Academics

A Typical Student Schedule

Do you wonder what classes you’ll take in your first semester? If you haven’t declared a major, you’ll probably end up taking the core classes that every student must take in order to graduate. Gardner-Webb’s liberal arts curriculum allows you to take courses in a variety of interesting subjects, including art, religion, history, and music. Students must also complete four semesters of Dimensions, a weekly program that brings in outside speakers to discuss important topics in religion and culture. Here is an example of what your schedule might look like during the first semester: 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

8:00am-8:50am: New Testament 

9:00am-9:50am: Composition I 

11:00am-11:50am- Personal Health 

Tuesday and Thursday

8:00am-9:15am- Technology in American Society 

11:50am-1:05pm- Art Survey 

Once you have completed your first semester, you have a lot more freedom to choose the date and time of your classes. Some students prefer early classes to free up their afternoons, while others like to load up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes and take Tuesday and Thursday off. The beauty of college is that more often than not, you will have the flexibility to choose your own schedule!

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

How I Picked my Major

Going in to college, the biggest question you often get asked is, “what do you want to major in?” It’s on every application you filled out, and it’s asked every time you step onto a college campus. The weight of that simple question seems to determine your entire future, and it can be challenging to find your niche. So, how do you figure out what major is right for you? 

First off, know that coming to college without knowing what you want to major in is perfectly normal and a lot more common than you might realize. Most college students will tell you that even if they came in thinking they knew what they wanted to major in, once they got here, they changed their mind once or twice. In high school, most of your classes are just general subjects, and even your freshman year of college, that can be the case as well. Because of that, it’s hard to determine what truly interests you until you’ve explored and experienced several subjects in more depth. 

Coming in to college, I was confident that I was going to major in psychology because I have always been interested in the way that minds work, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with that degree. I am now a senior, and I am still a psychology major, but in taking many different types of psychology classes, I have figured out the field of study in psychology that most interests me. To figure out what you want to major in, I would suggest looking at the things that interest you the most and following in that direction. Your major might determine what you spend much of your future doing, so you want to be doing something you truly love. That is the beauty of college - you get to choose what classes you take! 

So, as you think about what you want to major in, do some soul searching. Find out what interests you and what you love, and don’t be afraid to explore different options or even change your mind once or twice. Don’t feel pressured to know exactly what you want to do when you get here, because the purpose of college is to figure out your place through furthering your education in an area of study where you can thrive.

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

Summer Scholars Program

The Gardner-Webb University Undergraduate Research Scholars program funded a total of 10 students during the summer 2017 term to participate in the Summer Scholars program. This represents the greatest number of scholars in the program’s history.

 As part of their research project, scholars will spend five weeks on campus working on his/her topic for 40 hours a week. At the same time, students will be mentored by a dedicated faculty member providing information and guidance to ensure a successful research experience for the scholar.

The program is directed by Dr. June Hobbs, who oversees GWU Undergraduate Research and serves as a professor of English for the Department of English Language and Literature.

Caroline Burnette is one among the 10 that participated this year. Her plan, to examine the correlation between gender roles and the treatment of mental illness in women in the Victorian Era through critical analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Her mentor will be Dr. June Hobbs. Caroline is a senior majoring in English literature with a pre-law concentration.

Caroline answered a few questions about her experience.


How did you pick your faculty advisor? 

I transferred to Gardner-Webb as a Junior, and one of the first classes I took at GWU was with Dr. June Hobbs. She became my favorite professor instantaneously, and when I heard about the Summer Scholar program, I couldn’t think of anyone with whom I would be more delighted to work with. At the time, I had no idea how involved she was with this program; I ran to my favorite teacher and asked her to work with me. As my study progressed through the summer, however, I found it was incredibly beneficial to work not only with a brilliant scholar, but also with the woman who designed this research program. The amount of insight she had to offer on both these levels was incredible. 

How did you pick your research topic? 

Because of my interest in gender studies and women’s issues, this topic had been in the back of my mind for a while, just waiting for an excuse to be fleshed out and researched. I knew I wanted to examine hysteria and The Yellow Wallpaper, but as the project progressed, I was amazed to see how it quickly became so much more than the simple idea with which I started. 

Why was this topic important to you? 

As a feminist and an academic, I feel that this topic has not only personal but universal significance. To examine the history of hysteria is to examine a societal history of degrading and demeaning women, a malingering practice that still exists in various forms. Though the threat of institutionalization is less common, women who display strong emotion or challenge socially acceptable gender roles still run the risk of being labelled “crazy” or “hysterical,” and subsequently dismissed—particularly in academia. It is for these reasons that I feel this topic is deserving of extensive research and increased awareness in society. 

What do you feel like you learned the most from your research? 

Having learned so much through the course of this program, it’s difficult to pin down a single most beneficial experience, but I would have to say that aside from learning so much about a fascinating topic that interests me, as well as more information about future research practices, I also learned a lot about myself. In fact, prior to the start of this project, my future plans were geared toward becoming a defense attorney. 

I was interested in this career path because I’m passionate about social justice, but also because of my love for reading, research, and debate. The Summer Scholar program helped me to realize that I would actually find the most fulfillment from a career in academia and research. 

What did you enjoy the most about your research? 

The uninterrupted time to research! During the semester, so many things pop up that I would love to research further or spend more time learning about, and I can never do it, because of the constant deadlines in my classes. Getting to spend time away from all the distractions of college life and focus on study was amazing, and showed me that this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I also loved having an opportunity to work so closely with someone as incredible as Dr. Hobbs. Anyone who is serious about research and academics should have this opportunity; It will change your life.

The Nursing-Athlete Life

The Nursing-Athlete Life

The number one question people ask me is, “How do you do it?”

I always laugh at this question because the answer is that it is definitely not easy! Being a nursing student, a Division I swimmer, and having a college social life does not always seem like it could be possible, but it can be—I live it daily! I experience both the stress and the victories that come from this combination.