Thanks for taking time to read this newsletter from the Puget Sound Division of Student Affairs.
Our intent is to highlight the people, services, programs, outcomes, and values of this division—one that can fly under the radar if all goes well. We take a tremendous amount of pride in the work we do on behalf of our campus community, and we're even prouder of the people associated with this work. We're pretty excited to share them with you.
Speaking of excitement, the newest building on our beautiful campus, Commencement Hall, opened this fall. Rising from the ground in an incredibly short amount of time—14 months—this residence hall will in so many ways serve as a capstone to the living-learning environment we at Puget Sound work so diligently to create. We hope you will find time to check out this newest resource for advancing our mission as a national residential liberal arts college.
We in student affairs have the privilege of working with students on a 24/7 basis. For some that may sound daunting (and on some days it is), but what we hope comes through with this newsletter is an appreciation for the joy we have to participate in the learning and maturation process of our students. We may be crazy, but we love our work!
Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students
With the start of the 2013–14 academic year, Puget Sound is thrilled to add an innovative new residence hall, offering a sleek, modern design and attractive amenities. Commencement Hall comprises house-style units that contain single bedrooms, private bathrooms, full kitchens and great rooms, built-in technology, and washer and dryer units. With its central location and balance of independence and community, this new on-campus housing opportunity can’t be beat!
Who is eligible to live here? This beautiful building is home to 135 students, predominantly of junior and senior standing, who are living and learning as a part of premiere academic-residential programs. Faculty-student partnerships drive these programs focusing on entrepreneurship, environmental policy and the outdoors, the humanities, international education and study abroad, and upper-division honors. Check out the link above for more details.
Currently working on her master's degree in college student development at University of Denver, Emma spent the summer as an intern in DSA and the Office of Academic Advising. Here's what she had to say about her experience:
"The staff at Puget Sound display a truly collaborative spirit in all that they do. I have been so impressed with the level of communication between departments in the division and across campus. Puget Sound resists the urge to silo and I was so appreciative of the interactions I had with people from different offices. Knowing that this kind of collaboration can exist with a combination of respect among peers and good leadership is something that I will carry with me to my future roles and search for in potential institutions of employment."
The Logger Diversity Summit is a half day training session during Orientation geared toward engaging our student leaders in shaping an inclusive living and learning community. Participants learn about the structural composition and climate for diversity on campus, deconstruct dynamics of privilege, and explore their own personal identities in preparation for helping others adjust to life on campus. It is our hope that student leaders will gain a deeper knowledge of multicultural issues on campus and, ultimately, translate that experience both on and off campus.
This year more than 200 students participated in the Logger Diversity Summit, and more than 30 faculty and staff volunteers contributed to the session. Focused on multicultural competency among student leaders, the training included building awareness of campus demographics, exploring issues of power and agency through personal narrative, and conversations about the diversity course requirement proposed by the Faculty Committee on Diversity. For more information visit the Logger Diversity Summit page.
CHWS interns are completing a critical element of their training to become licensed psychologists with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in either clinical or counseling psychology. They provide a considerable amount of direct service for CHWS with individual therapy, walk-in and crisis coverage, group therapy, and outreach workshops. Since they are so often behind closed doors, helping our students, we want to take this opportunity to introduce you to them.
Katie Diershaw, M.S., comes to Puget Sound from Pacific University in Portland, Ore. Her clinical interests include treatment of anxiety disorders, trauma recovery, learning disorders, working with LGBTQ populations, and more. She is passionate about social justice issues and enjoys participating in volunteer, educational, and outreach activities.
Anthony Davis earned his master's degree in school psychology from Texas State University. He worked as a licensed specialist in school psychology before returning to school to complete his doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacific University. Tony's areas of clinical interest include multicultural and diversity issues, anxiety, and mood disorders.
Khalila Fordham is in the process of completing her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology in Atlanta. Khalila has worked in a wide range of environments, from college counseling centers to the department of juvenile justice. In addition to conducting therapy, Khalila has organized and facilitated outreach programs, including stress management, healthy relationship maintenance, team building, and prejudice and discrimination reduction.
Each year DSA staff members collect short descriptions of ways in which we encounter students demonstrating greatness, or telling us about ways they have learned from their involvement with student affairs. These “million dollar moments” are often surprising, poignant, and/or funny.
"My million-dollar moment occurred just recently during a conversation with graduating senior and student leader. Four years ago he was a first-year student living on campus in Todd/Phibbs Hall, where I worked as a resident director. One day in the fall, this student’s laptop was stolen from his room and he came to chat with me in my office. During the course of our talk about the unfortunate incident, I praised him for his positive attitude and maturity, and encouraged him to apply for a residence life staff position. This student told me that my encouragement and confidence led him to apply to become a resident assistant, a position he held for two years and otherwise wouldn't have considered pursuing. He went on to say that the door I opened for him that day set the tone for his leadership and involvement on campus during his career at Puget Sound.
I was taken aback to hear that such a seemingly insignificant interaction—one that I had actually even forgotten about—had influenced this student’s life. To know that I played even a small role in this student’s engagement reminds me of why I choose this work. I think this is a lesson for all professionals in student affairs. When the job gets tough, when burnout sets in, when we start to question our impact, we must remember that even a ripple can propel a wave."