Faculty members are invited to submit a FIG proposal

Fall garden party

UO faculty members from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals for new First-Year Interest Groups, known as FIGS, with proposals due by Monday, Feb. 5.

“Teaching in the FIG program has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as an educator at the UO,” said Stephen Wooten, associate professor of international studies. “The FIG setting offers faculty and students a special chance to explore issues and concerns in a small, intimate forum and to share excitement about the learning process.”

FIGs let first-year students take a deep dive into an academic topic with an interdisciplinary approach. A 20-member group participates together in three courses during the fall, when students can make connections with faculty and peers between classes and have access to vital resources that set them up for success beyond their first year.

Typically, each FIG consists of two general education courses and a College Connections seminar. The seminar is usually led by a faculty member teaching one of the lecture courses.

Proposals are submitted by individual faculty members or teams of instructors interested in teaching the College Connections seminar. Compensation is provided to the College Connections instructor in the form of a $2,000 stipend, plus benefit expenses.

The FIG program is flexible and open to innovation; faculty members are encouraged to contact Amy Hughes Giard, FIG program director, with ideas. All faculty who have not taught a FIG are required to meet with Hughes Giard prior to submitting a proposal. She can be contacted at agiard@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1079.

Recent topics have included hip-hop and politics of race, the similarities between human and animal psychology and history of the world through food.

“I love being in close touch with each new wave of Ducks through the FIG program, and I frequently keep in contact with them as they progress through their studies and find their passions,” Wooten said. “It feels great to see them at the beginning and end of their time on campus.”

For more information and to submit a proposal, see the First-Year Programs website.

—By Lizzy Elkins, University Communications