SUMMIT will return to campus in January

Learning how to snowshoe is not a class the average Carnegie Mellon student would take. But on January 12?14, the opportunity does exist.

Come January, Carnegie Mellon University will be host to the second annual SUMMIT retreat. SUMMIT is designed to give students opportunities to learn seven new skills over three days. In the afternoons and evenings, participants will take six different and unique courses, in addition to a morning course that spans all three days.

SUMMIT is open to all students, both graduate and undergraduate. For $36, students can learn new talents that might not be available in their spring schedule. ?It offers a great chance for people to have fun before classes start,? said Haseeb Qureshi, SUMMIT co-president and a senior business administration and psychology double major. ?It?s a great opportunity to meet new people and refresh your view of

Last year, SUMMIT drew 120 students back to campus to participate in classes. These mini-courses ranged from furniture building to a culinary arts class, where students learned to cook a four-course meal. Among the 40 classes slated for this upcoming year are glassblowing, furniture making, and a poker course, possibly taught by a professional player. The classes are taught by Carnegie Mellon faculty, staff, and students, as well as professionals in Pittsburgh.

Richard Yao, a junior in the English department, remembers his SUMMIT experience last year as enjoyable. ?SUMMIT?s kind of like a week of summer camp between semesters,? he said.

Qureshi noted that this year, he and other SUMMIT planners were able to do a lot more thanks to Roger Ma, a 2005 business administration graduate who created SUMMIT for his Fifth-Year Scholars project. ?We?ve gotten more cooperation from the University and more credibility,? Qureshi said.

As of last week, over 160 students have registered to take part, including 10 students from Carnegie Mellon?s Qatar campus. This year?s large response is due in part to SUMMIT?s six-person executive board and their effective marketing campaign.

Among those registered, Siobhan Halloran, a sophomore studying chemical engineering, is looking forward to her first SUMMIT experience. ?I?m really excited about it,? she said. ?I think it?s going to be a lot of fun.?

Qureshi hopes to make SUMMIT a large-scale event as it gains popularity. ?We?re trying to expand it. Schools like MIT and Berkeley have stuff like this that?s [on the scale of] Orientation ? week-long events.?
?If you get a chance,? Yao said, ?try to do SUMMIT at least once.?

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