UW News

February 21, 2008

Students develop — themselves and photos — through seminar, exhibit

Ten UW freshmen will exhibit the results from their freshmen seminar, Develop: Production of a Photo Essay, beginning today in Odegaard. The two-credit seminar, created and taught by Grant Kollet, director of First Year Programs, was piloted fall quarter and continues through the rest of the academic year. It is designed to help freshmen explore, capture, and share their transition to the UW through the development of a photo journal.

“The Develop course is a variation of a program started at the University of Minnesota,” says Kollet. “Bringing these students together in this course has been fantastic. Not only does the class encourage the students to think about what they are learning and how college is affecting them, it gives us a lens through which we can see the meaningful events in their lives that shape who they eventually become.”

This winter quarter a new group of 10 students is being asked to reflect on their college experience thus far, to contrast the myths and realities of their college experience, and to reflect on the degree to which they are “getting what they want” out of college.

The spring quarter seminar will reunite five students from the autumn class along with five students from the winter cohort, and they will be asked to “add a second chapter” to their photo essay exploring issues as they grow, learn, and prepare for their sophomore year. The spring class will also be encouraged to become involved in an experiential learning project that can be incorporated into their final exhibit.

“Taking Develop was a really rewarding experience,” says freshman Jennifer Revak, a pre-social sciences major from Snohomish whose work will be exhibited. “Along with getting to learn how to use a manual-focus camera and just generally sharpening my photography skills, I got to meet and work with some great people who were in the same first-year boat as me. The camera was heavy, but it became natural lugging it around and taking pictures every place I went — although I can’t say it was as natural for my friends!”

The exhibit will remain on the first floor of Odegaard through the end of the quarter.