CHASS Welcomes Freshmen: An Interview with Interim Dean Martin

By Robert Bastone, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

As host to nearly three-quarters of the undergraduate students on this campus, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) is the largest college within the University of California, Riverside, and host to some of the most prestigious programs and faculty in the world. As CHASS continues to grow and develop, its administrators, faculty, and staff want to ensure that freshman understand what it takes to succeed in this College. Interim Dean Joel Martin has offered some information and advice to the freshmen of the 2004-05 school year about what they need to do to thrive here as UCR students.

During an interview earlier this school year, Interim Dean Martin spoke of the expectations the college has of its freshman, advice on making the most of the college experience, and about opportunities for greater student involvement in the College. Martin wants to make sure that students take advantage of the extensive range of programs and experienced faculty provided by the College. The Dean also wants to stress the importance of incoming freshman learning from their peers, in order to make the most out of their university experience.

When asked what expectations the College has for its incoming freshman, Martin replied by offering the same advice that Richard Heckmann, keynote speaker, presented at this year's commencement ceremonies. Martin professed that students should “learn from mistakes, and behave ethically in all things.” The Dean emphasized the need for students to take full advantage of all the opportunities given to them at the College, but also to continue to use their best judgment in their conduct and interpersonal relationships.

In speaking about the new and continuing programs that have been and will be in effect this school year, the Dean touched momentarily on the formation of the Dean’s Advisory Board (of which students will be a part), and the proposed programs in Global Studies and Digital Arts that are currently being considered. Martin also encourages students to participate in the Associated Students of UCR (ASUCR) and to be informed on what happens on the campus as a whole so that they can be involved in the decision-making process. Martin listed several other new programs that will prove to be beneficial for students such as the Freshman Discovery Seminars, Academic Advising, the series of performances and lectures that the school has lined up, the Chancellor's new lecture series entitled “Imaging the Future,” and finally the many other conferences, seminars, and colloquiums that will happen over the course of this exciting year.

As a final word of advice for the freshmen of the 2004-05 school year, the Dean offered a few closing words of advice, stating that students should “always be open to new areas of inquiry.” He added that in order for us to maintain the type of environment that we want to have here students must “knock on doors, attend performances, ask questions,” and take advantage of the opportunity to continue “questioning, seeking and exploring.”

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