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Staff reflects on the past year

in Campus Life by

Les Rogers, TRiO, Advising Specialist 

les rogers
Provided by The Mainstream

Q: What is the greatest challenge you overcame this year?

A: On a professional level, helping students through their own greif process (after Oct. 1) and keeping them on track academically so what happened doesn’t negatively affect their goals in terms of transferring for our program specifically.

Q: How did you overcome this challenge?

A: The part that helped me get through (Oct. 1) was helping the friends and loved ones who are still around try to get to that next part of their life and get back to a happy place.

Q: Who specifically helped you make it through this school year?

Coworkers and students because they understand the most and I think helping others get through (Oct. 1) helped me get through it. On a personal level, my wife and my family.

Q: What types of help did they provide (what did they do for you)?

For coworkers, we were understanding of each other and more forgiving of what we had to go through. In terms of my personal life, my wife took up some slack, especially in the beginning when I was going through the grief process.

Q: What advice would you give students about how to finish difficult tasks like their education?

A: Take time to reflect back on your accomplishments and think about the next step. Try to find a way to give back to the community and find opportunities to volunteer and perhaps get some experience, because I think that’s the thing people miss the most.

Robynne Wilgus, Executive Assistant to the President and Board

robynne wilgus
Photo provided by Haylie Ellison The Mainstream

Q: What is the greatest challenge you overcame this year?
A: The escalated work pace in response to Oct. 1.
Q: What helped you overcome it?
A: I was always taught to persevere; this time it was extremely difficult, but it kept me moving forward. My faith in and relationship with God was the overarching support in making it through the day of Oct. 1 and the ensuing workload.
Q: Who specifically helped you make it through this school year?
A: Co-workers and my husband
Q: What types of help did they provide?
A: Having supportive co-workers in the midst of such tragic circumstances provided strength and understanding to continue going; we were “walking the road” together. My husband was amazing in providing me multiple opportunities to process. Especially at winter break, he went the extra mile, literally, in taking me back to my hometown, and letting me soak in the beauty and memories. He gave me time.
Q: What advice would you give students about how to finish difficult tasks like their education?
A: Recognize it won’t be easy – give yourself permission to say this is too hard for me, but then begin moving forward. Have a trustworthy person to be a “sounding board” for processing the challenge. Find time to renew your soul. Rely upon the teachings of your faith.

Caroline Randall, TRiO/SSS Director

caroline randall
Photo provided by Haylie Ellison The Mainstream

Q: What helped you overcome the challenges you faced this year?
A: I have a lot of very close friends with strong bonds and my ability to reach out to them on a daily basis and just have somebody to talk to helped me get through this year.
Q: Who specifically helped you make it through this school year?
A: Two of my colleagues, all of my students and my pseudo mother specifically helped me through this year.
Q: What types of help did they provide?
A: They provided me with love, support, laughter and reflection.
Q: What advice would you give students about how to finish difficult tasks like their education?
A: I would encourage students to somehow have a visualization of their end goal somewhere where they can see it every day and spend some time every morning thinking about the tasks ahead, how they connect to the end goal, and thinking about all the positive effects pushing through and completing the task will bring them. They also need to understand that the benefits and profits from their endeavors reach far beyond their degree and that they can’t possibly understand yet what those may be. Each opportunity seized opens a door to so many more.

Toni Clough,  Associate Professor, Business

toni clough
Photo provided by Trick Schneider The Mainstream

Q: What is the greatest challenge you overcame this year?
A: With Oct. 1, being able to be a strong person for students who needed me afterwards and how to try and get everything back to normal as much as possible but yet be available to those who needed to talk about it.
Q: What advice would you give students to finish the school year strong?
A: To stick with it no matter what gets in your way. If you really want that goal, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Don’t let them tell you that you can’t do something.