I joined the faculty at UT Austin in Fall 1996. By about 2000, my office hours were full with three or four students in my office and six or seven students waiting in the hallway. About half the students were in urgent need of homework questions being answered, and the other half had long-term advising questions.
When I was a researcher at UC Berkeley in 1994, I noticed that a professor had posted a sign about their weekly office hours at a café near campus. I thought that was a cool idea, and hoped I could do that one day if I became a professor.
So, in spring 2003, I started holding Friday 12-2pm coffee hours at JP's Java about two blocks from our department In addition to my weekly office hours. That way I could devote my weekly office hours to class related questions and devote coffee hours to advising questions.
The reason I had chosen Fridays at noon was that it was right after my Friday lecture, which was from 11 AM to 11:50 AM. The idea was to walk with students who had advising questions from Friday's class to the café. I held coffee hours at JP's Java from Spring 2003 until Spring 2014.
From Fall 2014 to Spring 2017, our department building was demolished to make way for the new Engineering Education and Research (EER) Building. During construction, our department and classes moved across campus. So, I changed the location of coffee hours to Caffe Medici to be within a short walk from my Friday class.
In Fall 2017, with our department having moved into the newly opened EER Building, we moved the Friday 12-2pm coffee hours to the EER Café, where we hold coffee hours to this day every Friday 12-2pm during the fall and spring semesters.
Please join us! All are welcome. Meet others. Any topic. Fresh brewed advice since 2003….
- Dr. Evans