It’s Monday – which means it’s time for another Meet A Deac! Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to a colleague from the Office of Academic Advising, Sarah Hefner. Sarah Hefner of the Office of Academic Advising

Sarah, thanks for agreeing to do a Meet A Deac with me. To get us started, please give me your title and how long you’ve worked at Wake. My title is Academic Coordinator, Office of Academic Advising. I have worked at Wake for 11+ months.

Can you share a bit about your educational background? I am an alumna of Davidson College, Class of 2022, with a BA in Development Studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

In laypersons terms, how would you describe your job? I manage all the traffic that comes into our office. If you have an appointment with an academic counselor or need to have a walk-in meeting, I will help you get checked in to see someone. I am often the one at the other end of the phone as well and will make sure you get in touch with the right person in our office.

What would you like people to know about your job and your department? The Office of Academic Advising is a great resource for students to know about and utilize! We can help make four-year plans to map out when to take electives or major courses, how to fit in study abroad, and make sure you have all the requirements to graduate. You will need to work with us for certain approvals such as going part-time or taking more than 17 credit hours in a semester. We also work with students who may be experiencing some academic difficulties or have a medical or personal issue that is impacting their academics to help them navigate those challenges, and offer support and accountability if needed.

Is it too soon in your time at Wake for me to ask what you like best about working here? No, it’s not too soon. While the students are what make Wake truly special, the staff are just as amazing. I love getting to collaborate and work with my coworkers so we can help support students as best we can.

Speaking of students…what advice would you give them if they asked you? Don’t hesitate to reach out! There are a ton of resources and dedicated staff members who are eager to support you. Get familiar with offices such as OAA (Office of Academic Advising), CLASS (Center for Learning, Access, and Student Success), the UCC (University Counseling Center) and so many more. Get to know where these offices are located, how their processes work, and become comfortable utilizing those resources before you feel that you are in crisis mode. Reach out early and start forming those relationships!

What advice would you give to parents and families if they asked? The transition to college can be very stressful for students and their parents/families. Ups and downs are pretty much inevitable and learning to navigate those are a crucial part of your student’s college experience. Every student’s journey through Wake is going to look different and it is completely normal if it doesn’t look exactly like you pictured it when you dropped them off for Orientation. Keeping that in mind will take a lot of pressure off you and your student as you support them throughout their time here at Wake.

What’s your favorite place on campus? The trail to Reynolda Village is my happy place! It is nice to take a break and walk to enjoy some nature, peace, and quiet when campus feels a little hectic. Daffodils bloom along the pathway from the Wake Forest campus to Reynolda Village on Thursday, March 2, 2017. The landscaping crew planted 10,000 bulbs after the renovation of the pathway.

Time for the bonus questions!

Book(s) you’re reading now, and/or podcasts you are listening to: I am currently reading The Quiet is Loud by Samantha Garner, a great speculative fiction book about a Filipino-Canadian girl who has prophetic dreams. I am currently listening to the School Colors series on Code Switch about a school district in Queens, NY. book cover: The Quiet is Loud

Favorite band/musician: I love Americana and folk music. My favorite bands are probably Mipso and Lake Street Dive. the band "Mipso"

Website(s) you frequent: My most frequently visited website is The New York Times sudoku page.

What brings you joy? Recently I have been spending a lot of time collaging and refinishing furniture. Being able to work and create things with my hands brings me a lot of joy.

Many thanks to you, Sarah, for being this week’s Meet A Deac, and for all you do for the Office of Academic Advising and our campus community.

Reminder: you can read past Meet A Deacs here.

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