The Sophomore Launch event, sponsored by the Dean of Students Office, will be held via Zoom on May 12 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. This event aims to celebrate first-year students for approaching the end of their first academic year at Lawrence and prepare them for the transition into sophomore year and beyond.
During the event, students will have the opportunity to go into four back-to-back informative breakout sessions among a variety of staff members from the Center for Academic Success (CAS) and Wellness Services. Other breakout sessions will also include affinity spaces, having staff present from the Diversity and Intercultural Center (D&IC), International Student Services and Spiritual and Religious Life, according to Rose Wasielewski, Associate Dean of Students and Dean of the Sophomore Class.
During the breakout sessions, students hear more information regarding how to best work with their academic advisor, what to know about studying off campus, how to integrate wellness into student experience and what types of experiential learning opportunities such as services and internships are available, Wasielewski said.
“This first year of college for this group of students in particular has been so unique and potentially kept many students from being able to engage more fully with resources,” Wasielewski said. “My hope is that every student that attends walks away with some new piece of info and feeling a bit better about the transition from this year to their sophomore year.”
Since Sophomore Launch aims to provide informational sources, first-year student Cat Chu looks forward to the event. As a neuroscience major, Chu is interested in acquiring information about what to expect in the next academic year, any opportunities for studying related areas in foreign counties and potential future career paths in the medical field, in order to make the most out of her future academic years at Lawrence.
“I hope to learn about opportunities and what should and can be accomplished in my four years at Lawrence, [and also] the resources or people I can reach out to discuss about academic, career path or life in general,” Chu said. “This is also another chance to meet peers and connect.”
This year’s Sophomore Launch utilizes a different format than previous years. During last year’s event, the event was spread out throughout a whole week; therefore, students may not have been able to commit the time to hear from a variety of offices, said Teri Mueller, Interim Director at Center for Community Engagement & Social Change (CCE) and Assistant Director at Career center. However, because of the breakout room settings for this year’s event, students will be able to get more useful information according to their preference in a very efficient manner, Mueller said.
Besides staff from different offices, some current sophomores will also speak at the event. Sophomore Claire Chamberlin will be attending the event as a participant from the Explore SophoMORE program, which guides sophomore students to explore their identities, communities and purpose in a small group of peers.
In previous terms, the Explore SophoMORE program had been meeting on a weekly basis to discuss topics such as vulnerability, leadership or belonging, often in small groups, according to Chamberlin. Now, Chamberlin is working on her own project emphasizing better personal care and making more time for artistic creation.
“For me, Explore SophoMORE has been a community,” Chamberlin said. “It’s given me a space where I feel safe being myself and exploring what that means. It’s helped me see parts of myself I didn’t know existed. And it allowed me to do that work side by side with people I respect and trust.”
At the event, Chamberlin will be sharing information about the program and her experience as a sophomore explorer, as well as helping people figure out whether Explore SophoMORE suits them.
As the event is approaching, Wasielewski encourages students to attend the event and explore the opportunities they could utilize at Lawrence.
“While parts of your student experience can or will be overwhelming or leave you feeling unsure about yourself or the steps to take, know that those are also the parts that help lead to further self-discovery and growth,” Wasielewski said. “You’re not alone on this journey.”