Words to Live By: The Widener Community Shares Advice with our Newest Students

Hilary Bentman, Associate Director of Communications
Student orientation leaders in matching blue and yellow shirts jumping in mid-air in front of University Center
C.R.E.W. student orientation leaders welcome new students to campus and help them transition to their new home.

Beginning a new school and transitioning to a new chapter in life is never easy. We know the questions running through your mind… What will it be like? Will I make friends? Can I handle the academic work? Will there be people to help me? What if I don’t know what I want to do with my life?

The questions, doubts, and worries are normal. We all have them. But you are lucky enough to be joining a community that cares about you – the individual student – and is here to help you succeed. 

When you arrive at Widener, you will find faculty members, staff, fellow students and a community ready to help you transition to campus and continue to thrive during your time here. 

We know those questions are nagging, so we polled a few people on campus to share their best advice, tips, and wisdom as you begin your Widener journey. Welcome home!

Time to Explore & Keep an Open Mind

Michelle Meekins-Davis
Micki Davis

“I encourage first-year students to explore not just our physical campus but to be open-minded and learn more about the diverse community that represents “We’re All Widener!” Step outside of your immediate friend zone and be intentional about sharing experiences with someone who is different from yourself. We take PRIDE in our differences! Welcome to our inclusive community of learners. You belong here!” — Micki Davis, chief diversity officer

Loyd D. Bastin
Loyd Bastin

"Keep an open mind and explore subjects that are of interest to you. If your major requires a course that you didn’t enjoy in high school, approach it with an open mind and give it another chance in college. You may love the subject the second time around!” — Loyd Bastin, associate dean of sciences

Janet R. Long
Janet Long

“Stay curious — take a course outside your major just because it sounds interesting, try out a student organization you might not have considered in high school. Rewarding careers are not always linear and some jobs of the future may not even exist today!” — Janet Long, executive director of Career Design and Development

Amy Yarlett
Amy Yarlett

“College is a time to explore! Explore to get to yourself, your interests, your passions to find the right major (and possibly minor) for you.” — Amy Yarlett, director of Advising and Retention Systems

Get to Know Your Professors

Anita Singh
Anita Singh

“Learn to knock on open office doors and seek advice and help you need. Even if one might not have the answer for you, they will know where you will find one.” — Anita Singh, associate professor & chair of biomedical engineering

Angela M. Corbo
Angie Corbo

“Widener faculty are invested in your academic, personal, and professional goals. We encourage you to stop by our offices, ask questions, join our research teams, and to make a personal connection. Your faculty look forward to meeting you!” — Angie Corbo, chair of communication studies & associate professor of communication studies, digital media informatics, and gender, women & sexuality studies

Get Involved & Try Something New

Austin L. Duckett
Austin Duckett

“The world has changed, but you never know what opportunities await until you take a chance and try something new! On your journey to success, seek to grow, be kind, be courageous, and make a difference in the world around you. Every little bit counts.” — Austin Duckett, assistant dean of students, Office of Student Engagement

Babak Eslami
Babak Eslami

"First year college is not only managing your time for classes but is also involved with learning about the campus, finding new friends, and developing new and healthy routines for yourself. Those who visit our campus before classes start, find their essentials, and reply to advising emails promptly tend to have a smoother transition to university life. We can’t wait to meet you all in fall 2022!” — Babak Eslami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering

Brian Larson profile image
Brian Larson

"Get involved: with student groups, with friendship opportunities, in classes, with your faculty. It might seem intimidating at first, but will prove to be awesome!” — Brian Larson, professor of marketing & director of sport management


More than a Grade

Jayne M. Thompson
Jayne Thompson

“Total engagement in course readings and discussions is not only the path toward a good grade; it is the route to greater self-knowledge and an understanding of our place in our communities and the many valuable contributions we can offer the world. Read, listen, discuss; repeat!” — Jayne Thompson, associate teaching professor of English and Creative Writing


Read the Roadmap (aka Syllabus)

Timothy J. Cairy
Tim Cairy

"Take the time to read each of your syllabi and map out your plan for success. Each faculty member will give you the "road map" for success in their syllabus, such as the grading system, assignments, test dates, attendance policy, campus resources. Use the GPS (syllabus) and do not fly blind." — Tim Cairy, director of Student Success and Retention


Importance of Self-Care

Madeline Maxson
Madeline Maxson

"It's okay not to be okay! During this big transition, set aside time to rest, care for yourself, and do things you enjoy. If needed, Widener Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is here to support you as you navigate new opportunities and challenges." — Madeline Maxson, assistant director of CAPS

Marina Barnett
Marina Barnett

"Remember to breathe, keep calm and ask for help." — Marina Barnett, associate professor of social work

Be Excited & Be Ready

Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper

"Be ready to become a better you.
Be on time to class.
Be present in class — turn off cell phones. 
Be prepared for class by doing all of the homework including the readings. 
Be organized, by creating a weekly schedule. 
Be ready to seek and use additional supports provided. 
Be mindful about your mental health as needed. 
Be ready to grow, and to make new friends.
Be open with your parents about what's going on.
Be excited as we all are to have you here at the Pride!" — Richard Cooper, director of bachelor of social work program & co-coordinator of African & African American Studies

Tips from Student Orientation Leaders

@wideneruniversity Student orientation leaders deliver the scoop on campus life 🍨#WidenerUniversity #freshman #FreshmanYear #CollegeLife #CollegeAdvice #StudentOrientation ♬ original sound - Widener University

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