One benefit of being a student at Harvard is the opportunity to develop relationships with the professors, preceptors, teaching fellows, administrators, coaches, and staff who help make Harvard a world-class institution. These individuals can be great mentors and resources, helping students find direction and support in all aspects of life. Therefore, freshmen are encouraged to spend time with faculty outside of the classroom setting.
First-Year Faculty Dinners
Once a term, the FDO organizes a formal First-Year Faculty Dinner, where freshmen are encouraged to invite a professor to join them for a meal at Annenberg. This event is always popular, providing students with a chance to get to know their professor in a more social setting. And remember, faculty, preceptors, and teaching fellows can join students for a meal in Annenberg any time at no cost to the student.
Faculty Luncheon Series
The Freshman Dean’s Office also organizes a series of Faculty Luncheons which are held each term in the residence of the Dean of Freshmen and are a great way to get to know a faculty member and her or his scholarly work and research. The luncheons are often organized around a topic, and are meant to promote casual conversation about shared interests between students and faculty.
Additional Opportunities to Meet Faculty
Many academic departments, College offices, and University centers also offer unique opportunities for students to get to know faculty and members of the administration. For instance, the Institute of Politics, Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, Harvard College Women’s Center, and Office for the Arts often host lectures and special programs that connect students and faculty around current events and global issues. And the Advising Programs Office also invites students to Professors and Pastries, a program where faculty discuss how they came to academia over sweet treats. The Office of Undergraduate Education funds the Classroom to Table Program, which fosters conversation and academic connections among students and faculty over a meal at a Harvard Square restuarant that is arranged and paid for by the College.
The FDO also encourages freshmen to attend professors’ office hours to discuss a range of topics, including questions about a course, shared interests, and academic advice. To prepare first-year students to take advantage of office hours, the FDO’s First-Year Experience Program often hosts, “Making the Most of Office Hours.”