Dean of New Students Pat O'Hara Talks About What's New for Orientation 2013
Submitted on Thursday, 9/12/2013, at 4:21 PM
“We are ready for you. We have worked for one year on this year’s Orientation. The anticipation on campus is palpable.”
This is a recent message for incoming students from Patricia O’Hara, on her Countdown to Orientation blog. In addition to being the Amanda and Lisa Cross Professor of Chemistry, O’Hara is starting her fourth year as Amherst’s Dean of New Students. She chairs the Orientation Committee and coordinates Orientation activities. And she has the names and photos of the Class of 2017 displayed on rotation in an electronic picture frame in her office in Converse Hall, to help her get to know them before they arrive.
Learning Not to Highlight, and Other Orientation Highlights
By Katherine Duke '05
Hello, my name is Katherine, and I am a recovering habitual highlighter. Nine years ago, when I started my first year at Amherst, I got into the habit of studying with a hot pink or neon green or fluorescent orange marker in my hand, so that I could drag it across any lines of text that struck me as particularly important. It made me feel accomplished and scholarly—I could look back through the pages and see that I had really studied. It took me several semesters and many defaced books to realize that merely changing the color of what I’d read didn’t help me very much when I went back to re-read it later, and it was especially unhelpful when I found that I’d designated three quarters of every page as “particularly important.”
Ben Lieber has been dean of students at Amherst since 1984 and will move on to a new position at the college in 2010. This year, he brought decades of perspective—and a brand-new beard—to his final First-Year Orientation. He spoke recently about his experiences: