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We were busy all afternoon Friday so never got you a Daily Deac, but wanted to bring you a recap of the Thrive event.  It was hot, but so much fun.

20140905thrive6694The lower quad (Manchester, aka Mag Quad) was transformed with a public art piece – it looked like the leaf on the Thrive logo, with different colored sections.  There were tables with color coordinated tablecloths to represent each type of wellbeing, with big flags denoting that particular wellbeing area, and activities and food at each station.  You can see pictures from our great photographer, Ken Bennett, at this Flickr site.  There’s also a news story on our main web page.

20140905thrive7254Two of my colleagues who work in the ZSR Library and I were charged with manning the Intellectual Wellbeing table.  We had two different activities people could do:  one was to fill out a card that reflected on something intellectual (a favorite professor or class, the last big idea that really excited you, favorite book/movie/artwork/piece of music, etc.) and then pin the card onto what looked like a big clothesline.  It was so interesting to see people’s responses.  Lots of great and inspiring books, and skills people wanted to learn (evidently we have a lot of budding musicians among our students).  Maybe the most gratifying thing was that some students wrote the name of a professor or class that meant the world to them – and some of the professors actually came by later and got to see these anonymous tributes.  One of them told us “this made my day!”

The other activity at our table was posters people could sign to pledge to do something this semester for their intellectual wellbeing.  They were things like ‘attend an on-campus cultural, artistic, or academic event,’ or ‘pledge to engage in more diverse conversations with people who are different from you,’ or ‘read a book/watch a documentary that has nothing to do with class,’ that sort of thing.

20140905thrive7233It was really gratifying to see how many students, faculty, and staff came to our Intellectual Wellbeing table.  I’d worried our traffic would be slow because some of the other tables had much sexier activities – there was Play Doh, bubbles, and puppies at Emotional Wellbeing, there were chair massages at Physical Wellbeing, there was a wonderful drum circle and meditation at Spiritual Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing had a tree outline where you could dip a leaf shaped sponge in paint and add a leaf to the tree you wanted to save money for (retirement, vacation, etc.).  Lots of the other dimensions had similarly cool activities.  And at each table there were different buttons you could collect to remind you of that dimension of wellbeing – all with cool slogans and neat graphics.

20140905thrive6818So it was a well turned out event for sure and lots of traffic.  It was beastly hot, though.  Around 4:30-5 pm, there started to be some ominous looking clouds, and around 5ish it started raining for real, and thundering, so the party had to break up early.  For those of us working the tables, it turned into an after-hours close-down party in the rain, trying to lug tables and pick up leaves and generally getting a good soak.  Even that was OK – it was a great example of Wake Foresters from all offices and levels pitching in to do a job that needed doing.  And that is one of the things I love best about Wake – there are always people there to help you when you need it.

20140905thrive6723Great job to all our Thrive organizers, and I hope all the students have some good takeaways for ways to nurture all the areas of their wellbeing.  Not just now, but to keep in practice for good.

Student Involvement Fair and Thrive

9 3 14 student involvement fair 2I had been hoping to be able to get to and from the Student Involvement Fair yesterday in time to add some pics to the Daily Deac (since I had talked about the Student Involvement Fair there), but alas I couldn’t get back in time.  So today is some belated coverage of this event.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 11The pictures probably do not do justice to just how many student organizations were there.  There are rows and rows of tables with posters and displays about each group.  I went down a couple of the rows and saw Golden Key Honor Society, a philosophy society, fraternites and sororities, the ZSR library, intramural sports, and so many niche groups.

Occasionally a parent will tell me that their student has told them “there’s nothing to do at Wake Forest” and it is so hard for me to believe, seeing so many of these groups out there for students to join and enjoy.  And while it may be that Organization A or B is not offering a big Friday or Saturday night social outing, that isn’t always the point.  The point is that students can join these clubs and organizations and make new friends, and then the students can contact the new friends and make plans for the weekend.  See the movie on campus.  Go have dinner somewhere.  See a play on campus or whatever.  You get the idea.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 10Amidst the tons and tons of tables, there were a few decorative leaves in the grass, which is a teaser for part of our Thrive event tomorrow.  These are pretty, colorful leaves – stuck in the ground like you see with election signs or real estate signs.  And as I looked toward Reynolda and the Mag Patio, a lot of these leaves were decorating the railing.  On the front of Reynolda too.  I hadn’t realized just how much difference the pop of color makes, but to my eyes at least they made everything look that much prettier.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 12There were students and staff members handing out Thrive Save the Date stickers and encouraging students to attend.  Deac families, encourage your students to attend too.  There are going to be a lot of fun activities, some things that will be thought provoking, lots of free food, etc.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 1I hope your students will not just take advantage of the activities and fun stuff, though, but that they will also begin to be a lot more conscious about their wellbeing than I ever was at that age.  I think about most of the adults I know (parents especially), and it seems like we are forever juggling a million plates in the air – spouses or partners, children, jobs, money/bills, physical and emotional health, etc.  Those plates get heavy and they are hard to keep spinning.  I hear that frustration all the time.   My hope is that if our students really learn to do all this well now, they will do a better job in feeling like they can do what is important to them and let go of what is not – so they get the balance and peace it seems like everyone my age is desperately searching for.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 4And if they won’t respond to the bigger existential ideas of living the best life you can, tell them there will be puppies at Thrive :)

Thrive event email blast2

Still Hot

Yes, it is still hot here in Winston-Salem.  Hot enough that you don’t see quite so many runners and joggers in the heat of midday – and those you see running at the peak heat of the day look like they are well accustomed to it.

This afternoon is an exciting day – the Student Involvement Fair on the Manchester Quad.  All student organizations – clubs, intramurals, arts, Greek, religious, political, service, and more! – will have tables on the Manchester Quad (also known as Mag Quad).  Students can sign up on distro lists to become part of the email chain of these organizations.  It is a wonderful way to get involved.

This Student Involvement Fair can be a time to try something new.  Maybe something you’ve never done before.  I was at a New Student Reception this summer and during the program with upperclass students, one young woman talked about how she had never played rugby before, but signed up to try it and it became one of her favorite activities at Wake Forest.  My own niece did the same with the crew team – never rowed before, but learned.  It doesn’t have to be sporty – it can be any new skill, endeavor, or hobby.  Youth is the time to experiment and try!

We have some news on campus today – a Director of Wellbeing has been announced:

“Malika Roman Isler (’99) has been named Wake Forest’s first Director of Wellbeing.

A doctoral level-trained health scientist, Roman Isler is currently a research administrator and faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She will begin her new role on Oct. 1 with more than 10 years of experience integrating research and programming, developing strategic plans that guide health and wellbeing initiatives, and defining assessment tools to ensure research and program effectiveness.

Roman Isler brings a strong working knowledge of wellbeing as the intersection of emotional, social, physical, financial, occupational, spiritual, intellectual and environmental dimensions of life. At Wake Forest, she will be responsible for coordinating and developing programming for the various aspects of the University’s transformative new approach to wellbeing called “Thrive.” Equal parts education and inspiration, the campus-wide effort – which will be kicked off on Friday, Sept. 5 – aims to give students, faculty and staff the skills, knowledge and perspective to live healthier, balanced lives.”  Read the full article here.   It’s exciting to have Dr. Roman Isler return to her alma mater, and I am sure she has great things in store for our students.

And in case you were wondering, the Quad is still beautiful.  I just took a peek at the Quad Cam and it really is a lovely sight.


Tuesday Bits and Pieces

Welcome back to the Daily Deac after a long Labor Day weekend.   It’s a very hot one today, 94 degrees, and has been sunny and hot like this for days.  Accordingly, I have not taken a stroll to the center of campus.  So today we’ll bring you a few bits and pieces from the web and other places.

Your students – particularly first-years – might be interested to know that the Room Thaw request form is live now through Sunday.  Room Thaw is the process by which students can ask to change rooms, and there are details about the process at that same link.

Our Thrive kick-off is coming this Friday, and I have seen some of the visuals associated with it, and believe me they are impressive.  Your students are definitely going to want to be on the Mag Quad (aka Manchester Quad) on the south side of campus this Friday between 3-6 pm.  As we get started thinking about Thrive, one of my good friends and colleagues, Roz Tedford, director for research and instruction, and politics and international affairs liaison, Z. Smith Reynolds Library, wrote a piece on Intellectual Wellbeing.  This article has some ideas about ways our campus community can engage in intellectual wellbeing outside the classroom.  So encourage your students to come to Thrive this Friday, but also to stretch their intellectual wellbeing beyond just the scope of classes and assignments.

Coming up next week – September 12 features a Day with the Hip-Hop Fellow.  Actually there are a series of events here that look really cool – from a Hip-Hop Fellow Film Screening, to an Independent Filmmaking Lecture, to the Standards of Hip-Hop Lecture, to an Afterparty.  For students who like hip-hop music, filmmaking, and more, this is an opportunity to hear from award winning artists and filmmakers.

We just added a new video to our 2014 Orientation Resources page – this one is of New Student Convocation, which took place last Monday.  If you’d like to hear the Convocation addresses for the Class of 2018, you can find it on the Orientation Resources page.


A Long Weekend (for some)

Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families!  We might be licking our wounds a little bit at the loss to U. Louisiana-Monroe lastnight, but the Deac faithful are always in it for the long haul, not the short game.  Keep wearing your black and gold every Friday and show your support for WFU wherever you are.

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to some of my colleagues across campus who have helped put some of our Orientation materials online.  While these are not professional grade recordings, we were able to get a couple of sessions recorded for families who were not able to attend.  You can access those Orientation resources here.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, so it is a 3-day weekend for our administrators and staff.  Sadly, the Academic Calendar shows that classes are in session on Labor Day.  But for the rest of us, we are going to be gone on Monday.  Which means it’s time to remind you of how to get in touch with the University after hours/on weekends if there is an emergency with your student; see directions here.

As we so often tell you, Fridays are a great time to reach out and call your student.  Having that touch from home and a subtle reminder of its values does have an impact in helping reduce risky behavior.  You can find the study behind that in the Orientation Resources link and session on alcohol.

Enjoy your long weekend, and we’ll be back with more Daily Deacs next Tuesday.

Five Senses of the Benson Food Court

Today is another beautiful sunny day in a long string of beautiful sunny days.  It’s in the high 80s today, which made my walk across campus to the Benson Center a little warmer than I would like.  Following a meeting in Benson, I went up to the food court area to sit down for one of our “Five Senses” blog posts.

Here’s what you might have experienced had you shared my table in the food court around 11 am.

I see…

– two female students greet each other with a hug, presumably the first time they’d seen each other since coming back to campus (given their delighted reaction).

– a line forming at the make-to-order salad bar.  (It was the most popular eating choice during the time I was there observing.)

– about 1/3 of the food court tables filled.  Most of the tables have 2-4 students at them, and they are eating and chatting.  Maybe 3 of the occupied tables have only one student, with laptop open.

– lots of summery clothes – shorts and t-shirts, sundresses.  A few of the female students are in workout clothes and glistening as if they were fresh from exercise.   Many of our young men are in t-shirts and casual shorts (either athletic or khaki).  A couple of them are in button down plaid shirts and khaki-type shorts in colors other than tan. (They look exceedingly presentable, these young men.)

– bags with the Chick-fil-A logo or Moe’s logo on it.  Most of the seated eaters have chosen one of those two eateries.

– a narrow-ish variety of shoe styles.  A fair number of students are wearing flip flops (men and women), and several women are wearing gladiator sandals, which must mean they are still in style.  Most of the sneakers students are wearing look fairly new – not yet dirty or worn down the way well-used running shoes get.

– lots of clean shaven young men.  Nearly all of our male students here appear to be freshly shaved.  A couple of them are sporting light stubble, and only one with a full beard.

– one student who is standing up in front of a table of four or five male and female students.  This guy is imitating some sort of dance move to the friends, making a couple of wide, side-lunging steps to the right (and then back into place).  There’s an arm movement thing he’s doing too – elbows and forearms.  I have to hand it to this guy, he has a ton of confidence to be doing this in the middle of the Benson Center.  More power to him.

– a couple of Campus Dining managers checking out the scene, presumably to make sure lines are  moving and students are enjoying the food.

– several young men with baseball caps come and go during my time there.  Maybe 4 of them have worn their caps on backwards, and maybe 2 have worn them the regular way.

– dance demonstrator guy move to a different table to say hello to some other friends after his original table has left.  I am assuming he’s a strong extrovert.

– lots of smiling faces at tables and as people pass friends.  Too early in the semester for too many students to feel a lot of stress.


I hear…

– snippets from one young woman in a nearby conversation, something akin to: oh my God, I haven’t seen you for so long!!  are you rushing?  I am so glad, you should come out with us!

– ice hitting empty cups as students go to the soda machines.

– the rhythmic CHOP-CHOP-CHOP of the salads being chopped at the custom salad station.

– sizzling of food hitting the grills to be cooked.

– scooting of chairs across the floor as people pull out chairs to sit down/push them in as they leave.

– the rolling of a food prep cart through the middle of the food court.

– crinkling of paper bags being opened.

– the signature ‘click’ noise that is made as you first touch your cup to a soda machine lever to get it to dispense.

– “Welcome to Moe’s!” being yelled by the Moe’s staff.  Interestingly, I did not hear that until well into my time in Benson.

– metal pots banging.

– jingling of keys.

– a metal on metal sound that I would bet is the spatula going under burgers on the grill, just before the cook flips them.

– the noise gets louder and louder the closer I get to 11:30.  I am no longer able to hear snatches of individual conversations, rather it is more of a generic buzz or hum.

– laughter.


I smell -

– fried food.  It is really the only thing I smell, actually.  I think Chick-fil-A’s fried aroma is so strong it’s drowns out all the other smells.


I feel – 

– happiness.  It is a warm day.  Students look good, no conflicts or problems are evident in the folks that I can see.  They all seem like they are enjoying themselves, which makes me happy.

– a little wistfulness that I’d like to be 18 or 19 with so much less responsibility than I have in my mid 40s :)  And wishing my own dearest Wake friends could come back here with me.


That’s all she wrote, Deac families.  I suppose I should call this the Four Senses of Benson because I didn’t eat or drink anything, despite the variety of things I could have purchased there.  You’ll have to use your imaginations for that last sense.

Hope this gave you a feel for what campus felt like in this distinct moment in time.




We have a campus event coming up next Friday that I wanted to share with our parents and families.  We hope your students will attend this event (free food! fun and games! and some very special activities your students won’t want to miss – but I won’t spoil the surprise here).

thrive logoThe event is our Thrive kick off – which will be held on Friday, September 5th on the Manchester Quad (aka Magnolia Quad, near the first-year dorms and academic buildings) from 3-6 pm.  The Thrive event will be a campus-wide festival with dozens of fun and thought-provoking activities designed to help members of the Wake Forest community to take control of their personal wellbeing and empower others to do the same.

The idea of Thrive is not just a one-and-done party, though.  It is so much more.  Thrive is a thoughtful, conscientious approach to helping our students (and faculty and staff) think about the idea of wellbeing.  How can we lead healthier, more balanced lives – now, and for the rest of our lives?  How can we attend to all the dimensions of our wellbeing: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, occupational, financial, environmental, and social?  We want to make sure our students are not just learning facts and figures and theories and concepts here, but the skills, knowledge and perspective so their lives thrive in all ways possible.

There is a Thrive web site that talks about the various dimensions of wellbeing.  There is also a terrific story on our News Center page about the investment Wake Forest is making in wellbeing on campus.   A fascinating part of this article is the story of John Marbach (’16), who had accepted a prestigious $100K entrepreneurship grant to start a venture, but ultimately returned to Wake Forest because he missed the social and intellectual environment and the wellbeing that comes from living in a community and learning and growing with peers.

One of the first visible signs of Wake Forest’s wellbeing efforts will be upcoming demolition work at the former Leighton Tennis Stadium adjacent to Reynolds Gym.  That space will be used to create an addition to the [very old] Reynolds Gym and then we’ll have a phased renovation of the gym into a more dynamic, modern facility.  Read more about the vision for this project.

And there will be other visible signs and hints of Thrive in the coming days.  Your students will begin seeing things on campus related to Thrive and the kickoff.  I was in a meeting yesterday about the September 5 Thrive kick-off and I promise you the Manchester (Mag) Quad is going to be spectacular.  Your students won’t want to miss it.

So encourage them to c0me next Friday, September 5th from 3-6.  But more importantly, encourage them to take very seriously the idea of their own wellbeing, across all dimensions.   Sometimes our students feel like they need permission to relax, permission to take care of themselves, time to decompress and just be.  To the degree that you can influence them, encourage them to begin really paying attention to their own wellbeing.  The more they learn balance and healthy living (in all its aspects) now, the better they’ll be prepared for the rest of their lives.

First Day of Classes

Classes began today, Deac families.  It’s a busy time for your students – buying books, finding class locations, getting through their course syllabi and learning what the expectations will be for the semester.

For those students who want to make changes in their schedule, the Office of Academic Advising is there as a resource.  On the main OAA page, students can look at the Open Course Report, which is posted (and updated) frequently within the first few days of class and can see where there are course openings.  Caveat of course is that this list will change as students drop and add classes, so students should check back frequently.  There’s another great item on the OAA page:  Dean Buchanan’s Top 10 List of Things that Academically Successful Students Do.  Some wise words here on how to have a good start.

President Hatch sent an email to the campus community today, welcoming students back to campus and sharing some of his thoughts.  You can read his email here.   And for the benefit of all the new parents and families that are just getting to know the Parents’ Page, any time there is an email that goes to all of campus, we post it to the main Parents’ Page news section (see center part of our main page), so you can also look for those broadcast emails there.

bistro 34 brunchI took a stroll today to the North Campus Dining Hall around lunchtime and it is already being well used.  There were lots of students sitting on the outdoor patio under umbrellas, with laptops and books.  Some were just lunching with friends and chatting.  Much of the seating indoors on the top level was in use, either with diners or folks socializing.  I had lunch in Bistro ’34, the sit down restaurant in North Dining Hall.  The salmon-quinoa salad was fresh and delicious – a really light meal.  They have a sign advertising Sunday Brunch there, which might make for a really nice treat for your Deacs.

Words can’t capture how spectacular the weather is today (yesterday as well).  It’s sunny, high 70s/low 80s, almost no humidity.   This is as close to perfect as it gets, folks.

PS – if you want a good laugh (or cry, depending on your perspective), check out Beloit College’s Mindset List for the Class of 2018.  It tells you what the country’s new freshmen have always known/never known. etc.  I suspect many of these things are big changes from our own childhoods.  The one that hurt me was “When they see wire-rimmed glasses, they think Harry Potter, not John Lennon.” :)

New Student Convocation

class of 2018 photoIt’s been a long weekend of Orientation activities for our new first-year Class of 2018s.  I caught the tail end of yesterday’s events – dinner with academic advising groups over at the football stadium, followed by Wake the Demons, a spirited pep rally kind of evening where new students learned cheers and the fight song and such.  One nice outcome was a class picture – so behold, the Class of 2018!  It will be hard for you to find your Deac, but your student can probably tell you the general area to look.

This morning all of the new students went to one-on-one meetings with their academic advisers.  Those appointments give students a chance to talk about any schedule items that they had questions or concerns about, but also provides an opportunity for the adviser and student to get to know each other better, set any expectations of what they want from their advising relationship, etc.  And it gives the advisers an opening to offer some tips or advice on how to get a good start.  It’s always fun getting to know a new group of advisees.

After lunch we had New Student Convocation.  This official academic ceremony provided a venue for the new class to gather with their student adviser (and academic advisers if available).  I attended this event and wanted to offer a brief recap.

Sarah Martin (’15), the student representative on the Committee on Orientation and Lower Division Advising, offered her top 1o pieces of advice for new students as they start their college careers:

1. Strive for milestones.

2. Work hard.

3. Don’t fear failure.  (She got a big audience chuckle when she said – tongue in cheek –  ‘Remember that falling on your face is still forward movement.’)

4. Seek help and use campus resources.

5. Find a mentor.

6. Get involved.

7. Roll the Quad!  (I loved her explanation – that rolling the Quad is so much more than about athletic victories – it represents the coming together of our community).

8. Make the most of your time here.

9. Be kind.

10. Live Pro Humanitate [our motto, ‘For humanity’]

University Chaplain Tim Auman followed.  He invited everyone to share in the blessing he offered for the new students, in the spirit of everyone’s faith traditions.  What struck me the most in his blessing was his invocation of the notion of wisdom, civility, compassion, and generosity of spirit.

President Nathan O. Hatch addressed the group next.  He shared stories of some of his college professors.  One had picked on him, singled him out in class, threw him curveball questions and tough assignments.  Dr. Hatch came to realize he was not being picked on, but intellectually engaged, because his professor saw something in him that made him want to press harder.  “He understood that a student’s mind is not a bucket to be filled, but a fire to light,” said Dr. Hatch.

He also talked about a class that was really rigorous – 12 research papers due in a 15 week term.  Dr. Hatch recalled having to spend two days each week researching and writing those papers.  And while the workload was challenging, he discovered by the end of the term, he’d learned how to take his research and writing to the next level.  Dr. Hatch said it was as if his mind had been to the gym and his mental muscles had grown from so much practice.  He also said that he discovered that learning needs both silence and solitude, and that class helped him focus and concentrate.

Dr. Hatch concluded by urging students to chew on the big questions outside of class.  What do I know?  In what can I believe?  How can I serve?  In what do I want to invest my life?  And that students should explore the big questions of life and think about developing both mind and character in college.

Meredith Mulkerrin (’15), Student Government President, reflected on the transition from high school to college.  She said that most Wake Forest students arrive at college being used to being big fish in a small pond, and the sudden realization that you are a minnow is an adjustment.  And that during Orientation (and at the start of your first year) EVERYONE is offering you advice about everything.  But in class, everything is different.  In class, you can use your voice – ask questions, challenge assumptions, examine and expose.

She concluded with offering this advice and predictions for the future:

– in the last 4 hours of Orientation, soak up all the advice you can.

– in 4 days, follow up with your student advisers and faculty advisers.  Talk to them – tell them how you are, or if you need help.

– in 4 weeks, you’ll learn who you click with (and who you don’t).  You’ll also learn your caffeine delivery device of choice.

– in 4 months, take your pulse.  You’ll be home and reseeing your friends from high school.  You’ll have time to reflect on the semester.  Who are you? What have you learned? How have you changed?

– in 4 years, you’ll have a list a mile long of why you love Wake Forest!

Before the singing of the alma mater and the recessional, Christy Buchanan, Associate Dean of Academic Advising, presented the awards for Excellence in Academic Advising.  This year’s winners were Mary Gerardy, Associate Vice President and Associate Dean of Campus Life, and Luis González, Associate Professor of Spanish.  Dean Buchanan offered one final piece of advice to the new students: communicate.  In person whenever possible, but communicate with your new faculty, peers, and community members.

The convocation concluded and the new students went back out to the Quad, which was a near perfect mid 70s and sunny.  A picture perfect WFU day.

Classes start tomorrow.  The adventure begins!

Orientation Wrap Up

Orientation activities are largely over for new parents (or the P’18s, as we call them).  The grand finale was a huge picnic on the Quad, followed by the “Making of a Demon Deacon” ceremony.

During the event, there were speeches and remarks,  musical performances by singing groups and the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black Band, and it was generally a really festive (if hot!) atmosphere.

There was some audience participation too:  parents and loved ones wished the new students well in unison (with phrases like “We believe in you.”  “We trust you.”  “We love you.” – brought a tear to my eye, I confess.)   Students learned to sing the alma mater, they pinned a WF pin on each other, which we’re told they should keep, as they will need them again at Commencement 2018.  And finally they got some instruction in rolling the Quad from upperclassmen, then they took to the TP like champs and rolled the trees on their own.  (Interesting aside, I have heard some of the upperclassmen refer to the new students as Baby Deacs or Baby Deacons.)

And then at the end of that event, I saw a lot of hugs and kisses and some misty eyes.  Many (most?) of our parents and families are departing soon, because your formal activities are finished.  However, the activities for your new students will continue throughout the weekend.

A couple of newsworthy items to mention.  For those of you who could not attend Orientation – or those who want to revisit it! – we have made some of the parent Orientation handouts and slide shows available online.  We were piloting the recording of some of today’s events for parents and families and hope to put them online next week at this same website if the quality is acceptable.  Let me manage expectations for a moment and tell you that this was a volunteer (read: free) effort; we are trying to be good stewards of our resources, so we were trying to do this in house using existing technology.

In academic reporting news, some of you might be familiar with FERPA (Family Educational Right to Privacy Act) – which controls the release of academic information.  New students received an email about how they can go online and grant proxy access to various parts of their academic experience.   So if you want to have access to your student’s academic information protected by FERPA, please encourage them to complete the proxy access process.

And because it is Friday and we have a lot of new parents and families onboard now, we’ll close with a couple of our oft-preached refrains.

We like to think of Fridays as Black and Gold Fridays. Translation: show your support for Wake Forest every Friday by wearing black and gold, or WFU apparel.  This gives you a tie to your students, but it also can give Wake some valuable exposure in your home areas, particularly if you wear something that says “Wake Forest.”  It is a tradition we would love to see our Deac families adopt.

And since it is the first weekend of school for our new students, we hope they will all exercise good judgment and make wise decisions, particularly in manners of their personal safety.  Your new students are finishing a Staying Safe at Wake session right now where they are hearing from campus experts.  But you can do something too.

Christy Buchanan, who is our Associate Dean of Academic Advising as well as a developmental psychology faculty member, shared this at the parent Orientation session about alcohol:  call your student sometime on a Friday and have a meaningful conversation with them.  It has the potential to influence your student’s behavior for the weekend in a positive way.

You don’t have to talk directly about alcohol or tell them to be good.  It can just be a friendly conversation. There is research that showed that students whose parents and family members called them on Friday tended to engage in less risky behavior than students who did not hear from loved ones.

The idea is that when students have contact with parents and loved ones on a Friday, there is a subtle reminder of the values of home, and expectations of parents.  And then they behave with a lower degree of risky behavior.

Even if you just left campus, consider picking up the phone later today and every Friday and have a nice chat with your students.  Nothing to lose and everything to gain.  You might be the bump in the right direction as the weekend starts.