The UVA Wise Spring Majors Fair: Where Exploring Academic Possibilities is a No Brainer

Students and parents at majors fair
Photo by Mark Robertson-Baker II

On Wednesday of this week, students gathered to attend the Spring Majors Fair at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVA Wise), a bi-annual event meant to help undecided students find their academic paths. Each department lined the room with an abundance of information about each major, along with interactive exhibits, such as touching a human brain. 

Hosted by Academic Affairs in partnership with the Office of Career Discovery and Planning, this is the second majors fair to take place this academic year as a part of “Taking Care of Business Day,” a day set aside each semester that allows students to handle campus errands such as registering for classes, paying fees or seeking academic support. Chicken and waffles were served along with the opportunity for students to interact directly with experts in their fields of interest. 

UVA Wise freshman Dominick Pompee, who hails from Miami, Fla., found the fair to be very helpful. “Ever since I arrived on campus, I haven’t had a lot of time to explore my options. Having this fair on a day without classes has made it so easy for me to go from table to table, figuring out what exactly I want to do,” said Pompee.

The department of social sciences table drew a large crowd, with UVA Wise Assistant Professor of Psychology Robert Arrowood at the helm, allowing visitors to glove up and handle a human brain.

“Most of what we do in psychology involves different areas of the brain and how they affect behavior. We study the brain in our introduction classes all the way to our upper-level courses. Having a specimen here gives a good glimpse into what the psychology major is like,” said Arrowood.

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Rachel Tighe emphasized the importance of events like the majors fair.

“This is a chance for students to engage with faculty to discover their specific interests and how they align with the courses we teach. The point of a liberal arts education is being able to tap into more than one thing,” said Tighe. “Students being able to walk around and see the different classes that we offer within each major gives them the opportunity to see everything all in one place.”

This semester, current students were not the only audience for the major’s fair. The Office of Admissions hosted Admitted Students Day, a day for admitted, upcoming students and their families to come to campus for a sneak peek at what it is to be Cavalier. From going on campus tours to stepping into classrooms to talk with students and professors, more than 160 people came to get the UVA Wise experience. At the end of the day, admitted students had the opportunity to join current students at the majors fair.

Upcoming freshman Ethan Cloud from Wise, Va., was delighted to be a part of the day. “Having a tool like this available to upcoming students is so cool, especially to those that aren’t sure what they want to do. Having people here to talk to in person is much more beneficial than seeing things on a sheet of paper,” said Cloud. “Today has made me so excited that I wish I could get my schedule made and start tomorrow.”