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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Faces of FYE


Mimi HellmanMimi Hellman
Associate Professor of Art History
Scribner Seminar: Buzz—The Visual and Material Culture of Caffeine

“I loved my Scribner Seminar because it allowed me to teach something I'm passionate about—the history of coffee, tea, and chocolate—that doesn't fit into a traditional discipline. My students and I explored it through multiple lenses—art history, sociology, literature, business. My excitement fueled the class and we all learned together. This is what college should be about—thinking critically and creatively, making new connections, sharing ideas, seeing the world in a different way.”

Kyle NicholsKyle Nichols
Associate Professor and Chair of Geosciences
Scribner Seminar: Hollywood’s Science

“My course was a long time in the making, going back to the mid-1990s when I was watching disaster films. Movies were quite entertaining in part because Hollywood took extreme liberties with the science. It concerned me that viewers might be taking away misconceptions about science. I decided to develop a course where students could interrogate the science in films and pick apart fact from fiction, as well as delve into the unintended consequences for society.”

Flip PhillipsFlip Phillips
Director of Neuroscience
Professor of Psychology
Scribner Seminar: Mind Design
“The nice thing about cognitive science is that it has psychological, philosophical, computer science, and anthropological approaches, to name just some. I try to teach my students that there is more than one way to see things—that you can ask big questions and come at them from a bunch of different perspectives, and, in fact, that’s how you should examine them. To me, it’s the whole reason to be at a place like Skidmore.”