RSF Infochat 2019 Welcomes Community Professionals

Jen Hammoud, Kyla Hart, and Melissa LeHane of the Rhinebeck Science Foundation organized the event, which matched student preferences with available professionals in multiple chats throughout the morning.

On Friday, November 22nd, Rhinebeck High School seniors were given a unique opportunity to speak to professionals from our community about the world of work.

The Rhinebeck Science Foundation organized the Infochat event for the second year in a row, arranging for professionals from close to 30 different fields to take time out of their day to answer students’ questions and share their experiences.

Registering for four 15-minute “chats” through Signup Genius, seniors were asked to select two professionals in a high interest area and two that would help them explore something new.

Infochats were held in the library, “fishbowl” classroom, and the BMS Cafe.

Students appeared engaged, but relaxed.  There were a lot of parents in the Infochat, so that added some familiarity.

Nurse Practitioners Liz Mazzarella and Laurel Kemp speak with Lashelle Carroll, Georgia Plambek, and Claire Finnegan.


Professionals shared anecdotes with students in a comfortable conversation, acknowledging that not everyone has fixed interests at this time, and that some students are just feeling it out or curious.

A “mixer” held in the BMS cafeteria at the end of the morning, included coffee, fresh fruit, yogurt, and pastries, and some extra time to meet more professionals or continue conversations from earlier in the day.

Kyla Hart, RSF Board Member and Infochat organizer, shared her favorite student quote of the day: “We want more of everything.”

Hart said students would love to “infochat” all day.   She also heard a huge amount of positive feedback from students, teachers and the administration.

Milo Kosofsky, Declan Kroll, and John Jackson speak with a professional farmer.

Professionals spoke with students about life lessons, which Hart argued could end up being the most important part of the event for them.

Her favorite professional quote of the day: “Some of those kids asked ridiculously good questions.”

Feedback on the event will be collected, as it was last year, to improve the experience for next year’s seniors.