At a recent Community Lecture Series presentation, social science Assistant Professor Brenda Kauffman spoke of the problems of the Gilded Age, a time when government corruption was rampant, populations were booming, and infrastructures were weak. So she knows a thing or two about problems. And luckily for Flagler’s incoming freshmen and transfer students, she also knows about solutions.
Kauffman is a participant in Flagler’s new First Year Experience program, in which she helps first-year students maneuver the transition from high schools or other colleges. “I’m here to make sure they don’t feel lost,” she said. “To help them see that the path is laid out, and we can help them follow it.”
A graduate of Auburn University’s doctoral program in political science, Kauffman is familiar with big schools and with the risk of getting lost in the machine. At Flagler, she said, that risk is greatly reduced. “We are here for our students,” she said. “At a big state school you might be on your own. At Flagler we pride ourselves on our ability to help our students through this transition. It’s very important.”
What’s the biggest challenge Kauffman sees for first-year students? “Well, they can have a tendency to be impatient,” she said, smiling. “They are excited, apprehensive, sometimes even overwhelmed. The goal is to help them to slow down a notch, and see that there are usually steps involved in finding solutions. If we follow those steps, we succeed.”