Food For Thought

Food For Thought

Faculty members and students who are interested in becoming better acquainted in an informal setting are encouraged to consider our Food for Thought series.

We know that students who interact with faculty will have a more rewarding educational experience than students who don't. However, freshmen often find the prospect of conversing with a faculty member daunting. The Freshman and Sophomore Seminars were created in part to help students get over this fear: a small, interactive class can be a good place to get to know a faculty member well enough to build a student's confidence about approaching faculty in other contexts, such as office hours. First-year students may also be curious about topics that aren't directly relevant to the focus of the seminar. They may, for example, have questions related to undergraduate education in general or a faculty member's research interests in particular. Or they may want to draw on the faculty's experience to guide them in tackling the challenges they are facing. The Food For Thought program was created with the goal of providing an informal context in which such extra-curricular discussions could take place.

Faculty members wishing to participate in this special series will

A) Teach their freshman seminar in the late afternoon, then proceed to a dining commons with their students for dinner,


B) Teach their freshman seminar just before or after noon, and join their students for lunch.

We are limiting this program to the freshman-only seminars because freshmen need this extra contact the most, and because most freshmen live in the residence halls, so they already have meal cards, which will be charged the usual rate for the meal. Residential Life will provide two meals per week for participating faculty members, so they can eat with their students before or after their seminars and also hold an office hour in the Dining Commons or meet with individual students or groups of students at some other point during the week. Meals will also be provided for any freshman students in their seminars who do not live in the residence halls.

By giving students this chance to come to know them a little better, participating faculty members will be doing their part to help the students get the most out of their education at Cal.

Faculty members: Please let Jeannie Adams ( know if you are interested in participating in this special program, or simply indicate your interest on the FSS participation form and we will contact you to work out the details.

Students: If you are interested in choosing a Food-for-Thought seminar, look for the cutlery icon next to the seminar listing. If the seminar you are most interested in is not part of the Food-for-Thought series, take advantage of other ways to get to know your professor. It's a good idea to attend office hours, for instance. Another good idea, for students who live in the residence halls, is to invite your seminar professor to dinner in the Dining Commons. If you are interested in doing this, contact your Academic Program Coordinator for details.