Laura Ketchum-Ciftci, who has served numerous Student Affairs positions and offices across the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point campus for the last 25 years, has been appointed Interim Dean of Students for the 2013-2014 school year.
“This interim position is a great fit for my skills and abilities. Creating a vision for the Dean of Students office and building collaborations with numerous on and off campus departments, offices and organizations to provide programs, services and resource for students, faculty, staff and family members is truly my strengths,” Ketchum-Ciftci said.
The appointment comes after the UWSP Student Affairs Division went through a strategic planning process late last year, which cited the creation of a Dean of Students as one of the highest priority items.
“A position description was drafted and reviewed by all shared governance groups on campus in the Spring 2013 semester, and it was decided to begin the search for the position in the Fall of 2013,” Ketchum- Ciftci said. “However, instead of allowing another year to pass before this needed office was started on campus, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Al Thompson, decided to appoint an interim Dean of Students for the 2013-2014 year.”
As Interim Dean of Students, it is Ketchum-Ciftci’s duty to provide programs and services to students that address community support, student advocacy, personal responsibility, student success, and wellness.
“Knowing that what I, and my colleagues in the office, are doing helps students succeed is the most rewarding part of the job,” Ketchum- Ciftci said.
Though many are still easing into the new school year, the Dean of Students office has wasted no time pushing initiatives and providing their services to the student body.
“One of the initiatives the Dean of Students office began this year is a poster campaign called, ‘See Something, Hear Something, Say Something’, to help the campus community understand that they need to be reporting behaviors that are concerning,” Ketchum-Ciftci said. “Reporting forms are all electronic now and located on the Dean of Students website, though completed forms are reported directly to the Dean of Students office, also.”
In addition to these current endeavors, Ketchum-Ciftci is also excited for what the rest of her term as Interim Dean of Students will hold, citing a number of upcoming initiatives, and urging student participation.
“Our next step will be to begin forming a group to educate the community about Bystander Education–How to Act in the Face of Violence. We are excited about having students approach us about other topics and issues they would like to addressed in the future,” Ketchum- Ciftci said.