Happy New Year! We are excited for students to return to campus and are looking forward to a great 2014 at Illinois Wesleyan. I hope you had a restful break as families. I want to bring a few things to your attention for this spring :
- Renewing the Network: Although this may sound like it relates to technology, I'm actually encouraging you to remind your student to connect with his/her campus support network. Whether your student is hoping to continue current successes or planning to refocus toward new goals, the support network is the place to start. Please encourage your student to reach out to these staff/faculty/peers in January, just to re-establish relationships and enlist their mentoring support:
- Academic Faculty Advisor – The advisor can help with any change of direction, whether on individual class selections, majors, or life goals. The advisor should also be able to help point your student in the right direction for academic support resources.
- Resident Director – Your student's RD is the professional live-in staff member in the residence halls. He/she can help your student connect with peers, leadership experiences or any campus resource needed for success. The RD is also invaluable in working through any roommate issues that carry over from the fall semester.
- Residence Advisor – Your student's RA is also a great resource for helping make peer connections. Sometimes, peer groups shift or new leadership opportunities are identified. The RA can help!
- Counselor – If your student was seeing a counselor in the fall, it's always good to reconnect. If your student has identified that he/she may need to seek some additional support, please encourage early contact.
- Establishing New Goals: Students often return in January with New Year's Resolutions in hand. If they have specific goals for the new year, please encourage them to connect with staff on campus who can help them accomplish those goals. Resources might include:
- Looking forward to the summer: Throughout the spring semester, students will be made aware of announcements and reminders about special summer opportunities, including the Summer Enrichment Program (deadline Jan. 24), the Eckley Scholars Program, ARC opportunities, and summer internships. Please encourage your student to look for these outstanding summer experiences!
- Planning for the IWU Future: For the past year, the University has been reviewing and enhancing our strategic plan. In December, students had an opportunity to review some of the progress and we anticipate a full strategic plan draft by March 2014. We hope that you and your students will partner with us in planning for the future. Documents can be found here.
- Staying Healthy: As you know, this is the time of year when flu and colds are frequent and sometimes long-lasting. Normal health precautions are the best strategy for avoiding colds and the flu – wash hands regularly, cover your mouth when you cough, get plenty of rest, and stay home if you have a fever, cough, and aches. Student's personal health choices affect the spread of illness so please encourage your student to stay healthy (or stay home if flu symptoms exist).
- Eating Well: I hope you are hearing positive feedback from your students about improvements to the student dining experience this year. Between the Dugout remodel, the addition of a vegan/vegetarian station and a deli bar in the Commons (aka Saga), the new Titan Wings Wednesdays (with over 1,500 meal exchanges used every Wednesday for wings!), and the standing-room only crowd for free finals breakfast (over 500 students served), we know we're getting strong reviews from students! On the environmental front, we started composting in the Dugout this fall. Please encourage your students to keep providing feedback so we can continue to be responsive! We are committed to ensuring a high-quality dining experience.
- Juniors: Although January may seem early for juniors to begin thinking about graduate school, it's actually the perfect time to begin exploring options. As you'll recall, it was likely the junior year in high school when you started genuinely exploring colleges. One of the main things that juniors should be thinking about are the many competitive post-baccalaureate scholarships and fellowships – many with deadlines in early fall 2014 for fairly lengthy applications. Visit this web page for more information.
- Seniors: This semester will bring many "lasts" for our seniors, but I hope they will remember that they've made a lasting impression on our campus. One of the things I often remind seniors is that it's sometimes easier to leave mad than sad. If you see your student expressing lots of frustration, it may be a natural (although painful) part of the separation process from a place they've loved. Please encourage them to recognize the things they've loved about Wesleyan and to celebrate their friendships. It's much better for them to embrace the things they've loved rather than reject them. We look forward to seeing you at Commencement on May 4, 2014.
Karla C. Carney-Hall, PhD
Dean of Students
The Parent Association Grant (also known as the Parent Fund) has been in existence for over 50 years. The Parent Fund is need-based grant assistance that supports students whose bread-winning parent dies or suffers permanent disability. It is intended to keep an IWU education accessible to students who would otherwise be forced to leave for financial reasons.
During an Illinois Wesleyan football game on November 11, 1960, Charles W. Merritt, a father of one of the players in the game, learned that the father of another player had died suddenly not long before. In an act of generosity and compassion, Charles passed a paper bag around the stadium to collect money to help the family with college costs. So began the IWU Parent Fund. Since its humble beginnings, the Parent Fund has supported over 300 young people with much-needed financial assistance due to the loss of a parent.
Right now there are four students on campus who rely on the Parent Fund for financial assistance. The average Parent Fund grant is considerably larger than the average student grant.
If you're interested in supporting the Parent Fund, you can find additional information online.
It's that time of year again to remind you to please complete your FAFSA prior to Feb. 15: www.iwu.edu/finaid/apply/
Seniors Nick Anderson and Lexi Baltes have been chosen as nominees for the 2014 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Teams, recognizing their volunteerism and civic service.
Don't live nearby? Many Titan home games can be viewed online.
> Titan Athletics
Ethics Bowl Team Qualifies for National Competition
Once again, an Ethics Bowl team at Illinois Wesleyan has advanced to national intercollegiate competition, and will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. in February.
Internship in Australia Confirms Career Passion for King '15
Although she grew up in Midwest farm country, Amanda King '15 credits her study abroad experience more than 9,000 miles from home with new insights into the benefits of creating sustainable community gardens.
> More News
> Campus Calendar
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This newsletter is an electronic publication of Illinois Wesleyan University Student Affairs in conjunction with the Communications Office.
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PO Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702