Established in 2009, the Babson College/Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering/Wellesley College (BOW) Three College Collaboration was created by the administrations of the three colleges to promote interactions among their students, faculty and administrations. In 2015, the positions for BOW student ambassadors were created. Working as liaisons for the BOW students, these student ambassadors are elected to represent each college. In addition, the BOW Three College Collaboration offers opportunities for faculty to work together and establish connections.
My-Linh DeBonis ’19, the student ambassador of Babson, explained some of the duties that are required of students in this role. Some of these responsibilities include working with the other two BOW Ambassadors to “[facilitate] the cross registration system and [promote] collaboration between not only the BOW clubs but also the clubs and organizations offered at each of the schools.”
According to DeBonis, students have requested a more transparent and easily accessible process for cross registration in courses. In response, she designed an infographic illustrating the details of cross- registration and posted it on the Babson Portal. The student ambassador from Olin, Sara Ballantyne ’19 also created infographics on the library pages for the students.
Some of the events previously held by the Ambassadors are BOW Sushi, BOW-lentine’s Day, BOW Collab Logo Design challenge, information sessions on cross registering and the BOW Organization Fair.
Sydney Chen ’19, a Wellesley student, and Elena Yang ’19, a Babson student, both attended the BOW Sushi event held at Olin this year. According to Chen, the sushi event was a chance for students to chat and meet new people. The BOW organization provided sushi and board games.
Chen said she enjoyed the opportunity to meet others off campus. “I had a great time! For me, the best part was the chance to get off campus and talk to new people,” she said. Yang added that she “wish[ed] there were more BOW events.”
The BOW Student Ambassadors also seek to build connections and increase collaboration across similar organizations at the different colleges. Katherine Hansen ’19, the Wellesley Ambassador, said that the women’s entrepreneurial body at Babson (CWEL) had partnered with Wellesley Women in Business (WWIB).
DeBonis explained, “The hope of BOW events is for students to be more aware of the resources and opportunities that are offered at the other two schools. In addition, it is a great way to network.” DeBonis also said that because the program was initiated recently, many students may not be aware of this collaboration. In fact, DeBonis said that “it is always fun to see the students’ reactions when I tell them they can access the library or the dining hall at Olin and Wellesley.” However, she is hopeful for BOW, because when three schools work together they “reach a solution to a problem much faster and the solution is not only insightful, but also creative and diverse.”
Hansen also stated that the BOW Collab is an opportunity to bring out the excellent field of study of each school: engineering, entrepreneurial business and liberal arts. It also fosters friendship and community beyond the academic collaboration.
The BOW Three College Collaboration is beneficial not only for students but also for the faculty members. Taking advantage of the different approaches to teaching in the three colleges, the faculty can participate in programs such as Teaching & Learning Workshop, Curricular Innovation Fellows and Faculty Connections. The goal of the Curricular Innovation Fellows Program is to develop curricula and provide tools to aid students in their learning. Faculty groups, with two or more BOW institutions, can submit their proposal and, if chosen, are awarded a stipend for their work. Similarly, the BOW Faculty Connections Program brings together groups of faculty for informal conversations over lunch and/or after-work drinks.
One faculty member is chosen from each college to be part of the Faculty Steering Committee (FSC). This group helps facilitate the BOW connections on his/her campus. For the 2016-17 academic year, Professor Richard Cleary of Statistics and Sports Research represents Babson, Professor Ben Linder of Design and Mechanical Engineering represents Olin and Professor Ted Ducas of Physics represents Wellesley. The BOW faculty members can guide any questions about the Collaboration to the FSC members.
The BOW collaboration also offers Presidential Innovation Project funds, which are available for faculty, staff and students. Created by the three college presidents, the project grants monetary awards based on the following criteria: participation from at least two of the colleges, participation from multiple constituencies, impact on the BOW community, self-contained nature of the projects and plan for the project’s outcome as well as the circulation of work.
Additional information such as the shuttle bus schedule, alumni news and community events, is available on the BOW website.