New Concentration Advising Corner Debuts for Freshmen

Concentration Advising Fair
Sarah E Orlando

Professor Steven Caton talks to Liesl Ulrich-Verderber '15 and Domniki Georgopoulou '15 about Harvard's Social Anthropology department. Freshmen attended the annual Concentration Advising Fair in Annenberg on Thursday evening.

Harvard freshmen who attended Brain Break in Annenberg Hall on Thursday evening could glean more than treats. On the first day that a new nightly Advising Corner was open in the freshman dining hall, students could chew on pre-concentration advising as well as snacks.

The newest pre-concentration advising project developed by the Advising Programs Office and the Freshman Dean’s Office, the Advising Corner seeks to make concentration advice more accessible to freshmen before the annual freshman Advising Fortnight, which will begin on March 26.

On weeknights until Advising Fortnight, concentration representatives can attend Brain Break to inform students about their departments’ undergraduate courses of study.

Assistant Dean of Upperclass and Concentration Advising Glenn R. Magid was present at Thursday’s Advising Corner to inform students about the program.

“The objective of the program is to offer departments another way to connect with freshmen who are thinking towards deciding their concentration,” Magid said.

Social anthropology was the first concentration to make an appearance at the Advising Corner.

Steven C. Caton, director of undergraduate studies in anthropology, said he believed that students would benefit from the Advising Corner hours.

“Through these conversations, students think [social anthropology] is less of a mysterious discipline,” Caton said.

He continued that this exposure was particularly important for his discipline because students may not have had other opportunities to ask questions about his field. “It is difficult to find a high school that offers a course in social anthropology,” he said.

“I think the program was interesting,” said Janin Alfonso ’15, a potential social anthropology concentrator. “It was a good chance to meet faculty.... They are very friendly and very supportive.”

Domniki Georgopoulou ’15 said, “I think a lot of people don’t know enough about their concentrations; they don’t know enough about their departments; and it’s great that they can meet people and get to know more about it.”

In an emailed statement, Elm Yard Resident Dean Sue Brown said that the Advising Corner “will give students the chance to ask concentration representatives lots of questions and hopefully help them be more confident in their concentration choices.”

Brown added, “I think it is helpful for students who are undecided to realize that the system is designed to give them time to experiment with different fields of study and discover (or confirm) their passion.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following corrections:

CORRECTION: Feb. 17

An earlier version of this article stated that the Advising Corner will be open on Monday through Thursday night until Advising Fortnight begins on March 26. In fact, the Advising Corner will only be open on weeknights that concentration advisers sign up to staff it.

CORRECTION: Feb. 17

Due to an editing error, the byline on an earlier version of this article was incorrect. The article was written by contributing writer Luis Usier, not Nicholas P. Fandos.

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