University of Oregon

Are you an incoming first-year student interested in architecture?

Maybe you are interested in design and would love to learn more about how buildings or interiors are created. Is it possible you wanted to apply to the architecture program and hesitated or felt like you would rather explore the program before committing? We have good news for you, then! If you are an incoming first-year student for fall 2014, we have a FIG designed just for your interests. As long as you are not an admitted Architecture Major, you can sign up for the Inside Architecture FIG. this FIG gives you an inside look at the world of architecture and interior design. You will learn how to put together portfolio and meet instructors and students in the program. While you are at IntroDUCKtion, visit First-Year Programs at lunch or during advising for more information.



Incoming Students Get IntroDUCKted to First Year Programs

Are you still looking for a FIG or Freshman Seminar to kick off your first year at the University of Oregon? Well, you are in luck! We are halfway through IntroDUCKtion sessions, yet still have plenty of spots in a number of different FIGs. Yesterday, incoming students flocked to the EMU  ballroom and signed up for just the right FIG. Some students even had the fortune of meeting their FIG assistant during their orientation. If you are joining us for your orientation soon, make sure to come to our interest session where you can learn about the great experience you will have in a FIG or Freshman Seminar or both! After the interest session, come see us at lunch where you can see our board of open FIGs with descriptions of each one and helpful staff to answer any of your questions or concerns. With each new member of the class of 2018 we meet, the more we look forward to the fall. Call (541-346-1131) or email ( our office with any questions or concerns.


FIG assistant Timmy Thomas meets his new FIG student.


Come learn about Freshman Seminars from our helpful FIG Assistants.

Open FIGs!

IntroDUCKtion-Picture2-2fzqlz0As of this morning, here is a list of FIGs that currently have openings. If you see one you like, come find us tomorrow in the EMU Ballroom from 9-4, but we suggest showing up as early as possible since there is usually a line. If none of the FIGs below strike your interest, then come by our table anyway and talk one-on-one with some of our FIG Assistants. Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@UOfigs) as we will be tweeting FIG openings in real time throughout the day! Happy Introducktion and we will see you tomorrow!


Carnegie Global Oregon

Cultural Encounters

Connected Characters

Digital Humanitarians

Hip Hop and the Politics of Race

Inside Architecture

Justice Beauty and Nature

Modeling Life

Moving to MTV

Thinking About Teaching

War and Peace


Art, Culture and Comics

Ancient Stories

Bella Italia

Breaking the Wall

Culture at the Crossroads

Digging up History

Got Opinions?

Hidden History

Justice Matters

Modern Families

Paging Dr. Darwin

Papas o Patatas

Portable Life Museum

Roots of Civilization

Shakespeare’s Stage

Silk Road

Social Progress, Social Change

Social Services

Speaking in Time

Stories We Tell

The Far Side


Urban Garden

Vamos La Brasil

Vamps and Vampires

Visualize a Better World

Vive La France

What’s Art?

If you’re looking for the inside scoop, here is a list of FIGs that our FIG Assistants have found particularly interesting and fun! Please click the titles to find out more about their courses, faculty, and FIG Assistants.

Culture at the Cross Roads

This FIG explores the complex history of the African Diaspora in America by focusing on the diverse and profoundly influential music known as the Blues.

Connected Characters (Residential)

A fresh inter-disciplinary exploration of some of the ways in which Chinese script, some society, fascinating historical personalities, and notions (Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist) of personhood and have shaped both the East Asian macro-culture and the civilizations of China and Japan.

Global Oregon (Residential)

In association with the New York-based Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, this FIG meets with scholars and leaders from a variety of fields to explore the role of ethics in global, national, and local issues. The CGO is unique because it continues for three terms. After the fall FIG courses students enroll in 1-credit seminars in winter and spring, and the majority of CGO students remain active in this vibrant learning community throughout their years at the University. This provides a supportive mix as sophomore, junior, and senior CGO members join us weekly for class and a meal while we explore areas of ethical concern.


Inside Architecture (Residential)

This course introduces students to architectural education through the exploration of topics and issues salient to making places.  We communicate and test our explorations using drawings, models, short essays, and class discussions. A field trip is planned to explore, experience and record a significant place.

Moving to MTV

The exploration of music and motion: live, video, and historical sources and experiences.

Papas o Patatas

Why don’t all members of a linguistic community speak the same way? What is a ‘dialect’? This FIG will explore how variation within a linguistic community illuminates our understanding of what human language is, with a focus on the different varieties of Spanish around the world.

Shakespeare’s Stage

Shakespeare’s Stage is an in-depth study, analysis, and review of Shakespeare’s plays that also examines the exciting and dynamic Elizabethan and Jacobean periods in English history and theatre.

What’s Art?

In this FIG, students will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the visitors to our university museum by writing their own wall texts for select artworks on view in the Japanese galleries, while exploring firsthand the visual qualities and meanings of traditional Japanese religious objects.

War and Peace

The 2 lecture courses in this FIG offer disciplinary introductions to literature and history and ask basic questions about social, political and technological change. They converge in an exploration of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.


IntroDUCKtion Update

Yesterday marked the end of session two of IntroDUCKtion where many happy students found just the FIG they were looking for. Many students met their FIG assistant or fellow FIG mates for the first time. After meeting many great members of the class of 2018, we are eagerly anticipating the fall.



FIG Assistant Sasha Chang meets a new FIG student at IntroDUCKtion.


These two students are excited to learn about the “no-impact” lifestyle

If you are a student still looking for a FIG or Freshman Seminar, you are in luck! With six sessions in the near future, there are plenty of opportunities to sign up for one of our great programs. We still have plenty of spots in a number of different FIGs. Are you interested in experiencing a new culture, expanding your world view, and learning a new language or improving your language skills? Check out our fabulous FIGs exploring the world around us.

Bella Italia

Connected CharactersPapas o Patatas

Silk Road

Vamos la Brasil!

viva la france

What is Art

To sign up for a FIG, come see us at your IntroDUCKtion session. We will have two interest sessions on day one at 11:00 and 11:30 for parents and students who want to find out more about our programs. We will also have a table at lunch at 12:00 on day 1 where you can see which FIGs still have spaces. On day 2 of your orientation, come see us in the EMU ballroom where “The Great FIG Exchange” takes place. As always, you can contact us with any questions or concerns.

Two of our FIG faculty receive distinguished teaching awards!

The 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award Winners have been announced and two of our FIG faculty have received awards!

David Blackwell received the Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching and is the College Connections instructor for Oregon Outside FIG and the Fire & Ice: Pacific Northwest Geology Freshman Seminar. The quote from their profile on David Blackwell, sums him up rather nicely:

‘”Dave Blackwell is, simply put, a force of nature with a smile.” These words, chosen by Rebecca Dorsey (Head of Geological Sciences), convey the mixture of intellectual power and human sensitivity that defines David’s teaching. He has been an instructor at the University of Oregon since 1986, using his talents to inspire and motivate many thousands of students along the way.

Daniel Tichenor was awarded the Ested Award for Distinguished Teaching and teaches one of the connected courses for the Justice Matters FIG. There is plenty to say about Daniel Tichenor’s outstanding strengths as an instructor, his profile goes on to state that:

“Students at all levels, from freshmen to graduates, commend Tichenor’s commitment to activating student learning and to inspiring his students to take their new knowledge and skills outside the classroom. The top adjective in his teaching evaluations is “phenomenal”—followed closely by “outstanding,” “engaging,” and “exceptional” (not forgetting “flawless,” “excellent,” and “extraordinary”). Courses for the Poli Sci major, such as PS 260 (Public Policy and Democracy) and 467/567 (The U.S. Presidency) are designed and delivered with rigor and verve; a new course in the “Reacting to the Past” sequence Reacting to the Past.”

First-Year Programs  congratulates you both on being wonderful educators and we appreciate your work with our programs!

See 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award Winners to read the full profiles for both professors.

IntroDUCKtion 2014 is here!

Congratulations to everyone who got a FIG or Freshman Seminar at the first IntroDUCKtion session this week! We will be at all IntroDUCKtion sessions to answer questions and help people register for FIGs this summer. On the first day of your visit, be sure to come see our Interest Sessions at 11am and 11:30am in Lillis 182. You can also ask questions on the first day on the Pioneer Mother Lawn at Lunch. On the second day, we will be in the EMU Ballroom Lobby (right next to advising) from 9am to 4pm. Students interested in making changes or adding a FIG may start lining up at 8:45am.

Students and parents get “college knowledge” at the First Year Programs table at IntroDUCKtion.

If you have any questions today, feel free to call us, (541) 346-1131 or email at

FIG Professor Crowned ‘The Hip-Hop Prof’

photo_upnw_hiphopThe Oregon Quarterly’s recent article, The Hip-Hop Prof, included in their latest edition of Upfront, is featuring an article about Loren Kajikawa, Assistant Professor for Musicology and Ethnomusicology and the College Connections instructor for the Hip-hop and Politics of Race FIG. The Quarterly begins by asking Kajikawa how and when he began seeing Hip-hop as a scholarly subject, but the bulk of the article focuses more heavily on what and why Kajikawa finds so interesting about one of today’s most mainstream musical genres.

“His [Professor Kajikawa] work at the UO examines the creative decision-making at the heart of the most inventive hip-hop, and also aims to help overcome popular misconceptions. “It’s important that people understand there’s no one kind of hip-hop,” he says. “Over 35 years of recorded music history, there’s an incredible diversity of artists, styles, politics, aesthetics, geographic diversity, and audiences under that umbrella.”

Click the following link to read the article in its entirety, and make sure to scroll to the bottom and see Kajikawa’s pick for the top 5 albums in the past 4 decades!



FA Awarded Phi Beta Kappa Oregon Six!

For the past four years, Shireen-Farahani has served as a FIG Assistant for the Breaking the Wall FIG, and we at First-Year Programs could not be more proud of her most recent designation in the Phi Beta Kappa Oregon Six.  Phi Beta Kappa is recognized across the country as one of the oldest and most prestigious honor societies. According to the Alpha of Oregon Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa website:

“Each year, six outstanding UO undergraduates are designated the Phi Beta Kappa Oregon Six. Their exceptional academic records combine extraordinary breadth and excellence in upper-division liberal arts courses with very high grade point averages.”


Congratulations Shireen, and thank you for all that you’ve done for your residents, students, and University!

Ready, Set, FIG!

Today is the day! If you haven’t had the chance to look through our Big FIG Book, then now is the time as FIG registration starts tonight at 4pm Pacific Standard time. We also advise that you have 2-3 alternative FIGs picked out because some of our FIGs are extremely popular and will likely fill up within the first few minutes (yes, some go that fast!). If you have any last minute questions, please feel free to call us at 541-346-1131, e-mail, or tweet @UOFIGS. If you’re still unsure which FIG is right for you, go ahead and take another look at our Big FIG Book which can be accessed by clicking on the picture below.

Happy FIG season to all, and best of luck!

Big FIG Book cover graphic

6 days left until FIG registration begins!

Fall 2014 is fast approaching! As you get ready for your first term, make sure that you have taken a look at the Big FIG Book as well as the Freshman Checklist. If you have any questions, there are a number of ways to get in contact with us. You can call us at (541) 346 1131, email us at , or tweet at us @UOFIGS.


Happy FIG hunting!


Big FIG Book cover graphic