Q & A with Eric Ohrn ’07, Assistant Professor of Economics
The Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC) is still under construction, but it has already transformed the look of campus. We asked a few faculty members what they're anticipating about it. Here's one perspective.
Q: How will the HSSC impact the way that you teach/the way your students learn?
A: Just having brand new classrooms is going to be great. I’ve visited a couple of colleges with new buildings and students seem to have more energy when they are in a classroom they can respect.
I also think the common spaces throughout the building are going to go a long way in promoting student-to-student learning. The fact that many common spaces are adjacent or close to faculty spaces will also help create informal interaction between faculty and students, which I think both parties really enjoy and benefit from.
Q: What part of the new building are you looking forward to the most?
A: In addition to the classrooms and common spaces, I am excited for the new faculty lounge and the formal presentation space. A big goal of the new building is to promote interdisciplinary teaching and research. A great way to accomplish that goal is to create a space where faculty from many different disciplines want to hang out.
The economics department invites between fie and 10 speakers to campus each year. The formal presentation space will be a great space for our students to interact with these world-renowned economic experts and their cutting-edge research.
Q: What part of the new building do you wish more people were talking about?
A: I think our students don’t realize how great the new DASIL [Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab] wspace is going to be. Imagine a mash-up between a computer lab and a lounge with access to upper-level students to assist you in your data analysis work.