There is a new face in The Academic Support Services Office. Student Development Coordinator Jesse Meunier comes to NVU-Johnson after graduating from NVU-Lyndon with a degree in psychology and human services. Meunier is completing his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in the graduate program at Johnson.
He credits an internship with College Steps he completed while at NVU-Lyndon for stoking his passion for helping students. “I had a really great internship at Lyndon working through College Steps doing mentoring and support work with students with disabilities,” Meunier said. “Most of my students were on the autism spectrum and I really enjoyed working with them. I think that helped me realize that I really wanted to work in a college environment with students.”
Meunier’s duties as a student development coordinator include providing support in academics
for TRiO students and working as an advisor for NVU Online. “Basically… helping the students through academic issues, providing academic support,” Meunier said.
Meunier’s favorite part of his job as student development coordinator is the students. “Making connections with people in general is what drew me towards being a counselor,” he said. “I like being able to give back because I have had a lot of people through my own journey through college and through life in general, that have played a huge role in getting me to where I am today, and having the opportunity to be that for somebody else is extremely satisfying and rewarding,”
Meunier also helps Disability Services Coordinator Michele Feiner with assistive technology such as dictation software and iPads.
Meunier was hired by Director of Academic Support Services, Dr. Karen Madden, who noted in an email interview that he seemed an excellent match for the job given his abilities, experience and reputation. “He had the skills we needed, good experience and very good references. He has learned a lot already and done a good job,” Madden said.
Having the experience of being a first-generation college student inspired Meunier to pursue the job and support students in the way that he wished he had known about in the past. “I am a first- generation student, and when I was in school the first time as an eighteen and nineteen-year old, I did not really know who to turn to for support. I did not really know how everything worked,” Meunier said. So, it is very satisfying for me to be in this role where I get a chance to give back to people who can benefit from having the extra support. I really enjoy working with students. Even though I am not a counselor, I get to use my use a lot of my counseling skills to build good working relationships with students, and making those connections is what [drew] me to being a counselor and what drew me to this job.”
When he isn’t working, Meunier can be found outside. He enjoys hiking, biking, camping and kayaking in the summer. Meunier is also the co-founder of a game company. “So, I just started a gaming design LLC with my older brother, who is actually a Johnson alum, and we are working together to release our first card game [“The Usurper”] that we designed together on Kickstarter in either January or February…”, Meunier said. “It is about trying to claim the throne and gathering your advisors and generals and spies to do that.”
Meunier’s position is funded by a TRiO grant for Student Support Services offices by the U.S Department of Education, according to Coordinator of Academic Services Carolyn D’luz.