Each fall, freshmen taking University 100 are invited to participate in a campus celebration of first-semester academic achievement. Projects representing their work are displayed in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union and also online in the Virtual Freshman Celebration. (Read more about the Freshman Celebration....)
A few statistics for 2010: 438 students filled out Reflection forms at this year's Celebration. An unknown number of students and guests visited the Virtual Celebration. 85 people accepted "Free Hugs" offered by students in Prof. Mary Schaffer's U100 class. And visitors who were present at 11:15 a.m. were surprised and delighted by an unannounced live dance performance choreographed by students in Prof. Ellyn Gersh Lerner's U100HON class.
View more pictures on the 2010 Freshman Celebration blog.
Winning Projects for 2010
Grand Prize winner: "Are we self-defined, or are we defined by our interaction with others?" (Prof. Ellen Stohl's U100 class). This project asked students to explore their identities and self-image by spending time in a wheelchair or without the use of one arm or as if they were blind, in order to experience themselves in a radically different context.
1st place Grand Salon project: "Scholarly Journals on Cognitive Disorders" (Prof. Tina Bertacchi-Love's U100 class). Inspired by the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, students investigated cognitive disorders (ADD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, eating disorders, panic disorders, and schizophrenia), and wrote scholarly journals pertaining to these issues. They also delivered formal class presentations on their journals.
2nd place Grand Salon project: "Showing What We Share" (Dr. Ellyn Gersh Lerner's U100HON class). Inspired by the many maps, diagrams, and drawings in Mark Haddon’s book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, students created visual representations of similarities and differences between themselves and one or two classmates.
1st place virtual project: "Our Uniqueness: Deafness" (Dr. Barbara Boyd's U100 class)."The idea for this video was conceived in the spirit of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Just as Christopher finds himself in a world set apart from others and sees life through a unique lens, so do we. One of the factors that defines our lives is our deafness, and we share a taste of our experiences in this video. Ultimately, we hope that the viewer gets the feeling that not only are we deaf, but we are also a vital part of humankind. As much as Christopher is different, he is still one of us."
2nd place virtual project: "How Does Pollution Affect Health?" (Dr. Kim Henige's U100 class). Students identified topics within Health and Wellness in order to research the answers to specific questions. The question addressed in this project is "How does pollution affect health?"
Course Director's special mention: "Facing Freshman Year" (Dr. Anne Eggebroten's U100 class). "Reading emotions on people's faces is difficult for Christopher (the main character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time). Recognizing our emotions and seeking help is a key survival skill for first-year students. We researched causes behind the 40% graduation rate and made a display of faces and stories demonstrating emotions we have felt this semester."
Course Director's special mention: "Focus Case Study Challenge" (Prof. Lisa Riccomini's U100 classes). "We customized our U100 textbook by creating our own case studies for each chapter, exploring how CSUN freshmen face specific challenges like time management and learning/teaching style awareness in order to be successful in their academic and personal lives."
Honorable mention: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" (Prof. Bernardean Broadous's U100 class). A poster that consists of several puzzle pieces which connect to one another. Each puzzle piece represents a clue to help solve the mystery of who killed Wellington and how Christopher overcame his fears.
Honorable mention: "Mapping Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources in the San Fernando Valley" (Prof. Mary Riggs's U100 classes in collaboration with Dr. Steve Graves, their GEOG 107 instructor). Students have used mapping strategies learned in Geography 107 to locate and compile resources for families with members on the autism spectrum. (Take a look at the resulting Google map, too.)
About the Freshman Celebration
Each fall, freshmen taking University 100 are invited to participate in a campus celebration of first-semester academic achievement. CSUN freshmen should ask their UNIV 100 instructor for details about how to participate and which class projects might be appropriate for display.
The Freshman Celebration is modeled on CSUN's Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research and Creative Works Symposium. It often includes several projects in which students respond to the current year's Freshman Common Reading (which is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon in 2010).
The Freshman Celebration Archives
The first Freshman Celebration took place in 2006 with participation limited to Freshman Connection students. In 2007 the Celebration was open to all students enrolled in a fall U100 class. As enrollment has continued to grow, so has the Celebration.