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Find Your Center: Peak Experiences

Outings fellows take students to the mountaintop—and nearly anyplace else fun can be found

Snow builds up against the windowpanes, gently muffling the outside world. A lively fire crackles in the hearth. In one corner, students shuffle cards around mugs of hot cocoa, laughing at the luck of the draw. In another, someone who had a “Eureka” moment on a ski lift that morning types their idea feverishly into a research paper. Elsewhere, skiers—both beginning and experienced—share the adventures they had on the slopes of Vermont’s Jay Peak. 

These idyllic moments were made possible by the outings fellows of the Student Center at the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS), organizers of the annual ski trip that brings together folks across 57 departments and programs and gets them off campus.

If athletics fellows get students moving and social fellows get them out of the library or lab, outings fellows help get students out of the Harvard bubble altogether. Whether skiing the Green Mountains, taking in a show at the Boston Opera House, or picking apples at Honey Pot Hill Orchards in rural Stow, Massachusetts, outings fellows programming allows students to make new memories during their time at Harvard Griffin GSAS—at prices even a lean-living PhD or master’s candidate can afford.

Outings fellows seated in the courtyard in front of the Student Center
Student Center outings fellows Joshua Corbo, Manos Theodosis, and Lauren Baker
Tony Rinaldo

One of Josh Corbo’s first outings at Harvard Griffin GSAS was the annual Bike to the Beach. Now, as an outings fellow, the second-year PhD candidate in molecular and cellular biology has come full circle, planning the Bike to Walden Pond event with the Student Center athletics fellows. “Bike to the Beach was a great way to meet people outside my academic program, many of whom remain my friends to this day,” he says. 

Corbo knows that the hectic graduate school schedule can get in the way of getting out the door. He and his cohorts are here to help. “Graduate students are busy,” he says. “We do the planning so they can have fun, try something new, and meet some cool people.”

Lauren Baker became a fellow so that she could spread the same joy she experienced as a participant in Harvard Griffin GSAS outings. “I'd been enjoying the events for the past several years and wanted to get in on planning,” she says. “I wish I had found the fellows team sooner. It's a very welcoming community.” 

A fifth-year PhD candidate in mechanical engineering, Baker gets a thrill from connecting her fellow graduate students with opportunities to experience more of what the region—and the School’s community—has to offer, whether it’s the roar of the crowd during a hockey game at Boston’s TD Garden or long conversations while foraging mushrooms at Minuteman National Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Manos Theodosis became an outings fellow to help students “invest in their happiness now.” To prove his point, the fifth-year PhD candidate in computer science rattles off the range of events and activities he and his teammates have organized for their classmates this year: Red Sox and Celtics games, the Boston Ballet, stand-up comedy shows, musical theatre, raspberry picking, and more. He urges students to wrest themselves from the lure of busyness and take time for fun and relaxation. One of his favorite quotes, he says, is from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

All Student Center outings fellows invite their Harvard Griffin GSAS friends and neighbors to go hiking, biking, and skiing as well as cheering on the local teams. Students can keep an eye out for upcoming outings on the Engage website and in the weekly SCOOP newsletter. Have an event or a trip you’d like to see? Contact the outings fellows at

Interested in becoming a Student Center Fellow? Applications for the 2024-2025 team will be live on Wednesday, December 15, on Engage. Learn more and find the application link on Engage.

Want to learn more about the Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS? Contact the staff at or call 617-495-2255. They’d love to hear from you! 

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