This year some first-year students will have a new chance to engage in in-depth conversations with faculty and staff outside the classroom.

Half of this semester’s first-year seminars started a pilot program that created “teams.” The professor and students of each seminar in the program were matched to two or three college staff members, forming a team.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke to a packed Johnson Chapel on Tuesday, Sept. 8, answering questions and giving advice to a crowd of enthusiastic students.

Sotomayor was in the midst of a trip to Massachusetts to speak at the Springfield Public Forum, an organization that brings public figures to speak in Springfield. Iliana Cruz, an aide to Sotomayor and the sister of Amherst’s Chief Diversity Officer Mariana Cruz, asked Sotomayor to visit the college while she was in the area.

Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History Mary Hicks received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Iowa in 2006 and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia in 2010. She completed her doctorate this past year at the University of Virginia. This semester she is teaching two courses that examine the black experience in the south Atlantic.

Q: What research are you currently working on?
A: My current book manuscript is about African and Creole mariners, and their influence on maritime commerce in the 18th and early 19th century.

Bonnie Drake ‘17 has been appointed the Association of Amherst Students’ first-ever communications director, the AAS announced this summer.

Beginning in June 2014, a group of students led by AAS President Tomi Williams ’16 held discussions on improving the AAS’ ability to communicate with the student body. They eventually drafted and approved an amendment to the constitution in order to appoint a communications director.

This semester members of the Association of Amherst Students are planning a major push to reserve two positions on the college’s board of trustees for alumni who have graduated within the last five years.

“Ethan Corey” is one of those unmistakable, larger-than-life names at Amherst. It is placed right at the top of fiery opinion articles and murmured among friends whenever something unsavory might be afoot on campus. Ethan Corey is a unique figure in the community because mentioning his name alone can terrify the entire college administration. He is one of the most prized contributors to journalism at Amherst, a gadfly the size of a dragon.

Keeping Them Honest

Faculty gathered in Cole Assembly Room on Tuesday to discuss the departure of Provost Peter Uvin, implementation of a modified academic calendar beginning in 2016 and a proposal to expand pre-registration to four weeks.