Wesleyan Welcomes Ken Blair as Director of the First Year Experience

Staff Report

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

At the very foundation of a Wesleyan education is WISe 101, Wesleyan’s interdisciplinary seminar required for all first year students. WISe 101 models Wesleyan’s diverse and challenging academic community and helps students make the transition to college. It introduces academic life and focuses on honing academic skills, especially writing and critical thinking. 

This fall, Wesleyan welcomed Ken Blair to the position of director of the First Year Experience at the College. Blair began his career at Mercer University in 2014 as an associate director in the Office of Student Financial Planning. He joined Mercer’s student affairs department in 2017, serving as an educational specialist, academic coordinator and advisor for the University’s TRiO programs. TRiO Programs consist of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students, especially first year students, in their pursuit of a college degree.

Blair also served as a UNV 101 instructor at Mercer for first year students, a co-advisor for Minority Mentor program for first generation students, Mercer’s National Pan-Hellenic Council, and W.O.M.E.N campus organizations. He’s also a Golden Key Honor Society member and served on the Student Affairs Assessment Committee. For the past two years, Blair was nominated for the Outstanding UNV 101 Instructor of the Year Award. He was recognized as Mercer University’s faculty/staff spotlight in 2019. Ken earned his bachelor of applied science in organizational leadership and a minor in education from Mercer University and his Master’s in Business Administration degree from Brenau University. 

WISe 101 is part of Wesleyan’s long partnership with the Interactivity Foundation (IF), a non-profit organization that teaches discussion methods that help people to work collaboratively on complex, real-world problems, such as climate change, education reform, and mass incarceration. As our first year students learn the IF Method of collaborative discussion-building and become discussion facilitators themselves, they also learn how to be generous and supportive participants in Wesleyan’s seminar-style classes.