By Richard Southard Contributing Writer
UMF will be holding its annual Dean’s List Reception, an event that will congratulate the academic achievements of first year and transfer students in March. The event is specifically held to honor those who made the Dean’s List during their first semester, and encourage further success in their upcoming semester.
Lori Soucie, the coordinator for the reception, commented in an email interview that the event has value from an education perspective. “A well-known formula for success in higher education is high achievement in the first semester. Students who are successful in their first semester are often successful thereafter.” The reception is an opportunity to celebrate new student’s academic achievement.
While UMF certainly honors Dean’s List recipients, the way it affects the lives of students can vary. Second-year Creative Writing major Sylvia Schulze, who has been on the Dean’s List since her first semester, commented that its effects on her work effort are neutral.
“It’s kind of a personal goal,” Schulze said. “It motivates me a bit, but I’m more self-motivated.”
Schulze values the Dean’s List as a goal, but does not let the idea of it cause any stress. “If I don’t get it, it’s no big deal to me,” Schulze said, who did not hear about the event during freshman year.
Third-year Health major Bethany Berger holds a similar opinion towards the Dean’s List. “I think being on it in high-school kind of set up the expectation, but took away all the excitement.” Berger said. “I don’t ever aim to be on it or check to make sure I’m on track for it.”
Berger still sees value towards the Dean’s list, and said “If I’m not on it at the end of the semester, I feel like I should’ve tried harder, and I’m a bit disappointed.” Berger did not attend the Dean’s List Reception during her first year.
Creative Writing professor Patricia O’Donnell stated in an email interview that the Dean’s List is a good way to honor student effort. “I think the Dean’s List is a congratulations to students,” O’Donnell wrote. “They should be proud to see their name there, a sign that they worked hard and were given this honor.”
While O’Donnell sees the Dean’s List as a valuable honor, it does not shape her expectations for students in any specific ways. “Sometimes students are very bright and creative, but have rough semesters.” O’Donnell said. “It happens. Other times they pull together and make the Dean’s List. I expect good work from all of my students.
The event will also introduce students to groups such as Student Leadership, the Honors Program, Career Services, and Alpha Lamda Delta, who along with faculty and staff, will be providing information on various academic, leadership and experiential opportunities.
“This event is an opportunity to celebrate students’ success and to show them opportunities at UMF that may attract their interests,” Soucie said.
The reception is being held on March 6th at 5:30 p.m. in the North Dining Hall. If you qualify and are interested in attending, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to RSVP.