Student works to improve campus experience for liberal arts students

Student Spotlight
Tayler Ruggero, fourth-year criminal justice and public policy double major




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Tayler Ruggero was elected as the COLA Student Government Senator for this academic year and hopes to make many positive changes for her fellow students.

Tayler Ruggero, a fourth-year student double majoring in criminal justice and public policy, is passionate about working with RIT to improve student experiences on campus. Ruggero is from Philadelphia, Pa., and would like to work in law enforcement or utilize her Geographic Information Systems (GIS) minor in some way. Ruggero is very active on campus and works to serve her RIT community in many ways.

Ruggero is a member of the College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Board (COLA SAB) and is currently serving as the COLA Student Government Senator. In addition to work she does for Student Government, Ruggero works as a senior resident adviser in the Center for Residence Life. Outside of RIT, she enjoys volunteering as a coach for youth cheerleading teams.

During her service as a member of the SAB, Ruggero was involved in the reinvention of an event called the Next Step. The event needed to be more accessible and attractive to students, and Ruggero and her fellow SAB members made dramatic improvements to help the event survive and thrive. This year, the Next Step will be held on Friday, Sept. 29. The first session begins at 10:10 a.m. and there will be different sessions to attend throughout the day. For more information and to RSVP for the event, go to https://goo.gl/forms/DYyqQ686UlApzMkh2

Question: What brought you to RIT?
Answer: I was really interested in all the opportunities I saw to be involved and further my career while using the technology RIT has to offer. I was excited to be able to incorporate these experiences and the technology into my liberal arts degrees.

Q: Why did you decide to be involved with Student Government?
A: I decided to be involved with Student Government after being involved with the COLA SAB for a few years because I wanted to seek more leadership roles that helped advocate for liberal arts students.

Q: What stuck out to you about the SAB and prompted you to get involved?
A: When I first got involved, the group was still growing and not many people knew about it. I only found out about it because they needed a public policy representative, and my friend who was a representative for another organization asked me to join. It seemed like a good way to start getting involved on campus, so I said yes.

Q: What is the Next Step and how does this event help students on campus?
A: The Next Step is a free event comprised of multiple sessions that works to cater to a wide variety of COLA students who are preparing for launching a career. Whether they attempted this at the career fair or on their own, we wanted to help them be ready. We include sessions on getting and acing interviews, an alumni panel so students can hear about life after graduation, a networking lunch, a résumé builder workshop, and a few more things aimed at helping students pursue a career. This helps give students the confidence and some skills they will need to land a job once they graduate.

Q: How did the Next Step come to be?
A: The Next Step existed before I was a part of the SAB, but it was on a Saturday and had a lack of participation because no one wants to go to a career workshop on a weekend. My first year on the SAB we were able to revamp the program, offer it in time slots that aligned with classes and made it more enticing so more people would attend.

Q: What are the student contributions to organizing this event?
A: The students in the SAB plan and organize the entire event. We reach out to Alumni Relations to get alumni for the alumni panel, we ask career services to help with some sections, and then we reach out to faculty from all the COLA departments to help with the résumé review. It takes effort from the COLA faculty, staff and students to successfully put on this event, but it’s the students in the SAB who do the organizing and planning.

Q: What is the best part about facilitating this event?
A: The best part of facilitating this event is seeing the needs of COLA students being met. They constantly voice the need for resources to help them in their career search, and this is one way in which we are answering those needs. Another way we do this in the spring is through the COLA career fair, which we hosted for the first time last spring.

Q: What are your plans following graduation?
A: Maybe graduate school, maybe a job, I’m not quite sure yet.

Felicia Swartzenberg compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact her at fds9410@mail.rit.edu with suggestions.