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Dean’s Update Winter 2014 Student Affairs

Table of Contents 02 | Message From Student Affairs VP Patricia Telles-Irvin 04 | Office of Residential Academic Initiatives 04 | Northwestern Posse 05 | NU and the JED Foundation 06 | Did You Know?



STUDENTAFFAIRS Dean’s Update Winter 2014

Dear Colleagues, As we move forward in 2014, I would like to share with you some very important programs within Student Affairs which have been or will be implemented in the approaching weeks. Each department represented in these pages formed collaborative partnerships across campus, thus supporting our shared value to ascend as One Northwestern. The Office of Residential Academic Initiatives was formed in Fall Quarter 2013 with Brad Zakarin serving as Director. Brad and his team oversee all of the planning within the residence halls for faculty/ student dialogue and have paved the way for our students to achieve meaningful support for their academic experiences. The office of Campus Inclusion and Community, in collaboration with several Northwestern partners in academic and student affairs, successfully coordinated with the Posse Foundation to welcome our first select group of high school students to Northwestern. Lesley-Ann Brown, Director of Campus Inclusion and Community, and Nitasha Sharma, Associate Professor and Faculty-Advisor to Posse, have helped develop an exceptional experience for this ten-person Posse student team, in order to enrich their academic and leadership competency on our campus. Beginning this quarter, John Dunkle, Executive Director of Counseling and Psychological Services along with Dean Sarah Mangelsdorf from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences will convene a committee to assess our student’s mental health needs and foster a program with the JED Foundation, which will focus on emotional health and suicide prevention.

Message from Student Affairs VP Patricia Telles-Irvin

A new section called “Did You Know?” can be found at the end of this publication and will provide you with important facts about our Northwestern students. Warm regards,

Patricia Telles-Irvin Vice President for Student Affairs


Vision We will be full partners in the student learning experience. The Division of Student Affairs partners with the academic schools/colleges and other University Divisions in allegiance with the University’s vision and mission to advance student learning and success.

Mission The mission of the Northwestern University Division of Student Affairs is to educate students, engage the community, and enrich the Northwestern experience. We pursue our mission through providing learning programs, services, and mentoring to maximize students’ potential, removing barriers to learning, strengthening readiness to learn, and sustaining a safe and healthy Northwestern community.


Office of Residential

ACADEMIC INITIATIVES To help students with their current courses, ORAI arranged for Math and Chemistry tutoring on two extra nights per week in Allison Hall, a south campus alternative to current tutoring in Tech. Tutoring will continue during winter quarter along side popular course sequences in these departments.

The Office of Residential Academic Initiatives (ORAI) launched Fall 2013 to help provide students living on campus with a seamless undergraduate experience. This new office is part of Residential Services and represents a partnership between the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of the Provost. Along with stewardship of the Residential College system and cultivation of the newer Residential Community model, ORAI is responsible for facilitating faculty engagement, academic programming, and academic support in all residential spaces, including standard residence halls.

In addition, ORAI partnered with the Library and Writing Place to provide end-of-term reference and writing support as students worked on term papers. For “Fall Quarter Finish Line,” librarians set up pop-up reference desks in high-traffic residential spaces over three days (11am-7pm) during Weinberg’s reading period. Writing consultants were also available in residential spaces for one-on-one appointments for eight hours over four days.

One highlight of fall quarter was a new program “Coming Soon to a Classroom Near You,” a series of events designed to help students plan for winter course registration. Over two weeks, faculty visited residence halls to discuss their winter course offerings with interested students. Some sessions took place during meals in dining halls while others occurred over coffee, or in the early evening with pizza.

Behind the scenes, ORAI has been managing the search for a new Faculty Master of Women’s Residential College. In December, nominations were gathered and a committee was formed. In January 2014, the committee will meet with nominees so that the selection process can conclude by spring break. For more information on ORAI initiatives, contact Brad Zakarin at

NORTHWESTERN POSSE The Posse Foundation is a college access and leadership development program with sites in nine U.S. cities. Posse identifies high school students with academic and leadership potential for admission into a partner college or university. Northwestern University became a partner institution with the Posse Foundation in 2012, and Northwestern Posse reflects the university’s commitment to create a diverse student body by recruiting from high schools where Northwestern has not recruited in the past.

Undergraduate Admission and Posse Los Angeles selects each class of 10 Posse Scholars. Posse 1 began their undergraduate career in Fall 2013. Each posse begins working together their senior year of high school to prepare for college, and once on campus, they meet weekly with their campus mentor. In a purposeful collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, Northwestern has been able to appropriately design and shape an enriching experience for our Posse


students. Special thanks goes to Ron Braeutigam, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, to Nitasha Sharma, Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor for Posse, and to the mentors and staff in various departments at Northwestern for their support of and involvement with the program. Lesley-Ann Brown, Director of Campus Inclusion and Community, serves as the campus liaison for Posse. Dr. Brown can be reached via email at labrown@northwestern. edu for more information.

NU & the


John Dunkle, Executive Director of CAPS, and Sarah Mangelsdorf, Dean of WCAS, will co-chair a committee made up of various campus community members. This committee will conduct an assessment to determine how the Northwestern community is addressing mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The assessment will follow a framework outlined in The Guide to Campus Mental Health Action (Campus MHAP) Planning, released jointly by the JED Foundation and the Education Development Center, Inc. Campus MHAP reflects optimal knowledge from leading experts in campus mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The JED Foundation is offering a self-study survey to campuses across the country to determine whether they are adequately addressing mental health promotion and suicide prevention.

Northwestern will engage in this process during winter quarter. The eventual goal is to receive a seal of approval from the JED Foundation for how the university is addressing mental health issues and suicide prevention. For more information, please visit the JED Foundation web site:

Pictured: (1st Row-seated) Samuel Park, Lawrence “Max” Vinson, Jourdan Dorrell, Elleana Shepperd (2nd Row) Selina “Angel” Ayon, Alex Banuelos, Sarah Oberholtzer, Jordan Susskind, Nicholas Davis, Huzaifa Patel


DID YOU KNOW? In Spring 2013, Student Affairs conducted a series of focus groups with undergraduate students from lowincome family backgrounds. Below is a brief description of three of the thirteen themes which emerged. For a copy of the final report, contact Student Affairs Assessment (847.491-8431) or • Adjusting to the academic rigor at Northwestern appears to be no more or less stressful for the undergraduates from low-income family backgrounds than it is for other students. Nevertheless, many of the students from low-income family backgrounds reported feeling less prepared than their peers who came from “better” high schools. This finding was supported by data from the 2013 Enrolled Student Survey as well. • Most students from low-income family backgrounds were able to describe one or more student organizations and/or groups to which they belong. In spite of this, there is evidence that the lack of financial resources affects their ability to participate fully in the Northwestern experience. • Students from low-income family backgrounds seem uneasy approaching faculty or they don’t know how to approach faculty. At the same time, the majority reported there was at least one faculty member at Northwestern who had taken a personal interest in them. They also acknowledged faculty members are willing to talk to them individually.

“In class I thought everyone here is smarter than me. They used such big words. I didn’t even know what they meant. In high school—even in my AP classes—people didn’t have this intellectual thing going on. When I got here, people had more background knowledge than I did. It was a big problem for me at the start of my freshman year. I wouldn’t participate in class because I was really scared of sounding dumb. I didn’t know how to communicate on that level. It was hard. I didn’t even want to talk to professors.” (QuestBridge Scholar)

“My freshman year was a mess. I was afraid I was going to get kicked out because of money. I didn’t join groups because of the cost. It was very isolating. You can’t get grants for these kinds of things.” (Pell Grant Senior) “I’ve never had the opportunity to do any unpaid or even minimum wage type of research, like, during the summer because I’ve had to work full time at a job, and I can’t, like, do both of those types of things . It’s been really hard to, like, beef up a resume, I guess. You have to choose being able to support yourself in the next school year.” (Pell Grant Senior)

“As far as professors, it still scares me. It scares the wits out of me to try and email a professor or to communicate with anyone from that level of professionalism. It was something I had never done before. It takes me forever to actually sit down and convince myself to write an email to an administrator. Even when we are talking about job applications, if I have to email anyone in an office, it scares me because it was something I was never exposed to, something that my parents never did.” (Ryan Scholar)


Dean's Update Winter 2014  
Dean's Update Winter 2014  

Dean's Update Winter 2014