BHC professor pens advice book, ‘Dear Freshman’

book cover of Dear Freshman A Professor's Guide to Getting it RightA Black Hawk College psychology professor has penned a book to help first-year students.

“One day in 2021 when I got done Zoom teaching, I opened a Word document with the intent on telling all the students what they needed to know to be successful,” Dr. Traci Davis says.

“COVID was slowly draining their will to learn, and I could see it leaving in real time,” she says. “After the first few days, writing 20 pages a day or so, I kept thinking of things that they needed to know.”

And so was born “Dear Freshman: A Professor’s Guide to Getting It Right.”

She finished the original manuscript in three months, sent it out for editing, and published it in April 2022.

“The reception has been wonderful. I gave it out to students first to get some feedback on it,” Davis says. “Overall, they said it was useful, which is the best compliment I could hope for!”

The book starts with “A bunch of very important but random stuff” and continues with 34 chapters covering topics such as “The Language of College,” “I’m Failing, Now What?” “Working with Difficult Professor Behaviors,” “Due Dates: Negotiable or No?” and “How to Learn Online.”

book cover of Dear Freshman A Professor's Guide to Getting it Right

“Dear Freshman” is being used as the textbook for the Fall 2022 College Experience and Success (CES 100) class.

“The project has been a wonderful reminder of why I love this job! ” says Davis, who has taught psychology at Black Hawk College since 2004.

Copies are available to borrow from the BHC libraries. The book also is for sale in both BHC bookstores and on Amazon at $19.99 for the soft cover and $9.99 for the e-book.

“Dear Freshman” also will be the focus of the first “Bring Your Own Book” (BYOB) Club event on Wednesday, Sept. 21 from noon to 1 p.m. The discussion with Dr. Davis will be in person at the Quad-Cities Campus in the Sustainable Technologies Building, Rooms 113 & 114 and streamed live at the East Campus in Building B, Room 201.

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