To provide opportunities for deep discussion of what it means to grow and flourish at Vanderbilt, Dr. Jill Stratton, assistant provost for residential education and associate dean for residential colleges, has hosted a variety of dinner guests and students at E. Bronson Ingram College and Nicholas Zeppos College this semester. The Thrive Dinner Series is part of the larger Sophomore Experience program focused on transfer students and the Class of 2024.
“Each dinner has opened the opportunity for faculty, staff and students to discuss what can make our lives and roles as members of the global and VU communities especially fulfilling,” Stratton said.
Guests have included retired Brig. Gen. Scott Brower and the Bass Military Scholars, Associate Professor of Equity and Inclusion in Educational Policy Chezare Warren, Assistant Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology Brittany Chase, Director of the Office for Inclusive Excellence Franklin Ellis and Associate University Librarian Melissa Mallon.
“Thrive Dinner has given me the opportunity to meet some of the most wonderful people on campus that I might never have had the chance—or reason—to meet otherwise,” sophomore Mike Jiang said. “From musicians to writers to those who fight for social justice and strive to make the world a better place, the numerous conversations I’ve had with these leaders have shown me not only how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such inspiring people, but also how similar we all are to one another as humans despite what society sometimes tell us.”
The series also includes a panel discussion between transfer students and the Bass Military Scholars. Topics have ranged from thriving during adversity to thriving creatively, with many of the speakers commenting on how they have thrived in the midst of the pandemic.
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to provide insight as part of such a transformative experience and hope that all students can think more deliberately about what it means to thrive in their own lives,” Brower, director of the Bass Military Scholars program, said.