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Kaitlin’s Day with the Dean

Jeff Braden and Kaitlin Fritz
Dean Jeff Braden and student Kaitlin Fritz.
Dean Braden and Kaitlin Fritz in History 233 (The World Since 1750).

On a recent Wednesday, Humanities and Social Sciences student Kaitlin Fritz and Dean Jeff Braden spent the day side by side.

Fritz, a senior English major and winner of the 2017 Side by Side with the Dean contest, got a glimpse at the inner-workings of the college while Braden experienced what it’s like to walk in a student’s shoes.  

The pair started the morning bright and early by grabbing coffee at Global Village — and a meeting with the head of the English Department and the chair of the dean’s advisory board — before heading to Fritz’s first class, History 233 (The World Since 1750). After class, they attended a college administrative leadership team meeting, where Fritz had an opportunity to offer feedback and contribute to several issues on the group’s agenda.

After lunch, it was time for Honors English where they collaborated on a book-making project in D.H. Hill Library. Then, it was off to Español II, the last class of the day, but not the last event they shared. Fritz and Braden briefly debriefed as they traveled to Hunt Library to hear nationally-known activist and writer Anil Dash.   

Dean Braden found the experience enlightening.

“As is true every year, I am amazed by the outstanding teachers we have in our college,” Braden said. “I learned about nationalism based on civic (e.g., identification with principles) versus ethnic (identification with genetic and linguistic) identities, made a book, observed dynamic exchanges in Spanish and finished the day better understanding ways we can have a more humane technology. Awesome.”

For Fritz, the day was special for many reasons, but she really enjoyed getting to know the dean.

“The day with the Dean was one of my favorite days during my undergraduate career,” Fritz said. “I was able to look at the inner-workings of our diverse college, and with Dean Braden, I was able to see through the lens of an administrator the issues and great successes within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“In addition, I enjoyed seeing Dean Braden in the classroom. Like myself, he loves to learn, and he jumped into every class I had,” Fritz continued. “He truly cares about his students, and I felt like I got to share my N.C. State experience as a student and individual with him. I am incredibly humbled and honored to have been chosen, and I am grateful for this experience. Overall, I recommend anyone who is interested to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”