There are so many great people at Wake Forest – some with names and faces that are very public, others that you might not know but who may have a profound impact on your students. Our Meet a Deac series – I hope – will introduce you to some of the incredible folks on this campus who make a meaningful difference.
Today we are featuring my good friend Hu Womack (’90, MBA ’00), Instruction and Outreach Librarian at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. He’s one of the most active, engaged, and supportive people I know. And hands down, he has the greatest socks of anyone on campus 🙂
Your official job title is Instruction and Outreach Librarian at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. In laymen’s terms, what do you do at WFU?
The mission of the ZSR Library is to help our students, faculty and staff succeed. My role focuses on teaching our students how to conduct scholarly research and promoting the Library through various outreach projects. I teach LIB 210, Social Sciences Research Sources and Strategies, each semester, and occasionally teach a LIB 100 course, an information literacy course that helps primarily freshmen and sophomores learn how to locate information and also evaluate its credibility (particularly if it is a web site source). I also lead our spectacular Humans v Zombies outreach events!
How long have you worked at WFU, and in what capacity?
I came to WFU as a freshman in the Fall of 1985. I worked for the Art Department and the Art Gallery during my undergraduate years and from 1991 to 1994 I worked in what was then called the “Art Slide Library” (it’s the Visual Resources Center now). Since 1994 I’ve been a full-time employee of ZSR, and I’ve been a Reference Librarian at ZSR since 2008.
How does your work impact WFU parents and families?
I’m also a faculty adviser, so at any given time I have 10 freshmen and 10 sophomores I advise. I hope that as their adviser I can continue giving students the same good counsel they get from their parents. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to meet the parents of my advisees. I enjoy telling parents all the great things I see their kids doing at WFU, volunteering, taking leadership roles in student organizations. It’s very rewarding.
You are an alumnus – a “Double Deac” with two degrees. In what years did you graduate and what was your major?
I graduated in 1990 with a BA in English and Studio Art and received my MBA in 2000. My MLIS is from another school down the road. I had great mentors at Wake Forest who helped me both before and after I graduated.
What do you see in today’s students that is different from when you were a student on campus?
I wish I had the focus and direction I see in these students. I’ve been very lucky in my career and found the perfect place for me. Students today make their own luck with their outstanding academic performance and their engagement in scholarship and the community.
What advice would you give to today’s students? I have three quotes to share.
“Comparison Is the Thief of Joy” – Theodore Roosevelt. [SO true. You use this a lot, and every time I see it, I am reminded of its wisdom. Thanks for keeping that on my radar.]
“Diversity Is Being Invited to the Party; Inclusion Is Being Asked to Dance.” – Verna Myers
“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” – Satchel Paige
What is the best part about working at Wake Forest?
The people. The students, faculty and staff at Wake Forest are amazing. We are a community. We care about each other, we look out for each other and we bring out the best in each other.
And now, the just-for-fun questions:
Book you’re reading now/last read: I have to list three, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who recently spoke at Wake Forest and had everyone in Wait Chapel on the edge of our seats! [I’m in the middle of that one too. A deeply painful read, but an important one in my opinion.]
What music are you listening to these days: Taylor Swift, (I even went to hear her in concert last Fall!) Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Panic! At the Disco. And to be honest. I listen to a lot of NPR news and old disco from the 1970s.
Favorite TV show: I can’t list just one! I still love animation, The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, and cable series like Nurse Jackie and Episodes and dramas like Empire. I watch a lot of television, but I watch it all on computer screens and tablets these days. I rarely turn on the TV!
Website you frequent: reddit (when I need a break I check out the “aww” section, and when I want to learn, I check out the “TIL” section (Today I Learned) on the weekends I binge on the “DIY” section!
Guilty pleasure: binge-watching content on Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime!
Favorite dining location on campus and what you frequently eat there: North Campus Dining Hall. If you haven’t been to North Campus, plan a trip back to WFU to see all the great changes and new buildings. Our campus is growing in a great way!
Preferred drink at Starbucks: black coffee in my own mug! (I like to keep it simple and encourage sustainability!)
Categories: meet a deac