Faculty on: Starting the Semester Right


I encourage students to explore and discover!  Learn for the sake of learning:  including sitting with someone different from you in the Pit and discovering what is interesting about his/her culture and perspective, taking a class because it doesn’t fit into your major but it strikes an interest, going to events and speakers that you may never otherwise try, and seeking to learn in your classes—not to accumulate points and give the professor exactly what you think they want—but to stretch intellectually and learn because it is interesting (even if you think you may never “use” it again).

– Holly Brower, Associate Professor Schools of Business


Wake Forest students are famously ambitious and hard working. They join, they volunteer, they participate in a wide range of campus-related activities outside the classroom. It’s truly impressive. Ironically, though, much of this engagement can be oddly isolating, absorbing students so much that they lose touch with the communities beyond the Wake Forest bubble. Of course, you would expect a journalist, and the head of the journalism program, to insist that his students keep up with current events. But all students, no matter their fields or interests, will benefit from a deep and continued understanding of the news events playing out near and far. Following the news will help them better connect with and understand their courses of study. It will incite passions in them they may not have known existed. And in a democratic society that depends on an informed public to participate in making important decisions, it will help them become better citizens.

– Justin Catanoso, Director of Journalism


“Stretch yourself.  Take challenging professors who are experts in their fields.  Look for opportunities outside of class to hear great speakers and to interact with your professors.  Take advantage of the many opportunities for independent research.  Study abroad – it will change your life.  Appreciate the privilege of having four years to think, study, and explore.”

– Katy Harriger, Chair of Politics and International Affairs Department


Ask questions. Get involved.  The best way to learn, I believe, is by experiencing the material.  When I was a student here, I sometimes thought I had to “look” smart and shied from asking too many questions. Wrong.  My advice is not to hold back – in the classroom or the community. Getting involved in the community – especially through service – carries the same benefit as asking questions in the classroom.  When you give, you learn. When you ask questions, you learn.  In both cases, experiencing the truth of something lasts far, far longer than simply reading about it.  Thankfully, Wake Forest encourages us to speak up and be our best.

– Mary Martin Niepold, Entrepreneurship and Journalism