IN THE SPOTLIGHT
People Behind the Scenes
Who keeps our university in top shape? It's the People Behind the Scenes! Meet Claire Figel, program coordinator of the Baker Residential Academic Program.
What is the one thing you would like people to know about the work you do?
Through the Baker Residential Academic Program (RAP) we have a positive impact on the freshman experience. Students are connected to a supportive community that increases their odds of success in the classroom, in the residence hall, and throughout the campus community. Students thrive when they are actively engaged in their education. As with the other residential academic programs, Baker RAP is a living/learning community for primarily first-year students with a focus on the natural and environmental sciences. Students live in Baker Hall and take one or two classes each semester in courses taught right in the hall. The smaller classes that are offered allow students to have group discussions, hands-on projects, and supplement the coursework with field experiences. As the program coordinator for the Baker Residential Academic Program, I get to do it all. I work with faculty, students, parents, and staff from all over campus. This variety keeps my job interesting and keeps me on my toes!
What do you like best about being a part of the CU community?
I am extremely fortunate to be able to work with students throughout their academic journey at CU. From their first visits on campus tours and throughout summer orientations I get to meet the students before they’ve even moved in – or decided to come here. Some are apprehensive (oftentimes the parents more than the students!) and most are incredibly excited to start. Working together with faculty at Baker RAP who lead the small group discussions and engage with the students on field trips and research projects, we open these students’ eyes to the myriad of opportunities at CU. And although most students no longer participate in Baker RAP after their sophomore year, we have a reunion before graduation. It is unbelievably rewarding to watch the same apprehensive first-year students grow into confident seniors, ready to take on the next stage of their journey.
What is your favorite activity/interest outside work?
I have played viola in the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra since 1993. It has been fun to watch it grow from a community orchestra into a professional orchestra. Even when it’s difficult to find time to practice, I’m able to draw inspiration from my fellow musicians. Hopefully I can share my love of music with my two daughters, both of whom take piano lesson with my mother, whose passion for music is positively infectious.
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