What is the Babson/Olin/Wellesley Wintersession Program?

The Three College Wintersession program takes place the last two weeks of wintersession and culminates in a presentation to staff and faculty from all three colleges on the results of the program itself. It is a chance to work intensively with other students from Babson, Olin, and Wellesley on a project for a non-profit client chosen by the coordinators.

The participants are housed at Babson College and work space is provided by Olin College. Wellesley College pays for the coordinators stipend, which is $500.

There are three coordinators that manage the program from its inception to its culmination with the selection and training of coordinators for the following year. As a group, the coordinators are expected to choose a client, participate in training, choose participants for the program, lead the program, handle logistics, spread awareness of the program, choose the next coordinators, and train incoming coordinators so they can continue the program the following year.


2015 Wintersession Program

The 2015 program took place from January 5th through the 16th.

This year, our partner was the Acera School, a K-8 school in Winchester, MA that emphasizes collaboration, creativity, leadership, critical thinking and problem solving.  Their students include high-ability students and accelerated learners with diverse strengths, profiles and interests. Potential projects include creating a plan for a new high school, revamping their Innovation Lab, or designing a workshop for change agent teachers interested in innovating the K-8 school system.

This year's Wintersession Coordinators were Ariana Chae (Olin), Elena Shaw (Wellesley) and Manusha Chereddy (Babson).

This year's participants were:

Babson students: John Quinn, Emily Jones, Alyssa Reisner, and Anthony Pronichenki.

Olin student: Michael Costello

Wellesley students: Kristen Jorgenson, Reba Meserve, Michelle Chung, and Xiao Lin Lei.

Click HERE for a copy of their presentation.

On Friday, January 16th, the 2015 Wintersession group presented their work to Acera administrators and BOW faculty and staff.


Coordinators: Wendy Sachs(Babson) and Janna M. Zimmermann (Wellesley)

Participants: Babson: Mitchell McKinnon, Raycent Tan, Taelyr Roberts, Michelene Wilkerson, Alyssa Reisner, Sang Hyun Kim Wellesley: Suh Yoon, Amy Wickett (not pictured), Trang Nguyen, Sarah Carlson

Also pictured is Maxine Inniss from Healthworks Community Fitness.

Click HERE for a copy of their presentation.

Check out Wintersession 2014's culminating presentation:


Three College Wintersession Program Wraps Up with Student Presentations

January 22, 2013

Student Team Consults with Sustainability Startup

group photo of BOW Solutions

The Three-College Wintersession Program wrapped up last week, with the student team, BOW Solutions, presenting its work to faculty and staff from the three colleges and to Practically Green, a Boston-based sustainability startup that partnered with the Wintersession program this year.

Practically Green is a young, dynamic company that works with different communities to engage members in practical sustainable living through innovative, fun social networking. BOW Solutions comprised students from Babson, Wellesley, and Olin colleges who worked together as a team of advisors using their diverse set of skills and perspectives to help Practically Green develop its presence on college campuses.

Student Participants

Students applied during the Fall semester and four were selected from each college to participate in the free program. A student coordinator from each school was also selected to manage the 2013 program from its inception to its culmination with the selection and training of coordinators for 2014. As a group, the coordinators are expected to choose a client, participate in training, choose participants for the program, lead the program, handle logistics, spread awareness of the program, choose the next coordinators, and train them so they can continue the program the following year. Wellesley College covers the coordinators’ $500 stipend.

The 2013 BOW Solutions team included:

  • Jessica Bethune, Olin
  • Benjamin Cardarelli, Babson
  • Andrea Cuadra, coordinator, Olin
  • R.A. Ely '13, coordinator, Wellesley
  • Catherine Guo, Wellesley
  • Evelyn Hunter, Olin
  • Victoria C Rines '15, Wellesley
  • Kseniya Stepanova, coordinator, Babson
  • Carla Thé '15, Wellesley
  • Philippe Topdjian, Babson
  • Vikki Tse '15, Wellesley
  • Gabrielle Waldman-Fried, Olin

(Unequal representation of schools was due to last-minute cancellation/substitution.)

A Diverse Experience

Students all lived in Babson dorms, and worked at Olin during the day. They captured some of the spirit of their intensive two-week project in a group blog. More than once, the diversity of viewpoints was noted with appreciation. As one student wrote after a week into the program:

Just Monday, we were learning everyone’s names… By now, we have already settled into a routine, gotten used to the day-to-day, and learned what makes each of us special and unique contributors to the team. I just wanted to list some of my favorite parts of the program so far: 

  • The diversity of approaches to the problems that come up. The difference in the engineering, business, and liberal arts ways thinking often times becomes very clear and it is so powerful. 
  • That we have been a super hands-on group. Running a focus group, conducting interviews, sending out surveys, mocking-up pages and conducting users tests, and company visits are just several examples of our daily activities. 
  • Having breakfast in Ely’s suite. Each day, between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. we walk into Ely’s kitchen, choose what we want to eat from a selection of breakfast foods, and casually gather around a table to eat and chat.
  • Spending so much time together. Being with students from different colleges not only for work but for meals and fun activities really helps me understand the different cultures and styles. 
  • Exercising! Runs, biking, contra dancing, gym, and yoga have all been options.
  • Most importantly, our team. Every single person is so willing to help out, is super high-energy and ready to tackle a new problem, open-minded, and just amazing to work with.






2012 Wintersession: The BOW Three College Collaboration sponsored a 2-week wintersession program on the topic of Pedagogy and Learning for students from Babson, Olin, and Wellesley. Twelve students took part, three from each college, including one student coordinator from each school. The participants were selected on the basis of a short application in which they indicated their reasons for wanting to work with colleagues from the other schools. The program was supported by all three colleges, with Babson providing housing and transport, Olin food and classroom space, Wellesley stipends for the student coordinators.

Faculty from across the colleges met with the students at lunch each day, either to lead discussions or to act as resources for the student projects. Among the topics of discussion and research were: the goals of education; the value of textbook-based learning in a modern society where information is freely available; adaptive expertise; education in the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China); the value of survey courses; and how we measure intelligence.

After initial explorations the students formed two working groups; one group focused on traditional research methods and processes, and the second group used the UOCD (User Oriented Collaborative Design) process, characteristic of many Olin classes, to examine the culture and academic approaches at the three schools.

In their own words, “We all came with a wide variety of interests, and different methods for approaching problem solving, but in the end we were able to come together and learn from one another, as well as brainstorming ways to improve the overall academic and social experiences for students at each of the three schools, while increasing collaboration and cross-campus opportunities. “ They developed several ideas for increasing communication among campuses and particularly for increasing participation in curricular and co-curricular activities. More important than their actual suggestions was the process of learning to work together in teams with very diverse attitudes and approaches. They documented the process and are ready to share their insights with other members of the communities.

The students presented some of their ideas to a group of faculty who participated in a day-long workshop on curriculum and pedagogy on January 14th. Over 60 faculty members came to the event, hosted by Babson and supported with funding from both Olin and Wellesley. In advance of the workshop, faculty members responded to a questionnaire about difficult concepts in their disciplines and how they know that they are effective in teaching. Their answer were incorporated into the keynote address by Kathy Takayama, director of the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University. Following her talk, faculty broke into small groups for open-ended discussions about teaching and what we might learn from one another across institutions. A second set of small group discussions focused on specific topics: Introductory science courses; The Arts; Mathematics; and Grand Challenges/Millennial Challenges and the curriculum. These discussions were all documented and have already led to several ideas for courses, research collaborations, grant proposals, and Three-College programming.