Eiran Saucedo-Rodarte, assistant director of first-year programs in the Office of Student Success, has received the Outstanding New Professionals Award from the NASPA Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community. This award is presented to an outstanding new professional who was worked one to four years in higher education and has contributed in various ways to supporting student success and the student culture on their campus.

As the assistant director of first year programs, he works with the logistics, execution and evaluation of the new student orientation and transition programs, the First Year Seminar peer coaches and the Common Read Program. He serves as the publicity chair for the WSU Latine Faculty & Staff Association and an active member of the First-Generation Coordinating Council.

This week’s Student Success and Persistence spotlight comes from Pamela O’Neal, associate director of student engagement in the Office of Online and Adult Learning.

  • What role do you think faculty/staff play in a student’s success and persistence?
    “The potential staff and faculty have in a student’s success and persistence is immeasurable. I’ve heard students time and time again say to not only myself but to other staff and faculty, ‘I couldn’t have done it (meaning graduate) without you.’ Students need to know someone is not only there for them, but also that someone believes and is rooting for them the entire time they are at WSU.”
  • What is one small thing any faculty/staff member can do to make a student’s day or let them know they’re cared for?
    “Ask them how their day is going and sincerely listen. Sometimes you’ll have advice or an answer for them, but sometimes they just want to know someone is really listening to them and not just hearing the words they are saying.”
  • How do you promote student success through your campus duties?
    “In 2020, our office held the Inaugural Adult Learner Of The Year (ALOTY) Awards Celebration. Now in its fifth year, ALOTY Awards Celebration seeks to highlight adult learners who go above and beyond in the classroom and in the community as well.
    We also recognize a campus partner (a person or organization) at WSU who we work with and a community partner (a person or organization) we work with and highlight them and thank them for their work.
    We also highlight students throughout the year on our Shocker Proud website and during Online and Adult Learner Week at WSU.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at caelin.bragg@wichita.edu.

Daniel Ludlow poses with WuShock

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Daniel Ludlow, custodial manager of special events and projects.

Daniel graduated from Wichita State in fall 2022 with his Bachelor of Arts in Education, emphasis in mathematics (secondary), while working full time in custodial services and took on his current role in October 2022.

While he found it difficult to work full time and earn an education at the same time, staff in the now Office of Online and Adult Learning (OAL) supported him every step of the way.

“Every time I hit a bump in my education and thought I needed to step away or couldn’t keep going, they were there to help me find a solution that kept me going,” Daniel said.

The department assisted him in determining the right major for him and shifting to being a part-time student to help him balance work and his education. Thanks to the department’s help, Daniel was able to graduate and further his career to support his family.

“If it wasn’t for a multitude of people in the department, I would not have earned my degree,” Daniel said.

One staff member who contributed to his success during his time as a student was Pamela O’Neal, associate director of student engagement in OAL.

“Daniel was an exemplary adult learner in that he was working full time, raising his family and earning his degree,” O’Neal said. “As an Osher Scholar, Daniel was a great asset to new incoming students, giving advice where he could and always having a great attitude. Wichita State benefited from having him as a student and now benefits from him being an employee.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at caelin.bragg@wichita.edu.

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Robin Monroe.

Robin — a junior social work major — hopes to eventually get her postgraduate degree in social work with an emphasis on advocacy and social policy. She has received tremendous support from the Office of Online and Adult Learning (OAL) while pursuing her degree.

Staff at OAL assisted Robin with finding solutions to her problems both in and out of school, and she has been thankful to all the faculty and staff she has reached out to for always making themselves available for questions.

“My experience at Wichita State has been the most fulfilling, rewarding and challenging time of my life,” Robin said. “I’ve waited a long time to get here, and I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

It’s been thanks to OAL that Robin has had the tools she needs to succeed at Wichita State, and OAL remains dedicated to helping all students persist to their graduation.

“Robin is the kind of person both students and professors want to have in class,” said Pamela O’Neal, associate director of student engagement in OAL. “She’s attentive, personable and intelligent. Not only is she a high achieving student, she brings wisdom and experience to the classroom and wherever she goes. When she comes into the office, we know we are going to be inspired by all that she does and her willingness to help whomever she can.”

You can hear more about Robin on the Shockers Learning Out Loud podcast from OAL.

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at caelin.bragg@wichita.edu.

Brook Allen sits on a couch

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Brooke Allen, academic advisor and tutor coordinator with TRIO Disability Support Services (DSS).

  • What role do you think faculty and staff play in a student’s success and persistence?
    “I think every single interaction that a student has with faculty or staff has an impact on their sense of belonging, perception of themselves and the university, and motivation to persevere when challenges arise. One of the most important things we can do to support students and encourage their success is to make sure our interactions are supportive, helpful and positive.”
  • How do you promote student success through your campus duties?
    “As an advisor with TRIO Disability Support Services, I have the unique opportunity to support students with a wide range of issues and decisions they may be facing as they navigate their college experience. From the minute I meet the students I have the pleasure of working with, I make a genuine effort to build meaningful and lasting relationships with them. I strive to ensure WSU students who participate in TRIO DSS know they have someone they can go to whenever and however its needed, whether that’s celebrating their accomplishments or being there for them through difficult circumstances.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at caelin.bragg@wichita.edu.

Lubna Aldulaimi

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Lubna Aldulaimi.

Lubna — a senior majoring in exercise science — made her way to Wichita State after graduating from Tomball High School in Tomball, Texas. She is currently a member of the track and field team.

Lubna found it difficult balancing the time required for school, work, track and family, and was worried about asking for the help she needed for fear of it being seen as her making excuses. However, she was able to find support through Kristyn Waits, design educator and communication manager for the College of Innovation and Design, who saw Lubna struggling and offered her an extension in her class.

“I just needed someone to press pause and let me catch back up and Kristyn Waits did that for me. One day, we had a major project due that I was very behind on, but I didn’t want to ask for extra time because I didn’t want my professor to think I was this bum athlete who is just looking to make excuses. She was able to notice me and gave me an extension without me asking for it. Maybe she couldn’t see how drained I was mentally, but that gesture meant so much to me. I really appreciated it so much. We only get to see her once a week, yet that day, I felt the most cared for. That extension on my project gave me the time I needed to breathe and catch back up with life.”

Waits says that faculty need to be aware of what students are dealing with outside of the classroom to better serve their needs and make sure they succeed in their studies.

“I think it’s important to remember that our classes are not the only thing our students are focused on. Many students work, have families, are involved in various organizations, play sports or, in Lubna’s case, all of the above. Having some empathy for students is the least we can do as faculty.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at caelin.bragg@wichita.edu.

Dr. Pamela O’Neal, associate director of student engagement in the Office of Online and Adult Learning, has received the first Adult Learner Advocate Certification from the Urban Adult Learner Institute (UALI).

She completed the four required components from UALI to receive the certification, which enabled her to hone and sharpen her skillset for serving adult learners at WSU.

“As an adult learner myself, I understand firsthand the struggles and advantages of obtaining a degree later in life” O’Neal said. “Earning the certificate is a testament of the dedication I employ in being an advocate for our adult learners at Wichita State.”

O’Neal also cohosts the Shockers Learning Out Loud podcast with Dr. Amber Anderson, associate director of enrollment and retention, discussing adult learning topics and the challenges faced by adult learners. Two seasons are available for streaming now.

Any faculty or staff would like to earn their Adult Learner Advocate Certification can contact O’Neal at pamela.oneal@wichita.edu or 316-978-8315 for more information.

Shockers,

As another semester comes to an end, some undergraduate students may start to receive information regarding their eligibility to receive an Associate of Arts (AA) degree this fall. These AA degrees are a celebration of your achievements so far during your time with Wichita State.

The AA degree is just a steppingstone to your goal of earning your bachelor’s degree. Eligible students will receive further information via email in January. The AA degrees will be awarded to all students who meet the degree requirements after each semester’s end.

As further recognition for your accomplishments so far, the WSU’s Provost Office will host an event in the spring for all students who receive their AA degree. More information on the event will be available at a later date.

AA degrees exist under the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students can contact the Registrar’s Office at 316-978-3055 for further information about the process.

Wichita State congratulates all Shockers on their achievements so far and will continue to support them in their pursuit of their bachelor’s degrees.

Starting this fall semester, undergraduate Shockers working toward their bachelor’s degrees who meet the requirements will automatically be awarded associate degrees.

While Wichita State has offered an Associate of Arts (AA) degree for some time, the new initiative will award the AA degree automatically every semester to undergraduate students who meet the requirements while they pursue their bachelor’s degree. The degree is awarded to celebrate their achievement of making it halfway to their bachelor’s.

The AA degree exists under the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students can contact the Registrar’s Office at 316-978-3055 for further information about the process.

Kara McCluskey

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Kara McCluskey, associate educator for the Department of Applied Engineering in the College of Engineering.

  • What role do you think faculty/staff play in a student’s success and persistence?
    “As a faculty member, I believe we can play a big role in student’s success and persistence. We need to set a high expectation level but make sure students know we believe in them and know they can succeed. By listening to students and getting to know what they are passionate about, we can guide them to a career path they will succeed in. We also help students by letting them know it’s ok to stumble along the way in their academic journey, and we are here to help them get back on track.”
  • What is one small thing any faculty/staff member can do to make a student’s day or let them know they’re cared for?
    “Getting to know students and letting them know you care is the single most important thing a faculty member can do. I ask students how their days are going as they walk into my class. Giving them encouragement and empathy when their days aren’t going well and celebrating the positives on good days is a small way of letting them know I care about them. It makes my day better when students come early to class just to share something about their day with me.”
  • How do you promote student success through your campus duties?
    “Faculty advising is a time when I get to know students and their career goals. Before teaching, I worked in industry, so I share my perspectives with students and give them advice when they are finding their ‘dream’ job.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at caelin.bragg@wichita.edu.