One aspect of the College that really makes it unique is the close relationship that develops between students and faculty. Even before you to start your freshman year, each incoming student is paired up with an academic advisor who guides you through the first couple semesters. In addition, all freshmen are required to take a writing seminar (the topics range from the physiology of Lance Armstrong to German Horror Films in the Weimar Republic) where the classes are capped at 15 students. My professor even held classes along the Sunken Garden and at the local delis (where she bought us all appetizers). The way my professor taught the class is a great example of how William & Mary faculty members truly care about their students and are always striving to cultivate a dynamic academic environment.
Even outside of the classroom I have been able to foster relations with professors in various departments. For instance, Clay Clemens, who is the Chancellor Professor of Government, is the academic advisor to my social fraternity and invited a few of us to his house for dinner last week. It was a phenomenal experience to be able to converse with Professor Clemens on current events, school traditions, and sports. Furthermore, he has invited the 12 senior admission interns to his house this week for a 4th of July get to together.
Another example of teacher accessibility that I have personally witnessed has been with my biology research professor – Mark Forsyth. Professor Forsyth’s incredible knowledge and fun personality have made my research experience at the college truly exceptional. He is always willing to help students in and out of the lab/classroom, and many times you can see Professor Forsyth at the Daily Grind meeting with students and discussing topics from microbiology to his road trip adventures all over the country. His commitment to his students and expertise in his craft is hallmark of the William & Mary experience.
My interactions with faculty members at William & Mary is a common occurrence among all students, and to have the opportunity to know your professors on multiple levels is an integral component of the school community that spurs productive communication and fosters active learning.