A Hampshire College Student on Campus

Family Orientation

Friday, August 31, 2018

Family Orientation is an optional, in-depth series of workshops, panels, and informational events designed to give families a deeper understanding of Hampshire College and its resources.

Learn more about Opening Day and move-in.

Schedule subject to change.


Harold F. Johnson Library, lower level
8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
This is the place for one-stop shopping for Hampshire-imprinted clothing and gifts.

Kern Kafé

R.W. Kern Center, first floor
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Stop by and pick up one of our delicious made-from-scratch blondies, breakfast pastries, soft pretzels, cookies, hand crafted sandwiches, or salads. Thirsty? We’ve got an espresso, latte, or daily-drip brew (hot or cold) just for you!


Franklin Patterson Hall, Lobby
8:30–11:30 a.m.
Pick up name tags and lunch tickets.

Family Lounge

Franklin Patterson Hall, Faculty and Staff Lounge
8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
At any time families can take a break, enjoy light refreshments, relax, check e-mail, read Hampshire publications, or talk with staff and students.

Division I: Creating a Strong Academic Foundation

Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
9:00–9:45 a.m.
What is Division I? How is an individualized academic program created by a student and supported by an adviser? What does the journey to academic success look like? Discover how students create their own programs of study from the people who provide support and guidance throughout the first year.

  • Alejandro Cuellar 00S, writing instructor and faculty associate
  • Avalon Mercado 15F, student
  • Laura Melbin, associate dean of advising

Academic Panel: Focus on Transfer Students

Franklin Patterson Hall, East Lecture Hall
9:00–9:45 a.m.
Families of transfer students have their own set of questions and concerns: What is a Division II committee and how does a student get one? How do students transition to Hampshire’s academic style? What are the requirements? Academic support staff will talk about the ways in which they assist transfer students in moving along the Divisional path and help families understand everything from evaluations to graduation.

  • Elizabeth Conlisk, dean of natural science, professor of public health
  • Hannah Davidson 16F, student
  • Anne Downes, senior associate dean of advising
  • Rachel Graham, director of central records
  • Pam Tinto, associate dean of students

New Student Orientation: Group Activities and First-Year Tutorial Class Meetings

9:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New students participate in activities to introduce them to the College, then meet with their tutorial class professors.

Farm Center Tour

Meet at Franklin Patterson Hall, at the Torrey Courtyard
10:00–11:30 a.m.
How does the Farm Center operate? How do students use the farm in their academic programs? How can students join its CSA? Meet the farm staff and see the vegetable fields, barns, greenhouses, and pastured livestock that make up this vital part of the Hampshire community. Farm-friendly footwear is encouraged. 

Separation and Transition Workshop

Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
10–11 a.m.
What can you expect during your student’s transition to Hampshire? What transitions are common to all families and what else might occur? No matter what stage you’re in, come chat and laugh with the professionals from our counseling services as they help you prepare for this next phase of your student’s life, and of yours.

  • Sara Aierstuck, director of health and counseling services
  • Eliza McArdle, director of counseling services

The New Student Experience

Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
11:00–11:45 a.m.
What happens outside the classroom? How are students supported in their adjustment to the residence halls? What opportunities do students have to build community and to get involved with classmates who have similar interests? How will students find out about all of this? Staff on the front lines will answer these questions (and more) as they give you a sense of what to expect in your student’s first year.

Moderator: Elizabeth Parolski, director of new student programs

  • Daniel Altshuler, assistant professor of linguistics
  • Lindsay Jeffers, area coodinator
  • Gloria Lopez, vice president for student affairs and dean of students
  • Greg Narleski, director of student rights and responsibilities
  • Carin Rank, director of career options
  • Carolyn Strycharz, associate director of campus leadership and activities
  • Amanda Surgen, associate director of outdoor programs, recreation, and activities

Family Orientation Lunch

Franklin Patterson Hall, Faculty and Staff Lounge
11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Pick up your bagged lunch and enjoy it with new friends. Students eat lunch in the dining commons.

Student and Family Resource Fair

Longsworth Arts Village, under the solar canopy
1–2 p.m.
Where can students get involved? In what sports can a student participate? What on-campus activities, resources, and programs are available? Students and families can explore offices and meet staff from around the campus.

  • Alumni and Family Relations
  • Campus Leadership and Activities (CLA)
  • Campus Police
  • Career Options Resource Center (CORC)
  • Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA)
  • Center for Feminisms/Queer Community Alliance Services (QCA)
  • Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP)
  • Community Partnerships for Social Change (CPSC)
  • Entrepreneurship Program
  • Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning (CYL)
  • Culture, Brain, and Development (CBD)
  • Farm Center
  • Global Education Office (GEO)
  • Hampshire Fund
  • Harold F. Johnson Library
  • Health and Counseling Services
  • Holistic Learning Program
  • Housing Operations Office (HOO)
  • Institute for Science and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Knowledge Commons
  • Library Media Lab
  • Lebrón-Wiggins-Pran Cultural Center
  • Media Services
  • New Student Programs
  • Outdoor Programs, Recreation, and Athletics (OPRA)
  • Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS)
  • Spiritual Life
  • Title XI and Survivor Supports
  • Wellness Promotion

New Student Orientation

2–5 p.m.
New students participate in a conversation, facilitated by a member of the faculty, about academics at Hampshire and an overview of Division I. Transfer students will attend sessions specifically geared to their experience. This is mandatory for all new students.

R.W. Kern Center Tour

R.W. Kern Center, Lobby
–3 p.m.
Constructed to the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge, the Kern is a statement of Hampshire values. Learn how its net-zero, self-contained systems work and hear about the process of sourcing sustainable, local materials.

Learning, Researching, and Creating

Harold F. Johnson Library, Airport Lounge
2:15–3:00 p.m.
Where can students turn for support with their research, multimedia projects, and art installations? How can they talk through strategies, develop their skills across disciplines, and stay organized and engaged. Library, media, and gallery staff assist students with all aspects of their research and media and presentation options.. We’ll introduce you to the academic support and peer mentoring available in the library’s innovative Knowledge Commons, where students can learn collaboratively with current students and alums who have experience with the unique Hampshire College curriculum in a variety of academic skills, such as research, writing, gallery installation, quantitative analysis, and working with media and technology. 

  • John Bruner 94F, new media production technician
  • Jennifer Gunter King, director of the library and Knowledge Commons
  • Amy Halliday, gallery director
  • Suzanne Karanikis, circulation supervisor
  • Alana Kumbier, knowledge commons and humanities librarian
  • Robin Potter Nolasco, research and instruction librarian for social sciences
  • Neil Young 94F, manager of media services

Student Accounts, Financial Aid, and Work-Study Panel

Franklin Patterson Hall, East Lecture Hall
3:15–4:00 p.m.
What jobs are available on campus? Does your student have to apply for financial aid again next year? How do ID cards work? Hear from the staff of student financial services about what you should know to make paying bills and securing aid easier.

  • Janel Johnson, student employment coordinator
  • Jennifer Lawton, director of financial aid
  • Christine Speek, bursar


5–7 p.m.
Families can eat in the dining hall (pick up meal passes in the Family Lounge by 4:30) or take their students off campus.

View the program from last year.

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