First Year Studies News

Astronaut Scott Kelly Shares His Story with Freshmen


The course of US astronaut Scott Kelly’s life was changed by reading a book. So it was especially fitting that Kelly, a UT alumnus who spent an unprecedented year in space about the International Space Station, spoke to freshmen during the annual celebration of Life of the Mind, a shared reading experience that is part of First-Year Studies 100.

Students Embrace Spirit of Halloween with Bugs

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In the spirit of Halloween, freshmen are embracing the ghoulish holiday in a creepy, crawly way. The popular First-Year Studies course It’s a Bug’s Life, taught by entomology and plant pathology professor Jerome Grant, examines how insects have shaped our world and influenced our lives through movies, television, art, literature, and even food.

Proposals Sought for Spring 2016 FYS 129 Freshman Seminars

First-Year Studies is now accepting proposals for 129 Freshman Seminars to be offered during the spring 2016 semester. These seminars are designed to connect students with UT faculty through an engaging topic early in their academic career.

Proposals Sought for Spring FYS 129 Freshman Seminars


First-Year Studies is now accepting proposals for 129 Freshman Seminars to be offered during the spring semester. These one-credit seminars are small, discussion-based courses that allow the professor to design a class around a topic of personal interest. Faculty instructors must be tenured or tenure-track. Faculty will receive research stipends for their participation in the program.

What to Read? Life of the Mind Program Seeking Book Suggestions

The Life of the Mind Program is seeking suggestions for its 2015–16 common reading selection for first-year students. A Ready for the World initiative, Life of the Mind is a component of First-Year Studies 100, a required online course that helps first-year students develop the right mindset for the college experience. As part of the course, students read the Life of the Mind book, submit a creative response, participate in a small-group discussion session, and attend a lecture by the book’s author.