The Center for Student Engagement staff has welcomed Meghan Woodward to their office, and although she isn’t new to UT, she’s served students in a few different roles throughout her time here. Meghan started her professional journey at the university back in August 2016 as the coordinator for off-campus and commuter services, where she created programs to support off-campus and commuter students. Today, Meghan is a coordinator at the Center for Student Engagement. Her day-to-day focus remains on students, but in a different way than her previous role.
She is charged with creating and hosting a number of programs for students such as the Adulting 101 series, daytime programming, first-year commuter student support, and off-campus housing to be more encompassing of all students. The goal is to engage more students during the daytime hours, so they feel they are a part of the UT experience.
Understanding that commuter students have all of these other identities that make them who they are as UT students, we’re able to see a broader range of students. We had a graduate student come by one of our recent events and say that at her undergraduate institution she understood the student life experience but as a graduate student, she didn’t always have the opportunity to hear about some of these events. She, as a graduate student, really appreciated the chance to get out and do something fun and experience UT as a student.
To Meghan, this is where her office can make an impact on student’s experiences at UT.
“These events and programs are not commuter specific, but they are commuter-friendly. We are seeing more of those students who we don’t normally see during evening events that our office is traditionally known for. We’re working to expand our outreach by hosting more programming throughout the day.”
Luckily, Meghan doesn’t have to go at this charge alone. Along with the fantastic staff at the CSE, Meghan enlists the help of a graduate assistant, Tricia Goudreau.
“My graduate assistant Tricia also focuses on daytime programming to engage with students. We host at least two daytime programs a month that can span between an activity, free food, and other activities that may coincide with celebrational holidays such as World Kindness Day coming up in November and National Taco Day, where we offered free taco bar”
One of the newest programs students have the chance to engage with is the Adulting 101 series, a lecture-type program that narrows in on a specific topic or skill that students will need while they transition into the “real world.” Meghan asks the question “What can we do as Student Life staff to supplement the knowledge of these topics outside of the classroom?”
“Our last Adulting 101 session we invited a realtor to talk about the pros and cons of renting or buying, and the cost of living in places such as Nashville or larger cities.”
These programs allow students to learn from professionals about the knowledge they will need when they leave UT or make a major life change. A previous session was a partnership with Billie Amatus-Salaam from the Center for Health Education and Wellness with a focus on staying healthy and cooking on a budget. Future programs will be how to stay involved as alumni and answer what do taxes, credit scores, and credit scores mean.
The Center for Student Engagement staff works tirelessly to ensure that students are able to experience UT during their time here, and Meghan Woodward is dedicated to ensuring that each student, whether on-campus or not, has the opportunity to make the most of their time here.
Upcoming Adulting 101 Events:
Adulting 101: Vol for Life: How to Stay Engaged as an Alum
Interested in how to stay connected to the Volunteer Family post-graduation? Join The Center for Student Engagement in the workshop series “Adulting 101” to learn more!
Tuesday, October 15 at 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Student Union, Executive Dining Room, 377A
Adulting 101: Show Me the Money: How to Achieve Financial Wellness
On a budget? Curious to see how to manage your spending while in school? Join The Center for Student Engagement in the workshop series “Adulting 101” to learn more!
Tuesday, November 19 at 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Student Union Executive Dining Room, 377A