University Life (UL) supports the academic and personal development of students. We do our best work when we collaborate with partners across campus, especially with faculty members whose work with students is central to student success. Academic proficiency and dozens of other factors affect a student’s ability to learn and succeed. In addition to providing direct support services (psychological, health, disability, etc.), our work is also centered on student engagement and sense of belonging, creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment, service to specific student populations, career and internship services, all with the goal that students will learn, thrive, and succeed here.
The UL-Faculty Engagement Series is designed to provide information about Mason students and services, hear faculty perspectives and insights from the classroom, and identify the ways our collective work in student success intersects and overlaps.
Looking Beyond Demographics: An Overview of Mason Students
Rose Pascarell, Vice President for University Life
Thursday, 9/22, 2-3:00pm, JC Room A
What do we know about our students, and how can this knowledge inform the work of faculty members? In this session, the VP for University Life will share national trends, Mason student demographics and overall success outcomes as well as identified interests, aspirations, and needs.
Student Success Coaching
Sally I. Lorentson, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President, University Life
Adrienne D. White, Ph.D., Director, Student Success Coaching
Monday, 10/3, 2-3pm, JC Room A
Transitions into and through college can present challenges on multiple fronts and each individual student may need a varied set of resources to succeed. Success Coaches support undergraduate students across their Mason journey through regular contact and referral for needed services. In this session, we will discuss the scope of the Student Success Coaching program, the nine areas of the focus wheel of success coaching, and explore ways to establish partnerships between Success Coaches and faculty.
Mental Health and Disability
Rachel Wernicke, Ph.D., Chief Student Mental Health Officer and Associate Dean, University Life
Friday, 10/28, 10-11:30am, JC Room A
You may have worked with students who needed help in areas such as psychological health and disability support. Where are these services delivered, and by whom? When and how should you call to consult or make a referral? Mason, like other institutions across the US, sees students with acute needs in the area of mental health and disability. This session will provide some data on student mental health and disability national trends, and explore how faculty members can access qualified staff when needed for consultation and referral.
It Takes More than Just Coming to Class: Fostering Student Engagement
Juliet Blank-Godlove, Dean of Students
Wednesday, 11/9, 10am-11am, JC Room B
Engaged students demonstrate commitment, interest, curiosity and passion for education and learning. They experience a sense of belonging—in class and among friends and classmates—and this can positively impact academic success. Student engagement can be fostered in the classroom and through co-curricular activities. In this session we will explore research about student engagement and discuss strategies for fostering student engagement and student success.
Saskia Campbell, Executive Director, University Career Services
Thursday, 2/9, 2-3:30pm, JC Room A
Increased job prospects are a key reason that many students (and their families) commit their time and money to higher education. This session will discuss the employment outlook for the Class of 2023 and high impact career practices to help Mason students achieve career success in today’s job market. Timely events and resources, as well as partnership opportunities between faculty members and University Career Services will be shared.
Faculty/Staff & Student Well-Being
Dr. Nance Lucas, Executive Director & Chief Well-Being Officer, Center for the Advancement of Wellbeing
Dr. Pam Patterson, Associate Vice President, University Life
Tuesday, 2/22, 11am-Noon, JC Room B
George Mason University has made an institutional commitment to the well-being of our community members. But what exactly is well-being and how is it related to the academic pursuits and professional aspirations of Mason students, faculty, and staff? What are our collective aspirations in creating and sustaining a culture where everyone can thrive? In this session, we will explore these issues and share best practices that support individual and organizational/unit-level well-being.
Justice, Education, Diversity, Inclusion
Creston Lynch, Ph.D, Assistant Vice President, University Life
Wednesday, 3/15, 2pm-3pm, SUB I 3B
Because Mason is Virginia's most diverse and largest public research university, we must take steps to make sure that every student experiences a sense of belonging and knows what resources are available on campus and how to access those resources. We want students to understand how our diversity strengthens the educational experience Mason offers. In this session, we will present data on student diversity at Mason and we will discuss the specific services available to support success. While all of us are responsible for supporting every Mason student, we will also discuss which campus units have as their central mission delivering services to support the success of our diverse racial, ethnic, and gender minorities at Mason, and how faculty can partner with these units to support students.
It's More Than A Dorm: The Current Landscape of On-Campus Living
Shannon Jordan, Ed.D., Associate Dean and Chief Housing Officer
Wednesday, 3/22, 2pm-3pm, Merten Hall 1202
Mason’s residential population has grown to over 6,000 students living in more than 40 residence halls. National research demonstrates that students who live on campus perform better academically and socially, and persist toward graduation at higher rates than students who live off campus. Come learn how students in Mason's residence halls are supported in their academic journey by living on campus. We will discuss facilities, staffing structure, programming, ways for faculty to get involved, and also the top issues facing campus housing professionals today.
Mason’s College Preparatory Program: The Early Identification Program
Lewis Forrest, Associate Dean, University Life
Khaseem Davis, Executive Director, Early Identification Program
Thursday, 4/13, 2pm-3pm, JC Room B
George Mason University’s Early Identification Program (EIP) works to identify middle and high school students who will be the first in their families to attend college. In particular, EIP targets students whose families have few or no financial resources for college or who lack the support systems that aid in the successful navigation of the college application process. Learn about some of our most brilliant college-bound students, and the ways that faculty members can collaborate to meet the needs of current and future EIP students.