Meet A Deac Monday

It’s Monday, which means we have another edition of Meet A Deac. Before we begin, I want to mention there will be a vaccination clinic at the Fairgrounds on April 10th. If your Deac has not been vaccinated yet, they can look into this option; transportation between campus and the Fairgrounds is provided, see details.

Also, I got notice of an event tomorrow evening: Yom Hashoah, also known as Holocaust Rememberance Day, will start on the evening of April 7th this year. To honor the millions of lives lost and commemorate such an important day, the Rosenblatt Family Hillel will be hosting a virtual speaker on Tuesday April 6 at 7 PM. Our distinguished speaker is Dr. Annie Kleinhaus, a Holocaust survivor. You can read about Dr. Kleinhaus here.

And now it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my dear friend (and many moons ago roommate), Roz Tedford (’91, MA ’94).

Roz Tedford of the ZSR LibraryRoz, thanks for doing this. It feels funny asking you some of these questions, since you are one of my best friends and we lived together in grad school. But for the sake of the Daily Deacdom, let’s go through the normal interview questions.

Tell me your official title and where you work. I’m the Director for Research and Instruction at the ZSR Library.

In layperson’s terms what do you do? I manage our team of research and instruction librarians. We are the ones who teach our credit-bearing classes on information use and issues (LIB100, LIB200, FYS classes etc) and the ones who work with our faculty and students on their own research. We go into classes to show students how to find the sources they need for the research projects they have to do. I personally am the subject liaison for Politics and International Affairs and English.

And how long have you been at Wake? My whole life (mostly). My father was on faculty here (Director of the WFU Theatre) and I have a BA in Psychology and English (’91) and a MA in English (’94) from WFU (I also have an MLIS from UNC-Greensboro). I started full time at ZSR on July 1st, 1994 and have never looked back!

What’s kept you at Wake so long? Spoiler alert: I’m super biased, so take it all with a grain of salt. But I truly feel like Wake Forest’s people are amazing. Staff, faculty, students, colleagues, everyone works so hard to make Wake a wonderful place. But we also know that we’re not a perfect place, so always pushing to get us to live up to our Pro Humanitiate motto, always reimagining what we could be and whose voices we aren’t listening to enough. That encourages me and gives me great joy and energy. Higher education is often not the most limber ship to turn, but I am so lucky to be here and be a part of helping to think about our past, our present extraordinary circumstances, and how we learn from them and move on. And to do it among so many thoughtful, hopeful, and courageous colleagues is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Beautifully stated. Let’s pivot a bit and have you tell me what has changed for your since COVID began? What are some of your big challenges? We have taken almost all of our in-class instruction and research help virtual this year. So many Zoom class presentations and one-on-one research appointments with students. While I prefer face-to-face for the teaching piece, the research appointments online have been great and I see us keeping those up long past the pandemic. Students don’t have to find my office, be on campus if they live off campus, and I can share my screen and they can share theirs – we throw links back and forth in the chat — it’s been really great and many of us are wondering why we didn’t do it before! I also co-taught a First Year Seminar last spring and this fall on Mis/Disinformation on the Internet – so that was a challenge but also a way to show our students in real time how mis/disinformation spreads using the pandemic as our case study.

As for challenges… so I LOVE to teach. LOVE IT. But I have learned through the pandemic that I am much happier teaching face-to-face. The energy I get from the students and the interactions they have with each other are something that make a classroom one of my happy places. I really struggled with teaching online, although it was much better than I thought it would be. We were lucky that our FYS this fall was blended so we did see some students in the classroom (masked and socially distanced) some days – but we only had our entire 16-student class (who was also our advising group) together one time and that was out in a tent on campus to talk about courses for the spring. I long to be back to more normal in-person classes the next time I teach (which will be Spring of 2022).

What do you miss most about normal times on campus? The chatter. The energy. Seeing students and colleagues around campus and hearing about their lives. Giving students hugs or high fives when they need it. Staff parties (we are VERY social people at ZSR and sorely miss our gatherings). And in-person teaching.

You and I both have kids who will be going to college in a year or two. What advice would you give them – or our students? Get out of your bubbles – whatever they are. take any chance you have to meet people who are as different from you as you can find. Different nationalities, different races, different gender expression, different religions, different interests. No one graduates from WFU thinking ‘man, I wish I had met fewer people while I was here,‘ and those connections we make across difference is what will start to heal the divisions we see in the world. If we are only around people who are like us, we will never understand the world from different perspectives.

What would you tell us to remember as we put on our “college parent” hat and not our “librarian/administrator” hats? Let our kids figure things out on their own. Let them try to solve their problems with classes, with roommates, with professors, on their own first, Encourage them to talk to their advisers, their RA, the myriad of other places on campus that exist to assist them. A huge part of college is learning that you can, in fact, be on your own and solve your own problems. Stepping back and letting them do that – even though it’s hard to see them struggle – can give them enormous confidence boosts when they most need it.

Now my favorite – the lightning round!

Books you are reading now: So I tend to have a fiction and a non-fiction going at all times. Fiction I am reading: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (who wrote my all-time favorite novel, The Night Circus). [PREACH! you know how I feel about The Night Circus!] Non-Fiction: I am reading Pete Buttigieg’s Trust and also have Bill Bryson’s The Body to start when I’m done with that. Up next in fiction may be The Hunger Games prequel or Commonwealth by Anne Patchett, whose books I adore.

Bono and Michael StipeMusic you love: I’m a Gemini, so picking favorites is SUPER HARD for me – but I’m an unapologetic Taylor Swift fan and her two pandemic albums (despite making me feel super unproductive) are really beautiful. REM and U2 are up there, too, and the music from a band made up of former Winston-Salem friends, Jump, Little Children is on frequent rotation in all my playlists.

Benedict Cumberbatch as SherlockTV/Movies/Neflix faves: Again, Gemini. But the movies I never turn off if I scroll past them are The Princess Bride and any movie with Minions in it. I LOVED the BBC series Sherlock right up until the last season, The Great British Baking Show and The Repair Shop on Netflix are delightful. I’m an HGTV/Animal Planet/Food TV junkie – I’m not really a binger but have plans to watch Derry Girls. [I LOOOOOVE Derry Girls!]

Websites you frequent: For data visualization (something I am passionate about but cannot do well): Information is Beautiful. For fact-checking (something I teach, and preach, and do): Snopes and Factcheck.org. For travel withdrawal (something I suffer mightily from): Random Street View (it’s a rabbit hole, you have been warned). For fun webcam joy any of these from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

minionsGuilty pleasures: Minions. 80s music. Margaritas. Sporcle quizzes. A good scone with clotted cream and jam.

Introvert or extrovert? I always test dead in the middle on these things (Gemini, remember?). I think of myself as an introvert who can be extroverted in certain situations. But when I do it, I want to be in a dark room by myself for a day afterwards (something that almost never happens with a job, two kids, and more going on).

London underground mapSomething most people don’t know about you: MAPS. I feel a serious need to know where I am on a map at all times. Whenever a place is mentioned in a TV show – I look it up on a map. I think all books should come with maps – of everything. The house, the town, the building, the city, the everything. I love maps of public transit systems (London Tube is my favorite) and mapping apps give me great delight (try CityMapper next time you go to a big city – YOU ARE WELCOME). I have a crazy good sense of direction (thanks dad!) and if I drive somewhere once, I can pretty much get back to it again for years afterwards.

What’s the first thing you will do when the pandemic is over and we can live normal lives again? Probably start planning a trip to London.

What didn’t I ask that you wish I had? Maybe favorite spots on campus? I have several, but the walking paths in Reynolda Gardens are up there, the view of the Quad from the balcony on Reynolda never stops amazing me, and I want the WFU facilities department to do to my yard every year what they do to the flower bed by the flagpole outside Reynolda/Benson.

You and me both. Our landscapers’ game is strong. Thanks, Roz, for giving us a look at your world – and for all you do for our students and campus!

(And if you want to see past Meet A Deacs, visit our archive.)

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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