August is the season for orientations, and for the second year running, I was invited to participate in two graduate student orientation sessions. The first took place earlier this month on the Bowman Gray Campus (BGC), where I spoke to approximately 65 new students. If you didn’t already know, Wake Forest’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is a single school that spans both campuses, operating out of two offices on two different schedules. Although Carpenter Library is the primary library serving graduate students appointed to BGC, and has its own morning-long orientation session, I was invited to meet with the students for 30 minutes to talk about what we offer them at ZSR, to mention compliance requirements for National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation funded research, and to prime them for thinking about thesis and dissertation requirements.
Yesterday afternoon, I spoke at the orientation session for graduate students with primary appointment to the Reynolda Campus (RC). There were at least 100 students in the room (we were in Pugh Auditorium, so counting was a challenge), as well as several guest speakers. Unlike the BGC orientation, which is is parsed out over several days, giving each speaker/group a nice amount to time to share information, the RC orientation is an hour long session that attempts to cover seemingly everything, from the Honor Code to parking to financial aid to teaching support services to us! Needless to say, I did not have half an hour yesterday in which to expound upon the greatness of ZSR or the need to think *now* about their theses/dissertations…I had 5 minutes. Nevertheless, I championed ZSR, informed them that if they are required to write a thesis or dissertation they’d be seeing me again, and hopefully left them feeling good about the support we can give them as they join our campus community!