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Tuesday, November 4, 2003
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Student group brings students and faculty together

By Adrienne Gavula

Students within the College of Health and Human Services have an advantage when it comes to interacting with faculty and students from the six different majors -- the Student Advisory Council.

The Council within the college provides students and faculty the opportunity to interact with each other outside the classroom. Last September, it sponsored an ice cream social and dessert reception where new students to the college were introduced to faculty and the dean. The students also took tours of Grover Center.

Currently, the Council is organizing the College's Outstanding Teacher Award. It is responsible for soliciting and compiling nominations, observing and interviewing professors and making a final decision. The award process began Oct. 21-23, when the group set up tables in Grover Center to accept nominations from students.

The Student Advisory Council consists of approximately 13-17 students who are nominated each spring by faculty. Margaret Goodwin, assistant dean for student services, is adviser to the council, which includes students from all the various programs.

"We try to have as much representation across the college as possible," Goodwin says.

In addition, Council members serve on various college committees and are responsible for planning and promoting yearly activities like a winter skating party and spring picnic for students, faculty and their families. The Council is also involved with visitation programs. When prospective students hear each college's presentation, Council members are there to answer any questions the prospective Health and Human Services students have about majors or college life.

"It's been a wonderful experience," says Council co-chair Megan Kinnison. "It's given me the opportunity to work with various faculty and students that I normally wouldn't have met."

Because the Council is a registered student organization, members hold fundraisers to help pay for activities. The Council tries to have at least one volunteer activity every quarter. Last winter, the Council provided a dinner for the GoodWorks Friday Night Suppers, and last fall, the council hosted the College's first American Red Cross blood drive.

Goodwin guides the Council by attending meetings, helping create an agenda and connecting the Council with outside activities. She ultimately helps the students accomplish their goals.

"Advising is my favorite part of this job," she says. "I get to interact with students from various majors throughout the college on a longer-term basis."

The council began in 1981 -- two years after the college was created. Goodwin has served as its adviser since 1985.

"We've been really fortunate to have that student input," says Beth VanDerveer, assistant to the dean for student services, who served on the college curriculum committee with a Council member. "They have provided direction, vision and new ideas. Students are encouraged to participate and take part in the learning process."

Adrienne Gavula is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.
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