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Interested in participating in SophEx, but not sure which Topic Community you’d like to join? No problem—each one is detailed below, so you’ll be able to narrow down which ones best fit your interests.

Whether you’re into art, community outreach, governance, or wellness (or some combination of all four), you’ll be sure to find a group of not only likeminded peers, but new friends.

 

Topic Communities

Art
Explore and engage with your artistic side through hands-on learning experiences that highlight WPI’s creative student scene. From ballroom dancing and improv to embracing your inner Bob Ross through painting and fine arts, this Topic Community includes art of all forms.

Community Outreach
This Topic Community will focus on engagement with your community through social justice and volunteerism. Explore the impacts of marginality through a series of different lenses including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, class, and age; then discuss opportunities for partnerships in addressing current issues on campus and in the greater Worcester community through demonstration, volunteerism, and policy change.

Environmental Justice
Take advantage of hikes in the Worcester hills or trips to Winnipesaukee as you explore today’s pressing environmental issues and the impact our actions and behavior have on nature. Whether you’re interested in exploring the impacts we have on our environment or just looking for a way to get out into nature, you’ll walk away from this Topic Community with a deeper connection to and appreciation of our environment.

Ethical Discovery
Join this Topic Community to explore where STEM intersects and combines with ethical decision making. Study the importance of scientific process through weekly discussions and activities on topics like inclusion and video gaming; ethical practices within data science; cyber security and computers; business and ethics; and ethical hacking as a means to better technology. Discuss the importance of understanding your own ethical standards as they relate to your work in STEM and how you’ll navigate the complex structures that exist while working to revamp standards within organizations.

Governance
Explore the diverse tenets of governance—accountability, rules of law, equity, inclusion, criminal justice, and more. You’ll develop skills through the exploration of current and historic events and how they shape our world. Case studies and engaging discussions will give you the chance to examine the needs of society and how governance accommodates them. Take what you learn in this Topic Community and get involved even further through the Student Government Association and other local opportunities.

Human Production
Discuss the intersection of topics like religion, ethics, history, and philosophy through the lens of current and historic events. Explore a modern application of the humanistic areas of study to debate ethical dilemmas facing our society today. You’ll watch and reflect on movies and short videos, discuss current events, and visit local historic sites, all while gaining practical skills in debate and discussion as you dive into the humanities.

Our Global Identity
As part of this Topic Community, you’ll engage in discussions on diverse backgrounds, cultures, traditions, and languages; intersectionality; and points of connection as you reflect on your own life experiences and how they’ve shaped your world view. You’ll be able to visit the Worcester Art Museum to explore other cultures, and pursue opportunities to diversify your knowledge through WPI courses, minors, and various related clubs and organizations.

Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Join this Topic Community to explore the worlds of small business ventures, finance, and entrepreneurship, as well as the impact of technology on the business industry. Hear from WPI alums who have started their own businesses, participate in discussions with students who have received campus funding for projects and ideas, and learn about WPI Tinkerbox, the Makerspace, WPI’s Small Business Digitization Services, and other opportunities and resources within the campus community for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Wellness
Don’t just survive—thrive in your college experience by practicing healthy habits and attain better physical and mental outcomes. Join this Topic Community to explore what wellness looks like on a college campus through high-, low-, and zero-impact opportunities. You’ll engage in healthy athletic competition, learn new culinary skills, discuss mental health and psychology, and practice new mindfulness skills. Opportunities provided will be accessible to students of all abilities.