Div III Orientation: Faculty Advice + Audio

Here are some highlights from a past faculty panel (NOTE: audio is currently as .mov files)

First, a bit on expectations (.mov) — Laura Wenk


Jason Tor (.mov)  Associate Professor of Microbiology


  • Stay connected to other students
    • ask committee members for suggestions of other students who do similar things
    • attend events
    • set up peer reading/writing groups
  • Time management
    • It gets complicated. If you start work early it will give your project time to evolve.
  • Instead of avoiding your sore spots get help from your committee and campus resources

Elly Donkin (.mov) Professor of Theater

  • Establish a balance between staying connected to other students and retreating into your workspace and work time.
  • You will reach a moment of truth where you might feel adrift in an ocean. Consider your faculty committee as collaborators and seek out their input.
  • Be prepared to have some progress made by December. Don’t wait to move ideas forward.
  • Leave time to encounter the unexpected.

Rachel Rubinstein (.mov) Associate Professor of American Literature & Jewish Studies


  • Don’t be afraid to approach faculty outside of your disciplinary area. They can bring a fresh perspective to your work.
  • No one knows how to do a Div III until you’ve done one. Be patient with yourself in the process.
  • Meet regularly with your full faculty committee.You’re responsible for getting them in the same room and when you do: write everything down!
  • Meet with the librarians to get help with research. Including online bibliographical systems like Zotero.
  • Seek out writing support through concentrator seminars, peer groups, and the writing center.
  • As you’re reading, write down your thoughts. Trust your ideas!
  • Expect moments of pain and struggle.
  • Don’t disappear! There’s always a way to get back on track and your committee can help.

Aaron Berman (,mov) Professor of History


  • Div III is an exciting and important part of your Hampshire experience (it is his favorite as a faculty member and was his favorite as a student)
  • Picking a topic can be complicated. Here are some tips.
    • Like your topic. If you’re not invested in it you’ll be miserable by April.
    • It needs to be doable in 2 semesters. Consider access to resources when making your decision
    • Have fun!

Melissa Burch (.mov) Associate Professor of Cognitive Development

  • In defining the scale and scope of your process, consider:
    • A sustaining question and what you’re prepared to do to investigate it.
    • The methods you want to explore and your ideal outcomes.
    • Consider the future. What experiences will get you where you want to go?

Q & A (.mov)

Any advice for students with Five College faculty on their committees or other off-campus members?

  • If you can’t meet in person, just be sure you’re all on the same page.
  • Skype members in.

How long of a reading period should I aim for?

The first semester of your Div III is a time to be reading and writing all the time. As you move into second semester you may end up reading only as needed and working on revising your writing. You should speak with your committee members about what the best plan is for you.

Where can students find grants?

  • Want more advice?
    Visit the Creativity Center drop-in hours:
    Wednesdays from 1-4pm in the Lemelson Building
    Thursdays from 4-6pm at the Library Info Bar.

Introduction of some Hampshire Resource Staff (.mov)



Div III Reception with Jonathan Lash

Congratulations on being officially Div III!!!!!

President Lash cordially invites you to a reception in honor of all
students who will be completing their Division III in either December or
May of this academic year. This event will take place on THURSDAY,
OCTOBER 13TH FROM 4:30PM TO 6:00PM IN THE RED BARN and will provide an
opportunity to explore how he can best support you in your role as
leaders and mentors on campus.  Learn about other resources and supports on campus too!

Kindly RSVP via this link.

https://hampshire.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_dmy9A2oTD5vXkLb [1]

We hope you can join us!

Div III Orientation – Notes and Audio

Below are notes and audio from each participant. You’ll find tips and an idea of what you might expect from: Laura Wenk (CS), Anne Downes (CASA), Bonnie Vigeland (Library), Michele Hardesty (HACU), Jane Couperus (CS), Kim Chang (CSI), Chris Cianfrani (NS), and John Slepian (IA)

grid_wenkLaura Wenk: Intro


One stop shop for all Div III resources and info.

How much time should I be working on my Div?

  • 3 classes of work = 35 hrs a week aka a full time job

What does that look like?

  • Not just on the Computer
  • Time meeting with your committee.
  • Talking to Peers.
  • Researching.
  • Piloting
  • Creating
  • Finding a placement for you work if applicable.
  • Talking about your work.
  • Giving and getting feedback.
  • Etc.

More on Div III
This is about the process as much as the product. Learning about and from the process (it is a year of learning) – don’t think you need to use everything you read or write or do in the Div III product.
Take a breath.

annedownesAnn Downs: CASA all things DIV III

None of you have done a Div III before and we are aware that it requires a specific skillset that you have been working on but it has yet to be put all together. When you aren’t sure or don’t know what to do always ask for help.

Ask for help at any point of your div be it starting, where to go, how to approach it, all the way to the logistics.

You need to be doing 2 advanced activities.

-3 documents (link or post)
– Best Practices for Div III
-Div III Calendar

CASA does not have to be a scary place. There are a lot of people here to help you through the Div III journey and don’t hesitate to ask for their help!

photo-2Bonnie Vigeland: Research Librarian in Humanities and Film (She/Her/Hers)

There are 4 research librarians here to help you!
All they need to know is what you are interested in or need help with and they can assist you. Part of their jobs is to continually be learning through reading, watching, listening etc. They can point you in helpful directions as well as strategize research methods.

How to best contact the Research Librarians?
Email to make an appointment. Mention what you are interested in and what help you are looking for.

Other Library Based Resources:
Writing Fellows from the Writing Center are in the library Sunday 1-9 p.m., Monday – Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
New Knowledge Commons Fellows

img_0001Michele Hardesty: Associate Professor of U.S. Literatures/ Cultural Studies

Find Community with fellow Div IIIs
Create a routine
Envision the year ahead with your committee and setting deadlines
Look at your year in chunks
If things don’t feel totally right in the start, that’s okay! It takes time.

Tripp: Recent Div III
Self Care
Do a little bit of work everyday
You will have on and off days and that’s okay

grid_coperusJane Couperus: Associate Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Faculty can learn as much from you as you from them. Sometimes you’ll be the expert!
Bring in accountability from outside sources if you are struggling with deadlines.
Build in slack time for moments that derail you from your Div. Having a packed calendar with no wiggle room might lead to things not being done if something comes up or takes longer.
Make other goals that help you learn about the process of your Div vs. only the product.
Your Div is a single project. If you hate it at the end that’s okay. You’ll have other bigger and better projects in your life.
COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. If you don’t tell your advisors what you are doing then they don’t know what is going on especially when you need help.
Eat, Sleep, Play.
Did you eat your normal amount?
Did you get enough sleep?
Make time to play. Have fun. Relax.

Abby Hanus: Recent Div III/ Alumni Fellow

First steps in self care is recognizing yourself and that you deserve care of yourself and from others. Asking for care along with accepting it takes acts of bravery within yourself. Learning care was a huge part of the divisional process for Abby. Communicate with your committee. Tell them when you are struggling because their role is to support you.

changKim Chang: Associate Professor of Cultural Psychology


Seek community

Read widely
Talk widely
Scoping a project: making your div a manageable size
Cycles in your Div III
Div III seminars are really helpful

grid_slepianJohn Slepian: Five College Associate Professor of Art and Technology

Div III is weird. If you are weirded out its normal.
Chances are your div III will be great. But it won’t be the most amazing thing ever. Chances are your Div will just be a good part of college and you will have more projects to follow.
Do something you like doing. You are getting up everyday and doing something, make sure you like it or you won’t be successful in it.


Looking for Grants?

Click Here

Welcome to Div III at Hampshire!!!

You are finally a Division III student. For some of you, this is what you have been waiting for and you could not be more excited. For others, this is what you have been waiting for and you could not be more terrified! Don’t worry. No one who is just starting has ever been a Div III student before. It is new. It is challenging – in good ways and in more difficult ways. But YOU WILL DO IT!!! There are supports from your committee, other faculty, staff, students, friends, and family. This blog is built as an additional support. The posts will include such things as:

  • Tips on writing contracts
  • Suggestions for finding/forming committees
  • Ideas about expectations for how much work to do each week
  • Suggestions for time management
  • Tips for managing large projects
  • Writing prompts to help you think about ideas differently or to get unstuck
  • Instructions for creating peer writing or peer critique groups
  • Information about events and workshops
  • Tips from librarians about finding and using resources
  • Information on media resources
  • Ideas about how to organize your thinking and/or your papers

and more! You can also use this site to find resources and important dates and reminders. We hope it is helpful. So visit regularly – there will even be weekly give-aways to motivate you to visit the site. Just answer the weekly question posted each Friday to enter.

Div III is probably different that anything you have done before, but you have been developing the skills to do a Division III during your last few years at Hampshire.


Submit Your Div III to the Library!!!!

Once you think you are done, there is really one more step – publishing your work!

Preserve your Div III and make it accessible to future Div III students by submitting a copy to the library’s Division III Archive.

The Division III Archive, maintained by the Harold F. Johnson Library at Hampshire College, preserves and provides access to Division III works in perpetuity. Works are submitted by their creators. The digital Division III Archive contains works from 2006 to the present. (Print copies of text-based Division III projects submitted to the library by students from 1971-2014 are available on the second floor of the library, or in the Div III Showcase on the library’s main floor)

Read the The Division III Archive: Submission Instructions on the web, or download them (pdf).

Write an abstract for your Div III

An abstract helps orient your reader to your Division III. Here are a few helpful resources for writing an abstract.
From the Commonwealth Honors Program at UMass: https://www.honors.umass.edu/capstone-experience-guidelines-abstract-writing
From the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examples of abstracts from different fields (including the arts): http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/presentations_abstracts_examples.html
From OWL Purdue: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/656/01/