Slideshow: A Glimpse at a First-Year Seminar, Through the Lens of a Student Mentor

Photos by Abbey Schlangen ’16, from the first month of “Blurring the Boundaries in Studio Arts”

First-year seminars at Trinity date to the late 1960s, when they were among the first to be offered at any liberal arts college. They are small, discussion-rich classes where students and their professor engage one another and wrestle intellectually with a topic. Driven by a faculty member’s passion for a subject, the seminars cultivate curiosity, introducing first-year students to academic habits of mind. The intimacy of a first-year seminar prepares students for becoming active participants in their own learning, fostering the capacity to communicate effectively and collaboratively.

Junior Abbey Schlangen ’16, is a mentor for the first-year seminar, “Blurring the Boundaries of Studio Arts,” led by Associate Professor of Fine Arts Professor Patricia Tillman. In this slide show, Schlangen shares photos she has taken of the seminar group throughout the first month of the fall semester. Schlangen describes her role as a combination of helpingnew students make a successful transition to college life at Trinity and collaborating with Professor Tillman to plan and organize seminar activities and support the academic experience the students have. “I think first-year seminars can go a long way toward building a sense of community for first-year students,” says Schlangen. “As a seminar mentor, I help students engage themselves positively in their new lives and I try to be a supporting, encouraging friend for them.”