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Grade Expectations

Before the Thanksgiving break and the breakneck pace that always seems to accompany the end of the year, I wanted to devote a Daily Deac to Grade Expectations. (I’m an English major, pardon the pun).

Particularly for parents of first-year students and sophomores, but really for ALL parents, framing the issue of grades in a realistic way could be enormously helpful in alleviating stress and anxiety in your students.

I enlisted the input of a couple of experts from campus: Dr. Christy Buchanan, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Advising and Professor of Psychology, and Dr. James Raper, Director of the University Counseling Center.  Both the Office of Academic Advising (OAA) and the University Counseling Center (UCC) see students who have issues, pressures, or anxieties about their grades.  The UCC and OAA have vast experience in mentoring and counseling students around grades and other issues. (I’ll also put on my academic adviser hat and add a few bits too.)

So let’s talk about grades.  Dean Buchanan says this:

I cringe when I hear a parent state that they have expectations for their student to get a 4.0.”

It might be helpful here to point out how Wake Forest grades are defined.  College is not high school, and As here are different than As from your students’ high school pasts.  From the Undergraduate Bulletin:

“For most courses carrying undergraduate credit, there are twelve final grades: A (exceptionally high achievement), A-, B+, B (superior), B-, C+, C (satisfactory), C-, D+, D, D- (passing but unsatisfactory), and F (failure).”

Let that sink in just a moment.  A is exceptionally high achievement, B is superior, C is satisfactory.  A grade of C does not mean failure.

So if you (or your students) are using high school grades as your benchmark, please consider adjusting or letting go of your expectations.  Here’s why.  Not every student will be universally good at all subjects in college the way they were in high school.  There will be classes here that will be a struggle, just because the level of work and pace of work are higher.

Real life example: I was in a bio class at Wake that was nearly killing me.  I think my test grades were B, C, and D going into the final.  This was a class that stretched me to my limits.  I tried my best but I was just barely hanging on.  My final grade was the best I could do, and believe me I was grateful to pass.  But I worried about my parents’ reaction.

I worried then, and my sense is many of our students are worried now.  So many students feel pressure – real or imagined – to replicate their high school grades, and this can add a tremendous weight onto their shoulders.  Striving for straight As (or even As and Bs) can come at a price – and to get the grade, you might have to give up a lot of less tangible, but equally important things, in the process.  Dean Buchanan says it well:

“It’s much more helpful for parents to expect their students to ‘do their best’ in class while also striving for a healthy and well-balanced life that includes sleep, exercise, and healthy involvement with friends and extracurricular activities.

Students do not thrive when they study all the time, and they do not thrive when they feel pressured to get higher grades than those that naturally result from a strong effort in the context of a balanced lifestyle.   Our students get good jobs and get into graduate programs with a range of GPAs.

For as long as I have been advising, I have seen students in my office who are stressed to the limit over grades.  Some put all their eggs in the “study, study, study” basket, even when that is not making them happy or productive.  That unhappiness can bleed over into other things – not sleeping well, lack of enjoyment in other parts of life, not going to campus activities (or even Student Health or the University Counseling Center because “I don’t have time – I have to study!”) – all because they think they HAVE to get an A on a particular test.

Is getting that A or working yourself to death striving for a GPA worth your physical or mental wellbeing?

Students thrive best when they find a niche of people on campus – whether in an extracurricular activity, going to on-campus sporting events or lectures, volunteering, etc.  If your student is single-mindedly in pursuit of grades, he or she might not be finding a friend group, having new experiences, and/or taking advantage of all our resources.  Becoming well rounded and learning healthy balance is critical – and it is very hard to find balance if you feel you can’t do anything but study.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say that grades are unimportant.  Of course they are.  But so is balance.

So when should you be concerned about grades?  Dean Buchanan puts it this way:

“Students need a 2.0 overall and in their major to graduate, so clearly it’s good to expect that over time. In our office, we are concerned if students are getting one or more Ds or Fs.  Parents might also legitimately be concerned if a student is consistently getting Cs across all or most classes, although exploring the reason for this is important. 

If parents are concerned that their student is not working to his/her potential, I urge them first to express caring concern.  Ask if everything is ok.  Ask if there is something going on that’s keeping the student from doing his/her best.  Asking with caring concern might help the student open up about struggles – rather than simply stressing students out and intimating they are not pleasing their parents or living up to parents’ expectations.

Urge the student himself/herself to seek out help from professors, from the Office of Academic Advising (OAA), from the Learning Assistance Center (LAC), or other academic resources.   In general, expressing caring concern is likely to be more productive than is expressing disappointment in or expectations for a specific GPA.”

As an academic adviser, I would make one addition to the Dean Buchanan’s message: for first-semester freshmen, they are still very much learning the ‘new normal’ of college level work, which is a lot harder than high school.  It is not unusual to see lower grades that you were used to seeing on your student’s high school report card.  I see a lot more Bs and Cs on midterm reports – even some Ds.  My experience has been that the first semester grades are typically the worst, and will go up in time once students understand the expectations and get the swing of time management.

I don’t treat my advisees’ Cs or Ds as a reason to panic or threaten, I treat those as an opportunity to explore what is going on, and to refer students to some of the resources on campus like the OAA or the LAC.  Please consider doing that as well.

How does the grade situation impact students emotionally?  Dr. James Raper and his staff of counselors see a lot of students each year with stress, anxiety, or concern about grades.  Some thoughts from Dr. Raper:

“I think it is certainly important to work towards good grades in college.  What is interesting about many college students, however, is that they tend to be supremely critical of themselves and their work while also believing that those around them are having an easy time of it (as they say: “winning at life”). 

The intensity of self-criticism, and the anxiety cycle with which it is connected, frequently causes students not to reach their potential.  I will often describe it to the students with whom I work as “white knuckling” their approach to academic work. 

We – along with the Learning Assistance Center and the Office of Academic Advising – typically advise students to take a more balanced approach to their studies.  Take breaks intentionally to engage in healthy self-care.  This is different from procrastinating; it is refreshing yourself and recharging yourself so you can be better able to approach the work with a good mindset.

We also challenge students’ thinking about what they “have” to make grade wise.  We ask them to consider “what if I ‘only’ got a B or a C?”  What would really happen in my life?  Does it really have bad/irreversible/critical consequences? 

The point of that exercise is not to encourage a student to have a goal of a B or a C.  The intent is to challenge the unrealistic and damaging perfectionism that many students have, and which actually hinders the student’s best work. 

If students can loosen their grip on their academic selves, what they often find is that their best self can come through.”

Why are we telling you all this now?  You’re about to have your Deacs home – most likely for Thanksgiving, almost certainly for Winter Break – and you are going to have a lot of time with them.  Many of them will dread the grade questioning they think you will spring on them.  Over the years I have heard students’ express that they fear parental anger, disappointment, punishment, or withholding of affection (or tuition) because of grades.  I’d argue that what your students need in a discussion of grades is your understanding and empathy.

So Deac families, here is how you can really help your students.

Focus less on the letter grade and more on the effort.

Think about using care and concern in your questioning.

Ask your Deac if getting a B or C in that one class is really going to determine that path for the rest of their life.

Share a time when you got a bad grade and how you recovered.

Help them see your love is not directly proportional to their GPA (or their major, or intended career, etc.)

Help them put grades into proper perspective.

Tell them you don’t expect them to be perfect – and they shouldn’t expect that of themselves.

If you can help take the stress (real or imagined) off your students, it might free them up to be able to work with a clear mind and less anxiety about what your reaction will be if they get a particular grade or GPA.

Imagine what a great gift that would be to your students.  And how much happier a household you might have during the holidays.

— by Betsy Chapman

Catch Up Wednesday

After a day that was full of rain yesterday, we have graduated to merely grey and a small chance of rain.  If you look out the windows and see trees losing their leaves and grey skies, you might expect it to feel a little colder than it actually does.  I’ve added some of our great Ken Bennett’s pictures at the end.  He’s captured some real stunners of fall in the Forest.

There a few items leftover from the weekend and earlier this week that bear mentioning here.

Our football team lost a heartbreaker on Friday night against Louisville.  But you could argue we had a sort of moral victory – when one of our Deacs was injured and had to be taken off the field, his teammates surrounded him and supported him, prompting ESPN to post this heartwarming video “Wake Forest reminds us what sports are all about.”  Never prouder to be a Deac.

Our field hockey team – a perennial powerhouse since the early 2000s – finished the regular season strong, ranked 5th in the nation.  They head to the ACC Tournament on Thursday as the #2 seed.

Men’s soccer continues its domination of the pitch, winning its first regular-season ACC championship.  They get a bye for the first round of the ACC Tournament and are set to play their first game on Sunday, 11/8 at 1 pm in Spry Stadium.  Be there in big numbers, students!  This is such an exciting time.

Moving from the athletic front to the artistic…while I did not attend this in person, I have heard several glowing reviews about the University Theatre’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  “Run, don’t walk to see it” was what my friends and colleagues told me.  There will be additional opportunities for your Deacs to see it this coming weekend.

And what promises to be a terrific event tonight at 7 pm is Irish poet Ciaran Carson.  “Wake Forest University Press will host Ciaran Carson for a lively reading on Nov. 4. The reading will begin at 7 p.m. in the Ring Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center, and Carson will be available for a meet & greet and book signing following the reading.  Refreshments will be served.

The poet Ciaran Carson in Royal Avenue, Belfast, N.Ireland.

Carson is a highly acclaimed Irish poet, prose writer, translator, scholar of the Irish oral tradition, and traditional musician. His black humor, satire, and playful and serious interests in wordplay make him, as Ben Howard described in a retrospective of Carson’s career in Shenandoah, ‘one of the most gifted poets now writing in England and Ireland.'”

Our Secrest Artists Series will be back on November 12th with a dance concert featuring Kegwin + Company.  “Founded in 2003 by Artistic Director Larry Keigwin—choreographer of the current Broadway show If/Then— Keigwin + Company presents Keigwin’s electrifying brand of contemporary dance, with a theatrical sensibility of wit, style, and heart. Our performance will feature their signature work Mattress Suite.”  Please see the full description of the program for important details about the content of the program.

Big time speaker news on the horizon – our fall Voices of Our Time speaker: “Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic and author of The New York Times bestseller, ‘Between the World and Me,’ will speak Nov. 17 at Wake Forest. Part of the University’s Voices of Our Time speaker series, the talk will begin at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved online at or by calling 336-758-5237….Known for writing about culture, politics, and social issues, Coates is a finalist for the National Book Award.”  More information here.

I think you get the idea – there is a lot going on right now.  And for many of our students, they are focused on work and worrying about grades and papers and projects, it would be easy for them to skip some of these great bonus activities in favor of work.  But these kinds of activities could be once in a lifetime chances to see great speakers, or winning our conference, or to indulge in the arts in inspiring and provocative ways.

ManifestoSo urge your Deacs to consider picking one of these events (or the many others on the Events Calendar) and treat it as ‘me time.’  Stop the gerbil wheel of work and take time to have some deep breaths and to do something fun.  Sometimes the best thing we can do for our health and wellbeing is to do something just for ourselves that brings joy and peace and fun.  I saw this manifesto on a web site called Greatist – and while this manifesto leans toward the realm of physical health, you can swap out any of the physical fitness references for emotional wellbeing (or any other dimension of wellbeing for that matter).

Food for thought anyway.

— by Betsy Chapman
One of the swings on Davis Field is framed by fall color on the Wake Forest campus on Friday, October 30, 2015.

One of the swings on Davis Field is framed by fall color on the Wake Forest campus on Friday, October 30, 2015.

Farrell Hall on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Farrell Hall on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Photos on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Photos on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.


Happy Friday

Wake Forest students enjoy crisp fall weather as they walk across campus on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

Wake Forest students enjoy crisp fall weather as they walk across campus on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

Happy Friday to all our Deac parents and families.  It’s felt like a long week on campus.  Our first-year students and sophomores have been in the process of meeting with their academic advisers to plan their spring 2016 schedules; juniors and seniors meet with major advisers.  As I talk with other adviser friends of mine, there are some common refrains that many of us hear during these meetings, particularly from first-year students:

Concern about a particular midterm grade – some students are surprised (and unhappy) with a particular grade.  The best bet for those students is to go talk to his/her professor about their class performance and get suggestions on how to improve.  Augment that with going to the appropriate support office (Math Center, Writing Center, Chem Center, Learning Assistance Center) for extra help.  The reality is, students who might have had all As in high school will likely find that an unsustainable model for college.  But as long as students are doing their work, not procrastinating, seeking extra help, studying well, etc., they have done their best – and ought to feel good about that.  They also worry about what you, their parents or families, will think about their grades.  To the degree that you can help take that pressure off them, they will feel a lot more at ease.

Anxiety about registration time – registration is set up in two rounds: in the first round students pick up to 8 credit hours, then they complete their schedule one week later.  Registration times are assigned randomly, but with an effort to trying to be fair – so if you have an ‘early’ registration time the first week, a student will likely have a ‘late’ registration time the next week (that way, no one lucky student gets to go first twice and grab all the best classes).  Your students may tell you “I can’t get any classes I want” – but if you probe further, likely you will find that translates to “I couldn’t get the specific professor/time I wanted.”  There are almost always spots open in 8 am classes, so students need to be open minded and not lock in to a specific time slot (read: after 10 am) or a specific professor.

Concern about not yet knowing what their major will be – many of our students enter Wake Forest thinking they are going to go to the Business School here, or ultimately want to go to medical school.  And while some of our students go on and do just that, many others find along the way that some of the prerequisites for those paths don’t play to their strengths.  And then they are forced to say “What do I do now?”  The OPCD (Office of Personal and Career Development) has some wonderful assessments students can take to help identify their interests and strengths.  They also have a great page about choosing a major and being able to see what types of jobs students with those majors have landed.  That can be a great, and reassuring, resource.

Related: this past week, Dr. Kate Brooks – Executive Director of Personal and Career Development – was featured on the TODAY Show to discuss “how to land your dream job.” Dr. Brooks is a nationally recognized career specialist with more than 20 years of experience in higher education. She is the author of a best selling career coaching book, “You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career,” and was named No. 6 on 2013 Career Services Insights Survey for the “10 Most Visionary and Forward-Thinking Leaders in Career Services and Recruiting in 2013.” Check out the story here.

I think it’s also the time of year when students are dealing with seasonal allergies, and/or colds or some sort of bug (I was felled by an awful one last week).  So some of them might be feeling a little extra droopy.  Would be a great time for you to think about sending a care package with some TLC from home.

As always on Fridays, we urge you to call your Deacs.  This Friday in particular might be an especially good time.  We referenced earlier in the week an email sent to parents about trying to reduce high-risk drinking behaviors associated with Halloween and the last home game of the season.  Parents’ attitudes and influences are important, as stated in the email: “Research has shown that parents are one of the biggest sources of influence on their child’s drinking habits. Conversations with your student can help reduce the risky use of alcohol, and we encourage you to speak with your son or daughter about your concerns about their use of alcohol, especially in a risky manner.”

importance of being earnestA great activity for your Deacs this weekend would be to go see the University Theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  This is a terrific play by Oscar Wilde, and even better, it’s a chance for your students to see the immense talents of their friends, hallmates, classmates, and faculty who are involved.

Looking ahead to next week, here’s a little reminder for something coming up on Monday.  If your students want to learn some effective strategies for studying, they should attend the following program:

The Learning Assistance Center’s “Study Smarter, Not Harder” workshop series will introduce WFU students to a number of helpful strategies that will improve academic performance. Our second workshop for the fall semester is scheduled for Monday, November 2, from 5:00-6:00 in Greene Hall 145. This workshop will focus specifically on reading strategies, performance anxiety, and using Zotero.

— by Betsy Chapman

Project Pumpkin and more

Project Pumpkin is today, and I am hoping that the forecast improves.  There is an 80% chance of rain for the day, and it’s pretty grey and foggy this morning.  Theoretically you will be able to tune in to the Quad Cam in the 3-5ish timeframe to be able to see (if at a distance) the fun of Project Pumpkin.  I fear though that if there is a lot of rain (or threat thereof), much of the action would take place inside Wait Chapel or the gym as a rain location.

Just saw a notice of an event coming up this Thursday.  This is an event I’ve seen covered at other schools, but I think this might be the first time we are doing it here.

Sigma Phi Epsilon PREPARE, and Trailblaze are coming together to bring Walk A Mile In Her Shoes to Wake Forest University. Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is an event focused on raising sexual assault awareness in a very hands on, or should I say feet on, fashion. Basically, the event requires all participants to don high heels, yes, especially the men, and walk a mile. The event is intended to be an active learning session, as it will physically show how hard it is for women to walk in high heels, and is designed to educate the Wake Forest community about the causes of sexualized violence. It will also provide them with personal experience to empower the community to further develop and implement this knowledge both in their interpersonal and political life.

The event will take place Thursday 10/29 on Wake Forest’s Hearn Plaza (upper quad) from 3PM to 6PM, with set-up and registration from 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM, and a debriefing about the walk lasting from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM. Registration/Participation is FREE!!!!

Sign-up here!

The event is open to fraternities, sororities, student groups, administration, and the student body in general. Registration will be going out for teams of 4 to compete for the fastest mile time, and the rights to both a trophy and claiming the proceeds from the event to PREPARE in their name.

Registration for spring 2016 courses will begin next week.  Students should be meeting with their major adviser (juniors and seniors) or their lower division adviser (freshmen and sophomores) to talk about courses.  There is a great deal of information about registration on the Registrar’s web site; some of it is on the main page, then there is a section just about registration.  Students should consult this page (and see the menus at the far left for additional registration sections) as needed.

One VERY IMPORTANT reminder about registration is that students’ accounts must be in good standing (read: no unpaid charges) to be allowed to register.  Students should check in WIN under Virtual Campus – Check Your Holds and Registration Status to make sure they don’t have any holds or unpaid bills that would prevent them from registering.

I always tell my advisees, check your holds a day or two before you register, so you have time to take care of any holds, then check again on the morning of registration.  At students’ request, registration got moved to the evenings a few years ago – which was good because you no longer had possibility of a class conflicting with your registration time – but the downside is that if you have an unpaid bill, you can’t fix that problem after business hours; you have to wait until the next morning when that office opens to clear the bill.

So a word to the wise…students (and parents if your student created a third party access for you on DEAC) should check for holds before registering.  Students don’t want to find out the hard way they are blocked from registering.

— by Betsy Chapman

Coming Home

Today’s Daily Deac was authored by Adam Dovico (’04), Clinical Professor in the Education Department.


Life can come full circle in funny ways. In 2000, I entered Wake Forest an eager, but nervous transplant from New Jersey. In 2004, I graduated Wake Forest with an elementary education degree and opted to stay below the Mason-Dixon Line (mainly to avoid snow). Today I sit in Tribble Hall as a clinical professor in the Department of Education. It is great being back home at Wake Forest, but my return to Winston-Salem could not have happened without my experiences as a Demon Deacon.

After graduating, I taught fifth grade for many years in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, before having the chance to teach at the renowned Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. Through that opportunity, I was able to work in schools around the world, traveling to places I only saw on maps. But it was my experiences at Wake Forest, including studying abroad, interacting with classmates from around the globe, and taking in the values of a liberal arts education, which prepared me to acclimate to the various locations I visited during my travels.

The Department of Education prepared me not only to be a teacher but also to be a leader, an innovator, and an active participant in school reform and social justice efforts. Now on the other side of the classroom, I look to share these many experiences with Wake Forest undergraduates.

Wake Forest students who take classes and/or complete majors and minors in the Department of Education pursue many pathways, including careers in fields such as K-12 teaching, global education, school administration, curriculum development, instructional technology, higher education, athletic coaching, resource publishing, social work, public relations, and educational policy, psychology, research, and law.

If your child is interested in areas such as teaching, literacy, technology, research, policy, leadership, or social justice, there are a number of courses offered by the Department of Education that will contribute valuable knowledge to their Wake Forest experience. Here are some examples of courses students might explore:

EDU 201: Educational Policy & Practice

EDU 201L: Education Field Lab: Observing Diverse Schools

EDU 304: Social Justice Issues in Education

EDU 311: Learning & Cognitive Science

EDU 395: Teaching Diverse Learners



Back to Work

Your students are back from Fall Break, as evidenced by cars in parking lots and joggers and the long caterpillars of students walking the paths from residence halls to classroom buildings or the Pit.  It’s colder this morning – highs only to get into the upper 50s today.  Coat weather.

There was an interesting editorial in the New York Times this weekend about the use of the lecture in college classes – why it has been a somewhat maligned form of education, and some of the overlooked benefits of lecture courses.  (While the NYT is a subscriber feature, typically they let you read a few free articles a month; give this article a try if you like).

This article touts the benefits that lectures provide.  Here’s a couple of excerpts:

“Lectures are essential for teaching the humanities’ most basic skills: comprehension and reasoning, skills whose value extends beyond the classroom to the essential demands of working life and citizenship.”

“In the humanities, a good lecture class does just what Newman said: It keeps students’ minds in energetic and simultaneous action. And it teaches a rare skill in our smartphone-app-addled culture: the art of attention, the crucial first step in the “critical thinking” that educational theorists prize.”

“Absorbing a long, complex argument is hard work, requiring students to synthesize, organize and react as they listen. In our time, when any reading assignment longer than a Facebook post seems ponderous, students have little experience doing this.”

– all from Lecture me. Really by Molly Wortham in the October 18, 2015 New York Times

With course registration coming up, students should be thinking about the courses they plan to take.  This editorial makes a pretty good case (in my humble opinion) that students ought to have some lecture courses among their other offerings.

— by Betsy Chapman

Upcoming Registration Period

You can tell that it’s midterm time because there are students who look tired and grumpy.  I have heard a bit from students currently in Accounting 111 (a prerequisite course for students who want to apply to the Business School).  It is considered by many to be a difficult class, and there is always some post-exam grumping about how hard the tests are.  The period around high-traffic exam times are a great time for care packages, by the way.

Mid-semester is also when students start planning for their spring semester’s schedule.  Your students will soon be meeting with their lower-division advisers (for freshmen and sophomores who have not yet declared a major) or with their major adviser to talk about what they want to take next semester.

For students who already have declared a major or minor:

“Students with declared majors and/or minors, including those currently abroad, will be advised and can be registered for classes within the major/minor department between October 19th – October 31st. Each academic department governs advising and assignment of registration priorities and most registration procedures during Major/Minor Registration. Automated Waitlisting is not available.” (from Registrar’s web site)

For first-years and sophomores who have not yet declared a major:

“Registration rounds start the week of November 2.  In the first round (Nov. 2 – Nov. 8, 11:59 pm) students can register for up to 8 hours.  In the second round (Nov. 9 on), students can complete registration up to 17 hours.  Each student can register at any time after his/her assigned time and up to the closing time for each round.  Registration times are set based on completed hours, so most second-year students will begin registration on Wednesday of each week and most first-year students on Thursday, although some will have earlier start times if they are sophomores by credit hours.” (from an email sent from the Office of Academic Advising to all lower division academic advisers)

So know that your students will soon be engaged in advising and registration.

Here are a couple of other tidbits that were emailed to students:

Information about pre-health careers and related majors:

Are you considering focusing on pre-med, pre-dental, or pre-vet? As Dr. Lord cannot meet with every student individually to help plan course schedules for the spring semester, please plan on attending one of the following group advising sessions to make sure you are on the right track.

Tuesday, October 20th
First Year Students: 6:30-7:30
Sophomores: 7:30-8:00
Juniors & Seniors: 8:00-8:30

Wednesday, October 21st
Juniors & Seniors: 5:00-5:30
Sophomores: 5:30-6:00
First Year Students: 6:00-7:00

All sessions will be held in Winston Hall, Room 125

(Please note: The group advising session is NOT a replacement for your lower division or major advising meeting with your academic adviser.)

Information session for prospective business majors:

In advance of spring 2016 registration, the School of Business will be holding freshman information sessions next week, October 19th through October 22nd.

​Please see below for the dates, times and locations. ​

These sessions will incorporate information about the prerequisites, the admissions process and the majors offered in the School of Business. Please plan to attend if you have an interest in or questions about the School of Business​. Our major advising and registration deadlines will preclude individual student appointments or email exchanges in October and early November.

Please arrive promptly at the time listed, if you plan to attend a session.

Feel free to share this email with others who might be interested!

Monday, 10/19/2015, 3:30 pm, 104 Farrell Hall

Tuesday, 10/20/2015, 3:30 pm, A17 Farrell Hall

Wednesday, 10/21/2015, 2:00 pm, 104 Farrell Hall

Thursday, 10/22/2015, 11:00 am, 155 Farrell Hall


— by Betsy Chapman

Today’s Feel Good Story

I was sent a link to an article yesterday about one of our alumnae, Lindsay Schneider (’13, MAEd ’16).  She had been a Wake Forest Fellow in the Office of the Dean of the College.  I knew her by face, and probably from some meetings, but she wasn’t someone I knew well at all.

She went on to get her teaching certification here at Wake Forest.  The N.C. English Teachers Association named her its Student Teacher of the Year, and she is currently teaching high school locally.

This is a wonderful article to read for a lot of reasons, but I hope you will read it and hear what Lindsay is saying about how she teaches and why she teaches the way she does.  She talks about the ways her Wake Forest professors shaped her experience.  Here are a few excerpts:

“At West Forsyth, English teacher Lindsay Schneider starts each of her classes by inviting students to share their good news….When Schneider was in graduate school at Wake Forest University, one of her professors opened each class that way and, now that she is in her first year as a teacher, she has found it a valuable practice.

‘I start with this for several reasons: it is something the students have expressed they enjoy and it allows them to get some talking out before class starts. In a way, it lets everyone get settled into the classroom and class. It has been a way to build community and camaraderie amongst the class and to celebrate each other’s successes.'”

She also pays attention to character and goodness:

“In a couple of instances [of students sharing ideas in class], someone said something unkind in passing. In no instance, did Schneider let such a comment pass.

‘Be respectful to others,’ she said at one point.

Later, she said that she thinks helping students develop as people is an important aspect of what she does as a teacher.

‘I care about who they are as people,’ Schneider said.”

She even brings a broad-based, liberal arts type mindset into her teaching:

“Her teaching strategy also includes lots of writing. “I am very passionate about teaching writing,” she said. “I want them to write because they have something to say.”

…And she thinks it’s important to incorporate the arts into her classes.

“I feel very strongly and have done much research on the benefits of bringing the visual arts, music, and creativity into the classroom and have students create and work with art, typically, on a weekly basis,” she said.

Reading this, I feel like a really proud mom, though she is not my own kid.  I am proud that she is taking the best of what she got in the classroom from our WFU faculty and emulating that in her own job – the personal touch, the caring for others, the emphasis on community and on honor.  Our faculty give so much to our students – things it is sometimes hard to see or quantify – but the lessons last.

I love that she is emphasizing writing so much.  All our Wake students learn to write (and write well) because no matter their major or eventual job, strong critical thinking and the ability to express thoughts logically and persuasively will be a competitive advantage for the rest of their lives.  (At least I think so).  And for her to replicate the kind of liberal arts exposure in her classroom also is a nod to what our own faculty do.

As an academic adviser (and an unoffical consultant to many other students) it is a real pleasure to be able to watch students learn and grow here.  There is a tremendous difference in maturity from the time they start here and the time they graduate.

My view is largely limited to what I see here while they are students.  This article is a nice way to see at least one example of what a student has learned at WFU and how she has used that knowledge for good in the next phase of her life.

With your own students, you have seen (upperclassmen) or will see (new parents) this same kind of growing and blossoming as they progress through Wake.  And though I won’t get to see them past graduation, I’d lay a fiver on the notion that your students’ stories will be just as compelling as Lindsay’s in their own way.

Proud parents everywhere, unite!

— by Betsy Chapman



The Wake Forest Magic

It’s Homecoming, and a dismal and rainy forecast, unfortunately.  Wherever you are, send some good vibes and sunshine our way.  We have a lot of alumni from the 50th anniversary reunion class (and earlier) down to the 5th year reunion class who all want to have a great time at Mother So Dear.  Instead of this “liquid sunshine,” I am sure they’d prefer the real thing.

I was sitting in on a presentation this morning with Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College, and she was talking about the Wake Forest Magic.  Most of our students have felt that magic at times – as have our faculty and staff or administrators.  It’s hard to put your finger on what that magic is, but you know it when you feel it.

Dean Gillespie talked about how our students have some moment of revelation, or clarity.  A moment when something changed for that student.  Changed the way the student looked at Wake Forest, or looked at their capacity to learn, or changed their view of the world.

She was in a room of alumni and some WF parents and a few people offered up their “Magic Moment.”  One expression I quite liked from that discussion was someone realizing they had the power to learn anything, AND they had the people around them to help them do it.

For those of you P’19s, it is probably too soon for your Deacs to have experienced the Magic Moment.  But if you have sophomores, juniors, or seniors, that might be a good conversation to have at Thanksgiving or during winter break.  What have been your transformational moments at Wake Forest?  It would be good to get them to reflect on it – and I bet it would be fun for you to hear it.

Hope you are wearing black and gold in celebration of a [very rainy] Black and Gold Friday.  And remember to talk to your kids and tell them you love them every Friday, or send them a Deacon Greeting.

— by Betsy Chapman

Sports Matter, But Is Something the Matter with Sports?

There are a good many Deacs who are interested in sports – either playing sports via Intramural or Club sports, going to live sporting events from our WFU teams, or watching other college or pro sports on TV.  We have a speaker coming up tomorrow that might interest your sporty Deacs.

This could be of equal interest to students interested in journalism and media portrayal of sports.  If this sounds like something your students would enjoy attending, make sure they know about it!  Details below and a  bio of Mr. Lipsyte from his ESPN days is here.

— by Betsy Chapman

Robert Lipsyte – Sports Matter, But Is Something the Matter with Sports?

Tuesday, September 15 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Porter Byrum Welcome Center, Kulynych Auditorium 1

In this public talk, Robert Lipsyte–a highly acclaimed sports journalist, reporter, columnist, fiction and nonfiction author, television scriptwriter, radio commentator, and recently retired ESPN Ombudsman–will call on his years of experience to help us consider why sports matter, but ponder is something the matter with sports?