Episode 2 10.2

Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is episode 2.

On Tuesday, you and two friends can test your STEM knowledge by participating in the STEM Bowl from 7:30-8:30 PM in Laurel Hall 107. Winners receive a Dairy Bar gift card!

On Friday, swing by the Business Career Expo from 11 AM-3 PM in the Student Union Ballroom. More information about this event at career.business.uconn.edu.

And on Thursday and Friday, check out the Conference on Business and Human Rights – Protecting Rights at the End of the Line. Here’s Associate Political Science Professor Shareen Hertel.

Professor Hertel: This year’s conference is really looking at how companies and communities interact along the supply chain, so beyond the factory floor, how are communities impacted positively or negatively by business’ presence in the community.

Danielle: What would you stay to students who might be thinking they’re not the target audience necessarily?

Professor Hertel: I would encourage students to come no matter what point in their career they are academically or their interest or their field of interests because as I say to students in my own classes I teach on related themes you will make more decisions about what to buy or use in your life than you will ever vote.

Danielle: And what if you can’t miss class for two days to come to the conference?

Professor Hertel: So you can come to any part you can come to. We ask that you register online.. we have a really beautiful portal it’s businessandhumanrights.uconn.edu and just fill out the end. And that way if you come during the lunch hour we know to count you for lunch and you can drop in to as many sessions as you can.

That website has registration information as well as speaker bios and an agenda.

Also upcoming is the Fall Frontiers Poster Exhibition application deadline on October 9th. Undergraduate students in all majors at all campuses can apply to present their research or creative activity. For more information and to apply, visit our.uconn.edu.

To hear a little more about research, here’s Dr. Alaina Brenick, of Human Development and Family Studies. We heard from Dr. Brenick last week during the last lecture presentation so what we’re going to talk about is what is research and how to get involved and what office hours looks likes from the other side of the desk.

Danielle: So what is your research about?

Dr. Brenick: My research focuses on how children and adolescents experience, evaluate, or make sense of, and respond to victimization particularly when it’s based on aspects of their social identity. Um so if they’re being bullied, or excluded because of their sexual identity, their gender identity, their ethnicity, their immigration status.

Danielle: How would you help students get started? So, when…I think a lot of students are maybe a little bit nervous about going to talk to a professor, and I know it’s not one size fits all, but what’s kinda—how would you say: “Here’s how to prepare for going to talk to a professor, whether it’s in office hours or maybe an appointment.”

Dr. Brenick: I think that office hours are great. So one of the things that you said that you wanted to see was what office hours looks like from this side. Really, if, if somebody came to my office hours I would be surprised, because most of the time people don’t come to office hours because of the sense of feeling like they might be intruding, or they’re potentially intimidated by us, or don’t even know what to say. But you don’t always have to know what to say—you can just come by. And, and those office hours that we have are a time where we’re just dedicated to being there for you in whatever way that means. So if students wanted to come up and say, “I’m interested in research and I don’t know how to get involved in it… can you tell me about it, can you tell me about your research?” That’s always an excellent question to ask any faculty member, because faculty love talking about their research—they do. Um, so if you don’t know you can always start the question with, “Can you tell me about your research experience?” Um, and that’ll open up the floor to have the faculty member discuss what they’re doing, discuss how they got involved in it.

Danielle: And so, when you’re working with Honors students specifically, whether that’s you know on a thesis or something like that, what is, what is that process like?

Dr. Brenick: Yeah, so I have… I’ve really had great fortune working with a number of different students, and they’ve each kind of taken their own path, whether it was creating a study from scratch or whether it was looking for data that I had already collected and looking at it in a new way doing some secondary data analyses. Um but really we start off with these conversations. Um I tell them about all of the different data sets that I do have, and I explain the opportunities they have within my lab, and I talk to them about my areas of expertise. So, if you’re not interested in the data I’ve already collected, here are they ways I can best mentor you if your interests are aligned with mine um but you want to conduct your own study.

Danielle: If you’ve checked your student admin and have a hold to go see your advisor, here’s Dr. Jess Hoffmann with what to expect from that meeting.

Dr. Hoffmann: We are going to talk about how things are going. We’re gonna talk about what your plans are, what they would be interested in registering for. We’re gonna talk about what they’ve gotten involved in. The meeting will probably go more smoothly if they come with some ideas—they don’t have to be very specific, humongous plans—they can just be “I’ve heard about this class from my friend, sounds really interesting to me”. It could be, you know, “Orientation I said I wanted to be pre-med, but now I’m thinking I’d be much more interested in studying history”… it could be anything like that. So we’ll just have a conversation, we’ll map some things out. After the student leaves, they will then be in charge of registering by themselves at their registration appointment date.

Danielle: And what about students who are not in their first year who’ve kind of done this before but maybe are still in ACES as a sophomore (that was me, just so you know. That was me until Jess said “No really you have to pick a major otherwise they’re gonna kick you out of UConn.”)

Dr. Hoffmann: Okay, so I don’t think the conversation went just like that, but there are students who are kind of pre-applying to their programs… if they are in that situation we’ll talk about where they are in terms of getting geared up for the application, you know, we’ll think positive thoughts but then we’ll also think worst case scenario, what would you wanna be registered for and what direction would you want to be going in if this doesn’t work out for whatever reason. If they are not a first year student and they are not pre-pharmacy, teaching, sports management whatever it may be, we’ll just talk a little bit more about where their explorations have taken them, what they’ve learned being involved in their extracurriculars—what did they particularly like about community service, why did they decide that they didn’t want to be in the Pre-Law Society… if this is a student who had some academic struggles, we’ll talk about academic resources, what their academic goals are, are they headed in that direction… really the conversation can go in a variety of ways.

Danielle: So let’s hear from our STEM Advisors

Kaitlin: My name is Kaitlin Heenehan

Anne: And my name is Anne Kim

Kaitlin: And our role is multifold… we work particularly with the STEM Scholar community, who are students who received a particular scholarship, but we also serve as secondary advisors to all Honors students to help them to feel comfortable here at UConn and connected to resources.

Danielle: So are you the people to come talk to to get your hold lifted?

Anne: We are not. Um we are available for all sorts of appointments, but if you have a hold in Student Admin the advisor listed on your Student Admin profile is the person you would need to get that hold lifted.

Kaitlin: We also are resources when perhaps their advisor can’t meet with them right away we are resources to them as well. Um same thing with Dr. Hoffmann… we all provide that kind of secondary resource… so hopefully students in the Honors Program will feel that they always have somebody to go to… we like to say that we’re kind of good people to go to when you don’t know where to go because we can either answer the question for you, get you connected to the right person on campus, point you in the right direction… we can help if you don’t know where to go.

Danielle: And what are some of the questions that students are asking about this time in the semester?

Kaitlin: I’m getting a lot of students who are, having taken their first exam, whether they’re a first year student or not, and may need some extra support on campus. And what I’ve been telling them is our best Honors students are the ones who ask for the most help because there are so many resources on this campus, and it’s really your role to reach out and to ask for help and to go to office hours and to go to the Academic Achievement Center. It’s really beneficial if you utilize all of the resources. So I’m getting a lot of questions, or not necessarily even questions, just students telling me about how things are going in their classes or not going according to plan, and that’s okay, because there’s still plenty of time in the semester and there’s still tons of time to reach out for help.

Anne: And you’d be surprised how many people are feeling the same way. If you’re feeling like this is a huge adjustment and you don’t know how you’re handling it, there are a lot of students feeling the same way. I know at this point in the semester it’s easy to look around you and see other students seem like they have their routine down and everything’s going well; you know you might still be struggling to adjust and that’s completely normal. This a huge change from high school, um and I think a lot of students are realizing that the things that worked for them in high school aren’t necessarily working right now and that’s exactly why we’re here.

That’s all for this week. To enter to win Honors Program swag, visit honors.uconn.edu/podcast, where the code word is Muppet.