Students Working to Choose Academic Paths Gather Information at Major/Minor Fair

Dean of Students’ Office Hosts Annual Event, Now in its 18th Year

​Hartford, Connecticut, November 7, 2017—John Anthony ’21 attended Trinity College’s Major/Minor Fair to learn more about two majors he’s considering: engineering and chemistry. “I wanted a hands-on conversation with faculty to find out requirements and more information about both majors,” he said. “I also want to study abroad and asked about opportunities to study abroad while completing the major. After attending this event, I am definitely closer to choosing my major.”

​Garth Myers, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban and International Studies, dicusses urban studies with students at the Major/Minor Fair.
Students had the opportunity to learn about various disciplines from professors and students representing their departments during the event in Mather Hall’s Washington Room on October 24. Hosted by the Dean of Students’ Office, the Major/Minor Fair showcases the many academic paths available to students who are still determining their major.

Ann Reuman, senior associate dean of students, said the goal for this Common Hour event, now in its 18th year, is to get students intellectually engaged. “When I come into this room, there is palpable energy,” Reuman said. “With one table next to another, a student may go to a certain table, and when they see a neighboring table with a different major, they realize it actually may be of interest to them.”

Most majors offer for-credit internships, research opportunities, community-based learning, study away, and centers and programs that allow students to participate in academic pursuits that have lasting impact. Trinity currently offers 41 majors, 28 interdisciplinary minors, and more than 900 courses. Exemplifying the range of disciplines embraced by a liberal arts educational experience, tables were set up this year by urban studies, human rights, neuroscience, and engineering, among many others.

​Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Sarah Raskin provides information to students interested in neuroscience.
Urban studies explores and compares cities in New England, throughout the United States, and around the world. Garth Myers, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban and International Studies, said the goal as an urban studies major is to be an aware urban citizen. “Most graduates at Trinity will be living in cities or suburbs of cities and what you learn in urban studies teaches you to be more aware of what is going on and why things are the way they are. For instance, why a city may not have public transport lines or may not be doing economically well. There are so many careers where you need the information to learn to be a good citizen,” Myers said. “I am an idealist, so I hope that people who major here will work toward making cities a better place to live for citizens.” Myers said that many students who attend Trinity and major in urban studies go on to work in real estate or property development.

The human rights major prepares students to bridge the divide between local and global human rights concerns and to research timely human rights issues. Jerry Rodriguez ’20 will complete his major by the end of his sophomore year and will double-major in political science and human rights. He said, “Human rights gets students out of their comfort zones and makes them more familiar with the United States and United Nations, the existing violations that happen, and different types of laws and regulations that happen with human rights within countries.”

Assistant Professor of Engineering Kevin Huang '12 talks to students about engineering. Photos by Noelle Lucien '20.​
At the neuroscience major table, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Sarah Raskin said that the goal for students majoring in neuroscience is to have the ability to look at things from many different angles. “We certainly want them to be critical thinkers, evaluate empirical evidence–especially scientific evidence. When science is being doubted and questioned, we want them to be able to evaluate scientific evidence appropriately,” Raskin said. Neuroscience allows students to also acquire skills in writing, communication, reading, and familiarity with primary journal articles in the discipline, she added. “The hope for this major is that students will become excited and intellectually curious about knowledge and that that stays with them beyond graduation,” Raskin said. Students who graduate with a major in neuroscience can take a variety of paths after Trinity, including pursuing graduate school or holding a research position.

Daniel Melesse ’20 was representing the Engineering Department at the fair. Trinity is one of just a few highly selective liberal arts colleges that offer a B.S. in engineering and a B.A. in engineering science. Melesse said, “I have wanted to be an engineer since I was little. By completing this major, I hope to go to grad school and earn my Ph.D. in wireless communications.” He encourages all students at Trinity to “take at least one or two engineering courses while attending Trinity because they challenge students and push them to the limit.”

For more information about majors and minors at Trinity College, click here.

Written by Dana Martin ’18