Attendance at the Major-Minor Fair increases from last year

By Kaitlin Burch

Staff Writer

FSU hosted the 14th annual Major-Minor Fair organized by Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Christopher Gregory Oct. 22.

According to Gregory, 281 students had attended the Major-Minor Fair this year, which is an increase from the 220 students that attended last year’s fair. 

Gregory stressed the importance of pushing minors. He explained this fair used to be known just as the “major fair” until “a bunch” of people realized they “want to promote minors because Framingham State doesn’t have a lot of room for double majors, but it does [have room for] minors and if students don’t think about minors early on, it becomes too late later on.”

Gregory said, “It’s only five courses in a minor, so we want [students] to think that way.”

The fair attracts more than just freshmen looking for direction on what to major or minor in. Upperclassmen are also drawn to the fair for a number of reasons, Gregory added. Some of these reasons include internship opportunities, information on concentrations, and advice on how to balance a minor. 

Senior Mary-Kate O’Day said, “I’m trying to find an internship for the spring, so I was told that [the fair] might help.”

Another senior, Tyri Hampton, agreed. “I was just looking to get information on internships and career opportunities.”

Freshman Josh Oquendo said he was planning ahead. “I wanted to talk to some of the [presenters at the] tables and make sure I can find internships and [see] what they have on the tables and stuff like that.”

Others came to the fair just looking for a sense of direction or as a learning experience. Freshman Lillah Determan is undeclared and turned to the Major-Minor Fair for assistance, saying she was just trying to “figure it out.”

Sophomore Gabriella Inman brought her stepsister, Lily Ezold, a high school senior, to the fair before she went on a tour of the University. Inman said, “I thought I’d bring her here because she’s undecided.

“I actually came last year to figure out what I needed for the psych requirements and then deciding on minors,” she added. 

Freshman John Keyes said, “I just wanted to learn about my major, what I should be taking the next couple of years, [and] see what kinds of concentrations there are.”

Other students attended the fair for class credit.

Freshman Emily McKale said, “I have to come here for a class requirement, [for] first-year seminar. … I also wanted to see my options for a minor, maybe, because I’m not minoring in anything yet.” She added she had to write a paper reflecting on what she saw at the fair.

Professors at the fair were eager to share their knowledge with students and intrigue them with what their majors and minors have to offer.

Geography department chair, David Merwin and his colleague, professor George Bentley, attracted students to the geography and environmental science table with a drone on display.

Bentley said they engage students in their classes by taking them “out into the field and using the drone to capture imagery. … So, flying it over different parts of the campus and taking the raw image that you get from the drone and correcting it so it’s correct in terms of scale.”

Merwin added, “We use it to monitor environmental change and how things change over time with the landscape.”

Criminology program coordinator and professor in the department of sociology, Vincent Ferraro said, “We get a lot of freshmen in criminology. It’s a popular major.” 

He said his main goal at the fair was to aid students in making the best choice for them when selecting a major or minor. “A lot of it for me is trying to help students find out where their interests lie and what program is going to best help them on their path.”

Marketing professor Zahra Tohidinia said she believes the fair was very helpful to students. She said the fair “helps us get out of our silos” and experience new things. “It’s a really great learning experience, I think, for students for sure, and also for faculty,” she said.

“Sometimes, we’re not exposed to other majors, but right now, as the students walk, I’ve had students from biology, from art, who wanted to know more about marketing. … How can I help them see marketing in a new light and see it as a real candidate for their future careers?” she asked.

Gregory said helping these students figure out the right direction for them early on ensures they “don’t lose any momentum towards graduating on time. … All I’m trying to do here at the Major-Minor Fair is plant some seeds.”