The year has just begun, and the Kathryn F. Hubbard Center for Student Engagement – also known as the Hubbard Center – has already started working with students.
The Hubbard Center was designed to assist students in succeeding, particularly outside of DePauw. “Our goal is to help students develop a variety of options so that when they graduate, they have choices,” said Dean of Experimental Learning and Career Planning, Raj Bellani.
On a day-to-day basis, the Hubbard Center is available to help students craft resumes, organize their off-campus studies and plan for their future. However, it also offers different special programming throughout the year.
One of these special programs brings in a young alumnus speaker for the incoming class. On Aug. 24, Kareem Edwards, DePauw class of 2007, came to Kresge Auditorium speak to the first-year students.
Edwards talked about his time before, during and after DePauw, and how DePauw helped him throughout his life. He especially emphasized the personal relationships he developed with professors.
“They care about your interests. They believe in you; you should believe in yourselves,” he said.
Before taking questions from the audience, he concluded with four pieces of advice: meet new people, make a plan—but don’t worry if it changes, take risks and remember to wear shoes during your boulder run.
The students appeared to enjoy Edwards. First-year Sarah Pearson remarked afterwards, “I thought he really connected with the students.”
First-year Amanda Brown appreciated how relatable he was. “I like how they bring in alumni because he literally sat where we sat. And he had some really good advice,” she said.
The Hubbard Center organized another recent event with the Sophomore Institute. On Aug. 25, sophomores who had previously signed up spent the day at The Inn at DePauw learning to organize and plan their futures, both at DePauw and beyond. Alumni couple Kenneth and Carrie Coquillette, class of 1982, funded the day.
The Coquillettes are concerned with how students are going into the world and applying what they have learned. They want students to develop passions, tools and a tentative plan earlier rather than later, and hope that the Sophomore Institute will inspire students to do just that.
“Now’s not the time to panic; now’s the time to formulate a plan,” said Kenneth. Carrie added, “We want [students] to have more of a purpose than a job.”
Students at the Sophomore Institute experienced speakers on topics like choosing a major and how to best obtain an internship. Sophomore Megan Mullin enjoyed it more than she expected, saying, “I was thinking it’d be a long day and that I’d find myself bored and wanting to leave, but I was pleasantly surprised.” Bellani was also pleased with the event.
“Every year we strengthen the program. I’m happy that this has become a university-wide tradition,” he said.
Sophomore Maggie Furtner, however, liked it less. “It wasn’t very helpful to me because I felt like what a lot of the speakers said was common sense, and I felt like it could have been condensed into a shorter program,” she said.
Although the Hubbard programs have been geared toward sophomores and first-years so far this year, it’s still early. “We are heavily working on graduate school and professional school classes for winter term,” said Bellani. The Hubbard Center also recently put out a career resource guide with juniors and seniors in mind.
The Hubbard Center aims to help students further their success and education outside of DePauw, and plans to continue to offer programming and services throughout the year.