Freshmen Explore New Interests Via Compass ‘Learning Journeys’

A photo of a faculty member showing students how to use the 3-D printer

Varol Kayhan, associate professor of information systems and decision sciences, shows students how to use the 3-D printer.

While gathered around a 3-D printer, 10 freshmen students examined samples of successful and unsuccessful model projects: red and yellow USFSP tchotchkes, interlocking plastic pieces, and a rotating mechanical heart. The experience was part of a 3-D printing workshop—one of several “Learning Journeys” USFSP’s Compass First-Year Experience is offering this semester to promote academic engagement.

“I just wanted to go out with my roommate and explore what 3-D printing is all about,” said Lynnsey Trantham, 18, a health sciences freshman who attended. Trantham, who serves as a peer coach for Compass, joined the class in designing custom keychains. “Learning Journeys help you to discover something you likely wouldn’t learn in your regular classes.”

3-D printing is a hobby for Varol Kayhan, associate professor of information systems and decision sciences in the Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Kayhan taught the one-hour workshop for the second time as part of Compass to share that passion with students.

“The significance of these Learning Journeys is to introduce students to something that they have not done before and new technology, and to get them excited about what can be accomplished using hardware with software,” said Kayhan. “And, maybe, this will help them become excited about the information systems field in general.”

USFSP students are invited to participate in the Learning Journeys as a way to promote academic engagement opportunities and to help them build personal connections with faculty.

“These workshops provide students with opportunities to engage with faculty outside the classroom in a more relaxed, intimate setting,” said Carolina Nutt, director of Compass First-Year Experience.

Upcoming Learning Journeys will include:

  • Friday, April 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Canoeing at Bishop Harbor with Scott Burghart, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m.: Voodoo MacBeth Performance and Discussion with Director Bob Devin Jones and Charles Vanover, associate professor of education

To register for one of the Learning Journey workshops, students must log in to PeteSync and search for “Compass First-Year Experience.” Under the “Events” tab, select the Learning Journey workshop and register.