On Being First-Gen…Sort Of

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By Laurel Kennedy, Vice President for Student Development

There has been lots of attention lately to the unique challenges of being a first-generation college student. One article concluded by calling on colleges and universities to ensure that their faculty and staff include members who were first-generation college students in their day.

Whether I was technically a first-gen college student depends on the definition we’re using.

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I’m a second year student….now what?

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by Kathleen Powell, Director of Career Exploration & Development

Liberal arts students gain skills in critical thinking, decision making and problem solving and use those skills very well…until, for some,  it’s time to choose a major!  The choice of an academic major can bring about anticipation and excitement or it can be a time filled with anxiety and a sense of uncertainty. 

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Keeping it together

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By Jennifer Vestal, Associate Dean of Students and Director, Academic Support & Enrichment Center

During these first few weeks on campus you might have had the impression of being away at an extended summer camp, but those notions have quickly faded as Ohio experienced its first crisp fall days of chilly mornings and earlier sunsets. 

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Well Begun Is Half Done.

By Laurel Kennedy, Vice President for Student Development

A few weeks ago, Dean of Students Bill Fox wrote a post for The Commons about the value of setting goals for the academic year and then thinking and talking with advisors and mentors about strategies for achieving those goals.

This week, the “Tuesday Questions”[*] posed a question that we adapted from the research referenced in that post: “Thinking ahead to next April or May, when you look back on this year, what do you hope you’ll be able to say you accomplished? 

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Voices Of Our First-Years

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By Julie Tucker ’09, Coordinator of Assessment & Research in Student Development

At the end of August Orientation, we asked first-year students to respond to a survey about their experience.  One of my favorite survey questions asked: “Although August Orientation only extends over a few days, your orientation to Denison continues throughout the year in various forms.  What do you hope to learn over the course of your first year of college?  What skills, abilities, or knowledge would you like to gain?” Here are some responses from our first-years:

 “Social skills, time management, better skills at dealing with people I don’t like to work with but being able to achieve a satisfactory work result in the end, being unafraid of trying new things.”

 “What it truly means to be a Denisonian and to live up to those expectations.”

 “Understand others even when I disagree with them.”

 “Ability to make independent, meaningful choices and decisions.

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How Will You Do It?

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By Bill Fox, Dean of Students
Our college’s Learning Guide states, “Your Denison education will help you achieve a lifetime of personal and professional success.”  So true.  Then it goes on to say, “…there’s no single way of getting there.”  True again—and the essence of what makes a Denison education great. This is the moment, as the year begins, to pause and consider how we will each go about setting goals and achieving success in the year ahead.  How will you do it?  This is truly an important question and it’s fun to know that where you start will not be where you end.

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