In this issue:
Karla C. Carney-Hall, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
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!
Elyse Nelson Winger
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!
Director of the Hart Career Center
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:
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.
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:
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!
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.