Offering a major-minor welcome

Major-Minor Welcome Week, an annual series of events organized by the College of Arts & Sciences, connects newly declared students with department communities. This year, departments took the opportunity to reimagine how they welcomed their students.


Faculty and students got together over Zoom for the Department of Political Science's major-minor welcome event this February.

Every spring semester, the College of Arts & Sciences holds a Major-Minor Welcome Week. This series of events allows each department in the College to celebrate students who have just declared a major or minor in their department and introduce them to fellow students, faculty, and staff members.


This year, these events were held virtually, and many departments took the opportunity to reimagine how they welcomed their students. The Department of Anthropology followed a game show format, run entirely by seniors. The host, Cameron Bryant, interviewed a panel of other seniors who were experts in particular aspects of the department, including the concentration in global health and environment, study abroad, research, and the 3-2 master's programs with the Brown School of Social Work and Public health.

Keishi Foecke, who served on the panel, found it meaningful to discuss her experience with anthropology’s global health and environment track, as well as the 3-2 public health program. “As a senior who recently completed all my major requirements, speaking at the major-minor week event was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my experience with the major, all the amazing classes I've taken, and how much I've learned during the past few years,” Foecke said. “It was exciting to hear about the interest that first- and second-year students have in the department and to help guide them in any small way that I can as they embark on their major-minor journeys.”

Even though she is nearing the end of her undergraduate career, Foecke still learned from the event. “Anthropology is a vast discipline with so many sub-sections and specialties, so it was amazing to see the way in which the six seniors on the panel all had different goals and experiences and had used what they had learned through their major in so many ways.”


The Department of Education also featured student representatives at their event. Seniors Emily Lawrence, majoring in secondary teacher education and English, and Izzi Negrin, majoring in educational studies and marketing, spoke about their experiences in the department, their desire to become educators, and what it means to be pursuing a professional certificate as an undergraduate. Michelle Purdy, associate professor of education and director of the undergraduate program in educational studies, shared, “I’m excited that the newly declared majors were able to meet upperclass students and hear about the different combinations of majors that students have in our department.” 

Purdy hopes the event also emphasized that people in the department want to support one another. “The students spoke highly about their experiences, and we hope that that conveys to our newer students the type of student-centered approach we take in the education department to supporting and mentoring our students, as well as the support network they can have amongst each other.”