When President LeBlanc set out GW’s strategic initiatives last year, I was so pleased to find enhancing the student experience at the top of the list. At GW Libraries and Academic Innovation (GWLAI), we’re the heart of the academic student experience. Everything we do — from ensuring a modern learning environment with the right technology to providing faculty with tools to become more effective instructors to connecting students with research opportunities — provides vital support at every point in the academic life cycle.
GWLAI is committed to providing access for every student.
In this issue, we are highlighting how GWLAI improves and expands the student experience at GW. Whereas the schools are focused on providing specific tools for their own communities, GWLAI is committed to providing access for every student to level the playing field. When a student wants to learn the Python programming language, but doesn’t have room for a full class, they can come to GWLAI for free three, two or one-day hands-on workshops. If a student is interested in physics, but can’t afford the $483 in course materials, they can borrow the books through the Top Textbooks program. And when an undergraduate wants to progress to graduate study, Academic Commons is there with Let’s GRE Together, a GRE study cohort. In this way, GWLAI levels the playing field for all of our students.
Nothing better illustrates the importance of GWLAI to student success than the experiences of graduate student Jason Vergne, B.A. ’19. Seeing the wide range of GWLAI services he relied on to complete his bachelor’s and master’s degrees was astonishing, even to me. It is a powerful example of the impact GWLAI has on student life.
Step into a GWLAI building and you’ll encounter a dynamic community of students and faculty — a culturally and intellectually diverse group engaging in collaborative academic exploration and learning. Our space serves as a hub for the university community, and our services are the scaffolding they need to support intellectual growth.
At GWLAI, we provide students with the tools they need for academic success, both inside and outside of the classroom. The philanthropic investment of our generous donors makes this work possible. Your philanthropy is our bedrock, and your support helps GW students reach their academic goals. For that, I offer my heartfelt thanks on behalf of the entire GW community.
Dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation