09/12/2016 By Jama Abdirahman Fall is finally here, and for the University of Washington Bothell, this means the beginning of another exciting academic year. Staff and faculty are looking forward to welcoming back the many returning students, new transfers and the first-year class of 2020. “Welcome week is the most exciting time for me especially because we worked all summer to help prepare for it,” says Samantha Penjaraenwatana, program assistant in student affairs. “All of the events that will be happening in the first week of school help introduce students to different activities on campus.” Details of all the events during welcome week will be posted on the UW Bothell website in the upcoming weeks. A mobile app is also in development and expected to launch in time for welcome week. Another change in technology is the clicker, a classroom response system. The former clicker system, Turning Point, has moved to a cloud-based solution. Students can use their own personal devices; including Wi-Fi/Cell service connected cellphones, laptops, and tablets. If students do not have access to one of the devices listed above, Learning Tech will have a list of alternatives before the start of the quarter. This service comes free, with no additional cost, to UW Bothell students, staff and faculty. Students will no longer need to purchase a clicker from the bookstore, a savings of nearly $40. For students, this time of year is an opportunity to connect with new peers and professors. Larissa Phan plans to graduate this year with a degree in interactive media design and says she likes getting back into the routine of the school year. “There are new classes and new people to meet,” says Phan. Samantha Robins, also planning to graduate this year with a community psychology degree, says she's eager to help bring the campus back to life after a quiet summer. “There are fresh faces and fresh excitement and everyone is really excited to start the school year. A different vibe starts happening on campus.” Both Phan and Robins are on the campus events board, a student event programming group that provides a purposeful and positive collegiate experience through diverse programs and events. This fall, the department of recreation and wellness is launching a brand-new trip leader program. "This is an opportunity for folks who are brand-new to the outdoor world to learn valuable technical skills, develop leadership techniques, and learn how to build and develop outdoor programs both on and off campus," says Melissa Banks, program manager of outdoor wellness. Banks says that the spots are filled for this fall, but keep an eye out for openings later this year. Students bring energy to the UW Bothell campus every academic year. "Multiple clubs have been in meetings during the summer to plan the upcoming year with events for the entire campus community," said Missy Dominguez, program manager for student engagement and activities. The Gender Equity Club is already taking steps to invite guest speakers, and collaborate with other UW Bothell clubs on events. Career services will also be partnering with student organizations this fall to provide professional development programming and connections to employers of interest. “We have a student body that’s so excited about their time here and they are excited to learn and make connections,” said Sam Al-Khoury, assistant director of student engagement and activities. Al-Khoury says that students can look forward to a big emphasis on community engagement and community building this year. “Achieving Community Transformation (ACT) and the Office of Community-Based Learning & Research (CBLR) create wonderful service opportunities that connect students with the larger Bothell community, whether that is in or outside of the classroom.” “I don’t ever remember a time on this campus where students were more active and engaged, which means there will be great community-building and learning opportunities all around,” said Al-Khoury.