One of the two first-year advisors has left NVU-Johnson for another position within the University.
Caitlin Wilkins, who began her advising work last March, has accepted a position as Assistant Director of Residential Life on the Lyndon campus.
Despite her love for working at NVU Johnson, Wilkins says she looks forward to having the opportunity to work at the Lyndon campus. “I am very excited, but also sad to go,” Wilkins said. “I am sad about the timing, but we are working very hard to make sure there is plenty of support for all my advisees when I leave.”
Wilkins has been working at the Johnson campus since last March as a first year advisor. As a first year advisor Wilkins says her job involved more than just making a schedule with students.“I see myself as more of a life advisor, she said. Students come to me with all sorts of problems, from being homesick to needing a new roommate. By doing this I can find out what helps kids stay in college, and provide better advising to help them do so.”
Working at Northern Vermont is not Wilkins’ only experience with working with kids in a school setting. She used to work at a boarding school as the associate director of admissions, calling herself a “dorm parent to ten girls from around the world, while raising a puppy.”
Being a part of the students’ life is important to Wilkins. “I miss being more involved in the mama hen kind of role,” she said. “The best part about my job is when I get to see the students go from being absolutely terrified the summer before school starts, to building confidence, finding interest, making friendships, and becoming leaders here at Johnson.”
Wilkins said her new position will provide more opportunities for her, both in terms of using her abilities and engaging her interests. “This new role is more encompassing, so it includes orientations, student activities, and helping the RAs. It is more of what I used to do at the boarding school,” she said.
Wilkins herself was a student at NVU-Johnson, receiving her master’s of Education, and believes that when teachers and school administrators are more involved in students’ lives helps them be more successful. “I feel like here at Johnson my job is more office based, I used to coach tennis and be more involved with the students. I always think back to who was important to me in college, and it’s always those people who cared about what was going on in my life that helped shape who I am today.” Wilkins says.