University 100

Freshman Celebration 2012

About the 2012 Freshman Celebration

welcome sign for the 2012 freshman celebration

Each fall, freshmen taking University 100 are invited to participate in a campus celebration of first-semester academic achievement. If you are a CSUN freshman enrolled in UNIV 100, ask your 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. The book for 2012-2013 was One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni, who was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Freshman Convocation.

In the news: CSUN Today posted a story about the 2012Celebration: "Freshmen Celebrate First Semester Achievements" by Marissa Wallace (12/13/12).



A total of 846 visitors cast their votes for the People's Choice Awards in the USU Grand Salon on Nov. 28-209 2012. Additional visitors viewed virtual projects online through Moodle.

Two projects were chosen to receive the first-ever People's Choice Awards. A panel of six judges selected two additional projects as Grand Prize winners: one traditional project and one virtual project.

Project Photos

You can view photos of the 2012 Celebration and many of its projects on the 2012 Freshman Celebration Blog.

Click on almost any image from the 2012 Celebration Blog Archive to view additional images and captions.

People's Choice Awards for the 2012 Freshman Celebration

our story diorama

Project 17, "Our Story," Prof. Shadi Ganjavi's class: this project is a collage inspired by the freshman common reading, One Amazing Thing, and depicts one amazing experience, which helps define each member of our class. The collage tells the story of who the students are individually and collectively. These amazing experiences range from meeting a mentor to visiting a place of inspiration. Student comment: "I loved the letter cutouts and the pictures that were used to depict every individual's story. It makes me want to get to know the people to whom the pictures belong."

assorted books with misleading covers

Project 15, "Beyond the Cover," Prof. Marnie Eldridge's class: While reading One Amazing Thing, we arrived at the importance of resisting the urge to judge one another based on our "covers," for each of us has a rich story to tell when given the opportunity to reveal ourselves. Hence, our display acknowledges our external covers and hints at the depth of our inner stories. Student comments: "I like how they related ones's appearance and judgment to One Amazing Thing. Each of us has a story to tell but others might not want to listen to us based on our outward appearance." "Really creative: 'Don't judge a book by its cover.'"


Grand Prize, USU Grand Salon

California proposition 34 project diorama

"A Critical Examination of Four Propositions from the 2012 California State Ballot." Prof. Terry Hatkoff's class. Our class chose four propositions from the 2012 California State Ballot to critically examine. Each proposition was researched and evaluated in terms of the pros and cons for the people of California; who supports the proposition; and the impact each would have in California."




Grand Prize, Virtual Freshman Celebration

"Learning, Growing, and Celebrating at CSUN." Prof. Christopher Aston's class. YouTube video: "Regularly through the semester our class connected through a 'weekly weigh-in' forum, allowing us to post and comment on pictures and images that represent our personal interpretation on various topics....Stemming from this, and linking to the theme of our Freshman Common Reading book, One Amazing Thing, we showcase our many different styles, personalities, struggles, and pathways toward finding solutions through our first semester sat CSUN."




Course Director's Special Mention

screen capture of karma video project

"Karma," Prof. Donal O'Sullivan. Video. "In this video we show one of the challenges of being a new student in an all-new school, especially such a big institution. Feeling alone, without help or any guidance in college is one of the dilemmas we as freshmen face, whether that involves asking for directions around the campus, or making a whole new set of friends. In the book One Amazing Thing" by Chitra Divakaruni, there is a chapter, where Malathi looks out for the servant worker of Mrs. Balan. Mrs. Balan is so self concerned with her own way of life and her son's, that she will not allow her son to be romantically involved with a servant. Mrs. Balan finds her servant a new lover in order to ensure that she stays away from her son. In our video, we recreated and transformed the Malathi chapter with Andrea playing the role of a new freshman seeking out the help of Megan, an upperclassman. Andrea is rudely turned down when asking a question and this just adds to the nervousness and loneliness she already feels at college. When Megan rushes to the elevator to try and get to class on time, Kathy; a freshman who witnessed the way Andrea got treated, takes karma into her own hands and closes the elevator doors before she can get in. Like Malathi in the story, Kathy looks out for someone who she thought was treated unfairly. This small action demonstrates unity within the freshman community. Although we might feel lonely and at times even helpless in such a big school with new people we do not yet know, we as freshmen can stick together and look out for each other. It's a relief and reassuring to know that we are not alone, and there are other freshmen feeling the same way. In addition, this was our way of interpreting One Amazing Thing as a story of unity. People of different backgrounds, different nationalities, and different histories come together to build a team and resolve their dilemma through teamwork. Just like them, we as freshmen can build a team, if we just stick together.

overhead view of freshman celebration

"Following Your Dreams: The College Connection." Prof. Lori Baker-Schena. "College is the perfect place to pursue a dream career. Through music, art, dance, and drama, our class--all members of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication--shares how we are pursuing our dreams at CSUN." During both days of the Freshman Celebration, students from this class sang, danced, acted, and made music. Hats off to this most energetic group!




Thanks for all the help!

freshman celebration welcoming volunteers

Thanks to all the UNIV 100 student volunteers who sat at the welcome table, distributed and collected the blue "Celebration Reflection" sheets, helped with exhibit set-up starting as early as 8 a.m. on Wednesday, brought in cart-loads of refreshments both days, staffed the food and drinks table, ran the Virtual Celebration laptops in the Grand Salon, helped take down exhibits on Thursday afternoon, and then helped us recycle or carry away everything left at the end of the day (though it was by then raining, again).

Thanks to Debra Hammond (University Student Union) and Shanell Tyus (University Student Union) for providing those fabulous balloons each day.

An Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) grant made it possible for us not only to rent space but also to feed the hungry (instead of choosing one or the other).

And finally, thanks to Lisa Riccomini Clancy for planning, hosting, and presiding over the Virtual Celebration on Moodle; to Ellyn Gersh Lerner for figuring out how and where to place every project in the Grand Salon; to Kelly Kroeker for handling finances, logistics, and the inevitable prima donna moments.