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A Message from President Bernardo-Sousa: Faculty and Staff Working Groups

During my listening sessions with faculty and staff this past summer, one of the themes that emerged was student preparedness and acclimation to college life. As our students enter their third week of classes and settle into campus, it is critical that we begin to address these concerns and turn our attention and efforts toward retention. 

I mentioned during my State of the Campus address that we would be forming work groups focused on several common areas of concern raised during the listening sessions. The first work group, dedicated to retention, will get underway soon, with faculty and staff “anchors” directing the work.

The Retention Work Group will be anchored by the following leads:

  • Wendy Alemán, director, Academic Success Center

  • Aimee Dufresne, assistant dean, John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences

  • Kelly Dunn, director, New Student Orientation & Support Programs and Student Involvement & Leadership

  • Lynn Robinson, vice president, Student Academic & Financial Services

  • Dameian Slocum, associate dean for student services

This group will be charged with assessing high-risk areas, identifying programs and activities that help students adjust to campus life, and developing workshops that can be integrated into the classroom experience.

We all have the power and the responsibility to influence retention. It can be as simple as saying hello to a student as they walk past you, or offering to help if a student appears to be struggling. It is about creating a culture of caring. The more students feel connected, engaged and empowered, the more likely they will remain at JWU and complete their degree. We must all play an active part in that.

How to Join: Please sign up with Tara McGee in my office if you would like to participate in the Retention Work Group. Space is limited. Meeting details will be forthcoming.

I look forward to sharing the progress of the Retention Work Group and additional work group opportunities to ensure our students’ success throughout the year.