!

photoOn behalf of the office of new student programs at Hampshire College, we’d like to welcome you to the newtohamp blog. Here you’ll find updates on academic requirements, events sponsored by the office of new student programs, tips from current students on navigating your first year at Hampshire, and posts by guest bloggers on all things new students. We don’t want you to miss a thing!

Can’t make it to one of our programs? Check back here for a post-event report with information on what you missed and how to get in touch with presenters. Looking for advice from current students? We’ll have current students posting their best pieces of wisdom from their first year experiences. Have questions, but don’t know who to ask? We’ll cover that too, by introducing the individuals that can help you to make the most of your first year at Hampshire.

Stay tuned!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

It’s finally here, friends. It’s time for the last CARE PACKAGE question of the semester!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win – just post an answer to the following question before 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to be included in the drawing for this mid-week care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents Thursday morning. Here goes:

If you could thank one person for helping you through your first year (or semester) at Hampshire, who would you choose?

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Are you ready? It’s time for our weekly care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before 11:59 p.m. SUNDAY to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents Monday morning. Got it? Good!

What would you love to find at a yard sale?

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Are you ready? It’s time for our weekly care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before 11:59 p.m. SUNDAY to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents Monday morning. Got it? Good!

If you could share a meal with anyone from any period in history, with whom would you dine?

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Happy Friday, friends. It’s time for this week’s care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before 11:59 p.m. SUNDAY to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents Monday morning. We hope you win!

If you were only allowed to eat one vegetable for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Hey, friends! It’s time this week’s care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before 11:59 p.m. SUNDAY to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents Monday morning. Most excellent!

If you had to choose the worst song ever written, which one would you pick?