majors fair

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Shawn Kutcha talks with a student

Photographer: Seaira Christian-Daniels

majors fair

More than 1,300 students attended the 2013 Majors Fair

Photographer: Seaira Christian-Daniels

majors fair

Assistant Professor of African American Studies Arnita Hamilton chats with a couple of students about her department

Photographer: Seaira Christian-Daniels

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Students seek career opportunities at Majors Fair

A green and white balloon-clad arch, freshly-popped popcorn and cotton candy, and a larger-than-life-sized Rufus the Bobcat ushered more than 1,300 students into the Baker University Center Ballroom on Sept. 17 to learn about major, minor, and certificate options at the annual Majors Fair.

Majors Fair Committee co-chair Lindsey Marx said the point of the fair, is to allow students to have fun while gaining valuable information about their potential programs of study.

"We tried to jazz it up as much as we could without it being a carnival," Marx joked.

Many of the programs of study followed suit. One display by the Department of Biological Sciences featured a jar containing a now-extinct salamander indigenous to the Hocking River and microscope slides filled with mold. Each display showed students the numerous options available in programs they may not have previously considered.

"I'm not certain people are aware of how much diversity there is within the department," said Shawn Kutcha, associate professor of Biological Sciences. "There's a lot of different opportunities to do lab work or go on fieldtrips and collect birds and fish. That's a huge spectrum of options."

Kutcha said he talked to students, often multiple students at once, with the hope that they'll leave the fair excited about a new major in Biological Sciences.

Students took note. Freshman prospective political science major Jasmine Weatherspoon came to the fair knowing her desired career but unsure of the best route to get there. Others like freshman
strategic communications major Brittani Roper came having chosen a major according to her interests, but unsure of how to apply it.

"I would like to work with black-owned companies, and I really like African-American history, but I don't know what I want to do yet," Weatherspoon said.

Shaun Evans, a graduate student in American Politics, said that's the beauty of an undergraduate education, the students have vigor and ambition that will allow them to connect with professors and a program of study achieve their dream careers.  

"A lot of times with majors it's peer pressure – what your friends are majoring in or what your parents or saying or who makes the most money. To be able to talk to people who are practitioners in their area actually helps," said Assistant Professor of African-American Studies Artina Hamilton.

The best-fitting major is not always an easy find, said senior Isaac Placke, who is studying Latin-American studies with a certificate in environmental studies. He said the key is finding someone with
the right information to guide you to which programs match your interests.

"I got lucky in meeting a faculty member who was interested in something I was really interested in, and sometimes people miss out on that," Placke said. "This is a good place to see a face, introduce yourself and see what they're about."