THE WHOLE STUDENT EXPERIENCE
In his annual address to the faculty in February, Vice Chancellor Gershon Vincow called for continued efforts to develop the whole student, including strengthening the link between the Offices of Academic and Student Affairs "to promote a student culture of intellectual endeavor and personal development." As he noted, quoting from the Middle States Report: "The classroom experience and the personal lives of our students cannot be seen as distinct entities. The quality of life on campus and the leadership and programming in residence halls, student organizations, and other campus offices must become higher institutional priorities."
Joanne Ford, a senior international relations major who served on the Middle States' Students' Experiences Committee, came to Syracuse University to study social work. She enjoyed the personal attention she received in the School of Social Work, but her evolving interests prompted her to switch majors and transfer to The College of Arts and Sciences. Last semester, through the Maxwell-Washington International Relations Semester Program, she landed an internship at the White House. "I always had a dream to be in the White House. Granted, it was as president," she laughs, "but this is a step in the right direction."
For Ford, one of the most valuable aspects of campus life is finding a niche. And at SU, niches aboundin fact, there are 270 recognized student organizations. Ford's Washington experience expanded her contact with people who share similar interests in government and foreign policy. She also has a work-study job, and is a member of the SU Marching Band and the Sour Sitrus Society. Being in the band, she says, is like having 200 friends. "There are so many different activities, it's incredible," Ford says. "The only problem you might have is deciding which ones suit you best."
When Tyonne Hinson '98 reflects on her four years at Syracuse University, it's apparent she accomplished what she intended, and will achieve much more as she progresses through life. The College of Nursing graduate enrolled at SU because of its diversity, reputation, and the chance to study in a small college within a large university setting. The experiences of her nursing education reinforced her commitment to caring for others, especially children. "I want to work with families and intervene on their behalf; basically be an advocate for them," she says. "I love kids, and a strong foundation can give them the opportunity to do great things."
Hinson was a disciplined student and succeeded academically. She participated in the Honors Program, and was named a Dave Bing Scholar and a Remembrance Scholar. She credits her faculty advisor, Irene Di Florio, for giving her direction and urging her to explore the University's offerings. "She helped me open so many doors for myself and let me know what's out there," Hinson says. |
During her junior year, Hinson joined nursing professor Denise Cote-Arsenault's research team studying mothers' reactions following perinatal loss. She spent last summer as an intern in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, and followed that up with a similar assignment at Duke University as part of her senior-year intensive clinical practice. Beyond these invaluable experiences, Hinson found rewards by participating in enriching activities, developing a cultural awareness, and constantly challenging herself. "Life should be dynamic and you should want to be dynamic," she says. "I've always set big goals for myself and tried my hardest to reach them. If I failed, it pushed me to work that much harder to get over that obstacle and achieve something even higher."
This attitude is one that Chancellor Shaw admires. When asked what he wants SU graduates to take with them as they venture into the world, Shaw named several attributes: competency in their discipline; the ability to learn new things; a willingness to question assumptions; a concern for others and the desire to help them; and the ability to work effectively in groups, resolve conflicts, and deal with all kinds of people. He also noted the importance of learning what it takes to succeed and deciding whether you're willing to pay the price to achieve that success. "We all have a lot to do," he says. "Education is a work in progress."