Village Profiles: WOW and WISE Behind the Scenes
Posted: October 1, 2012
Amanda McKnight shares her experiences living in the WOW Village.
Living and Learning Villages help students get the most out of their NC State experience. While many campus partners have probably heard of the Village concept, some may be unfamiliar with the specific Villages and their purposes. In the next few issues of the Wolf’s Den, we’ll spend some time profiling our Villages to help you get a better understanding of the many offerings University Housing and its partners provide through Village living.
Women of Welch (WOW)
Through a partnership with University Housing, Women and Gender Studies, The Women’s Center, and the Department of Social Work, women residents in Welch Hall are finding empowerment and leadership. In the Women of Welch Village (WOW), participants are united by a central mission to enhance not only NC State University, but the greater world. This mission builds on four pillars - self-awareness, social justice, empowerment, and leadership. Through a variety of activities, including crucial conversations, community service activities, dinners with faculty, and other opportunities, women engaged in the WOW program are able to create the skills, abilities, and self-knowledge that will carry them not only through NC State, but beyond.
“Anyone who is passionate about the issues around the world can gain a lot from WOW. Definitely, we want to focus on women and how women have grown; how the status of women has changed and not just in American society,” said Alzebeth Roman, a junior in Accounting with a minor in International Studies. “We also work on leadership and how they [students] can get involved in what they are passionate about.”
WOW’s community consists of residents, WOW Mentors, resident advisors, and professional in-hall staff who provide a support system of strong women who help residents validate themselves and find a special place of belonging.
“It is the best decision I’ve made being here,” said Molly McDonough, a freshman from Chapel Hill majoring in Women and Gender Studies. “I’ve met my best friend on campus here and the RA and mentor are fabulous. I’ve been given opportunities to network with faculty and other students and next semester we’re taking a course together that is an exciting opportunity to take a class with your friends and learn together.”
Approximately 15 students are members of the WOW community for the 2012 – 2013 academic year and with the energy and passion of this year’s group, next year will certainly see continued growth in the program.
Amanda McKnight, a junior Psychology major from Charlotte is enthusiastic about the program, “I definitely feel like the people who are a part of WOW get a step up. We get a little bit extra in the first year experiences than people who may not choose to be part of it [the Village] and that is coming from someone who wasn’t in it their first year.”
To learn more about the Women of Welch Village, visit the website.
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Village
This year, nearly 300 NC State students signed up to participate in the WISE Village - Women in Science and Engineering. In this Living and Learning Village, women mathematicians, scientists and engineers reign as these like-minded individuals, pursuing similar fields, are paired with upper-class mentors to achieve educational and career goals. It literally takes a “village to raise” a WISE member and thanks to the partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; College of Engineering; College of Natural Resources; College of Sciences; College of Textiles; and University Housing, successful women are persisting through to graduation and entering their chosen field of science.
One student who joined WISE as a freshman and then served as a mentor explains her choice. “I looked at WISE because I am a mathematics major so WISE stood out to me. Also I was an out–of-state student and I really wanted to find a place on campus where I could meet friends really quickly - and really get some bonds – to develop a family feel. I felt that WISE really helped me out with it. Not only did they make me feel comfortable, but they pushed me and they made sure I would achieve my goals academically and even extracurricular-wise, so I felt I had a good support system with WISE,” stated Alexandria McCall, senior mathematics major.
McCall adds, “If you are struggling with physics you can find a physics major right down the hall.” This readily available class assistance can really make a difference for WISE participants. And, because of the relationships developed with faculty and staff, students may be able to utilize them for references in the future.
Other important aspects of WISE that help students on their way to graduation include activities and events, access to faculty, access to other talented students, tutoring and study groups, and volunteering opportunities. In addition, social activities encourage the development of relationship. These activities range from supporting one of NC State’s many athletic teams or taking a trip to the beach. Developing strong, supportive relationships really makes a difference in these students’ lives. WISE Director Kathy Titus-Becker adds, “WISE is a good way for students to connect quickly to campus, it makes NCSU a smaller place, and it links students with opportunities they might not otherwise be aware. Each new student is assigned an upperclass mentor who helps new students get involved in WISE, on campus, and in the community.”
For more information about the WISE Village, visit the website.
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