First Year Council

Charge and Membership

The First Year Council will be charged with the following responsibilities:

  1. Gain knowledge of all initiatives/programs/policies on campus affecting first year students (and would be the successor to the Foundations of Excellence Task Force).
  2. Set campus-wide priorities among competing first year initiatives. Coordinate and align first year programs, policies, and practices.
  3. Plan and advocate for first year student success initiatives.
  4. Increase the visibility of first year issues and programs within the university community.
  5. Sponsor regular First Year forums/open meetings/workshops to diffuse knowledge about, and commitment to, first year issues and programs across all campuses.
  6. Advocate for faculty development in first year teaching.
  7. Design and advocate for a faculty reward structure to encourage excellence in first year teaching and advising.
  8. Identify current first year student advocates among faculty on all campuses and recruit more.
  9. Consult widely with instructors of first year classes including but not limited to continuing faculty and teaching assistants.

Committee Roster


Rebecca Barlag

Marcy Keifer Kennedy

Becky Munhall
Health Sciences and Profession

Maria Postigo
Modern Languages

Ana Rosado Feger

Ryan Shepherd


Michael DePerro
Senior Events Director

Ashlee Tatman
Director of Student Services

Logan Waldie
Academic Advisor, Nursing

Administrators, Ex-Officio

Grusha Amatya
International Student and Faculty Services

Tricia Barrick

Debra M. Benton
University Registrar

Duane Bruce
Division of Diversity and Inclusion

Jen Maskiell
Director of Residence Life Operations

Wendy Merb-Brown
Assistant Dean for Operations and Learning Community Programs

Valerie K. Miller, MBA
Executive Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

Suraiya Padiyath Abdulla
Advising, The ACE

Vincent Prior
Director of Undergraduate Orientations

Barb Remsburg
Director of Learning Community Programs

Katie Troyer
Enrollment Marketing

Joni Wadley
Institutional Research

Undergraduate Students

Emma Ellis

All University committees follow the academic-year calendar.

All students serve one-year terms. Faculty, administrators, and staff generally serve three-year terms. Ex-Officio appointments have voting privileges unless otherwise noted.