Return of the Honors First-year Dinner

People talking at tables with view of the sunset through the windows
Faculty members and first-year Honors students have conversations while the sun sets over Lake Mendota

The Alumni Lounge in the Pyle Center was buzzing as around 150 first-year Honors Program students and over 20 faculty and staff members conversed during the Honors First-Year Dinner on September 28. Due to the COVID pandemic, this year was the first Honors First-Year Dinner since 2019.

Attendees enjoyed a buffet meal while seated at tables with at least one faculty member and students representing a mixture of interests. After the meal, the “grown ups” introduced themselves and redistributed across the room to host tables about various themes. Conversation topics ranged from being an undecided student to getting involved in research to pre-professional preparation (pre-health and pre-law) to incorporating social justice into your undergraduate career. In some cases, book recommendations were shared, as well! Most student attendees spoke to at least three faculty members by the end of the evening and were offered personal responses to their questions and interests. Conversations continued well past the sunset over Lake Mendota.

Thank you to all the faculty and campus partners who helped make this reintroduction of the annual First-Year Dinner a success!

Participating faculty and staff:

  • Martha Alibali (Psychology)
  • William Aylward (Classical & Ancient Near Eastern Studies)
  • Janet Batzli (Biocore)
  • Sara Chadwick (Gender & Women’s Studies, Psychology)
  • Karen Evans-Romaine (German, Nordic, & Slavic+)
  • Jamie Henke (School of Music)
  • Jordan Ellenberg (Mathematics)
  • Jeff Henriques (Psychology)
  • Mike Hill (Center for Pre-Health Advising)
  • Devin Kennedy (History/History of Science)
  • Mark Lilleleht (Institute for Regional and International Studies; Assistant Director for Awards & campus Fulbright Program Advisor)
  • Caitlyn LoMonte (Office of Inclusion Education)
  • Gary Lupyan (Psychology)
  • Monica Macaulay (Language Sciences)
  • Dan McCammon (Physics)
  • Steven Nadler (Philosophy)
  • Juan Quero (Center for Pre-Law Advising)
  • Jose Rodriguez (Mathematics)
  • Dave Schroeder (School of Computer, Data, and Information Sciences)
  • Diana Tapia Ramon (Biocore)
  • Danielle Weindling (Center for the Humanities)
  • Honors Program Staff: Jenny Saffran (Faculty Director, Psychology), Lisa Blum, Sam Downey, Christine Evans, Pete Keys, Sara Stephenson, Erin Warner