Freshmen get tips for success at first convocation
UALR hosted its inaugural convocation for incoming freshmen on Wednesday, Aug. 17, in the University Theatre.
The event involved new students and UALR’s senior faculty and staff personnel, including Chancellor Joel Anderson, Sandra Robertson, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Logan Hampton, Interim Dean of Students. In addition, Charles Donaldson, Vice Chancellor of Educational, Student Services and Student Life, and Darryl Rice, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success, spoke.
Rice offered guidance and suggestions to UALR’s newest class of undergraduates, fulfilling his role of providing the charge to students.
Rice urged students to seek out that which is not only pragmatic, but also natural. Any realm of study which students pursue must simultaneously be subjects that students are “passionate about,” Rice said. Rice recollected the indecisiveness that can define the freshman and sophomore, even junior, year experience.
“If there were ever two conversations taking place at an event, or gathering of some sort, and one had to deal with Genetics and a new finding in Medicine, while the other had to deal with Politics, History, or Religion, I always found myself in the latter,” Rice said.
At Purdue, Rice said he took courses to prepare him for attending medical school until he enrolled in a political philosophy class near the end of his undergraduate tenure at Purdue.
While freshman were encouraged to explore self in their pursuit of the ideal subject of study, the new arrivals also have immediate questions to deal with. Ben Kane, freshman undeclared major, is most worried about financing. “Cash is the biggest concern. I’m OK for my first year. Afterwards, I need to make a plan.” Having graduated from Calvary Academy in Little Rock, Kane is on the receiving end of scholarships and a Pell Grant.
Other students were eager to explore a new level of independence. Rachel Wright, freshman undeclared major, said she’s “really excited about meeting new people and starting a whole new life of sorts.”
Wright is interested in law and said she thinks history and philosophy are good courses for her to take to build an appropriate foundation for law school. Wright said that getting her feet beneath her is the most important and urgent task right now, “I’m just taking thirteen hours and not planning to work outside of school.”