North Carolina's student-athletes had the opportunity to learn about different academic paths at UNC's second-annual Majors Exploration Night on Oct. 9. Held at the Loudermilk Center and intended for freshmen and sophomores who have yet to declare majors, the event drew more than 110 student-athletes and included 12 areas of study, as well as information on career planning, resume development and internships.
After a short introduction by each professor, the event took on a casual format, in which student-athletes circulated to learn more about areas that interested them.
"I thought it was a great event," said Emma Bozek, a freshman on the field hockey team. "I really enjoyed being able to walk around and talk with professors about different majors. It helped me think about what I might want to declare and gave me some new ideas about what I might be interested in doing. It was very valuable to me and I'm glad I went."
Schools and majors represented were biology/pre-med, the Kenan-Flagler Business School's undergraduate business major, economics, education, exercise and sport science, information sciences, journalism and mass communication, management and society, psychology, and sociology, as well as health affairs majors, which include nursing, radiologic science, clinical laboratory science and public health. Also participating were the Kenan-Flagler Master of Accounting program and University Career Services.
"It was a pleasure to meet with the student-athletes," said Joy Renner, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine who represented the health affairs majors and also serves as the chair of UNC's Faculty Athletics Committee. "They were focused and engaged in the conversations about potential majors and minors that could lead them to and support them in their career and life interests. Each student was eager to hear how he or she could take full advantage of all that Carolina has to offer.
"The future of healthcare looks brighter to me, knowing these heavily committed students are looking to a health profession as a career. They will have what it takes to be successful in the demanding health fields with their time management, leadership and teamwork skills coupled with the solid academic background they will receive from Carolina's world-class faculty."
The annual event takes place each fall at a time early enough to allow student-athletes to use the resulting information when formulating spring semester schedules and particularly as they think ahead to declaring majors. As Sherry Salyer, a professor in the Department of Exercsie and Sport Science who participated for the second year in a row, told the group, "The best major for you is one you love."
"We are constantly striving to give our student-athletes the best overall college experience that we can," said Cricket Lane, Assistant A.D. for Student-Athlete Development. "This event helps broaden the knowledge of everyone who participates. Even if a student is sure about a major, maybe this offers ideas on a second major or a minor. We're also really pleased to have Career Services participate, as well as a post-graduate program like the Master of Accounting program. College goes by quickly, and we want our student-athletes always to be thinking about what comes next and planning for success in whatever they choose to do after Carolina."