As the summer draws to a close, I hope the last couple of months have given you some much needed time to recharge, reflect, and plan for the academic year ahead. Your efforts play an integral role in helping our students succeed and I’m excited for the opportunity to once again work alongside you to cultivate an innovative, first-rate student experience.
While each fall brings renewed energy to our campus, I know this can also be a stressful time as we all work together to prepare for our students’ arrival. Over the past year we’ve talked about creating a culture of care and compassion within our division and I’ve been inspired by your willingness to look out for and support one another.
It is my hope that you will continue to assist and collaborate with each other as we collectively work to remain at the forefront of modeling a holistic approach to student development. In the coming weeks, I know many of you will be working around the clock to ensure that our students are welcomed into a safe and inclusive community in which they can thrive.
Beginning with Welcome Week, there are several opportunities for us to come together as one division. Professional/graduate staff and undergraduate student leaders are needed to assist with a variety of events, such as: the inaugural Great Scarlet Search scavenger hunt, welcome street teams, late night programming, Involvement Fair, Meningitis B clinics, and information tents. In addition, volunteers are needed for first-year move in, convocation, and Carnivalé.
These important events provide our new students the opportunity to meet peers and learn about our history, campus traditions, and important resources that will support their personal and academic success. Helping to set the tone for the year, the week’s activities will assist our students with their transition to Rutgers, help them navigate the campus, and connect them with student leaders, faculty, and staff.
Where possible, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to not only support our students, but your trusted partners, friends, and colleagues. Staff and student sign-ups can be accessed through the links provided above.
Also, in a few weeks, we will once again come together for our annual State of the Division. During this year’s program, we will recognize up to three of our colleagues with the McGinty Star Award. Named in honor of our former vice chancellor, Dr. Felicia McGinty, the award honors student affairs professionals who exemplify the hallmarks of her leadership as someone who leads with the heart, is inclusive, student-focused, and solution-oriented.
We will be accepting nominations through 5 p.m. on September 6 and I hope that you’ll take the time to recognize those among us who have made a considerable impact on our students and our division.
Thank you for your commitment and service. I’m humbled and grateful for the dedication I know you’ll continue to show to help our students achieve their goals and realize their aspirations.
Salvador B. Mena, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Rutgers University-New Brunswick