Barriers Crumble as New Penn College Enrollees Make Campus ‘Connections’

Connections has resumed, providing a variety of activities to help first-year students get acquainted with Penn College and one another. Spread over two days of sessions, each orientation program addresses a range of topics, including finances, classroom expectations, diversity, safety, extracurricular involvement and the reality of leaving home. (Is anyone surprised that students would be more excited about packing for college than Moms and Dads are about saying “Goodbye?”) There are also informative tours of academic schools, a taste of on-campus dining … and more than a little fun along the way! Five more overnight programs are scheduled during this eighth summer of Connections, along with two one-day offerings for nontraditional and transfer students.

– Photos by Whitnie-rae Mays, student photographer

Students strike an appropriate pose during a session titled "Making Contact."

Students strike an appropriate pose during a session titled “Making Contact.”

Playful talking points get the conversational "ball" rolling ...

Playful talking points get the conversational “ball” rolling …

... as Connections participants share a bit of themselves.

… as Connections participants share a bit of themselves.

Free-flowing discussion helps vanquish anxieties and forge new friendships on campus' common ground.

Free-flowing discussion helps vanquish anxieties and forge new friendships on campus’ common ground.

Matthew C. Helf, a Residence Life coordinator, gauges the often-discordant viewpoints of parents and their college-bound children during the "Living Away From Home" segment.

Matthew C. Helf, a Residence Life coordinator, gauges the often-discordant viewpoints of parents and their college-bound children during the “Living Away From Home” segment.

Guided by Connections "Links," students who facilitated the days' events, incoming freshmen explore their new environment.

Guided by Connections “Links,” students who facilitated the days’ events, incoming freshmen explore their new environment.

First-year students learn about one another in a variety of areas, from hometowns and interests to why they chose Penn College and how many broken bones they have sustained.

First-year students learn about one another in a variety of areas, from hometowns and interests to why they chose Penn College and how many broken bones they have sustained.

Instructor Laurie K. Kiss conducts an informative Klump Academic Center session on the importance of a proper mind-set when tackling mathematics classes.

Instructor Laurie K. Kiss conducts an informative Klump Academic Center session on the importance of a proper mind-set when tackling mathematics classes.

Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of off-campus living and commuter services (left), addresses a sampling of related concerns – including campus resources and the shifting dynamic between parents and college students under the same roof.

Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of off-campus living and commuter services (left), addresses a sampling of related concerns – including campus resources and the shifting dynamic between parents and college students under the same roof.

A breakout group "breaks the ice."

A breakout group “breaks the ice.”