We’ve all seen the number of offerings growing at the base of Minerva, as exams approach. Our students want to do well – and go on to do great things. This new tradition is a reminder of our students’ hopes and dreams. And of how challenging their courses are – which will serve them well throughout their careers.
Last semester, Campus Weekly told you about a Science & Medical Careers learning community in Grogan College. These freshmen decided to go together on the first day of class in August. They surrounded the statue, stated their personal goals for the year, and placed their apples and coins. As the students and I sat in Grogan last fall and they recounted that afternoon in the rain at Minerva, I saw a promising future – for them and for the many lives they will touch. They planned to be doctors, veterinarians, pathologists. They found their first-semester courses quite hard, but they were determined.
Last week, I passed Meg Horton on College Avenue. She updated me on the latest news from Grogan and some of the students’ successes so far – and later passed me a longer message.
Katherine Nicholson, who was doubtful it actually brought good luck but she left her apple because she liked the tradition, made the Dean’s List, completed the Bronze Leadership Challenge, and undertook a service learning project with HorsePower. HorsePower offers therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with disabilities. And she knows her major: Therapeutic Recreation, Pre-Vet.
The leadership challenge assists UNCG students in the development of leadership skills, preparing them to serve as citizen-leaders in a global community. Bronze is the first level.
Ashlyn Fisher and Jajiba Biswas, Dean’s List students, completed the Bronze Leadership Challenge. Ditto for Nicholas Eze, who now works for the biology department assisting with preparation of teaching labs. Briana Daniels did the Bronze Leadership Challenge, as did Danielle Hill – who made Chancellor’s List.
Joseph Diodato – who explained back in the fall that he likes how at UNCG you’re seen for more than just your GPA or some other stat – has taken on several leadership positions in student organizations, Horton says. He is now a residential Relations Associate for Housing & Residence Life. Computer science is his passion, and he has teamed up with a fellow “Groganite” to work on building apps for smart phones.
What about Chaviaus Floyd, the aspiring pediatrician who decided to stick a coin in an apple, starting a new twist in the tradition? Did he hit his goal of making Dean’s List? Yep. What’s new with Kayla Pratt, their sophomore peer academic leader who plans to get her master’s and be a genetic counselor? She will advance to be a Supplemental Instruction Leader in Grogan next year.
Kayla must have been a great role model. Alyse Schmidt and Tyrik Stewart, who both did the Bronze Leadership Challenge, will become Peer Academic Leaders in Grogan next year. Stewart made Dean’s List.
They will help support and guide the incoming Grogan classes, as Pratt did for their class this year.
Meg Horton, UNCG biology lecturer and senior faculty fellow at Grogan, is pleased at their success, especially with such hard courses. “I’m really proud of these students but not surprised by their accomplishments.” Grogan as well as all the UNCG residential colleges have a long record of enhancing student success.
“Our students enter UNCG with a great deal of enthusiasm and determination,” she said. “They have fun but they also work hard to achieve their personal and academic goals.”
By Mike Harris