Another cohort of Honors students have moved into our Living Learning Community (LLC) in International Village and the Honors RA’s were hard at work this fall to welcome our new first-year Honors students. From a game of ultimate frisbee at Spectacle Island, walking the Freedom Trail, to hosting an info session for Big Brother/Big Sister, our students came together and grew into a community. Here’s what our RA’s had to say!
A memorable Honors program included our trip to the Boston Harbor Islands. RA Lena and I planned a ferry trip out to Spectacle Island in October. Our group of students enjoyed walking around the island, and we played a spontaneous game of Ultimate Frisbee at the highest point, surrounded by ocean with a view of Boston on the horizon. We even swam in the freezing water, but it was such a sunny day that it was worth it! It was a neat way to experience a different side of Boston, one that few people know about but is still a great way to get some fresh air in a beautiful setting.
Rose Martersteck, Health Science
I did a program called “Exploring Dialogue of Civilizations!” in October. I invited students that had completed dialogues in 5 different continents to come speak about their experiences studying abroad. They covered everything from the application process,financial aid, to their most embarrassing moment abroad. I prepared a few questions for student panelists and then opened up to questions from the audience. Over 90 students showed up for the event (I ran out of ice cream sundaes!) and it was a huge success. Students even stayed after to talk to panelists individually about their experience. This program was one that I am proud of because residents got the chance to ask the hard questions to their peers, rather than professors or advisers they might not feel comfortable with. Studying abroad is such a huge part about attending a global institution like Northeastern, and I wanted freshmen especially to see the opportunities available to them as early as the summer after their first year. Due to scheduling, some students won’t have time to complete a dialogue after their first summer, so I wanted to make sure the information was available to them early so they can take advantage of all Northeastern has to offer.
Meredith Parmalee, International Business
I am very proud of our Honors Program to SoWa Open Market. Four RA’s along with both Professors in Residence took approximately 10 students on walk through the beautiful and historic South End. We arrived at SoWa and allowed the residents to explore the plethora of food trucks, artisan stands, and the antique market. The residents told us that they had not heard of the SoWa Open Market before the program. This program acquainted Honors freshman with one of Boston’s trendiest neighborhoods and introduced them to a cultural staple of the city. Everyone loved the experience and told the RAs how excited they were to go back to the market the next weekend with their friends!
Garrett Bollinger, International Affairs
The Big Brother/Big Sister Info Night was really successful! Eric, Jackie, and I co-programmed it, and made it a building wide event. A representative from Big Brother and the current co-op at Big Sister came to speak to students about volunteering as mentors. It was great because the room we had in the IV basement was packed! We had more people show up than we expected, and it was most rewarding when we talked with the reps afterwards. Over half of the students gave them contact cards to start the process of becoming Bigs, and the Big Brother rep was especially excited because the proportion of men in the room who gave him cards was higher than the average recruitment rate. This means that we were able to connect NU students with the greater Boston community, which is great because the students were predominantly freshmen that don’t know the area very well yet, but want to make a difference!
Shannon Gillie, Health Science
RA Betzy and I did a walk of the Freedom Trail and bought Mike’s Pastry for 15 Honors first-year students. In Enhancing Honors, students learn about Boston through “city as text.” They get to read All Souls, watch a Boston movie, and do a walkabout in a neighborhood of Boston. A city’s history is important to how people live in it today, and on a walk of the Freedom Trail, Honors freshmen got to learn about our city’s past as well as see how people remember it today at the stops along the Freedom Trail. We also stopped at Mike’s, a famous pastry place in Boston’s historic North End. Many of the students had never been to Mike’s and none had been on the entire Freedom Trail, so the program was a great learning experience for all–and one that enhanced “city as text!”
Sarah Meakin, History
I am most proud of the Skywalk program that Abbey and I put on in September. We had good attendance (about 20 people total), and Faculty-in Residence-Rifat Sipahi attended. It was fun to see the residents outside of International Village, and they seemed to enjoy the walk to the Skywalk. After riding the elevators up, the residents got great views of the city they now call home and were provided with many facts about the city’s history and demographics. Rifat had conversations with several of the students, and a few actually asked Rifat to be the faculty advisor for a new board game club they wanted to start. I think that the program helped residents to form a stronger connection with Boston and the residents that they experienced the Skywalk with.
Joel Crozier, Chemical Engineering