Admitted Students Day by Karina Havrilla

Application season has finally come to an end, but before our new cohort of students made a decision on joining us at UMD, many of them came to visit the campus for our 4th Annual Admitted Students Day. We made our initial offers of admission for the incoming cohort in late February and extended an invitation to those prospective students to join us on March 28th to have a formal meet and greet with faculty and students in our department.  We had eleven prospective students visiting us from all over the country, including Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina.  By this point, many of the students who were visiting had narrowed down their decisions to UMD and another institution, so this was our time to show them what our department has to offer.

The prospective students arrived a day earlier, on March 27th and were met by their hosts for the night. Many of the prospective students and their hosts attended the welcome party on Sunday evening hosted by PJ Rey at his home. After enjoying a nice evening getting to know a few of our students informally, the prospective students called it a night to prepare for the next day’s official events.

Monday morning’s events started at approximately 8:30am when the hosts were dropping their prospective students off in ASY1101 for breakfast catered by Goodies To Go. The prospective students had a chance to mingle with each other for about 30 minutes before I officially welcomed them to the department and thanked them for attending our Admitted Students Day. They were then welcomed by Bill Falk, Graduate Director, John Pease, Associate Chair, and Reeve Vanneman, Chair. The three of them gave their thoughts on why the department is great, and how we are becoming a better sociology PhD program. They answered questions that prospective students had about the changing program, teaching, and funding (all great questions!).

The next session was the Faculty Q&A. During this hour, the prospective students had the opportunity to ask questions to a few of our faculty members, including Jeff Lucas, Patricio Korzeniewicz, and Kris Marsh. The prospective students, along with a few of our students and faculty, walked over to Stamp Student Union for a catered lunch. We had a nice spread of sandwiches, salads, and desserts thanks to Good Tidings catering services. During the meal, students and faculty had a chance to chat with the prospective students on topics varying from life on campus to current research projects and future research projects. My observation: all lunch attendees had a nice, relaxing lunch!

Many of our prospective students were eager to get to the second half of the day as it included three time blocks when students could meet one-on-one with some of our faculty, or they could sit in on Dana Fisher’s Qualitative Methods class. Later in the afternoon, a few current students sat on the Grad Student Q&A panel, which I’m sure, was quite informative for the prospective students. The day concluded with a Tea Time and more informal chats in CW Mills Lounge.

Thanks to all students and faculty who helped out on Admitted Students Day. Without the efforts of all in the department, we would not have been able to pull off this event.

Karina is the department’s Graduate Coordinator.

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