Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Year Seminar Convocation

After a year's hiatus (since I really needed to learn Dillard), I have resumed teaching a freshman orientation seminar. These are always important courses because they help students transition from high school students to college students. As our faculty staff institute speaker Dr. Diane Dean reminded us, they are still high school students- just on campus.

Here at Dillard (and the same was true at Albany State and Philander Smith), there is a weekly convocation or chapel experience. Our first this year featured Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus. He was in town commemorating Hurricane Katrina which hit 8 years ago today. Just this past Saturday he was a speaker at the March on Washington. So when he let me know he wanted t come to Dillard today, I was elated.

So our students had a powerful experience today and he will be back for more engagement.

The Prez

Friday, August 23, 2013

Faculty-Staff Institute

We kicked of our academic year officially on August 14th with our faculty-staff institute. Our keynote for day one was Dr. Diane Dean, co author of Generation on a Tightrope. She painted a clear picture of today's student, and how we have to change our ways to meet their educational years. This group is the first generation of Digital Natives. While they are tech savvy, they have weak social skills. One key quote from Dr. Dean was "students are essentially alone, together."

Our day 2 speaker was Dr. Charlie Nelms, past chancellor of North Carolina Central University. He challenged us to see students as more than test scores, and that we have to move them toward their goals. We talked about surrounding them in a network (like the Verizon commercial) to support them through the process.
We also had lots of nuts and bolts sessions which helped refresh and orient faculty and staff, we recognized all persons working at Dillard in excess of 25 years.

The Prez