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Wings Students are Going Strong

Wings student graduation

Calling for Wings Alumnae Stories
What have you been doing since you graduated from Meredith? Did you continue your education, use your new skills and knowledge to advance in your career, get a fantastic new job, start a company, find a new calling in life, or could you simply say that you used your Meredith education to enrich your life and the lives of those around you? If you have a story to share, please contact me at thmanning@meredith.edu. I enjoy getting to know alumnae, hearing their stories, and sharing a bit of my own “scenic journey” through higher education. Building relationships with alumnae helps me to build a treasury of success examples to share with students who need encouragement or affirmation. It also provides me with a valuable pool of people to call on when I need information, have an idea I want to bounce around with someone, need an alumna’s perspective, or need an alumna’s story to feature. I hope I will hear from you soon!

Wings Students Continue to Soar!
As you would expect, Wings students continue to accomplish amazing things. And their stories are often highlighted in Meredith’s Strong Stories and Strong Videos. If you haven’t browsed the Wings website lately, you need to read the stories of new alumnae: Margaret Gaskin-Tuell, ’18, Jennifer Campbell, ’18, and Donna Bahena, ’18. Congratulations to all 43 Wings students who completed their degrees in the past year!

A New Twist on FYE 100
Many of you may have taken a one-hour course called, “First Year Experience,” commonly known by its course number, “FYE 100.” In my time at Meredith, I have taken the format and concepts of FYE 100 and continually re-developed and tweaked the course to make it as relevant as possible to Wings students. I offered and taught sections each semester, and even though students were always grateful for the help they gained from the course, the valuable connections they made, and the reciprocal support they experienced, I always knew that they didn’t really like writing papers, doing research, and presenting to the class. Since many Wings students transfer in a significant number of credit hours, most do not need an additional 1 hour of credit, but they need a good platform for quickly acclimating to Meredith College, identifying valuable resources, and making connections with other new Wings students, for support and to realize that they are not the only new Wings students on campus.

In the spring semester of this year, I piloted what turned out to be a very successful new format, and called it the “New Wings Students Brunch and Learn Series.” Participants do not pay to attend, do not have homework, and are not graded down for absences; oh, and there’s always food and coffee! The meetings are held in spaces that do not feel like a classroom – the Chapel Common Room, Lux Lounge, Martin 144, the Oak Room in lower Belk – that instead offer an environment for comfortable conversation. The important topics from FYE 100 are covered; I still talk about time management on day one, and we talk about strengths using the language of the CliftonStrengths assessment. Financial literacy is discussed, particularly in the area of researching and applying for scholarships, but students are encouraged to set appointments with me for one-on-one conversations about any topic they desire, instead of showing me what they are learning by writing papers and doing presentations. And, I think I mentioned this, there’s always food!

The seven pilot participants were overwhelmingly positive when surveyed about their experiences in the New Wings Students Brunch and Learn Series, and wholeheartedly recommended that it be repeated. They were originally asked to commit to attending four sessions, but at the fourth session requested to continue, first for two more weeks, then up to spring break, then until the end of the semester. One of the participants exclaimed, as she was munching on her second doughnut, “I just don’t want it to end!” I don’t want it to end either, so I’m offering the series again this semester and there are 21 new Wings students signed up to participate. I’m sure they are not just coming for the pastries and coffee, are they?

Wings Connections and Conversations Dinner
The fourth annual Wings Connections and Conversations Dinner was held on the evening of September 6 in Belk Dining Hall. This annual event is designed to give new Wings students an opportunity to meet continuing Wings students, and all Wings students an opportunity to meet Wings, 23+, and Re-Entry alumnae. This year’s program featured an alumnae panel moderated by Kay Davis, ’97, with panelists representing four decades of alumnae: Sandra Close, ’86, Carolyn Hriso, ’94, Ann Morrison, ’05, and Karen Baltimore, ’14. If you did not receive an invitation to this important event, please let me know; you need to be there next year!

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330

allenme@meredith.edu