It’s been a busy few days with Move-In and Orientation activities, as well as academic advising. So the Daily Deac is playing catch up and there is much to cover
FDOC – Today is what our Deacs refer to as FDOC (First Day of Classes) – so your students will be attending their first classes of the semester today. Today is also when freshmen can add or drop classes, so there will be some schedule shuffling going on too. Apropos of the FDOC, Dean Christy Buchanan of the Office of Academic Advising has posted a list of the Top 10 Things Academically Successful Students Do. This is good reading for new and returning students.
Arrive and Thrive – Today from 4-6 pm on the Manchester Plaza (Mag Quad, near the first-year student residence halls) is Arrive and Thrive, our FDOC event to help celebrate the eight dimensions of wellbeing we hope your students (and faculty and staff too) will try to grow and nurture. Arrive and Thrive has stations for each of the eight dimensions of wellbeing, free food, games and activities, giveaways and more. Urge your Deacs to come to it. The more they pay attention to their wellbeing and learn good practices and self-care, the better off they will be in college.
New Student Convocation – was yesterday afternoon in Wait Chapel. This was a mandatory program for first-years. Convocations are sort of like an academic ceremony to open officially the semester and impart some wisdom and advice to the new students. There were a number of great speakers, and there is no way I can do justice to them all. But here are a few pithy snippets:
From Katherine Albanese (’16), the student representative on the Committee on Orientation and Lower Division Advising: she told a story of how you accidentally build community with people who keep the same schedule as you (people who are always getting coffee the same time you are, riding the shuttle the same time you are). She became friends with one of the shuttle drivers who would take her (and others) home from the ZSR Library late; they would chat and soon she’d hear stories about his kids (or grandkids?) and he would know when she had tests coming up. She said of this driver, “he didn’t have to care, but he chose to.” And that made a difference. She told the new students: “you may be the person that defines someone else’s Wake Forest existence” – so embrace this community and be your best self to all you meet.
From President Hatch [paraphrasing]: one of the best things new students can do is learn to focus and concentrate. “Learning requires silence and solitude,” so disconnect from social media when you need to work and put the distractions away. That said, college is also a time for asking big questions – who am I? in what do I believe? to what end shall I devote my talents? – so in addition to learning in the classroom, students should endeavor to discover themselves and their philosophy of life. [Related note: Dr. Hatch also sent a message to the entire campus community this morning with some advice as well as exciting events happening this fall.]
From Adam Hammer (’16), Student Government President: “every jump at Wake Forest – whether you take it or are pushed – is an opportunity to grow.” He urged our students to “think about the person you want to be, push yourself, jump in, lead, serve humanity, dream big. Go get it, period!”
From Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College: “use your engagement to get outside of yourself and outside of your own head. Break down the comfortable and the familiar and seize a fuller knowledge of the world.”
From Dean Christy Buchanan: “everyone has the ability to succeed here. There will be peaks and valleys. Difficulty isn’t a sign you don’t belong. We all have setbacks and challenges [but] people don’t wear their challenges on their sleeves. Learn and grow from the hard times.”
Dean Buchanan then announced the winners of the Award for Excellence in Advising – congratulations to Dr. Al Rives (’76, P’08, ’11), Associate Teaching Professor in Chemistry, a co-winner of the award.
And today we have a PS to the Daily Deac, written by Minta McNally (’72, P’02, ’06), Associate Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of Parent Programs
Normally the Daily Deac is authored by my colleague Betsy Chapman, but today I have asked to take the reins because she would not blog about this herself. Yesterday at New Student Convocation, Betsy was one of two co-recipients of the Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, sharing the honor with Dr. Al Rives (’76, P’08, ’11) of the department of Chemistry. This award is given to outstanding advisers to freshmen and sophomores (prior to the declaration of a major, when students get a faculty adviser in their major).
I can tell you from many years of working together that Betsy goes out of her way to offer guidance and support to her students – not only academic but also emotional and social – while at the same time helping empower them to make good decisions on their own and learn how best to advocate for themselves. She guides students to make good choices in class selection and is well-versed in both requirements and policies that impact students.
She considers it a privilege to be an undergraduate advisor and takes seriously the responsibilities that come with it. Despite a very full and demanding schedule as the Director of Parent Programs and Communications, Betsy always makes time for her own advisees as well as others who seek her counsel.
I have heard many compliments about the Daily Deac from Wake Forest parents during my travel to New Student Receptions and other WFU events. Many of you have told me how much you value the blog and the connection to campus that it brings. So I wanted to be sure our larger Wake Forest family could know of the meaningful work Betsy does with our students.