people you should know: ilia silverman-esrig!

IliaHello dear ones! My name is ilia Silverman-Esrig, and I’m the Summer Orientation Assistant for New Student Programs. Although I grew up in Rockville, Maryland, I’ve spent the last four years here in the Pioneer Valley and just two weeks ago graduated from Hampshire. It’s wild to think that my undergraduate career came and went so quickly – I still remember my first day of college like it was yesterday. I remember how excited I was to decorate my dorm room with posters, lights, and more, all of which in one way or another represented both where I came from –- my past — and where I’d be headed – my future — for the rest of my time at Hampshire. I remember how nervous I initially was to introduce myself to my hallmates, how amazed I was at their apparent confidence, and how relieved I was to find out that actually, they were just as uncertain as I was.

My first months at Hampshire were an unbelievable opportunity to try my hand at anything and everything I could potentially be passionate about. In my first year alone I took a course on Palestine and Israel, Intro to Sculpting, a World Religions class, a Psychology course, Linguistics, and even an Ecology class! Having the chance to test out so many different areas of study really helped me to figure out what I was (or wasn’t) interested in. I was also able to begin the process of building my own micro-community of artists, creators, and activists – people who were curious about the world they lived in and who were inspired to make change in new and meaningful ways. I found these friends not just in my classes but in the student groups I took part in as well, from the Jewish Student Union to Sexperts (our on campus sexuality & sexual health group). I even found community in my work-study jobs in the Spiritual Life office, as a desk monitor in the Robert Crown Center, and as an orientation leader and coordinator for incoming students!

Everything that I did and everyone that I came to know while I was at Hampshire genuinely will inform everything that I’ll do in the future. My Division III, which turned out to be a three part process, was a chance for me to really put into action all of the theory I had learned previously. I created a curriculum for a workshop series that was built on the use of creative expression as a means of self exploration, understanding, healing, and embodiment; I then facilitated this six month long series with a group of womyn right here on campus. Hampshire’s unique academic structure allowed me to do this and curate an interactive gallery space that showcased these womyn’s creative works, all while writing and compiling a facilitation guide for this work that others can use. I was able to engage in a process that truly reflects the work I want to do in the future – work that is community engaged, creative, and empowering.

After four years at Hampshire, I can confidently say that I got everything out of this college that I wanted to – because I was encouraged to give my all and be present in all that I did. It sounds cheesy, but Hampshire is a place that truly changes lives – I hope you’ll take advantage of all it has to offer once you arrive.

Don’t hesitate to contact me at iaeSA@hampshire.edu if you’ve got questions or want to chat – I’m excited and happy to connect. Welcome!

-ilia, 11F

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 FrontIt’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. TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Here goes:

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

effective oral presentations

Effective Oral PresentationsHave an oral presentation assigned as part of a final project? Looking to improve your public speaking and learn how to better use visual aids? On Tuesday, April 7, Transformative Speaking Peer Mentors Quin and Ben presented a special workshop on how to prepare for oral presentations, utilize visual aids, and maximize the impact of public speaking. Couldn’t make it? Wondering what you missed? Read on for more information.

What Happened:
While participants enjoyed some delicious snacks, Quin and Ben engaged the audience in an activity designed to help them get their ideas about upcoming presentations out in an informal way. Participants pair-shared with one in another in a speaking version of free-writing, identifying how they wanted to narrate their presentations and talking things out. Participants were then asked to write down the ideas that came out in sharing as a starting point for their preparation, and were urged to begin formalizing their thoughts and determining how they would go about giving the presentation. Quin and Ben went on to discuss the use of visual aids, especially Powerpoint, displaying and critiquing sample slides and discussing best practices.

What We Learned:

  • Giving an oral presentation is NOT the same thing as reading a paper aloud. Your presentation should be treated as a separate event in terms of how you prepare, what content you include, and your overall approach. Think critically about what you want the audience to take away and make sure that the pieces you include are serving your end goal.
  • Visual aids, especially Powerpoint, should play a supporting role in your presentation. Trying to use Powerpoint as a timer or as a place for notes is generally unsuccessful, and can be a detriment to your presentation. Pay attention to your titles, images, and the amount of text you use. If the text you plan to use is more than four lines, it might be too much for the viewer to digest. Have a limited amount of time? Make sure to budget time for film clips and other slide transitions!
  • Make sure to take technological constraints into consideration. Is your computer charged? Do you need an adapter? Are you sure that the projector is functional? To prevent any surprises, consider testing your Powerpoint in the room in which you’ll be presenting beforehand.
  • Practice (and not just the night before)! Consider filming yourself, presenting for friends, or practicing your talk in the mirror. The more familiar you are with your material, the less likely you are to struggle with it in front of an audience.
  • Presenters also shared a super helpful handout on using Powerpoint. Find it here!

Get In Touch:
Want to connect with the Transformative Speaking Peer Mentors? Check out the Transformative Speaking Program website for information, and like their Facebook page for details on office hours at the InfoBar. You can also join their Moodle page for lots of great tips on a variety of different speaking topics.

Have questions? Need more information? Contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Happy Thursday, 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. TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents Friday 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. MONDAY to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents Tuesday morning. Most excellent!

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

finding the right sources

Adapted by program assistant Kaylie Vezina 14F

Finding the Right SourcesWith just a few weeks left of classes, deadlines for final papers and projects are fast approaching. Wondering where to start? You’re not alone! On Monday, March 30 we joined research librarians Alana Kumbier, Bonnie Vigeland, and Rachel Beckwith to learn some new ways to help us complete our research and work. Missed the workshop? Read on for more information.

What Happened:
While participants enjoyed a delicious and free lunch, the research librarians guided attendees through the library website, highlighting important resources to make their research more successful. The librarians prefaced this by asking attendees if they had any particular projects or questions they wanted to focus on. We visited different databases, and were told how to best use them, as well as techniques for identifying and refining research topics.

Things to Know:

  • Hampshire subscribes to multiple databases that can help with your research, which can help you yield text, video, audio, and image results that you won’t be able to find in normal internet searches. These databases are designed to help you find scholarly sources (in manageable quantities!) that will aid in your research process. For instance, a search of “California” and “immigration” in JSTOR will offer 54,000 results, as opposed to Google’s 169,000,000. You can save yourself valuable time by going straight to the databases when starting your research.
  • Do you know about LibGuides? LibGuides are subject-based database lists that are created and maintained by the research librarians for each subject area. Already know that you’re planning to research something related to architecture? Let the Architecture LibGuide be your starting point. Have a question for the research librarian in a particular area? The contact information for the librarian who maintains each LibGuide is docked on the right side of the page. Ask away!
  • Think you need a definitive topic for your paper or project before you can start researching? Think again! If you have a vague idea of what you might like to explore, you can do some preliminary research to see what others in the field are talking about. Found an article that’s exactly what you’re looking for? Use the search keywords in the article listing to help you find more sources like it. Better yet, check out the bibliography of the initial article to further refine your results.
  • Want to browse the comprehensive list of databases to which the Hampshire library is subscribed? If you’re looking for a specific database, the A-Z listing can be a good place to start. Looking for something very specific? Try the full-text article finder.
  • There are databases for images too! Looking for an image of a specific work? Use the ARTstor database to find high resolution, precisely catalogued images. You’ll find better (and more accurate) results than with an internet search.
  • Are you using Zotero? Zotero is a free Firefox extension that allows you to track searches and save sources from multiple databases, all in one place. When it comes time to complete your bibliography, Zotero uses your saved information to format and generate it for you. The librarians are happy to help you install and navigate this useful tool. All you need to do is ask!

Advice from the Librarians:
Remember that research shouldn’t terrify you! If you would like to see the librarians they are available by appointment, and from noon-5 p.m., Monday through Thursday at the Infobar.

Questions? Did we miss something? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package FrontHappy Thursday, 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. TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents on Friday morning. We hope you win!

If you were to win any existing public award, which would it be?

what’s the deal with the housing lottery?

Adapted from a post from April 2014 by a former NSP program assistant!

IMG_5523The housing lottery is approaching, and we’ve heard lots of new students expressing confusion about the process. Since everyone wants to have some control over where and with whom they live next year, we spoke to the HOO to get a summary of what first-years should know about figuring out housing for next year. Feeling confused about the lottery? Have questions? Read on for more details!

Most people already know that the housing lottery functions based on points. Individual students get a point for every semester enrolled (so a minimum of 1 and maximum of 11). You’ll find out how many points you have from a letter in your mailbox, which will be distributed on April 20, 2 days before the lottery starts on April 22. Most first year students have 2 points. Students form groups, pooling their points and attempting to “buy” a mod. You can only try for a mod that’s the same size as your group — for instance, a group of four people can only go for a four-person mod (you can’t go for a bigger mod and hope to fill empty beds later). The housing lottery progresses from smallest to largest mods — one mod size goes up every day, from four-person, to five-person, to six-person, etc. The results of the lottery are announced the day groups submit applications, so if you don’t win the first time, your group can take the 24 hours to find a new person and re-enter. This means that strategically, it makes sense to start smaller and go bigger.

So how do these registration packets work? Everything’s done on paper in absentia, and groups get to rank their preferred mod selections. Even if you put it last, if you rank a particular mod space you are committing to living there, so if you don’t want to live somewhere, put a big X through it. Note that the most common reason that people don’t win mods is because they choose not to rank them. You win your highest rank mod that another group with more points hasn’t won. The packet of forms are due every day at 1 p.m. at the latest — anytime after is too late, so be sure to try and get your packets to the HOO as early as you can to avoid a stressful, last-minute rush. If you want to drop them off while the office is closed, you can use the mail slot located in the inner door.

There are also alternative ways to get housing for next year. Instead of participating in the housing lottery to try and get a mod, groups can try and get dorm halls. For dorm halls, you have to have a group of five, but no one is required to sign up for a double. You can also skip the lottery altogether and sign up for an individual dorm room; this method also gives you the option of putting yourself on the mod wait list to fill vacancies as they arise over the summer. Vacancies are very common, and in many years the HOO has gone through everyone on the mod waitlist, so this is a viable option. Also, the mod waitlist form allows you to narrow down the parameters of the room you’d want; for instance, you can say you only want to be placed in an Enfield single (but the stricter your parameters, the harder it’ll be to get in). There are also intentional housing communities and identity based mods, which have applications here (due Friday, April 3). There’s info about intentional housing communities here, and identity based mods here, with descriptions of all the spaces and their applications.

Still want more information? All of this info and lots more is already on the Hampshire website’s housing lottery page. All first-year students have also received a housing lottery informational packet under their doors (note: if you do not want these printed materials, please return them to your area office or the HOO so they can be recycled for other students’ use). The HOO does all of their communication with students through their Hampshire email accounts, both during the year and over the summer, so keep checking your email to stay in the loop. Students are also free to stop by the HOO, ask their RAs, or write to housing@hampshire.edu with questions. And if you found this process confusing even with all of these resources, the HOO is always looking for feedback about how the process went.

We hope that this is helpful! Still have questions? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Happy Thursday, 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. TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents on Friday morning. Ready? Okay!

If you could have the world’s largest collection of one thing, what would it be?