Faculty Fellows

“Long one of Wake Forest’s defining features, the interaction between and among superb professors and bright, enthusiastic students is the key to real learning and discovery. ”

Excerpt from Wake Forest University Strategic Plan
South Forest

The Faculty Fellows’ program supports our strategic plan through exceptional faculty-student engagement and mentorship, educating the whole person by enriching the intellectual, cultural, and social lives of our students.

For information about our current Faculty Fellows, please visit the South Forest webpage. Click on each first-year residence hall to learn more about each faculty team. 

Mission

  • To increase faculty-student engagement by promoting informal, regular interactions between students and faculty in first-year residence halls.
  • To integrate the life of the mind into first-year students’ social experiences.
  • To enhance community and belonging at Wake Forest.

Structure and Roles 

First-year residence halls typically have teams of three Fellows led by one Senior and supported by two Associates. The Provost and the Dean of the College appoint Faculty Fellows through recommendations made by the Faculty Fellows Program Advisory Board.

Fellow teams enjoy a generous programming budget and autonomy to plan and support co-curricular activities and traditions with first-year students. Meals; pop-up ice cream parties; weekly snack hours; guest speakers; on-site or off-site workshops with Wake Forest offices like the WakerSpace and CLASS; tickets and outings to performances and athletic games; registration drop-in help; service projects; and pumpkin carving, movie, and game nights are some examples of Fellows’ programming. Fellows’ interests, strengths, and hobbies should inspire each team and hall’s programming (this should be fun!). 

Fellows often include partners, friends, kids, and pets in events. 

Senior Fellows receive a stipend of $5,000 per academic year (with an expected commitment of ~4 hours a week). Associate Fellows receive $2,500 (for a commitment of ~2 hours a week). 

Role of the Senior Faculty Fellow

Senior Fellows have primary Faculty Fellows programming responsibility for their residence hall. They are a prime example of student-faculty engagement outside of classrooms, studios, and labs. 

Senior Fellows: 

  • Help plan and oversee activities to bring students and faculty together in the residence halls on a regular basis. This means maintaining a regular but informal presence including critical times, e.g., move-in, registration, etc. Faculty Fellows have autonomy and flexibility in programming, but in general, between informal and formal, small-scale and larger-scale events, a Senior Fellow commitment should average four hours per week during the academic year. A team should aim for at least one weekly (low-stakes!) event to establish a consistent presence; weekly cookie and fresh fruit hours, pop-up snack breaks, lunches, and breakfasts, teas, and/or engagement hours are examples. 
  • Administer the hall’s Faculty Fellows’ programming budget.
  • Work closely with Residence Life and Housing staff, hall councils, and faculty advisers. Teams should have a monthly touch-base with hall colleagues in Residence Life and Housing (starting in 2022-23). 
  • Participate in workshops/professional development as provided.
  • Write a short, reflective summary of activities at the end of each academic year (starting in 2022-23).

Role of the Associate Faculty Fellows

Each residence hall for first-year students will have two Associate Faculty Fellows. Associate Fellows assist the Senior Fellow by creating, supporting, and participating in programming. Faculty Fellows have autonomy and flexibility in programming, but in general, between informal and formal, small-scale and larger-scale programming, Associate Fellows will commit an average of two hours per week during the academic year. Teams should aim for at least one weekly (low-stakes!) event to establish a consistent presence in their halls (including critical times, e.g., move-in, registration, etc.) and participate in their team’s monthly touch-base with colleagues in Residence Life and Housing. 

The Faculty Fellows Program Advisory Board

The Faculty Fellows Program Advisory Board will assist in Fellows’ recruiting, read applications, and ultimately make recommendations to the Dean of the College and the Office of the Provost regarding program structure, expectations, and appointments. The advisory board will also facilitate workshops and assess the program. 

The board consists of at least one representative from the faculty, one from the Office of the Dean of the College, one from the Office of the Provost, one from Residence Life and Housing, and one from the Office of Personal and Career Development.

Application Process

If you are interested in the Faculty Fellows program, please email Christina Soriano, Vice Provost for the Arts and Interdisciplinary Initiatives, at sorianct@nullwfu.edu for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the benefit?

First-year students are surveyed annually about their experiences with Faculty Fellows. More than 50% of responding students reported feeling a greater sense of belonging to their residence hall and feeling more confident in their ability to approach faculty outside the classroom.

What do faculty get out of this? Many faculty find value in getting to know first-year students outside of the classroom and feel it helps them become better teachers, too; they are more likely to know about the varied and complex challenges and opportunities of Wake Foresters’ first year. Others enjoy working in small, interdisciplinary faculty teams and getting to know a wider piece of our Wake Forest community, including exceptional and creative colleagues in Campus Life and Residence Life and Housing. 

Two long time Faculty Fellows had this to say about their experiences:

“I was drawn to the program by the opportunity to interact with students in a less formal, more relaxed way…to provide the chance for them to see faculty and staff as…actual people. There is much to be learned in college and the classroom is only one venue for that growth.”        

“When I signed on, I knew it was going to be a great way to become a part of Wake Forest’s mission to educate the whole student. What I didn’t expect was the fun of connecting with faculty and staff across divisions and programs, including the incredible people who work in Campus Life and Residence Life and Housing.”

Does this program require me to live in a residence hall?

No — the Faculty Fellows program is non-residential. Instead, faculty spend time in their assigned residence hall as their schedules allow. Some programming may need to occur on weekday evenings or on weekends in order to appeal to students. 

Is this program only open to College faculty?

No – the program is open to all Wake Forest University faculty members. It is beneficial to students to build relationships with faculty members from a wide array of disciplines and schools.

Who is eligible to apply to be a Fellow?

This program is designed for faculty who are either tenured or whose appointment extends through the length of a Faculty Fellows appointment term. Junior faculty are welcome to apply with a letter of support from their chair; we encourage faculty to consult with their chair and/or dean before submitting an application. 

How does my service as a Fellow count towards my service obligation?

This should be addressed on an individual basis with your department chair and/or dean.

If I serve as a Fellow, will I have any help in planning and executing my programming ideas in my residence hall?

Yes. You will have support from the Residence Life and Housing staff and are expected to meet or stay in touch with them regularly as an expectation of this appointment. 

Will I receive any training before assuming my role as a Fellow?

Yes. Each August, close to the start of the academic year, the Faculty Fellows Advisory Board will host a required workshop. We will also facilitate the Fellows gathering as a group during the academic year to share ideas and experiences.