First Year Experience Fall 2021 banner

About the Event

At the University of North Florida (UNF), the Hicks Honors College First Year Experience includes a choice three classes in the fall: Colloquium, Self & Society, and Model U.S. In the Spring semester, students choose from a range of topics for their required writing class.


Students in this course explore immigration and national identity theoretically through readings and lectures as well as experientially through a required service project working with our local refugee population. Students select how they would like to participate in the service project at orientation when they choose their breakout group, as each breakout group concentrates on one aspect of the service project. Poster presentations highlight each small group of students’ accomplishments toward the common project to benefit Jacksonville’s refugee community.


The course asks students to develop problem-solving skills by starting with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, prioritizing them, and then coming up with solutions to the goal(s) that they see as most critical. The students divide into project groups, each developing a poster presentation that outlines the problem and their proposed solution.

Model U.S.

Model U.S. gives students the opportunity to undergo a simulation as a “Class Congress,” solving national crises by researching, problem-solving, and coalition-building with their classmates. In addition to these weekly challenges as hypothetical members of government, students also address actual members of their community by tutoring immigrants in English as well as the American citizenship test. These aspects of the course are explored in students’ posters, which address different dimensions of this American Experiment in “self-government.” 

See a list of All the Posters!

You can still view the Posters from Fall 2020, and Posters from Spring 2021.

Jeff Chamberlain

Message from Dean Chamberlain

Thank you for stopping by. We love to showcase our student work.  Our first-year students have put in extraordinary effort in their service projects and research, and we are very proud to be able to share their work with you. Few college students develop poster presentations in their first semester — that is usually a skill developed much later in an undergraduate career (if ever) — so Hicks Honors students really stand out.

We started the “virtual” showcase when we had to transition many activities to an online environment, but have found it so useful to share student work more broadly that we have continued it. So, please, scan through the posters, linger at some, and comment on a few posters. We think you’ll be as proud of our students as we are.

Jeff Chamberlain (“Dr. J”)
Dean, Hicks Honors College

Virtual Venue

The First Year Experience is a virtual conference. You have already arrived at the online location for this exciting interactive event. We invite you to browse, comment, and learn about the vibrant student service projects occurring at UNF.

Check us out — not only here on the First Year Experience website, but also at UNF.