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Students to showcase work at Making Connections First Year Academic Expo Nov. 12


JONESBORO, Ark. – First-year students at Arkansas State University will get an opportunity to display how successfully they have made the transition to college when they present projects at the inaugural Making Connections “First-Year Academic Expo,” Monday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m.-noon in the Spring River room in the Carl R. Reng Student Union.

“We are very excited to announce this event,” said Dr. LaQuita Saunders, history professor in First-Year Experience (FYE) studies and co-director of the Pre-Law Center. “The Academic Expo is designed to provide first-year students a means to showcase theirs works and to gain confidence sharing academic ventures, presentations or research in a scholarly setting.”

Dr. Saunders noted that, similar to any exposition, booths will be on display for visitors to walk through to see and learn about each project. Students will be available at the booths to explain their projects. Students can choose to stage projects in any manner. First-Year Experience participants include students in art, business, and section for students with undecided majors.

As an example, four teams in the FYE history class taught by Dr. Saunders, will feature student-designed historical mini-documentary videos on different topics. Two groups made separate films on Johnny Cash, one prepared a video on Mahatma Gandhi, and one on Joan of Arc.

“Each team researched its topic using a variety of primary and secondary sources, selected pictures, conducted interviews, selected background music, wrote scripts, and utilized other methods,” continued Dr. Saunders. “One group made a trip to Dyess to take video footage of Johnny Cash’s home. Another filmed an interview with a French historian on Joan of Arc. Each group has selected a different way to portray its subject.”

Making Connections is required for every first-year student at ASU and may be major-based or general for students still deciding on a major. All sections of the course have a common core curriculum that assists students with making the transition from high school to college. As this transition can have unexpected challenges, Making Connections can help students to adjust to making new friends and social interactions, new intellectual standards, and new responsibilities.

Making Connections will help students to make sound decisions, utilize time management, improve study techniques and other college success skills. First-Year Studies is also the home for transitional courses in writing, reading, and mathematics.