UNCG Campus Weekly

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HHS’ Bill Johnson, the ‘dream dean,’ at Gates Foundation’s Advising Challenge

Portrait of Bill JohnsonBill Johnson, student success coordinator for UNCG’s School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), is known as the Dream Dean. Now Johnson, a certified dream coach, has realized a dream of his own.

Johnson’s proposal for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Momentum Advising Challenge was one of only nine selected from 76 applications that came in from across the country. He traveled to Seattle Sept. 18-20 to represent UNCG at the Advising Challenge summit.

The Gates Foundation works with global partners to tackle several critical issues, including the betterment of education in the U.S. Proposals for the Advising Challenge were chosen based on three key areas – mentoring, incorporation of life skills and measures of success.

Johnson’s proposal summed up some of the ideas he uses with students in HHS. He calls his plan “Make College Matter.”

“Make College Matter” focuses on five key ingredients for success — Story, Art, Vision, Allies and Resilience (SAVAR). Johnson created a one-credit course for first-year HHS students that he runs as a group coaching session. The course is designed to help students explore what they want to achieve in their careers and their lives.

“We’re asking students to think about why they’re here and to plan for their future,” he says. “That’s the message I specialize in.”

Dr. Celia Hooper, HHS dean, says Johnson enables HHS students to “dream big.”

By Michelle Hines

Full story at UNCG Now.