Hailing from the much colder state of Minnesota, our new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Susan Singer, has been adjusting to the sunshine-filled Rollins life throughout this past semester. Having sponsored several several “Conversation with the Provost” sessions to get to know a variety of Rollins’ diverse students, Singer has been welcomed by Bonners and athletes alike.
Singer’s conversations have been an especially enriching way to delve into the community dynamics here at Rollins College.
“My appreciation for the deep engagement of students in their academic lives, student government, athletics, community engagement, Greek life, music, theatre and more grows every time I meet another Rollins student. . . I’ve learned how committed our students are to understanding different perspectives and engaging in the challenging conversations, not just in the classroom, that lead to greater understanding. The desire to learn is reflected in conversations about participating in intellectually challenging courses from day one,” stated Singer.
These sessions have been useful and ingenious vehicles to aid a new administrative faculty member in understanding the goals and concerns of students on campus.
Unsurprisingly, Singer has a lot of experience under her belt. For instance, prior to her position at Rollins, she directed the Division for Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation.
During the past semester, Singer has identified some areas in which she would like to focus on moving forward: namely, how the rFLA program has some room for improvement and continued growth. The Academic Affairs administrative structure is also looking to be redesigned for efficiency now that the College of Arts and Science and the College of Professional Studies have been unified as the College of Liberal Arts.
“Strategic planning is helping us design improved strategies to get better at this, whether you are aiming to move right into the workforce or have your sights on graduate or professional school,” Singer said.
And, it seems that “Conversations with the Provost” sessions have been a great tool not only in getting our new Provost acclimated to the Rollins environment but also in helping her identify major facets of the Rollins student identity. Moving forward in her goal to help ensure a meaningful education for current and future Tars, these Conversations with students Singer has had—and will continue to have—prove eye-opening.
“Thinking about how each of you weaves together your narrative about your liberal arts education and how course choices, internships, international experiences, research experience, community engagement work, work study jobs, and other skills, such as coding, uniquely positions you for your post-Rollins adventure is a good and important challenge,” claims Singer. After talking to so many students, she would know!
“Conversations with the Provost” will continue in the Spring Semester. All students are encouraged to participate.