In a recent Zoom chat with admitted students and parents, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Inge-Lise Ameer, Ed.D. shared her thoughts on Bryant’s student-centered campus culture. As the parent of a recent college graduate, she knows firsthand the questions on the minds of students deciding which college is the right fit.
“I've just gone through the whole process of being a college parent,” she told the online group. “If this is your first child to go to college, know it's all going to be fine … and, it's all going to work out,” Ameer assured the parents.
Helping students become their best selves
“Bryant is amazing,” said Ameer. Inspired by Bryant’s deep commitment to student success and academic excellence, she joined the University’s student-centered community nearly a year ago and brought broad knowledge of higher education leadership and management and an extensive record of accomplishment, collaboration with faculty, and visionary initiatives to her position.
“College can be scary,” she acknowledged. Having the right resources can make all the difference. At Bryant, “from the moment you come on campus,” she said, the faculty and staff are working to “help you figure out what you're passionate about, and what you're going to do after you leave here, and what's going to make you happy.”
Success, she noted, is when, at the end of students’ Bryant experience, they have taken advantage of everything and have thrived. In her talk, Ameer outlined how Bryant's staff collaborate to ensure student success. Below are a few highlights from her remarks:
- During Orientation, students are reassured that help can come from an academic advisor, counselor, resident assistant, intramural captain, or other staff members. Orientation introduces students to their faculty and advisors as well as to all the opportunities Bryant offers. With more than 100 student organizations headed by remarkable student leaders, Bryant offers a high-impact leadership curriculum including retreats and other opportunities for reflection as well as training ranging from how to manage a budget to engaging people in meetings.
- After Orientation, the next group incoming students engage with is Resident Assistants. These specially trained undergraduate students live in the residence halls with first-year students, making sure they are having a positive experience. They also provide support and assistance for students who are homesick or struggling with a personal challenge. Resident Assistants help to ensure that your home away from home is safe, provide programming, and a lot of fun through activities such as midnight pancakes, Quidditch teams, and virtual games with thousands of people all over the world.
- Nearly 82 percent of students live on campus in a variety of progressive residence life options. Bryant features traditional residence halls for first-year students, and sophomores and juniors move into more independent areas. “As seniors,” Ameer said, “you move into townhouses, which have their own kitchens and living rooms. And you get a taste of what life is like after college.”
- To make roommate assignments, Residence Life surveys incoming students, asking lifestyle questions to make sure they are paired with a roommate with similar habits. Talking to upperclassmen this year, Ameer learned that the friends they made on their first-year floor are still some of their closest friends as seniors. “We pride ourselves on these matches,” she noted.
- Campus Dining has had significant enhancements this year at Bryant. Salmanson, the main dining hall known on campus as Salmo, has added a variety of food choices as well as a popular Asian fusion section. Students can also use meal swipes at smaller campus cafes.
- Last year, "we had a 99 percent placement rate for our seniors in jobs, internships, and graduate schools,” noted Ameer. At Bryant’s Amica Center for Career Education students in their first year begin to explore all of the careers they can pursue with majors they’ve never heard of or in fields that might align with their interests. In addition to a variety of programs, the Amica Center, along with faculty, helps coordinate a wide range of internships. Most students hold internships as sophomore, juniors, and seniors. At Bryant, Ameer noted, first-year students can do an internship in their second semester, something she’s advocated throughout her career. “Once you come on campus,” she said, “you'll be part of this huge networking system that we've created through the Amica Center in partnership with faculty and alumni. And you'll see all the different opportunities open to you.”
- Bryant’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), which also provides EMT services 24/7, “is there to support our students and make for a safe environment,” she said, adding that “DPS works in partnership with students to make the campus safe." Bryant, Ameer stressed, is “a very safe, nurturing campus” where officers know the students.
Listen to the complete presentation here.