Student Affairs and Services turns out award-winning professionals
By Geoff Ash
It wasn’t her program of study that led the recent winner of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) New and Emerging Professionals Award down the path of student services.
But Meghan Mitchell, student life programs liaison officer with the department of Student Success Programs in Student Affairs and Services (SAS), is glad she followed it.
“It was all the things I was involved in outside the classroom that made me think, ‘I want to keep doing this.’ So, when I found out I could have a career in student services, there was nothing else I wanted to do,” said Ms. Mitchell.
In her role at SAS, Ms. Mitchell helps students become engaged with all aspects of the Memorial community, and attributes a great deal of her success and growth to her department and colleagues.
“I’m really lucky to be surrounded by people who are good at their jobs, and really love what they do. We have fantastic services and program foundations in Student Success, so working here really makes it easy to love your job and do the best you possibly can to help students have a good experience.”
She also says that the trust and responsibility she has been given to run her own programs is important.
“When I speak to people with similar positions at other universities, a lot of them don’t have the same level of control or hands-on opportunity with their programs, and I think that’s a really important aspect of creating effective and engaging programs and services.”
Tom Brophy, director of Student Success Programs at SAS, championed Ms. Mitchell’s nomination for the award.
“One of the things that really struck us with Meghan is that she has completely redefined her position as far as moving it into the direction of student engagement, as well as her professionalism and multi-talented skill set. The second major factor was her ability to take the co-curricular record as an idea, and make it a reality here at Memorial, which is a first in Atlantic Canada.”
The New and Emerging Professionals Award is presented annually and recognizes outstanding potential, service and leadership in the student services profession early in one’s career. Candidates must be working in student affairs and services less than five years, and among other criteria must demonstrate commitment to the profession above and beyond their regular job duties.