January 2012 e-Parent Newsletter
In this issue:
Karla C. Carney-Hall, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Happy New Year!
Well, I know that most of you have long stopped thinking about 2012 as a new year,
but as your new Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, I am reminded
daily that this is a new year, a new institution for me, a new group of students,
faculty and staff. I am thrilled to be joining the Illinois Wesleyan community and
look forward to working with you.
While parents were not involved in my interview process, l can assure you that you,
as parents, were discussed. Why? Because l love working with parents. I've enjoyed
working with parents primarily through Parent Orientation for over 20 years now (yes,
longer than some of you have been parents). I've written articles about and for parents.
My dissertation was about parent involvement in higher education. I enjoy working
with parents to help students take one more step toward interdependence. I am honored
by the opportunity to help parents transition from the decision-maker/problem-solver
for your child to the guide and mentor of the adult-in-training. You offer the best
insight into your student, outstanding referral guidance for your student, and tremendous
support to your student — all of which is needed for your student to be successful.
We have the same goal: your student's success at lWU.
Now, I must admit that I've been a "parent expert" imposter for a number of years.
I think I understand college students and higher education fairly well, but I'm not
sure I fully appreciated the ”heart" of a parent until I became one. I am the parent
of a two-year old (Brendan), which also makes me Momma (not just your Dean of Students).
Although my advice hasn't changed much since Brendan was born, my perspective has
changed. For example, stories about binge drinking in college have always been troubling,
but the emphasis on men's patterns of problematic drinking read differently as the
mother of a son. My heart is different about my work.
When I first sent Brendan to daycare, I was reminded about what it must be like to
bring your sons and daughters to pre-school, kindergarten, high school, and even college
for the first time. Fortunately, you have long stopped providing the care and feeding
checklist with each transition that perhaps you did the first day of pre-school (although
some days we might find that helpful). I'll never forget my list, which I wrote out
carefully and then realized that I needed to trust my expert care-givers. So, my last
item (which I doubt will change throughout his entire life) was ”just please love
him." At the end of the day, all I wanted was a caring, nurturing community where
his daytime home would guide and direct him in a loving way. I can assure you that
IWU will continue to provide care, guidance and direction in a mentoring, sometimes
challenging, supportive way. By the way, I love working with our students too!
I look forward to working with you through the Parent Board, the Parent Fund, future
Family Weekends, graduation and many other opportunities throughout the year. Have
a wonderful 2012!
Introducing the Student Volunteer and Resource Center
In January 2012, the Student Volunteer and Resource Center officially opened. Located in the basement of Evelyn Chapel, this Center matches
student passions and talents with local needs. It also facilitates campus opportunities
for local and national service that particularly align with the University’s commitment
to diversity, social justice, and environmental sustainability, including an Alternative
Spring Break program. Current volunteer opportunities include everything from weekly
tutoring at the Boys and Girls Club to dinner preparation at our local homeless shelter.
Students can volunteer once a week, once a month, or request a one-day experience.
It all begins when students complete the Volunteer Interest Form!
IWU has a strong track record of service opportunities for students, evidenced by
its inclusion in the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and we’re ready to keep
growing in these endeavors. The Center is part of a larger network of programs and
offices across campus committed to Community Engagement: we work with the Action Research
Center, the Hart Internship Center, and Student Senate’s Community Engagement and
Awareness Commissioner to strengthen IWU and community ties and to more effectively
live out the University’s mission.
Alternative Spring Break at Illinois Wesleyan has been popular in recent years, and
students and staff have made trips to various locations in the southern United States
each March. For the past two years, ASB has successfully partnered with IWU’s student
chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This spring, 45 students, faculty and staff will
travel to Alabama for Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge, where we will work on five houses
in the Hilldale neighborhood of Mobile as well as explore the local culture and environment
of this Gulf Coast city. Students apply each fall to participate, commit to team-building
and fundraising events throughout the spring semester, and also receive budgeted support
from the Center. ASB is a great experience for building campus relationships and provides
a unique, experiential context for exploring issues of poverty, immigration, and other
social justice concerns.
As coordinator of the Student Volunteer and Resource Center, I am enjoying the opportunity
to work with our local community and the campus. I am also committed to engaging students
on the relationships between charity and justice, relief and development. At Illinois
Wesleyan, volunteerism is one path toward enriching students’ overall learning with
power to prepare students for “democratic citizenship and life in a global society.”
https://www.iwu.edu/about/mission1.html Volunteering is also simply a lot of fun,
and a great way to make and strengthen friendships on campus and beyond!
I invite you to explore the Student Volunteer and Resource Center website, encourage your young adults to check it out, and to share local and national opportunities
for service via our Submit a Volunteer Opportunity form!
Parents as Partners
As the Hart Career Center engages in the start of a busy semester, we turn to you,
our “Parents as Partners.” The career development process is an ongoing one, so students
should plan to work with career center staff throughout their time at IWU. Regardless
of where a student is at in their program of study, the Hart Career Center has services
to provide assistance. Individual career counseling appointments are available to
aid your student in:
- Choosing a Major
- Arranging an Informational Interview or Job Shadowing experience
- Finding an Internship
- Preparing a Resume and Cover Letter
- Practicing for an Interview
- Job Searching
- Graduate and Professional School Planning
Your son or daughter will likely turn to you for guidance in making career decisions,
and we hope you will direct them our way. While we are always available to answer
your questions, we want your son or daughter to display the individual initiative
that employers and graduate programs seek in selecting candidates. We invite you to
acquaint/reacquaint yourselves with our services through a short video that IWU’s
Titan TV worked on. Students shared their experiences with our office. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrTZ9Px3AF4.
Also check out the latest issue of our newsletter.
For an up-to-date list of programs and events hosted by the Hart Career Center, visit
the “Events” section of the Hart Career Center website. I would call your attention to several at this time:
- Health Professions Luncheon, Feb. 8 (student registration required). Students may
join a group of health care professionals including physicians, dentists, physical
therapists, physician assistants, and others for a networking luncheon. This is an
outstanding opportunity for those interested in careers in health care. Students should
contact the Hart Career Center regarding registration procedures.
- IWU/ISU Spring Internship Fair, Feb. 14. This joint venture with Illinois State University
allows students to connect with employers offering internships.
- IWU/ISU Spring Job Fair, Feb. 15. This collaborative venture with Illinois State University
provides students with an opportunity to explore a variety of job opportunities with
over 100 employers.
Internships are vitally important in today’s challenging economic times. Employers
seek candidates who bring this experience to their organizations. The Hart Career
Center has a centralized Internship Program in which students may explore opportunities
in a wide variety of fields. To manage our Internship Program and other services to
students (On-Campus Recruiting, Alumni Mentoring, Jobs Database), all students are
provided with a “Titan CareerLink” account when they arrive at IWU. Students may access
their account from our website. Students should be exploring summer opportunities at this time. As I’ve shared with
many of you at Parent Orientation, a gentle nudge from home often motivates students
to look up from their textbooks. Our goal is the same as yours, the future success
of your son or daughter. To make that happen, students must take advantage of the
services available to them through Illinois Wesleyan University. Please help us to
help them as partners in this process.
Wishing each of you the very best in 2012!
Influenza Vaccine Still Available
There is still time to obtain a flu vaccine. The flu typically hits Central Illinois
in February. Unvaccinated students may miss 3-5 days of classes and activities. If
your student is on a sports team they will be exposed to the flu in other counties
and states. If someone in your family has a chronic illness or is immunocompromised,
please urge your student to stop by Health Services for a free flu shot.