Texas Wesleyan’s Academic Success Center hosted a workshop for upcoming freshman on Tuesday in the Eunice and James L. West Library’s orientation room.

The workshop was taught by Dr. Meghan Wright, assistant professor of management, and Dr. Christopher T. Parker, associate professor of microbiology, and was called How to Hack the Brain, which was originally based on a presentation titled Metacognition. The presentation was taught last fall in Nicholas Martin Hall by Wright and Parker to Academic Success classes.

Joe Brown, dean of freshmen success and professor of theater arts and mass communication, liked Parker and Wright’s presentation so much that he asked them to turn it into a workshop for this semester.

“Brown reached out to us to present this as a workshop to new incoming Wesleyan students,” Wright said. “He knew we had taught it before last fall.”

Brown said that the topic stays the same, but it’s just presented in a smaller setting.

“With this workshop, we have less than 200 students here,” Brown said. “Another thing that is different is that a lot of the students that came here, came by choice rather than requirement.”

Parker believes this event worked better than the one in Martin Hall because it had a smaller group of students who were willing to participate with each other and speak up.

Dr. Meghan Wright tells freshman that the idea that people only use 10 percent of their brain is false.
Photo by Rachell Aguilar

“The willingness to engage in discussion from this group was not something that we saw in the auditorium setting,” Parker said.

What Parker thinks makes this workshop different from other ASC workshops is that this is the first time students were asked to be aware of their own thought process. The students in Tuesday’s workshop were able to challenge themselves through critical thinking by solving riddles from PowerPoint activities.

“A lot of the times other workshops deal with how to do specific tasks certain ways, such as how to take notes and how to attend class,” Parker said. “With this one it’s not about any given tasks, it’s about how to manage new information to learn.”

Dr. Christopher Parker presents How to Hack the Brain in the library orientation room on Tuesday during free period.
Photo by Rachell Aguilar

Parker also thinks this workshop is not only a good for university students but also for students from community colleges.

“The use of critical thinking is a skill that everyone could use,” Parker said. “I think that everybody falls into the trap of jumping to conclusions, or not engaging in the class enough.”

Wright knew that a lot of students from her management class needed a workshop like this.

“We try to catch students who are at an early college level to think about difficult things that will possible help them out in the future,” Wright said. “We want them to make a successful transmission when they leave this campus.”

The Academic Success Center has several workshops scheduled throughout the semester. For more information go to  https://txwes.edu/academics/academic-advising-and-student-success/academic-success-center/workshops/.

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Rachell Aguilar

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