Long lectures, power points, fighting to stay awake in class and asking questions in class are typically the only interactions most students have with professors and other faculty members here at school.
However, the Resident Assistants at Mahoney Residential College have been trying to change that by bringing faculty members like Rita Deutsch, the dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami, to the residential hall for a dinner.
Every semester, the RAs at Mahoney host four or five Faculty Fellow Dinners, where deans, university administrators and other faculty members accept invitations to come and interact with students in a more relaxed and comfortable environment.
Ezzard Rolle, a senior studying biology and a second year RA at Mahoney, is in charge of the first one of the spring semester that will be held on March 1 at 6:00pm in the Master’s apartment in Mahoney.
Last semester, Rolle brought Jitka Stepnickova, a visiting Fulbright Scholar from Charles University in Prague. He said she told him that she loved being able to interact with the students and talk to them about something that they were generally interested in.
Robert Moore, the master at Mahoney for the past 12 years now, has seen the same thing in his 17 years of witnessing the dinners that last about an hour.
“The professors really enjoy talking to students interested in what they do, and it also gives students a chance to network with people of their desired profession,” Moore said. “As long as I remember, networking has always been important for my jobs, so we want to give the students that opportunity.”
Deutsch expects that it will be a relaxed dinner, where students can come and talk, whether in private or in a group setting about anything and everything. While she has never done a Faculty Fellow Dinner, she is excited for the opportunity to help students.
“I have noticed that students today act more seriously than previous years,” Deutsch said. “Today students feel they need to know what their major is now, and what they want to do when they graduate, as opposed to previous years where students would take general education courses and decide their major later.”
According to Moore, the dinners are always worthwhile.
“Students might just come in for the food,” Moore said. “And when they meet the honored guest, they get a great experience out of it.”
Trevor Scales may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.