TASS factotum

TASS factotum

The Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS) committee anticipates holding four seminars for high school sophomores in the summer of 2019: two at the University of Michigan and two at Cornell University. Each of the seminars has 14 to 16 participants and each site will have a community of between 28 and 32 students. All 2019 programs will run from June 23 – August 3, 2019. Information regarding student seminars (faculty, descriptions, and site locations) can be found here.

In 2019, the Sophomore Seminar Committee of the Telluride Association will hire a total of six individuals with a dedication to facilitating African American living learning communities and an interest in black studies. Factotums for TASS are hired in trios with one team each at our University of Michigan and Cornell University sites. Together each team is responsible for coordinating all residential and program logistics and guiding students through the program. Additional duties include ordering books and corresponding with faculty and participants in the spring, planning cultural excursions and guest lectures, bookkeeping, and ensuring that the social life of the program runs smoothly.

Factotums work as teaching assistants to faculty in the program seminars, which focus on topics of African, African American, and African Diasporic cultures and histories as well as the study of racial difference. As factotums track individual student development and well-being throughout the program, they also teach and guide participants in community practices that allow for the  formation of an inclusive and intentional community centered around the discussion and acknowledgement of black experiences and the diversity of blackness.

During the program factotums will introduce and teach students Robert’s Rules and facilitate town hall-style community meetings to help jump start students’ democratic self-governance. Those hired are responsible for guiding students in the creation of an inclusive environment for students of all genders, races, sexualities, and other identity categories; this should include discussion of how students account for this within their self-governance and if the use of Robert’s Rules can facilitate such a community.

Helping to create a program for the next class of TASSers is a deeply rewarding way to spend a summer. The work is varied and often fun: joining in debate around the lunch table, sharing insights with the faculty about the seminar, helping a student with a paper, building consensus at a House meeting, organizing a day trip, and so on. We hope this page will give you some idea of the responsibilities of working as a factotum, and we encourage you to contact us for further information.

Factotum Application Details

If you’re interested in being a factotum, please download the 2019 TASS Factotum Application and submit your application, along with materials (cover letter, resume, and answers to the Application Questions) in one single file to applications@tellurideassociation.org on or before OCTOBER 14, 2018.

After the committee reviews the written applications, we will arrange for a group of finalists to travel to an in-person interview in Ann Arbor, MI, the weekend of November 16-18. Those selected will be notified of our decisions shortly thereafter and should be prepared to make a commitment at that time.

Required Qualifications

  • Must be 19 years of age by program start (June 23)
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills with people of a variety of backgrounds
  • Attention to detail and strong follow-through skills
  • Ability to exercise independent judgement and employ basic reasoning skills
  • Must be available for training weekends in 2019 (March 22-24 and May 23-26)


Compensation for the TASS factotum position is $4,775 plus a $300 stipend for writing tutoring factotums will provide to students. The Telluride Association also covers all costs for travel to and from the program and all required trainings.


If you have questions about the positions or the programs, please feel free to contact us.