The past few weeks have been busy here at Columbia! We’ve had a few different events, ranging from Ambassador Training, New Graduate Student Orientation, New Graduate Student Happy Hour, and New Student Convocation. I wanted to write a post congratulating all new students on their acceptance into Columbia and surviving the first few weeks of pre-school activities, and I wanted to offer my wishes that they all strive for excellence and succeed beautifully in their respective programs.
We had a fun time getting to know the new students, which is the best part about being a Graduate Ambassador. I met a student in the Nonfiction program that learned about Columbia from a journal I work on, 3Elements Review. We mingled, and I got to know about many of the Fiction students’ interests, what they hope to accomplish at Columbia College Chicago, and what kind of projects they hope to bring to the classroom.
Orientation was another great event, as President Kim dropped by to talk with incoming students. He was candid and answered a few questions. A few things I gleaned from this is that he is pushing to make Graduate Studies a huge priority for the school and wants to see the programs grow and make each become THE program in its respective area. He mentioned that change has come with his administration and that change is good. I wholeheartedly agree. There has been some change within the Creative Writing Department, as Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry have merged under one title. There has been some contention about this, but Dr. Kim is interested in seeing these programs become the best programs out there. He mentioned that the changes stemmed from students, as that is what the university is here to serve. He said that he hopes students continue to be vocal and question their programs, not to bring them down, but instead to lift them up. It was a really great speech. After, he took questions, and one student asked about mixed graduate and undergraduate courses, and he said that he hoped to see less of these courses and hoped that graduate courses could focus on teaching students at the graduate level. Students applauded this response, and I think we’ve seen many of those changes in the Fiction department already. I’m so excited that the incoming students will have all of these new, amazing opportunities.
Convocation was next on the list of Welcome Activities, and the grad students met early in the Grad Lounge (make sure you check that space out if you haven’t been!) for coffee, pastries, and mingling. We walked over together, gathered some awesome swag, and got pumped up about the upcoming school year.
Welcome to a new school year, a new program, and a new home at Columbia! I can’t wait to see what you all do!