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J-term fair helps students make class selections

Story by Sarah Fulton

Vying for student’s attention, 82 classes set up booths in Parents Hall Thursday night during the second J-term fair.

The fair grew from 43 courses last year to 24 travel seminars and 58 on-campus courses this year. J-term committee chair Arthur Sanders was “very pleased” with the student response to the fair.

“We did it last year, and we had a great response, lots of people came,” Sanders said. “So, it is still a pretty new kind of thing, so we decided to do it again and give students an opportunity to find out information.”

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy Kathryn Szramek is teaching “Environmental Hazard,” a class that will cover the impact of hazards such as volcanos, earthquakes and population growth. She is excited to teach the course.

“Environmental hazards is one really awesome …  and why I chose to teach this particular class is because it is the kind of class that you can do in three weeks,” Szramek said. “It is exciting, interesting and there are a lot of visuals, experiments and hands-on things that we can do in the three weeks.”

Szramek said her class was receiving decent amount of student interests but not as much as the travel seminars. However, she said that her class is still worthwhile.

“Even though we are not in a grand adventure out in the world, we can still have some pretty great fun here at Drake,” Szramek said.

Sophomore graphic design major and advertising double major Lexi Ruskell took part because she did not attend last year.

“I totally missed the opportunity last year, and I thought I would check it out,” Ruskell said. “I also need to catch up on some of my classes.”

The “Introduction to Letterpress” class caught Ruskell’s eye.

“The print-making one stuck out me a lot because I am interested in it, and it is something that I could incorporate into my major,” Ruskell said.

The fair helped Ruskell make her decision.

“Looking around, they had a lot of examples you could pick from, examples of the work you can do,” Ruskell said.

Katie Hanson, a sophomore graphic design major, came to look for an art class to apply toward her majors and is now leaning toward the “Book Binding Workshop” taught by professor John Fender.

“I know Fender is going on sabbatical next spring, so I will not have very many classes with him,” Hanson said.

The “Book Binding Workshop” also caught the attention of P1 Blake Martin. Martin came to the fair looking for “anything art” to fulfill an AOI.

“I like drawing first of all. I am looking for something that is not to hard, so book binding would be good,” Martin said.

Martin said the fair was mainly helpful in providing information.

“I got more information here than I would get looking at the course descriptions,” Martin said.

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