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October 18, 2021

Summary

With each passing week – and I’m still so moved by what I observed at W&M’s recent Commencement ceremonies and Homecoming & Reunion Weekend – it becomes more evident how different this year is from the last. How fortunate we are to have such a caring community to help us all make such progress. And we hope that our students are taking care to enjoy their fall break days this week. We know how appreciative students are, too, when it comes to the faculty’s respect for this much-needed respite.

Full Description

With each passing week – and I’m still so moved by what I observed at W&M’s recent Commencement ceremonies and Homecoming & Reunion Weekend – it becomes more evident how different this year is from the last. How fortunate we are to have such a caring community to help us all make such progress. And we hope that our students are taking care to enjoy their fall break days this week. We know how appreciative students are, too, when it comes to the faculty’s respect for this much-needed respite.

With that, here are this week’s Top 5 Things to Know:

  1. This Friday, October 22, Campus Connect is offering a training for community members from 8:30-11:45 a.m. about suicide prevention. In higher ed, we continue to hear about the mental health crisis our students are going through, worsened by the pandemic. This is certainly a tough topic, but one that we cannot ignore as educators and mentors to W&M students. I ask you to consider registering for the training. Please email campusconnect@wm.edu with any questions. 
  2. Also this Friday, October 22, the Enhancing Research Webinar will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. All university researchers and scholars are invited to this conference-style webinar that relates to W&M’s strategic plan goal of advancing research and scholarship of consequence. Unit representatives will describe research that advances individual scholars and increases collaboration. Sessions will be recorded and will be followed by a period of collecting additional ideas and suggestions. The result will help W&M better understand where the most important research opportunities will materialize over the next five to 10 years. Register to attend in advance.
  3. Nominations are due this Friday for the James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership. This award is presented to an undergraduate student at Charter Day in recognition of their “leadership for the greater good.” Winning students demonstrate leadership and initiative; show character and an unfailing commitment to the ethic of service; are able to know when to confront challenges; inspire others to engage; and leverage the community's assets to help address society's needs. Nominate a student by October 29.
  4. W&M will begin year two of our First-Generation and/or Low-Income (FGLI) mentor program soon. Mentors are still needed to meet with and support our students. All faculty and staff are welcome to sign up to be a mentor. Drew Stelljes, associate vice president for Student Engagement and Leadership, noted, “While every pairing is unique, generally we ask the mentor to meet with the student twice a semester and to be responsive to any needs. Training is provided for mentors. If you were a mentor last year and would like to have the same student(s) please document that in the link.”
  5. This week’s shout-out is for our colleagues in W&M’s Wellness Center, along with all of you who support student wellness, especially student mental health. This work can be a heavy lift, and the dedicated professionals among us, including those who field Care Reports, are to be commended and recommended. Their efforts are reflected back in our students’ academic success and well-being.

And if you happen to have a favorite wellness tip or two, namely what’s working for you, please don’t hesitate to share that with your colleagues. I welcome your ideas, and look forward to many more opportunities to connect in person this year.