Special Report: The 2014 First Book is

M A Y 20 1 4
Special Report:
The 2014 Common Reading Experience for WCU first-year students
The 2014 First Book is Serena, by Ron Rash
Written by a North Carolina author and set in the mountains of western NC,
this book selection is intended to be complimentary with this year’s WCU
interdisciplinary campus theme: North Carolina: Our State, Our Time.
Common Intellectual Experiences are one of ten high impact practices identified
by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). What better way to
launch a successful college career than by reading together!
A variety of co-curricular programming opportunities will be available to
integrate with course planning as faculty choose and see appropriate. An events
calendar will be posted on the FYE website by mid-May.
A common reading experience encourages new students to engage early with faculty, staff, and peers as they
launch their college career. Early engagement fosters student success!
FYE First Book 2014 is sponsored by the Division of Student Success at Western Carolina University
For more information please contact Glenda Hensley, FYE director, [email protected] or 227-2786
Family Table
FYE Advocate Awards
“An advocate is someone who you know has your best interest in mind - someone who
cares deeply about your success in and out of the classroom, someone you can count on
to give you sound advice and someone you know will be in your corner."
Students nominated 283 faculty and staff members as 2013-14 FYE Advocates. This year’s winners are:
 Faculty Advocate: Rebecca Lasher, professor of Social Work.
 Staff Advocate: Lane Perry, director of the Center for Service Learning
 Graduate Student: Sean Vic, GA in the Department of Psychology.
To see the full list of finalists and the video with student comments, please visit the FYE Advocate Page.
Professional Development for First-year Faculty and Staff
As you prepare to enjoy the summer months, please remember that summer is a great time to refresh your
spirit and explore new and creative approaches to teaching and learning. Here are a few opportunities for May.
Learning Better Together
Monday, May 12th from 10am-12pm – This is a special session developed for faculty who will be teaching a
learning community during summer or fall 2014.
FYE Transition Instructors
Tuesday, May 12th and 13th – Annual professional development for all transition course instructors is critical to
the success of the course and to providing instructors with insights and updates about resources, support, and
opportunities to connect the curriculum with the co-curriculum. Please contact Glenda Hensley for more
A Summer of Productive Research!
Thursday, May 15, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Hunter Library 186. Discover new
information resources, devise time-saving search strategies, organize your lit reviews, explore publishing venues
and more! Sessions are open to faculty, staff, and graduate students and are customized to meet your needs.
To register, visit: http://researchguides.wcu.edu/forfaculty. Contact your library liaison, or call 227-7465.
4th Annual WCU Leadership Retreat: Finding Your Balance.
Wednesday May 28, 2014 9-4:00 in the University Center Grand Room. A day-long event designed to provide
current and aspiring campus leaders with the perspectives, tools, resources, and inspiration to enhance their
own opportunities for professional development. Lunch provided. Open to ALL WCU faculty and staff.
From: Office of Leadership & Student Involvement, Office of Human Resources, and Coulter Faculty Commons.
Tool Box
A ‘Final’ Reflection
If you are looking for one last conversation with your students perhaps during the final exam time, here is a
great idea shared by Laura Cruz, director of the Coulter Faculty Commons from the CFC “This Week” online
publication and reprinted here with permission.
Circular Response
Research shows that adding a reflection component into your instruction can have many
benefits to long-term student learning. Here’s a quick reflection technique that you might
consider for your last few class sessions. Students sit in a circle (or put chairs in a circle)
and take turns responding to a prompt provided by the instructor. Before each student
speaks, they have to start with a brief summary of the previous participant’s contribution
and then, respectfully, integrate what they have heard into their own comments.
Examples of general reflection questions:
1. What would you change if you had a chance to do this class/experience over again?
2. What’s one goal you would like to set for yourself in this program/major/college year?
3. If someone else looked at your work in this class, what story do you think it would tell/what would it tell
them about you?
4. How might you continue to use what you have learned in this class in the future?
5. How have your ideas on this subject matter changed over the course of the semester?
CEO Reminders---Calendars – Events – Opportunities
Student Life Calendar: For a complete listing of what's going on for students from intramurals, to concerts and
lectures, to organizations, arts and culture, and so much more....
Events Calendar: Information on arts and culture at WCU - plays, concerts, art exhibits, films, and more...
Coulter Faculty Commons Calendar
Service Learning: Current Events
ACE: Arts and Cultural Events Calendar
PEAKS Potty Times Western Carolina PEAKS disseminates a newsletter called the Potty Times every two-three
weeks which includes toilet teasers, words of wisdom, campus events, etc. If you would like for us to advertise a
specific event in the calendar section, please Contact Laura Ansley, Department of Residential Living.
North Carolina: Our State, Our Time-- the WCU Campus theme for 2014-15
Connecting the dots…. Consider: "Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective.”
This exhibit will remain on display from March 27 – May 23, 2014.
Hugh Morton was an influential 20th-century North Carolinian: a promoter, businessman, conservationist, public
servant, and photographer. His photographs include iconic images of agriculture, sports, musicians, Grandfather
Mountain, and North Carolinians from all walks of life. The 87 images in the exhibit were selected from over
250,000 donated by Morton to the North Carolina Collection at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information about this program please call 227-7129 or see this Press Release.
Mountain Heritage Center, 150 H. F. Robinson Building, WCU.
May is Exercise is Medicine® Month!
Started in 2008, Exercise is Medicine® Month (a nonprofit initiative launched by the American College of Sports
Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA)) is a time for health care providers, fitness
professionals, the public, and supporting organizations and constituents to recognize, emphasize and celebrate
the valuable health benefits of exercise on a national scale.
Exercise is Medicine encourages the public to follow the federal Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,
which suggest obtaining 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity in order to achieve the
many benefits of regular physical activity. No matter what activities you choose to meet this goal, they certainly
should not be boring!
Resource File
Blackboard --- reference and participate in the Transition Pathways Course site....
Education Briefcase – resources and information for students and for faculty……….
CFC on the Web --- help with teaching, technology, and more--- helping you do what you do better!
OrgSync --- the place for student clubs and organizations and other co-curricular opportunities .
First-Year Seminar: Liberal Studies – resource guide for faculty teaching the first-year seminar …
Transition Pathways: An instructor resource - resource guide for FYE transition course instructors …
FYE on the Web --- many resources and network links to help you along the way …..
FYE Message Board – A weekly e-journal for and by FY students.
Engage students in the conversation of learning and experience – with each other!
“Finish In Four” website is designed to introduce students to Fostering
Undergraduate Student Success and increase four-year graduation rates.
Please visit this website and familiarize yourself with the new policies.
The next regular publication will be June, 2014 --- please let me know if you want to share
updates about programs, events, or other opportunities for teaching and learning in FYE!
Glenda Hensley, FYE Director [email protected]