2014: Meaningful Mentoring

Among national universities, U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University 11th in its commitment to undergraduate teaching. Eleven members of the Class of 2014 say “thank you” to the professors who made the biggest impact on them, demonstrating how student-faculty engagement goes beyond the classroom.


Samuel Cho (Physics and Computer Science) and Adam Green (Biology major)
“Sam Cho trained me and treated me as an equal partner in research. We spent hours discussing life, the future and goals. He inspired my passion for research. I recently accepted an offer from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to pursue my doctoral degree. I was the only student out of 19 recruits to have experience in computational research.”


Rogan Kersh (Politics and International Affairs professor and Provost) and Kendall Stempel (Politics and International Affairs major)
“The first day of Rogan Kersh’s class, I remember thinking, ‘I hope I’m like him some day.’ Throughout the semester, someone I grew to respect showed confidence in me as a student. This has meant more to me than any test or paper grade.”


Charles Lewis (Philosophy) and Nick Ashburn (Biology major)
“No other professor has influenced my intellectual and social journeys as profoundly as Charles Lewis. He passionately teaches about how to live well. From discussing Mozart and theology with me over lunch, to giving me a tour of his church, to inviting his classes to his home for social gatherings, Dr. Lewis embodies the highest ideas of a teacher-scholar.”


Michelle Steward (Business) and Brad Vonick (Psychology major)
“A defining characteristic of an outstanding professor is one that is there for you when you struggle and one that can help you bounce back. Professor Steward helped me do exactly that. I plan on pursuing a career in marketing after graduation largely because of my experience in her marketing class.”


Michael Berry (Health and Exercise Science) and Marc Lewis (Health and Exercise Science major)
“Michael Berry helped me realize my potential and, most importantly, my passion for teaching and research. As a non-traditional student and military veteran, I traveled an unconventional path to arrive here at Wake Forest. Michael’s inspiration and support enabled me to build academic self-confidence, as well as a love for teaching. I owe a great deal of the person I am today, and the person I will be tomorrow, to Michael Berry.”


Dee Oseroff-Varnell (Communication) and Emily Colby (Art history major)
“In Dee Oseroff-Varnell’s classes, she and I worked together to help me reach my full potential. She always knew the right questions to ask to motivate me. I took advantage of office hours and we learned more about each other beyond the classroom. I even helped her plan her family’s trip to Prague.”


Billy Hamilton (German and Russian) and Hannah Widdowson (Psychology major)
“Billy Hamilton is the most caring professor I have known. From his ‘parties’ (review sessions) to his ‘open chair policy,’ he genuinely cares for his students and wants the best for all of them. He taught me how to believe in myself and my abilities.”


Scott Baker (Education) and Kathryn Norcross (Mathematics major)
“Dr. Baker is a teacher and mentor both inside and outside of the classroom. He emboldens, inspires and encourages his students to reach their full potential and strive to make a difference in the world.”


David Wilson (Mathematics) and Nayan Hussain (Philosophy major)
“In statistics, we are presented with all sorts of information, and it can be a mess if you’re unable to connect the dots and search for patterns. Dr. Lewis showed how the lessons learned in class had immediate real-world application, and that’s a Wake Forest difference.”


Sabrina Setaro (Biology) and Cassandra Ring (Biology major)
“Professor Setaro went above and beyond in that she allowed me to learn more about myself as a student. She encouraged me to ask questions, and she recognized my potential. She puts her students first.”


Michele Gillespie (History) and Julie Huggins (English major)
“Professor Gillespie is a devoted teacher who cares deeply about each and every one of her students. She is always willing to listen when someone is going through a difficult time, utilizing every resource she has to help that student succeed. She genuinely loves her job, and it shows in everything she does.”