On Friday, Oct. 2, the Office of Academic Advising and Retention hosted “AzuSafari,” a safari-themed event in Upper Turner Campus Center (UTCC) to help incoming freshmen learn more about the majors and minors available.
“The Office of Academic Advising and Retention wanted to provide an opportunity for freshmen to explore majors or to learn more information about their major,” Director of Undergraduate Student Success Dr. Tracie Burt said. “We’ve asked questions about faculty and career information, the curriculum and co-curricular activities and we’ve got some student support offices here today to try to help students become familiar with them.”
Burt believes the event allows students to learn more about majors and the call God has for their lives.
“A student has already decided to pursue nursing, or to pursue biology, or to pursue any major and they come here with their heart set on only that,” Burt said. “They don’t have the opportunity to learn how maybe psychology and biology can join together to make a career that could be perfect for their gifting and for God’s calling on their life. It’s so exciting when we see students come in, ready to visit different tables and just learn.”
To get the most out of the event, Burt suggests students attend Azusafari willing to consider new areas of study from different departments on campus.
“The best way they can prepare is to come in with an open mind, just excited to learn something about college and about their potential future,”Burt said. “The real purpose of this event is to help people feel more confident in their selection of a major, but we also have a lot of exploring students here, and we want them to have the opportunity to make some informed choices.”
Aside from the information tables, students were treated to candy and given the opportunity to participate in a raffle, which included prizes such as gift cards, stuffed animals and a homemade “study basket.”
“We know students won’t just walk into an office on their own,” Burt said. “This gives us an opportunity to give them candy and let them know that we really do want to help them.”
Burt received both verbal and written feedback throughout the event, and overall, students have said that they benefited from the fair.
“[The students] have been coming in waves, but every hour we’ve had lots of students here gathering information and talking to us about majors,” Department of Practical Theology chair and professor Dr. Richard Pritchard said. “We’ve never had anything like this, and it’s been really good.”
Freshman computer science major Jarele Soyinka felt that AzuSafari was an excellent opportunity for students needing an extra perspective.
“Pretty much since sixth grade, I’ve wanted to be a computer scientist, so I don’t think I’m changing it any time soon,” Soyinka said. “I don’t really care for required events, but surprisingly I did end up learning a couple things that I didn’t [know]. For students that are undeclared or still looking, I can see this being something that’s really helpful.”