An update from Dr. Robert Krout, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Mary Hay/Peyton Residential Community:
As a FiR, my number one priority is getting to know and interacting with our residents in a variety of ways that allow each student opportunities to feel included in our community.
I have learned that laid-back and unstructured gatherings can be meaningful settings for student-faculty interaction. One of the informal settings I have been enjoying is the weekly “Munch n’ Mingle” in my FiR apartment. This happens on Tuesday evenings, and is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. (although residents sometimes arrive early and often stay late). As of this writing, there have been 10 Munch n’ Mingles this semester. Numbers of students have ranged from 2 to 16. Some residents are “regulars,” and others may come only once or twice to “check it out.”
There are always snacks and drinks, and the atmosphere is very informal. We discuss a number of topics from scholarly to silly, and there are often multiple conversations happening between various participants at any given time. We also sometimes share music, with my guitar (or ukulele) passed around the circle. The TV is occasionally turned on as well if there is something on that we can watch together and discuss. These gatherings have allowed me to get to know a number of students, and I look forward to Munch n’ Mingling through the rest of the academic year!