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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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‘Study breaks’ to bridge gap between students, dean

Dean Jeffrey Wolcowitz announced on Wednesday, Feb. 22 that he would be trying something new this semester. A series entitled Dean’s Study Breaks will feature Wolcowitz in the Thwing Atrium on the last Monday of each month from 4 to 6 p.m.

“I have been trying to find ways to get to meet more students for informal conversation. At the same time, some students have suggested that it would be good to have opportunities for more people to get to know me,” Wolcowitz explained. “I received conflicting advice when I sought input on what would be the best format in terms of time, place, and style, and finally decided that I should simply try something.”

“I see this as an experiment for this semester. If this doesn’t seem to be an attractive event for students, or if it is so popular that it becomes too large, I will try something different in the future,” he added.

The study breaks are very open-ended according to Wolcowitz. “I’m most interested in hearing what is on students’ minds. As dean of Undergraduate Studies, my responsibilities fall on the academic side of the student experience for undergraduates.”

Wolcowitz also explained that the study breaks will allow students an opportunity to learn more about the role of Undergraduate Studies.

“Undergraduate Studies is directly involved in registration and advising issues and monitoring students’ academic progress, but we also work with the schools and departments on curricular matters and work closely with Student Affairs,” he said.

“We are also responsible for advising about health careers, law school, and the nationally-competitive scholarships and fellowships. So, our interests and the ways in which we can be helpful to students are really quite broad,” he added. “We want to help students make the most of their academic experience at CWRU and can serve as advisors to help navigate various parts of the university.”

The goal of this project is for students to interact with the dean in a more informal setting. “My goal is to be available to students and to get a sense of what is working well at CWRU and what areas, particularly those related to the academic experience, would benefit from renewed attention. I am excited to see what sort of turnout this draws, understanding that this may evolve over the semester, and to hear what issues are on students’ minds.”

Uday Patel, a second-year undergraduate, believes the study breaks will be a great resource for university students. “I think that the informal setting will really help encourage people to attend,” he said. “I also believe this will be a really great way to get your opinions heard by someone who is willing to listen.”

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