The Year of Osmosis

X-Large Year of Osmosis intro graphic

The Year of Osmosis

Year of Osmosis intro graphic

If this is a gap year, it’s pretty full.

Every year, Wake Forest University welcomes people who never left. Approximately eight recent graduates stick around for a different kind of educational and developmental experience, year-long employment in administration.

The Wake Forest Fellows program assigns each member to his or her own specific division of the University with a mandate: Make a difference. Fetching coffee isn’t part of the job description.

Fellows immediately find themselves interacting with top leaders, both administrative and academic. They do not merely learn how a Top-30 research institution ticks; they keep it moving forward.

Every year, Fellows help implement projects with long-term impact. Whether running events promoting wellbeing or making sure everybody’s laptop will help them succeed, they leave an imprint on a place they love. And they get something out of the deal.

Matthew Connor  | 

Office of the Dean of the College

Peer Research • Curriculum Review • Dean’s List Gala • Project Wake • Major Exploration Week and Major Declaration Week • College House

“I have had the extraordinary honor of staffing the College Curriculum Review Committee (CCRC) since I began in July. This academic year, the committee began developing a proposed revision to our core curriculum to enhance our students’ education. The committee is made up of students, faculty and administrators from across the College. We collaborate with partners in nearly every academic department as well as with multiple partners and committees in Campus Life. I had the opportunity to actually conduct research for and write part of our proposed revision, particularly with regards to diversity and inclusion in the curriculum. If the faculty vote to pass the revision for official adoption, then future generations of Demon Deacons for years to come will partake in a core curriculum structure that I was fortunate enough to help create.”

Joseph Ford  | 

Office of the President

10th Anniversary Fellows program • Curriculum Review • Voices of Our Time • President’s Aides Program Mentoring • Search Committee for Dean of Admissions • Holiday Party

“Work as a Fellow has prepared me for the next step in my career by giving me a great example of ideal culture. I am glad to begin my career in a place where I feel challenged yet supported and encouraged. The Fellowship has also prepared me to move forward by granting me the opportunity to increase my self-awareness. The professional development series invites us to take exams, such the Myers-Briggs and the Clifton Strengths Finder, and discuss our results as a group with a career coach.”

Clay Hamilton  | 

Wake Downtown

Tours • Garden Party Honoring Dr. Maya Angelou • Community Engagement • Pint of Science • Improvements Committee • The Science of Winston-Salem

“As a music major and a future medical student, my experiences this year have been a departure from my undergraduate work and quite different from what I’ll be doing next, at least on the surface. However, the opportunities I’ve had at Wake Downtown to engage with the city of Winston-Salem and network across a variety of local institutions have been incredibly illuminating, shaping my beliefs on what it takes to achieve holistic community wellness. Additionally, the mentorship and professional development aspects of the Fellowship have been indispensable, and I am thrilled to have these expanded perspectives under my belt as I begin to pursue a career in medicine.”

Alisha Hartley  | 

Campus Life

Thrive • Wellbeing Wednesdays • Campus Life Advisory Committee

“Rediscover your ‘why’ in this position. I am sure you have the reasons you attended Wake Forest as a student, but expect that reasoning to be different from your choice to stay as staff. Embrace your moment here for another year, find out what makes you excited about this opportunity and make it your ‘why.‘”

Sarah Ottenjohn  | 

Information Systems

WakerSpace • Cybersecurity Awareness Week • Move-in day • TechXploration • Workday Statistics • Website • Social Media

“Overall, it’s made me a well-rounded person, both in the workplace and in life in general. The Fellowship does a great job of caring for the whole person. Mentorship, deep conversations, self-reflection, responsibility, teamwork, time management and relationship-building are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of all of the ways that the Fellowship has fostered my growth. In the way that a liberal arts education prepares you for a variety of life paths, the Fellowship paves the way for myriad careers as it fosters the development of a wide repertoire of professional skills.”

Jayson Pugh  | 

Office of the Provost

Call to Conversation • Senior Video • Transformative Arts Project • Check Your Blind Spots Tour • New Faculty Orientation • Provost Newsletter • Histories of Wake Forest

“One of the most surprising things that I have learned is that major projects and initiatives take a significant amount of time. A number of the projects that I started this year I will not see through to fruition. During my time as a student leader at Wake Forest, I always wanted instant gratification and visible results for my efforts. My Fellowship has taught me that there is immense planning and preparation for a number of initiatives, and I might not always see the results of my work. I trust in my colleagues to carry forth the work that I began, and I know all of my efforts have been greatly appreciated.”

Dominique Tucker  | 

Medical Center

Hospital Infrastructure Research • American Heart Association Walk • Space Optimization Initiative • Research With Muscadine Grapes • OR, ED, Clinical & AirCare Team • Health Care Reimbursement

“My most rewarding project this year is central to cost issues. Medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States. There are millions of Americans, including thousands in our local community, who do not have health care insurance and are stymied by this debt burden. At Wake Forest Baptist Health, we are committed to mitigating this burden for our patients by connecting them with financial counselors, scheduling them at lower-cost settings to avoid high ER costs, and partnering with churches and community organizations to foster health care literacy in vulnerable communities. It was special because this project demonstrated the value of collaborating with existing essential community leaders, thus increasing our network and creating positive patient experiences and outcomes. I collaborated with various departments in our organization: FaithHealth, Patient Access and Scheduling, WF Physicians Network, Patient Financial Services, Clinical Operations and others.”

Sarah York  | 

Office of Personal & Career Development

Website • Diversity Matters • OPCD Ambassadors Spring Workshop • Mentorship Project • Senior Mentoring Group • OPCD Annual Report

“Lean in to every experience. Take advantage of the access you have in this prestigious role. There will be so many opportunities – from grabbing coffee with our top leadership to attending international conferences to simply just reflecting on your past four years at this magical place. Be reflective, be curious, be intentional, and most importantly, just be. Be present in this year. It will fly by.”