On Saturday, Oct. 19, over 160 families visited St. Mary’s College for the last open house of the season. Hailing from places like the city of Waldorf and the states of New Jersey and North Carolina, they arrived eager to learn more about what many have deemed a “gem” in the state of Maryland. After fueling up on doughnuts and orange juice, the families set off to informational sessions where they heard from faculty, current students and alumni. In the session “Academics at St. Mary’s,” panels of faculty shared their perspectives on the academic experience. Here’s what a few of them had to say: “In anthropology we emphasize learning anthropology by doing anthropology. Students learn new archaeological or ethnographic skills and build upon core competencies in the classroom, but become proficient and gain self-confidence by using these in field schools, internships, or projects in the community.” –Professor of Anthropology Bill Roberts “What I love about teaching at St. Mary’s is the truly interdisciplinary nature of the classroom. Whether we are taking apart a sci-fi novel or discussing the ethics of genetics research, my students are ready to leap in, take risks, and form a rigorous intellectual community. And this engagement extends beyond the classroom as well, as alumni connect with each other, the writers calling the scientists for background for an article, the public policy makers calling their former professors to discuss a new book in the field.” –Assistant Professor of English Karen Anderson “I am continually impressed by the ability of St. Mary’s students to create learning opportunities outside the classroom. There is a rich intellectual life at this College that is entirely created and sustained by students through their clubs and organizations.” –Assistant Professor of Political Science Matt Fehrs After lunch in the Great Room—where families were encouraged to speak one-on-one with session presenters—campus tours commenced. Light drizzles of rain did not dampen the excitement that filled the air from the moment they set foot on campus. Once the open house had come to an end, families were more than willing to share what their time was like on campus. Here’s what they said: “I cannot imagine how this could have been done any better. I especially enjoyed the student panel …That was quite informative and the students’ candor and honesty was much appreciated.” “The tour guides were lovely and the students within the panels were very cool, very nice, funny and informative!” “This was a great experience; very positive energy and informative. By end of the day we felt like we had a true feel of the school. I liked the availability of the faculty and the way current students interacted with faculty. Everyone was warm and friendly.” St. Mary’s next open house will be held Saturday, April 26, 2014.
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