Students Attend Concentration Fair

The second annual concentration fair yesterday afternoon drew freshmen and sophomores to Tercentenary Theatre with a combination of hot dogs, ice cream, and representatives of Harvard’s various fields of study.

Sponsored by the Advising Programs Office, the event aimed to give students the chance to explore all of Harvard’s departments and meet with faculty members from each concentration.

“Our office is trying to create a culture of advising,” said Associate Dean of Academic Advising Monique Rinere. “This is one of the best opportunities for students to have discussions with multiple faculty and other concentration advisers about course and concentration choice."

Sophomores looking for course advice outnumbered freshmen, many of whom attended an ice cream social the previous night in Annenberg that featured concentration advising tables staffed by Peer Advising Fellows.

Although Justin P. Lanning ’12 described the previous night’s event as “overcrowded” and less convenient than the concentration fair, he added, “I think most people got their advising done last night.”

While the deadline for sophomores to declare a concentration is not until December, some were already mulling over how to balance concentration, secondary field, and citation requirements in 32 half-courses.

G. Andrew Conway ’11 said he planned to concentrate in chemistry but was also considering a secondary field in linguistics and a citation or a secondary field in German.

“I was up front with [the linguistics table] and told them that I wasn’t a concentrator, but they were very helpful,” Conway said.

Erynn D. Bentley ’11 said she came to the fair to discuss how best to combine her interests in archaeology and geophysics.

“They’re not really that different,” she said. “But I wanted to ask about the requirements to satisfy a joint concentration and also even the possibility of a joint concentration.”

But the concentration fair appealed to people other than freshmen and sophomores with academic questions too.

Curious passersby, including students from Spain who were visiting the campus and hungry Harvard upperclassmen, found the hot dog and popcorn stands a welcome diversion.

“I’m kind of hungry so I stopped by to get food, but I saw lots of my friends who definitely aren’t freshmen or sophomores,” said Christine W. Li ’10.

—Staff writer Athena Y. Jiang can be reached at