Campus Life

Office of Student Success welcomes new staff, expands student services

One initiative identified in Oglethorpe University’s Strategic Plan calls for building a professional advising unit of highly trained personnel to increase student retention and graduation rates.

To help achieve that, Oglethorpe has welcomed new staff in the Office of Student Success, led by Dr. Vivian Medrano, senior director of student success.

In addition to Assistant Director of Student Success Lauren Richardson, the team also now includes Student Success Advisors Helen Bond, Tenisha Tinsley and Xavier Schwener, as well as Writing Tutor Coordinator Peter Dye.

“Priority number one in the Oglethorpe Strategic Plan is ‘enhance student success,’” said Interim President Kathryn McClymond. “We have been intentionally dedicating resources to the Student Success team because they are vital to helping Oglethorpe students successfully navigate the college experience and graduate. As a university we are successful only if our students achieve academic success, and Dr. Medrano’s efforts are critical to our students succeeding in the classroom and beyond.”

Oglethorpe University 2023 Student Success Staff

Oglethorpe University Student Success staff: Assistant Director of Student Success Lauren Richardson; Student Success Advisor Xavier Schwener; Student Success Advisor Tenisha Tinsley; Student Success Advisor Helen Bond; Writing Coordinator Peter Dye; Senior Director of Student Success Dr. Vivian Medrano.

Student Success supports students as they transition into college and throughout their OU experience, utilizing a blend of coaching and advising styles, including developmental, appreciative, and proactive advising.

The staff is also committed to fostering a sense of belonging at OU. They assist students in creating meaningful relationships and community, and partner with students to identify and achieve academic, personal, and professional goals.

“We have a new, committed team who is passionate about student success. We are here to guide students, support them, and connect them to other resources,” says Dr. Medrano. “Our primary goal is to work collaboratively with faculty and campus partners to empower students and provide holistic support services that contribute to student resiliency at OU and beyond.”

Student Success advisors provide academic advising services to freshmen, sophomore, and junior students, as well as some seniors in the Hammack School of Business. All student-athletes are advised by Richardson. This year, Student Success Advisors also serve as liaisons to faculty in specific academic divisions and support students according to their majors. Advisors can also connect students with faculty and other campus resources to help them achieve academic goals.

For more information identifying their advisor, students can visit OASIS, EAB Navigate, or the Student Success website. Students can take advantage of Student Success’ services, such as academic advising, tutoring, and writing support, by scheduling an appointment through EAB Navigate.

“Dr. Medrano and her team in Student Success complement the efforts by the faculty to ensure Oglethorpe students make academic progress and earn their degree,” said Dr. Kendra King Momon, interim provost.

“Student success includes a number of important services students rely on as they tackle their coursework, including academic advising, tutoring, skills enhancement, and referral to resources. We place great emphasis on Student Success here at Oglethorpe, and that investment is paying dividends for our students.”

Student Success will hold writing workshops every Wednesday this year starting September 20, from 1 – 2 p.m. in Robinson 001. The Deciphering Rubrics and Making a Writing Plan workshop will be open to all students on September 21 in the TLCC Trustee Room. Keep up with other workshops and events by following @oglestudentsuccess on Instagram.

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