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First-year seminar

Connections begins here.

You can choose from a variety of first-year seminars. You might like the one about epidemics. Or the art of time. Or wealth and poverty. Tell us what interests you the most, and we’ll place you in a class.

Your seminar will be small. Your instructor will serve as your adviser from now until you declare your major in your sophomore year. Of course, you’ll have a whole team of advisers.

In this jam-packed class, you’ll learn all about Connecticut College—its mission, core values and commitments. You’ll learn much more about the Connections curriculum. You’ll find out how to conduct top-notch research, how to give a persuasive presentation and how to enhance your writing skills. And you’re going to explore your seminar topic from multiple angles and perspectives.


Team Advising

As a first-year student, you are living in a new place, among new people, learning new things in new ways. Navigating all this novelty can be a challenge. We have an excellent solution at Conn: your own advising team. Why a whole team? You get more support, multiple perspectives and more guidance. Your team will help you throughout your first year and into your second—when your select your major.

Your faculty adviser is the instructor of your first-year seminar. This person will get to know you well and help you in countless ways, especially with your academic vision.

Your staff adviser partners with your first-year seminar instructor. This adviser will assist you with orientation and your schedule, and be your eyes and ears not only to the campus, but also to the larger New London community.

Your student advisers will provide valuable insight into life at Conn. You’ll have at least two student advisers—maybe three. Because they were first-years themselves not so long ago, they know what it’s like to be new here. They’ll escort your class to various events, help you register for classes, and show you the way around the academic landscape. They’ll be there for you all year long and beyond. Grab lunch or coffee, go for a walk, check out an event. They’re eager to help.

Your career adviser will help focus your interests into professional possibilities; connect you to career workshops and networking events with our alumni; and prepare you for internships, job interviews, grad school applications or whatever else lies ahead.

Advising & Mentoring

Pathways & Centers

Connections means cohesion. You’ll be deliberately pulling together your intellectual pursuits: your classes, your major, your internship, your projects. You can achieve this through one of our 13 intriguing Integrative Pathways, or through one of our five groundbreaking centers for interdisciplinary scholarship

Your Pathway or Interdisciplinary Center will enrich your studies by immersing you in a community of scholars. You'll work alongside students, faculty and staff who share the same broad interests as you, but who study them from different—sometimes even radically different—perspectives.

Integrative Pathways

What's Your Question?

At the core of your Connections curriculum will be what we call your "animating question." You will work with your professors and your advisers to develop this question—a question meaningful to you—as you pursue your Pathway. This will help inform and guide your intellectual journey at Conn.

Headshot of Anike Abegunde, Class of

Anike Abegunde

Lab Coat to Chef’s Apron: Exploring Chemistry in Food Research & Development

Anike, an ACS chemistry major from Slough, United Kingdom, joined the Food Pathway to take an interdisciplinary look at topics like food insecurity, the cultural importance of food, and food system sustainability.

As a sophomore, Anike won a Summer Science Research Institute grant to work with Associate Professor of Chemistry Tanya Schneider studying the organic synthesis of alpha-helix mimetic inhibitors. Last summer, Anike interned at North Carolina State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology in Professor Alexander Chouljenko’s seafood science laboratory.

“My interest in my animating question, ‘What are some of the roles chemistry plays in food research and development?’ is the result of a combination of my academic background in chemistry, inspiration from professors in the field from North Carolina State University and my own curiosity about ever-changing food trends,” Anike said.

She added that she hopes the Symposium audience learns “Food without chemistry is like a meal without seasoning—bland and missing something.”

After graduation, Anike, who is also president of Conn’s Christian Fellowship, plans to pursue a master’s degree and Ph.D. in food science.

Headshot of Trevor Vigeant , Class of ’24

Trevor Vigeant

Preventive Care: Accessibility, Cost, and Media Myths

Trevor, a biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and neuroscience double major from Worcester, Massachusetts, joined the Public Health Pathway to integrate his studies in biology, chemistry, sociology, psychology and statistics and address modern public health issues. 

Trevor gained an interest in healthcare accessibility and preventative care during his “Sociology of Health” course, in which he wrote a paper proposing an intersectional approach to public health in rural communities in Georgia in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

This past summer, Trevor interned at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, where he collaborated with healthcare professionals to lead a breakthrough project based on Dr. Peter Attia’s book “Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity,” which culminated in a presentation on the finances of preventative care recommendations. Additionally, he had the opportunity to hear Dr. Luke O’Neill speak about the importance of spreading credible information during the COVID pandemic.

“At the Symposium, I will be speaking about the pros and cons of preventative care and sharing the cost-analysis of preventative care project I did this summer. I hope the audience walks away with new insight into the outstanding cost of preventative care and an understanding of the need to be more critical of healthcare trends and overarching statements,” he said. 

On campus, Trevor is a presidential scholar, a student adviser, co-chair of the Chemistry Department Student Advisory Board, a member of the Pre-Health Club, a varsity weight room monitor, a member of the Club Golf team, and a former member of the varsity track and field team. He is also a volunteer at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London and a mental health crisis line counselor. 

An aspiring pediatric neurosurgeon, Trevor plans to spend a year after graduation conducting research in a clinical setting before pursuing medical school.

Headshot of Sophie George, Class of

Sophie George

The Nature of Healing: How to Heal through Art

An art and education double major from Richmond, Virginia, Sophie joined the Creativity Pathway to connect her classwork and experiences around a common theme.

“I have always considered myself a creative person, and I wanted to learn more about how I can use that skill to motivate me and deepen my learning across all of my courses, planned internships and projects,” she said.

Over her four years, Sophie has completed four internships with artists in Asheville, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia, including a printmaking artist who owned her own small business, a ceramist and ceramics teacher at the Visual Arts Center in Richmond, a metal work and found object sculptor and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a sculptor and jewelry designer who was working on a recycled material sculpture installation.

“Through these experiences, I observed artists working in the world and saw what motivated them to continue to create in an environment where making money with your art is near impossible,” she said. “I saw in different ways in each of these experiences how making art is a need for some people. I observed how the act of creating was healing—healing to the environment, healing to yourself, and healing to the community around you.

“I realized that this is what animates me most in my own art-making,” she continued. “Making this connection has greatly influenced my senior art thesis, which centers around healing.”

Sophie, who works primarily in sculpture, including glasswork, woodwork, ceramics, and found objects, is working to create visual representations and abstract art centering around the journey of healing.

“I am drawing allusions to the way nature heals itself and centering the healing of the Earth as an undercurrent in my art through reusing materials and drawing on natural imagery,” she said. “I hope my Symposium audience gains a new appreciation for enjoying art and art making, and I hope they can see how healing and growth can happen through creativity.”

After graduation, Sophie hopes to work as a studio assistant for an established artist while continuing to work on her own art.



Mailing Address

Connecticut College
Fanning 206
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


Libby Friedman '80
Assistant Dean of the College for Connections


Fanning Hall 206