Tag Archives: Honors Program

Presidential Scholars

Joining Presidential Scholars is great and everyone should apply. Being accepted is based off academics as well as community service, but you can only apply before the freshmen and junior semesters.

Being part of the Presidential Scholars, or “Pres Scholars” as it more commonly known, requires you to go to about one meeting a month on Wednesday nights from 6 to 8 pm. Every Pres Scholar also has to take one honors class each semester. I have taken Mayan Art and Culture, Art and Patronage in the Italian Renaissance, Sociology, and History of New York Architecture. These classes have been by far some of the best classes I have taken at FIT. Only Presidential Scholars and students who get special permission can take honors classes, so the size of the classes are not so huge. Also, the classes are specialized and the teachers are always amazing, often the most celebrated professors in the school. Taking these classes are helpful in finishing a minor if you choose to do so. I have recently finished my Art History minor and am in the process of finishing a Fashion Studies minor.

Irene Buchman

Irene Buchman

Irene Buchman, who is in charge of the Pres Scholars, is very focused on the liberal arts. Even though SUNY requires certain liberal arts in order to graduate, Professor Buchman really stresses the importance of broadening your horizons beyond fashion and business. Every meeting has a speaker who is a specialist in their field, but is never from the fashion industry. Buchman thinks we have enough fashion in our brains already, and she is probably right.

One of our colloquia last semester

One of our colloquia last semester

Pres Scholars also get some advantages in registration. Every semester students have to register themselves for the upcoming semester by getting up at an ungodly hour and praying they get the classes they want before all the slots fill up.  However, Presidential Scholars meet with Professor Buchman about two weeks before everyone else signs up, and chooses the block they want. This almost ensures not only you get the classes you desire, but also that you do not have trouble graduating because of unfinished SUNY requirements.

Pres Scholars in Panama!

Pres Scholars in Panama!

However, the best part of being in Pres Scholars is definitely our access to Professor Buchman. She knows everyone in this school, I mean everyone. If you ever have a problem with a class, or need a recommendation or anything like that she is a great resource. There have been many times Professor Buchman has graciously helped me when I turn up to her office unannounced and worried. Friendly, intelligent and incredibly generous with her time, Professor Buchman is the rock of the Presidential Scholars.

Oh yeah, the cookies are great too.

–Emily–

Forums at FIT

FIT frequently hosts forums in their auditorium spaces and they’re one of the best things FIT does for us. A lot of students don’t go to them, which I don’t really understand because they are amazing and here’s why:

  • They are free
  • They are usually only 1 to 2 hours long – the same as watching a movie on Netflix
  • Sometimes famous and influential people from their respective industries come to speak
  • Most of the time there is a chance for you to ask those people questions
  • Sometimes there is even a book signing (I mean let’s be honest, the books are usually crazy expensive, but it is a great way to get an up-close-and-personal one-on-one experience with the person, which sometimes is worth it. That’s how I met Carol Lim and Humberto Leon from Opening Ceremony)
  • Even if you have never heard of the speaker before, they can be really insightful and change they way you think
  • They are a great way to learn about things you will never have the time or chance to take a class on
  • Did I mention they are free?!

These events will usually be publicized through posters in the lobby of the Feldman Center, posters in the escalators or through an FIT email blast. (Join the Museum at FIT’s mailing list HERE to get their updates on exhibitions and talks) Opportunities like these also come from different organizations on campus like the Presidential Scholars (who sponsored the event pictured above, and which I am a part of. Find more info HERE). They are usually open to the entire FIT community and focus on topics other than fashion, which can actually be a nice reprieve for students who must spend most of their time constantly thinking about fashion. If you see one that looks interesting, promise me you won’t convince yourself out of going. Sit all the way in the back, leave early if you get bored, but at least give it a try. I’ll see you there.

–Emily–