Enewsletter, Spring 2013
Reed College Alumni & Parent Relations is pleased to send you this electronic newsletter for parents and grandparents of current students. We aim to keep you informed of important dates and other relevant college news on a quarterly basis. Please feel free to contact us with thoughts, questions, or concerns; see contact information below. Past issues of this enewsletter are available at the left.
In this issue:
- Overview from Student Services
- Career Services
- Bookstore Gift Offerings
- Financial Aid
- Parent to Parent
- Giving Update
Mike Brody, vice president & dean of student services, provides an update on student services and the resources available to your student:
Warm greetings from Portland. With a few weeks to go before the vernal equinox, we continue to enjoy the cozy, contemplative climate of a Pacific Northwest winter with sun breaks frequently punctuating the clouds that for the time being hold dominion over our days.
When last I wrote in October 2012, John R. Kroger’s recent arrival as president on campus was headline news here at Reed. At that time, I shared with you my appreciation for John’s optimism and enthusiasm in regards to the college’s future in general and his commitment to the wellbeing of students and the success of alumni in particular. In the intervening months, Reed students, staff, faculty, and alumni have had the privilege of working with and getting to know John, and he has begun the process of getting to know Reed.
Having been at Reed in a variety of roles for almost a decade now and having learned about the campus and its culture gradually, I can hardly imagine just how challenging it must be for someone to come here in the role of president, never having worked at Reed in any other capacity. The enormous complexity and sheer volume of John’s responsibilities boggle the mind, and yet he continues to make himself available to members of all the college’s constituencies. As he has navigated some of his first campus conflicts, John has demonstrated a propensity for humility and optimism that I am confident bodes well for Reed’s future under his leadership.
Your student has access to one of the world’s best liberal arts educations, even as Reed continues to grow stronger with each passing year. In order to help them get the most out of this remarkable opportunity, we encourage all our students to avail themselves of the vast array of extracurricular activities and supportive resources at their disposal. In case you are inclined to encourage your students in a similar way, I invite you to peruse the updates below, and to contact me or my staff should you have any questions about student services at Reed.—Mike Brody, Vice President & Dean of Students
Our Peer Mentor Program (PMP) is open to all Reed students and focuses on providing ongoing support to first-generation students and students from historically underrepresented communities as they transition into the Reed community. New students typically sign up for PMP at the beginning of fall semester; however, students are welcome to join our program at any point during the year.
For first-year mentees and returning student mentors, spring semester provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the hopes, fears, and expectations students experienced at the beginning of the academic year. At our winter retreat in January, new Reedies in PMP had time to reflect on and celebrate the fact that they successfully completed their first semester at Reed! We also shared a wonderful lunch with President Kroger, who discussed his vision for diversity and inclusion at Reed.
Spring break is coming up the week of March 16–24. Residence halls remain open during this time so students do not need to move out of their rooms.
Returning students who wish to live on campus during the 2013–14 academic year need to sign up for the housing lottery using the housing portal via IRIS. Registration opened February 25 and closes March 25. Please remember to pay the $100 housing deposit by March 25. For more information, please see our website.
Summer housing accommodations will be available (pending application approval) for students who demonstrate a compelling need to remain at Reed during summer break. Applications become available in mid-April, and more information about summer housing is available on our website.
Please remember that halls close for summer break at 12 p.m. on May 20!
For the fall semester, we will welcome new students back into the residence halls on August 27 at 9 a.m. and returning students on August 30 at 9 a.m.
The first year of the Reed Leadership Academy (RELAY) is off to a fantastic start. 32 students applied for 20 spots in the 2013 cohort. These 20 students will spend the next 12 months examining leadership concepts through the lens of the Social Change Model for Leadership Development. They will consider areas that inform their personal identities, how they interact with others in a group, and how they can work to improve their communities. Throughout the year, they will participate in weekly interactive workshops, meet with coaches from the Portland community, and engage in a service project. Students and staff alike are looking forward to doing this important work. For more information, please see our website.
The mission of Reed College describes an institution "devoted to the intrinsic value of intellectual pursuit and governed by the highest standards of scholarly practice, critical thought, and creativity." It also promises a "demanding and intense" undergraduate program designed to enable students to "learn and demonstrate rigor and independence in their habits of thought, inquiry, and expression." Students choose Reed because they want an intellectual and personal challenge—and Reed delivers.
For many students, this challenge is more "demanding and intense" than they expected. They struggle; they doubt themselves; they "stress out." Of course, we want students to struggle—that is, to stretch. But we also want them to succeed.
Academic Support provides resources designed to help students meet the challenges of a Reed education. Our robust peer tutoring program offers the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students who are a few steps ahead on their academic path. Individual academic coaching by professional staff gives students a chance to develop goals and explore strategies for improving the skills needed for college success. An ever-evolving set of quantitative and study-skills workshops creates an awareness of how other students have overcome similar obstacles. The writing center assists in the elusive pursuit of clear communication. Together, our programs build solidarity and provide an alternative to simply "freaking out" when things get tough. Please encourage your student to consult with his/her professors about how best to take advantage of these resources.
For more information, see our website.
Students for Education, Empowerment and Direct Service (SEEDS), as many of you know, is Reed's community service program. This semester, our ongoing service programs offer a variety of one-day service projects and host on-campus educational events like the upcoming Hunger Banquet on February 28, a simulation and discussion of world hunger and food distribution. This spring, our committed site partners continue with a record number of volunteers mentoring and tutoring at nearby Lane Middle School as part of our LASER volunteer program, one of our most popular service sites. March brings the annual alternative spring break service trip, this time to the Oregon Coast to focus on sustainable food systems. Volunteers on this trip will work with Food Roots NW, a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating a healthy food system for the north coast of Oregon. Food Roots’ purpose is to serve as a catalyst and advocate for change in our food system. This trip will combine service, learning, and fun. Students will have the opportunity to work with farms and to educate youth about sustainable food systems. SEEDS also continues to collaborate with other Reed departments on programs to engage our community. Projects this year include the Aspirational Prayer Flags Project, which gave Reedies a venue to share publicly their aspirations for the Reed community, and the Reed Leadership Academy, where SEEDS will be supporting the program's community service component. As always, students can check the SEEDS website for details or to sign up for programs. Want to learn more about all the ways students, staff, alumni, and faculty are engaged in the community? Visit our Reedies and Community Engagement blog for more than 100 profiles of Reed community members.
International Student Services (ISS) is excited about the opportunities for international engagement through our office this spring. Portland has a rich film festival scene that our students have explored this semester. Both domestic and international students joined us for an evening at the opening night of the 23rd Annual African Film Festival for the viewing of a Haitian film on the African Diaspora in the Caribbean. Our students also attended a screening of an Argentinean film at the Portland International Film Festival.
At the end of March, the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) will host its own International Festival. The Reed International Festival is a community-wide event that celebrates the international diversity on our campus. We are excited to bring together multiple forms of expression of this diversity through performance, cuisine, artistic displays, and demonstrations. We look forward to this special event that celebrates the traditions and cultures of international Reedies.
In the beginning of April, ISS will collaborate with the Institute of International Education and the Fulbright Program as they bring 130 graduate scholars to Portland for a seminar. ISS will coordinate the Fulbright Home Hospitality Evening in which Reed community members and Portland residents will host small groups of scholars for dinner in their homes for an evening of conversation and cultural exchange. Portland-area parents and family members are welcome to participate in this unique opportunity to spend an evening with people from around the world. Learn more or sign up.
Career Services Externship Program
We introduced the Reed Externship Program as an idea in late September of 2012. By October 31, we had secured 16 externship hosts, including two Reed parents, one community member, and thirteen Reed alumni. The goal of the externship program is threefold: (1) to give students a little bit of career-related activity during the five-week break; (2) to encourage career exploration; and (3) to give employers an experience with smart, well-prepared Reed students. We look forward to growing this winter program each year and encourage your participation as hosts for students who need places to stay and as extern sponsors next year, January 6–17, 2014. Please contact Brooke Hunter, assistant director for strategic partnerships, Career Services, firstname.lastname@example.org or 503/788-6698, for more information.
Internship Advantage Initiative
Reed Internship Advantage is a new program in process. Career Services is recruiting for-profit companies who agree to host a ten-week summer project-based paid internship for Reed students and new graduates at a minimum of $10/hour. We will do the recruiting based on job descriptions, collect resumes, make sure that every candidate is ready to interview and to be hired if they are offered a position. Then you decide whom you want to interview, and you make the hire decision. Career Services will stay involved as a liaison for you and for the Reedie. We will also be recruiting nonprofit organizations to participate. This program is modeled after a similar program at the University of Chicago.
For these internships, we are fundraising money to pay the interns. If this is of interest, please drop a note to Brooke Hunter, assistant director for strategic partnerships, Career Services, at email@example.com or call her at 503/788-6698.
From February 1 to 3, 99 mentors, including two Reed parents (Joe Sellers and Douglas Kerns) came to campus to participate in the annual Working Weekend. This career-related event engaged 191 students and alumni through panels and two intensive activities, Radio BootCamp and Reed StartUp. Another 150 students and alumni met with mentors individually in a MeetUp activity and through additional one on one meetings. Working Weekend '12 resulted in six full time jobs for students; we will report on Working Weekend '13 outcomes in the next newsletter.
Did you know that the Reed bookstore is an excellent resource for parents? While your Reedie is away at school, you can show your love by sending them one of our care boxes. Whether there is a birthday to celebrate, a thesis milestone reached, or just to say "take a break, we're thinking of you," our care packages are a unique way to send a message from home. The online bookstore also offers several ways to feed intellectual hunger with our selection of Reed-affiliated books. And if you would like to strengthen your Reed spirit, all our insignia clothing and gifts can be purchased online. Don’t know what to give? Gift cards are a great solution! In addition, spring is just around the corner, and we have a wide range of commencement items—diploma frames, tassels, and other special memorabilia—to celebrate your graduating Reedie.
Applying for financial aid 2013–14
The financial aid process for 2013–14 has been updated on our website. The deadline for priority consideration is May 1, 2013. Don’t miss this opportunity to apply for institutional and federal funding!
Updating the FAFSA
The FAFSA and CSS Profile should be filed no later than April 1 to meet the May 1 application deadline. If you have not completed your 2012 IRS income tax returns, both forms may be filed using estimated financial information. Once 2012 parent and student tax returns have been submitted to the IRS, you should use the Department of Education’s IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update the FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool, like the FAFSA, is available at www.fafsa.gov. In some cases (such as married parents who file separately or recently separated or divorced parents), parents cannot use the IRS data-retrieval process and will be required to provide an IRS tax transcript to the financial aid office. This requirement will be in addition to the IDOC packet required of all applicants for institutional funding.
The IDOC packet, which includes copies of parent and student 2012 IRS income tax returns, should be mailed to the IDOC service by April 15 to meet the May 1 application deadline. If you have not completed a return by April 15, a copy of your tax return extension should be included with the IDOC packet.
For the 2013–14 academic year, students will continue to access their financial aid status and award via Reed’s financial aid website with Banner Self-Service. Students will use Banner Self-Service to do the following:
- Check the status of their financial aid application to find out which documents have been received and what is still needed to complete their application for financial aid.
- Review their financial aid eligibility and accept their financial aid. Students have the ability to print a copy of their financial aid award to send to parents.
- Report any outside resources, such as private scholarships, to the financial aid office.
The financial aid office attempts to notify all currently enrolled students as to the completion status of their financial aid application. Notification is made via email to the student’s reed.edu address. Parents are welcome to check the completion status of their student’s financial aid application by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the financial aid office at 503/777-7223. To discuss specific data contained within the application(s) with anyone other than the student, the financial aid office must have a 2013–14 Authorization to Release Information Form, signed by the student, which lists the person(s) authorized to access his/her financial aid information. The Authorization to Release Information Form is available online.
Reed's office of admission seeks eager and enthusiastic parents of current students who are willing to communicate with prospective parents about Reed. Opportunities for communication surround the enrollment window (early April), and pre-Orientation (August). Conversations are unscripted, and venues include email correspondence, telephone calls, or informal meetings. If you are interested, please send email to email@example.com for more information.
—Crockett Marr '00
Assistant Dean, Office of Admission
Did you know that Reed parents give more than $500,000 to the college every year? Gifts from parents flow directly into Reed’s academic program supporting collaborative faculty-student research, acquiring books for the library, purchasing new technology for the classroom, and providing financial aid to 50 percent of the student body. Help your Reedie thrive; please make a gift today.
Reed's 99th annual commencement ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 20, 2013 on the front lawn of campus. Weekend events include optional tours and a commencement-eve celebration on Sunday evening. A complete schedule is available online as well as ticket information and updates.
Learn more about Reed's new president, John R. Kroger
Parents, do you tweet? If so, follow us on Twitter at reed_parents
Contact information for Reed staff
Schedule of parent events on campus
Make a gift or learn more about the Parent Fund
Help us keep in touch
Thank you for allowing us to reach you via email, our most immediate means to share news and information. Your email address will be used only for communications to you from Reed. To continue to receive parent communication, keep us up to date on your current contact information (email, phone, and/or address), or to let us know of any additional person to receive mailings, please contact Alumni & Parent Relations at 503/777-7589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.