One of the best things about serving as interim dean is the opportunity to engage with the broader collegiate community. Late last month, I met many wonderful scholarship and fellowship recipients, alumni award winners, and donors at the college’s annual recognition dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and the generosity of our supporters. It was an inspiring and fun evening that culminated, as is tradition, with the legendary John S. Anderson leading those in attendance in a singalong of the Minnesota Rouser accompanied by members of the marching band.
Our student speaker, Elilli Yousef, shared something that really resonated with me. She spoke about the stress and pressure of getting into college and the unique hurdles she faced as a first-generation college student. She said: “We all have barriers to overcome and challenges to navigate—financial and otherwise. But knowing that there is a community of people around us who believe in our potential and are willing to support us makes it all worth it.”
As educators, advisors, researchers, and staff who work with students, this is what it’s all about for us. It’s why we do what we do. Helping students achieve their full potential is our number one priority—full stop! With that in mind, we continue to grow the Dean’s Research Program and push to raise funds for transfer student scholarships. I know many of you share my resolve to ensure we do all we can to eliminate barriers, and these are two clear ways we can do that.
In addition to supporting our students, providing support for research is also a high priority. With that in mind, the college recently launched a research infrastructure grant call for proposals. The proposals are due October 15. I encourage faculty and eligible research staff to apply.