During the close of last semester Dr. Mark Comeaux, Vice President of Student Affairs, and his team of directors reevaluated the student programs on campus and chose to make changes in effort to prepare students for volunteer opportunities as well as life after college.
“We have increased our community outreach for our students and the opportunities for our students,” said Comeaux. “We wanted to go further. In sitting down and looking at what area we could expand in, the most logical area was student involvement and community outreach.”
The new hybrid position, Director of Student Involvement and Community Outreach, is intended to not only continue previous partnerships of service with local organizations in the community, but explore and provide new, diverse opportunities of service for students to participate on a weekly basis. This includes on and off campus events. The position replaces the Student Activities Supervisor position with added responsibilities of directing NSO and Student Activities interns.
Comeaux reported that currently there are programs involved with Pacific Drive and Raymond elementary schools as well as Nicholas junior high school to influence students of past education through a mentorship program. He also stated that HIU will not host Happy House, an annual community Halloween carnival, in efforts to use the funding for yearly outreach off campus rather than in house.
Gyasmine George-Williams, current APU doctorate student in Higher Education, has been hired to fill the position. Formerly from Diamond Bar, Williams was active in being involved while playing sports, being a member of USB, and Black Student Union in high school. Prior to this position, she has served as a college high school counselor, a basketball coach, psychology professor, and worked for the city of Diamond Bar for their recreational community outreach programs and special events.
Williams hopes for this year to collaborate with different student leadership teams to serve the community intentionally.
“As we continue to create a norm for this position…I think continuing to, for me personally in this position, for me to learn the student body and just really learn about the campus climate,” said Williams.
Williams reported that her goals were also to maintain and build relationships from the campus and outreach partners to create new opportunities for service and fun.
Kirsten McCormick, Career Services Director, will be responsible for the Career Services department rather than a dual position that used to also direct NSO. Due to an expansion in her family, McCormick is now employed three quarters of the week.
McCormick reported that as Career Services becomes a critical service to students nationwide it will be beneficial to continually strengthen the services offered and offer helpful events and guidance for students.
“Now by just doing Career Services I am able to work on Career Service year round,” said McCormick. “There is never this gap…which is also great for our online and graduate students.”