By Jolene Darensbourg
DAVIS – During Aggie Spirit Week, the Cal Aggie Alumni Association at UC Davis hosted a webinar entitled Student Success in a Virtual World to offer different resources to best help and guide parents and families of current students.
A panel of campus leaders shared information for students to participate in clubs, networking through different social media platforms, job and internship guidance, advising appointments and focusing on the importance of health during this time of virtual schooling.
The list of panelists for the event included: Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Dr. Cynthia Carter Ching, Clinical Director of Student Health and Counseling Services Dr. Katie Cougevan, Executive Director of the Internship and Career Center Marcie Kirk Holland, Assistant Director of sorority and fraternity life Valerie Lamarre Laurent, Executive Director of the Community Resource and Retention Centers Mayra Llamas and Director of Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) within Global Affairs Wesley Young.
They moderated the event along with Mary Vanderpan, an Aggie Parent and Family Council member and chair of the Ambassador Committee.
The seven community outreach centers have adapted ways for students to connect to each other.
Llamas advised parents to have their students subscribe to their social media accounts, weekly news center emails and academic mass emails to stay up-to-date with any activity or opportunity events.
The SISS Global Affairs program puts focus on creating virtual events and activities that help international students meet the domestic students here as an opportunity to give a different perspective on what is going on in the world.
The faculty serves as a great resource for students to attend office hours or have appointments with academic advisers as they are all here to give more access to help and guidance for students.
Attending office hours has become more flexible with availability this quarter and allows for interactivity with instructors for students to ask any questions they might have or to just chat.
The panelists agreed that attending lectures is just not enough anymore and first-year students need to understand that office hours are just as vital.
Dr. Cougevan addressed parents about the importance of monitoring students’ mental health and stress levels.
There are counseling services via Zoom and over the phone that are available to students.
She explained that recently, group therapy has been doing well for students who are feeling lonely because they are getting interaction with others.
She also advised that if any parents feel concerned about the behavior of their students, they are more than welcome to call for a consultation at 530-752-0871.
Holland pointed out many students are stressing over internship and job availability, but there are actually a lot of open interview slots and opportunities out there for students.
She advised parents to encourage students to look into the virtual internship and career fairs the university creates, along with keeping up with their website since it is updated regularly with informational sessions from various companies.
Registering for the newsletters is a great tool as well because they can help give guidance for applying to jobs and internships.
Some tips to help students participate in their classes and discussions more were to have their cameras on in class because it encourages others to turn them on as well.
The most important message the panelists wanted parents to take home was that students should keep up with any campus-based tools or emails and to reach out to any faculty and they will do their best to help make any accommodations.
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