Connect With a College of Arts and Sciences Faculty or Staff Member and Receive a $5 Digital Starbucks Coffee Card

Compliments of the College of Arts and Sciences!

Although our university is large, there are many opportunities to become better acquainted with our faculty and staff. During this time of physical distancing, these connections have become even more important. We encourage you to virtually connect with Arts and Sciences faculty or staff members through our Coffee Connections program. Sharing a cup of coffee, or tea, and an informal conversation is a great way to learn more about your program of study, explore educational and research opportunities, to identify or confirm your career direction, as well as build an educational relationship — an important factor when requesting a future letter of reference.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must be an undergraduate student who is currently enrolled through the Columbus campus and have a declared major in the College of Arts and Sciences. This includes Columbus campus students who are taking courses in-person or entirely online. Unsure if your major is in the College of Arts and Sciences? Check this list of Arts and Sciences majors.

How does this work?

  • Meet with a College of Arts and Sciences faculty or staff member either virtually or in-person during their regularly scheduled office hours or, if you aren’t able to meet during those times, schedule a virtual meeting through CarmenZoom. If you are unsure whether they are part of the College of Arts and Sciences, just check their listing in the Find People directory.
  • If you set up a virtual meeting through CarmenZoom, be sure to share the Zoom session date, time, meeting ID (full URL) and password with the faculty or staff member. Setting up a Zoom meeting is easy. Unsure how to do this?  See the information below.
  • Complete the short online form below to request your $5 Starbucks Coffee card. You will be asked to provide the name and department of the faculty or staff member you will meet with. We would like to copy them on your confirmation email so that they are familiar with this new program.
  • We will email you information on your $5 electronic Starbucks Coffee card. You can use this to purchase coffee for your virtual meeting or use it at a later date — whatever is convenient for you.

How often may I request a coffee card?

Because funding for this program is limited, and we wish to extend this opportunity to as many undergraduate Arts and Sciences majors as possible, you may request a $5 coffee card up to twice each semester (twice autumn semester including winter break and twice spring semester including spring break). Of course, you can meet with faculty and staff more often than this, and we encourage you to do so.

What if I am taking all of my classes remotely?

As long as you are eligible to participate (see above) and schedule a meeting with an Arts and Sciences faculty or staff member, you may apply for a coffee card. You do not have to be taking in-person classes or live near the Columbus campus. These coffee cards may be used at many locations across the United States.

Does my meeting have to be virtual in order to be eligible for a coffee card?

No, if both you and the faculty or staff member prefer to meet in person, that is fine. You may still apply for a coffee card. If you do meet in person, be certain to follow all university health and safety guidelines regarding gatherings, including those related to health checks, physical distancing and the use of face masks. Please be aware that many faculty and staff members are working remotely during this time, so an in-person meeting may not be an option. Information on scheduling a CarmenZoom virtual meeting may be found below.

Tips for requesting a meeting

  • Always start your email with a respectful request, such as “Hello or Dear Professor X.”
  • Faculty have regularly scheduled office hours that are specifically set up to meet with students. If possible, suggest a meeting during that time. If you can’t meet during their scheduled hours, explain this and request to meet at another time.
  • Staff may have scheduled office hours or flexible meeting times. Knowing what is offered will help to identify a time they are available.
  • Provide options for when you can meet. Remember, they are also very busy. The more flexible you can be with your time options, the more likely you will be to find a common meeting time.
  • Respect standard working hours. Only request a meeting that occurs Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If they are available in the evening or on the weekend, they will let you know.
  • Be certain to thank them and sign your name. If you are in one of their classes, let them know which class.

How to set up a meeting using CarmenZoom

  • Sign in to CarmenZoom here.
  • Select the “Meetings” banner from the options at the top of the web page.
  • Select the “Schedule A Meeting” tab.
  • Be certain to click on “Save” at the bottom of the web page to save your meeting,
  • Add the meeting to your calendar — there is an Outlook Calendar option at the top of the web page.
  • Share the CarmenZoom meeting ID link (full URL) and password with the faculty or staff member so that they can join your meeting. You can do this by copying the meeting invitation and pasting the information into an email – see the “Copy Invitation” link next to the “Invite Link” on the web page.
  • For help completing the meeting form, you can find directions here.
  • We strongly encourage you to set the meeting and share the meeting information with the faculty or staff member well in advance. That way, if you have any problems setting the virtual meeting you will have time to seek help. CarmenZoom Resources.

Ideas for meeting conversation starters

  • Share information about yourself that you are comfortable talking about. This helps them to get to know you.
  • As a starter, this may include where you’re from, what brought you to Ohio State, why you selected your major, organizations you belong to, hobbies, or what you like to do outside of class.
  • If they choose to do so, they may also share some of their experiences and interests. However, always respect their privacy.
  • Your conversation doesn’t have to be entirely about academic related topics. You can ask about books they’re reading, movies they’ve liked, and places they’ve traveled.
  • Share what you’re enjoying about the class, what is challenging you, or what has surprised you.
  • Ask specific questions about what you’re covering in class that isn’t clear to you.
  • Ask what other classes they or others in their department teach that are related to your interests.
  • If you’re interested in research, studying abroad, or an internship, share that information and ask about related department resources.
  • Share what you’re interested in doing after college and ask them for their thoughts on careers that are connected with your areas of interest.
  • Ask for advice on graduate schools that have programs that match your interests.
  • Ask about resources such as departmental scholarships and student organizations related to your interests.
  • If you are struggling academically or personally, talk about what you are comfortable sharing at this time.
  • Think about what helps you learn best and talk about how to apply this in class.
  • Depending on the person you are meeting with, there are many other topics you can talk about that are specific to their area.
  • Remember, faculty and staff are not mind readers. However, this doesn’t mean you have to disclose everything. Share what you are comfortable talking about. Relationships build over time.
  • Like you, they are also working to balance the many unusual demands we are experiencing. Be certain to be respectful of their time and to thank them for meeting with you.

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