Student Perspective: Preparing for Class

Whether you’re just starting your Steinhardt experience or coming back after your summer break, jumping right into classes can be a rude awakening (or re-awakening) if you’re not prepared. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready to go on (or better yet, before) Day 1:

Know what classes you’re taking, and when and where they are.

Print out your schedule, or have it with you on your phone. Double-check Albert to be sure you’re going to the right class at the right time in the right place. Courses sometimes change locations after your initial registration.

Buy your books.

If you’re 100% sure you’re taking a specific class, don’t wait to buy or order your books, especially if you’re ordering online. You’ll have reading assignments right away and you don’t want to fall behind.

Check Blackboard.

Your professors may post helpful info on Blackboard before the first day of class – check out your course sites.

Check your email.

Goes without saying. E-mail is still the most convenient way for most professors to reach out to students – make sure you’re checking (and actually reading!) yours regularly.

Figure out your organizational style.

Are you going to use a separate notebook for each class? One big ol’ notebook for all your classes? Go old school with a Trapper Keeper? Whatever style you prefer, pick one and make it work for you.

Have a pen. And paper. Or a computer. Or something. Please.

Be prepared for your classes. Don’t be that guy/girl who has to mumble to the student next to them, “Um, hey, can I ‘borrow’ a sheet of paper….thanks….oh, do you have a pen too?” C’mon folks, get it together – you should have what you need to take notes every time you go to class.

Get some sleep.

The start of a new semester is always an exciting time, and it’s tempting to stay up all night getting to know new friends or reconnecting with old ones. Be sure you get enough sleep to keep you fresh for your classes. Professors do notice if you’re dozing off/struggling to stay awake in their class – that’s an impression that can be tough to bounce back from.

Get a calendar, and use it.

You’re going to have a lot of things going on in your life – classes, exams, due dates, jobs, fun stuff. Even if you’re the type who doesn’t like to be tied to plans and prefers to embrace the spontaneity of life, we beg you to use some type of calendar/planner. Students who claim to keep track of all the dates and details they need “in their head” make us really nervous.

Ask questions.

Your professors, your RA’s, counselors, tutors, advisors, administrators, student affairs staff, student organizations, the list goes on … they’re all here to support you and help you find your way at Steinhardt. You have resources everywhere on campus – seek them out and use them.

Devon Pryor is a Graduate Student in the Higher Education Personnel Administration Program

Faculty Perspective: Preparing for Class

You’ve spent the summer interning in your choice occupations, sunning yourself on umbrella-draped beaches, updating every step of your world travels on Facebook, dancing the night away in swanky nightclubs, stuffing your faces with backyard BBQ and relaxing the days away on couches with a big screen in front of you and a stack of Netflix envelopes sitting on the coffee table.

But every now and then, you’ve just gotta quit whatever break you’re taking and get back to work!

So now that the new fall semester is staring you square in the face, how do you make the transition from a summer of leisure (or at least, without school) to bringing your A-game back to Washington Square?

It’s been more years than I’d like to remember since I was a student, but as a professor, here are a few tips I can offer.

  • If you haven’t been, start watching/reading the news again. Watch fake news if you must or read it on an app. Grab that leftover Times sitting crumpled in that empty seat next to you on the subway. However you do it, begin reintroducing yourself to what’s going on in the world. No matter how abstract the subject matter may be that you encounter in the classroom, there’s always some relevance to the “real world” (as an aside, I never understood what or where the “fake” world was). Reimmersing yourself in your favorite form of news media will not only arm you to be able to contribute to class learning, but enable you to see the relevance of even the most obtuse subject – say, computational physics – even if the professor doesn’t point it out to you.
  • Take solace that, in this economy, you still have time to avoid the pain of looking for a job! And, be inspired that you may need to do extremely well in the classroom if you hope to find a good job when the time does come for you to face the job market!
  • Grab that last novel you’ve been dying to read, and read it. Fast. I’ve always found it’s a good way to get (or keep) the old creative juices flowing. Trust me, come grading time, your professors will appreciate you bringing some of that aroused imagination to bear on some of your class assignments.
  • Discover the NYU Events Calendar. No matter how many flyers, posters and emails you encounter just hanging out around campus, you’d be surprised at the sheer number and diversity of special events that are going on around campus. They may be lectures from renowned scholars from around the globe (or even right here in NYC or at NYU). It may be observing performance art, attending a gallery opening or getting plugged in to a community service opportunity. Whatever it is, find something you’re interested in (trust me, you will) and attend, as often as possible.
  • Finally – and these days I tend to say, most importantly – just enjoy being back in/at school! They will be some of the best days of your life and trust me, you will look back one day and wish you could do it all (okay, at least some of it), over again.

That’s what I have to offer. Try it out and let me know how it all works out for you.

Charlton McIlwain is an Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU Steinhardt

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

Spring 2011 Application Open – Deadline: October 5, 2010

The Gilman International Scholarship Program is pleased to announce the opening of the Spring 2011 online application for U.S. undergraduate students participating in Spring 2011 study abroad programs.  The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education.  The Gilman Scholarship Program is celebrating 10 years of helping nearly 6,500 Gilman Scholars study abroad and during the academic year 2010-2011, over 2,300 scholarships will be awarded!
In order to be eligible, students must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at a two or four-year U.S. Institution
· United States citizen
· Receiving a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application or during the term of study abroad
· Participating in a study abroad program that is no less than 4 weeks and no more than an academic year
· Receiving academic credit for their study abroad program
· Study in any country not currently under a U.S. State Department Travel Warning or Cuba
Reminder: Academic Year Deadlines
October 5, 2010 – Spring 2011 Deadline
March 1, 2011 – Summer 2011 Deadline
March 1, 2011 – Fall 2011/Academic Year 2011-2012 Deadline
For more information about the Gilman Scholarship, application deadlines & timeline, and application process, please visit the Gilman website at, contact the Gilman Program at 713-621-6300 ext. 25 or email

New Undergraduate Student Reading 2010-2011

This year’s required reading selection is Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy.  All students who attend one of NYU Steinhardt’s undergraduate orientation programs will receive a copy of the summer reading compliments of NYU Steinhardt’s Office of Alumni Relations.  For further information please read our overview and introduction to our New Student Seminar reading below:


The New Student Seminar (E03.0001) is a required course for all new students enrolled in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The seminar is your bridge to college life and will help you become familiar with the University, the Steinhardt School, and your program of study. You will also begin exploring your role as a new college student against the backdrop of this year’s new student theme and new student reading.


Through anecdotes, stories, and pictures, de Botton traces the journeys and challenges that six philosophers faced in their time. The author uses the wisdom of Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche to illuminate universal problems, among them, unpopularity, poverty, frustration, love-sickness, inadequacy, and generalized suffering. De Botton’s book is a guide to wisdom, and shows us the practical utility of philosophy to help us through everyday human dilemmas.


As a new student, you face challenges and dilemmas of your own. You spent many years of your adolescence forging your identity, and likely will spend your college years solidifying that identity and learning how to live in the world. Your experiences, the community you grew up in, your family’s values, and certain significant voices (parents, teachers, friends, as well as writers, musicians, and artists that you admire) have shaped your ideas about life and helped you by offering wisdom in uncertain times.

Certainly the six philosophers in de Botton’s book did not know that their words, their ways of looking at the world, dealing with their own dilemmas, issues, and challenges would reach across time to contemporary generations. But here they are, at your doorstep. Their voices add another layer of insight, a different way of understanding experience that can have value for you, the new college student who stands at the crossroads of adulthood.


Socrates famously said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ He wanted his students to challenge conventional accepted beliefs and think for themselves. As you read the six chapters of The Consolations of Philosophy, examine your life. Consider your life beyond the simple details of the day and look for deeper meaning. Can you find meaning in the difficulties and frustrations of your life? Write a journal entry for each chapter and consider how you can use the philosophy under discussion in your own life. Is the voice of de Botton’s chosen philosophers of value? If not, think about what line of poetry, lyric, writer might offer you wisdom and enhance your understanding.


In early fall, we will meet together with Steinhardt Dean Mary Brabeck and a special guest for the New Student Convocation, a culminating discussion on “The Consolations of Philosophy

Graduate Students: Start Planning Now for Fall

Graduate Students: Start planning now for Fall and get a head start on your research by exploring the graduate student resources available at Bobst Library.

Visit the Graduate Student Services page:

Schedule a library tour or take a class over the summer on how to improve and manage your research at If you’d like to plan ahead for Fall, see below for a list of class that will be offered in September along with tentative dates.

Or review an on-line tutorial at

Sign up for Bobst’s ‘Tip of the Week’ by going to

Check out the Bobst Research Guides, listed by subject:

Or, you can ‘Ask A Librarian’ by text, email, IM or phone or by making an appointment with a specialist in your subject area. Go to for more info.

Fall library classes and events (dates are tentative – check the Bobst schedule in mid-August at the ‘classes’ url above):

8/30/2010 Graduate Student Tour

8/31/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies – Choosing software

9/1/2010 Graduate Student Tour

9/1/2010 Be a Better Research Assistant

9/1/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using RefWorks

9/2/2010 Back to School Basics

9/2/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using Endnote

9/6/2010 Introduction to American Research Libraries

9/6/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies – Choosing software

9/6/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using Zotero

9/6/2010 Dissertation Proposal writers’ workshop

9/7/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using RefWorks

9/8/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using Endnote

9/8/2010 Academic Research with Google

9/9/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using RefWorks

9/11/2010 Back to School Basics

9/12/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using RefWorks

9/12/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using Zotero

9/12/2010 Finding Non-English language material at NYU and Beyond

9/13/2010 Where in the World? Finding Research Materials Outside of NYU

9/13/2010 Dissertation Writers Networking

9/13/2010 Finding Primary Sources and using the NYU Special Collections

9/13/2010 Using Archival Collections Beyond Bobst

9/14/2010 Academic Research with Google

9/14/2010 Who’s Citing Whom? Citation tracking skills

9/15/2010 Annual Graduate Student Welcome Reception

9/15/2010 Managing your research and bibliographies using RefWorks

9/15/2010 Finding Materials for Language Learning

Classes in statistical software applications will also be available in the Fall. Check the Bobst schedule in mid-August

Tea and Empathy During Finals

Take a study break and join the NYU Steinhardt Office of Student Affairs and the Office of International Students and Scholars for a little tea & empathy.

Where: Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, 1st floor lounge

When: Tuesday, March 4, 2010, 2 pm – 4 pm

We look forward to seeing you.  Good luck with finals!

Sponsored by the NYU Steinhardt Office of Student Affairs, Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, 2nd floor, 212.998.5065 and the Office of International Students and Scholars, 561 LaGuardia Place, 212-998-4720.

Tea and Empathy

Take a study break and join the NYU Steinhardt Office of Student Affairs and the Office of International Students and Scholars for a little tea & empathy.

Where:           Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, 1st floor lounge

When:            Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 2 pm – 4 pm

We look forward to seeing you.  Good luck with finals!

Sponsored by the NYU Steinhardt Office of Student Affairs, Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, 2nd floor, 212.998.5065 and the Office of International Students and Scholars, 561 LaGuardia Place, 212-998-4720. 

Student Resource Center May Events

Quick Start to Life After College
Monday, May 3rd, 5:30pm, Kimmel 907

As a  soon-to-be college graduate, there are a few things you need to be thinking  about. Join us for a helpful overview of ‘first steps’ after graduation. For Class of 2010 undergraduates ONLY. RSVP required. Contact

Breakfast for Dinner
Monday, May 3rd, 8:30 – 10:30pm, Kimmel 3rd Floor Marketplace

Join us for this tradition of free breakfast at dinner time and great giveaways.

Apartments and Roommates
Monday, May 3rd through Friday, May 7th, 10:00am to 5:00pm
Off-Campus Housing Office, 4 Washington Square Village

Still looking for that perfect off-campus apartment or roommate situation? Stop by our office and we can help you find your first New York City apartment!
Phone: 212. 998.4620     Web:

Take a Break with the Student Resource Center
Wednesday, May 5th and Thursday, May 6th, 10:00am to 8:00pm and
Friday, May 7th 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Kimmel 210

Need a break from finals? Stop by the Student Resource Center for some of your favorite snacks.

Class of 2011 Resume Book Collection Begins Tuesday

Graduation will be here before you know it! If you plan on finding a job after graduation, the early stages of your employment search process should begin now. Tuesday, May 4 – Wednesday, May 19, the Wasserman Center for Career Development will collect resumes for the Class of 2011 Resume Books. In the summer and fall, these books will be distributed to hundreds of employers and serve as one source for recruiting Class of 2011 graduates. Resume Books are heavily marketed to industries including finance, marketing, advertising, public relations, entertainment, health care, consulting, non-profit, government, education, real estate and many more. To be eligible to participate:

  • You must be officially recognized by the University as receiving an academic degree (Bachelor, Master or PhD) January, May or September 2011 (certificate candidates, MBAs and Law students are NOT eligible).
  • You must have your resume critiqued by the Wasserman Center staff.
    For details on how to participate, please visit on May 4.

Steinhardt GSO & USG Sponsor Day of Relaxation on Thursday, 4/29!

Thursday April 29th, 12pm to 6:30pm, Pless Hall 3rd Floor Lounge.
Take a break from studying to enjoy a relaxing space brought to you by
GSO and USG. Great food, music, free mini massages, smoothie workshop,
and Grey Dog Coffee Talk are all on the agenda for a great stress reducing afternoon.
Make sure to stop by! Details here:

Sponsored by Steinhardt GSO and USG.