Connecting with Faculty

Throughout your first year, we'll be encouraging you to make faculty connections. There are a number of ways to do this:

• The easiest way is to visit your current instructors during their office hours. Faculty usually list their office hours in the course syllabus. You can also contact the department that is sponsoring the course to find out faculty office hours. 

• What do you ask them? First of all, introduce yourself and tell them you are taking their class. You can discuss any areas you are having problems with or areas that you found particularly interesting. You can ask them about their research interests or ask for their advice about grad schools or opportunities in their academic area. If you have plans for graduate school, a letter from a faculty member who knows you well will be an important part of your application.

• You can also visit faculty with whom you are not taking a class by researching their areas of academic interest in the General Catalog. By clicking on the link to the academic departments, you can select an academic department, then click on the faculty link located under the contact info for the department. You'll see a list of faculty that teach in that department along with their professional and research interests. For example, looking at Sociology you can find Sociology faculty interested in crime and law; inequality and social policy, media and television studies; or nationalism and social movements. If these areas peak your interest, this would be a good topic to begin a discussion.

• If the idea of approaching a faculty member seems overwhelming, consider practicing by visiting your very own Stevenson Provost! You can visit during Provost drop-in hours or schedule an appointment. The Provost is interested in seeing you reach your full academic potential and would be a great first faculty visit!

• Making faculty connections can add incredible depth to your academic experience and open you up to opportunities you may have never thought of.