Carnegie Mellon University
April 06, 2015

Open House Welcomes Admitted Graduate Students

Sarah Katz was recently accepted into the Department of English’s Master of Arts in Rhetoric program and during the department’s Days of Welcoming open house, she had the opportunity to sit in on three classes and got a feel for what a typical day looks like for a Carnegie Mellon University student.

“I really liked the opportunity to sit in on classes,” said Katz, who will be graduating next month from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. “I got to see how the professor interacts with the class and heard how the class has discussions. I even filled in as a mentor to a high school student with hidden learning disabilities in Linda Flower’s ‘Literacy: Educational Theory and Community Practice’ class.”

Katz was one of about 30 students who attended the open house.

Days of Welcoming is the department’s two-day spring open house for admitted graduate students. The event allows students to get to know the department by allowing them to sit in on classes, meet faculty, pick the brains of current graduate students, and get to know the campus and city.

“The Days of Welcoming is a wonderful opportunity for admitted students to interact personally with program faculty and current graduate students,” said Marian Aguiar, director of graduate studies. “Students find the individual and group meetings to be a great resource for thinking about a potential future at Carnegie Mellon University.”

“I really liked how personal the Department of English made the event,” said Sara Desantis who applied for the Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies program. “It’s coming through in everything from the classroom visits to the small group meetings with faculty.”

Desantis sat in on ‘18th Century British: The Long Eighteenth Century II’ with Kristina Straub, professor of English.

“I had the opportunity to see the students work on their research paper topics and how they worked together,” said Desantis.

Desantis, who traveled from Saint Mary’s College of California wasn’t the only one that traveled across the country to attend the open house. Katie Brooks traveled from Washington where she attended Western Washington University. It was her first time visiting CMU and the city of Pittsburgh. She took advantage of the down time in the open house’s schedule.

“I went exploring last night,” said Brooks. “I took the incline, went to the Andy Warhol Museum, which was incredible. I liked how there are college students everywhere in the city – it’s really encouraging.”

Students also had the opportunity to meet other faculty in their program, department staff and talk with current graduate students over an informal lunch and evening reception and happy hour. It provided an opportunity for Katz and the others to ask current students for advice on housing and public transit.

“Through these couple of days filled with both social and advising events, students can start building the relationships that shape their time here,” said Aguiar.

By: Amanda King