Relationships between faculty and students are the cornerstone of the Wake Forest community.
While such connections are made every day, the annual Big Campus Connect – a weeklong series of events designed to promote faculty-student engagement in informal settings – offers a unique opportunity to put down the textbooks and have fun together outside the classroom.
Co-sponsored by the Provost’s Office and Student Government, this year’s Big Campus Connect featured coffee vouchers for faculty-student pairs; a picnic for students, faculty and families; flag football and a mediated dialogue on campus culture.
For biology professor Wayne Silver, who already hosts a weekly Neuroscience Book Club for more than 20 students, the highlight was a packed student-faculty trivia night in Shorty’s. That is, until his team was asked when Beethoven’s 9th Symphony first premiered in Vienna.
“We were severely handicapped,” said Silver, whose team included Neuroscience 300 students Kate Sams (’13), Stephanie Marcum (’12) and Brad Shugoll (’12).
Why? There was no science category. But even without questions regarding synapses or the hippocampus, “Team Neuroscience” enjoyed putting their heads together on topics ranging from love interests on Glee to the carillon bells in Wait Chapel.
“The opportunity to spend time with one of my professors in a relaxing and informal environment definitely made me feel more connected to him as his student,” said Marcum. “I don’t get the chance to chat and build much of a relationship with professors in the classroom, which made the time I spent with Dr. Silver at trivia night worth it.”
Silver said that the informal interaction promoted by Big Campus Connect is a great way for him to get to know students in a different context – and vice versa – making class time more personal and meaningful as well.
To learn more about the Big Campus Connect, visit its website.
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