June 9, 2023

Join the discussion: Become a 2021 Common Experience facilitator

Dear Colleagues:

The UMW Common Experience is one of the first opportunities for incoming first-year students to interact with members of the greater UMW community. The Common Experience is both academic and social in that incoming students have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with each other, returning students, faculty, staff and community members. The Common Experience 2021 is built around Living on Auto-Pilot, an episode from PBS’s Hacking Your Mind series. This documentary illustrates the many ways our “auto-pilot” mental processes can cause us to respond automatically or with bias, and offers suggestions for engaging our “slow-thinking” system to make more reasoned, less biased decisions. We rely on our auto-pilot systems to make quick decisions, but these systems can be duped by advertisers. And, auto-pilot thinking is influenced by implicit biases, which can lead to biased actions. We’ll use this documentary and implicit bias tests to launch a discussion with students about these critical topics.

First-year students will kick off their academic experiences in FSEM sections along with one or two community members in the Common Experience 2021 discussion. Please join the Common Experience discussion with our incoming students during New Student Arrival. Question prompts, additional information, and training will be provided in advance to help guide discussion. Date and format is still to be determined but we are hopeful for an in-person experience on Friday morning, August 20.

If you would like to volunteer to guide a discussion group as a co-facilitator, please click here to indicate your interest. Questions can be sent to awynn@umw.edu.

Thank you,

April Wynn – Faculty Director of the First Year Experience

The Common Experience 2021 Committee


If the hyperlink above does not work, please copy this address into your browser to volunteer: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=E8mlZpm3iEqGBkHQQRdiZ9IPgJO2Z_5Mkib29wrbetNUQ1ZCU1ZLSkQ4UU5TQ1lISE5HUjM4REIyQS4u