It is a key priority of your RIT Staff Council to communicate clearly with and on behalf of our constituents, RIT staff and highlight the important work of our staff and how they contribute to the RIT community. To achieve both of these goals, Staff Council is delighted to announce a new series that will highlight a member of the RIT community in a short, but informative interview. We begin our series by introducing you to your Staff Council Chair, Kathleen Schreier Rudgers.
For the remainder of year we will alternate between highlighting an RIT staff member and a member of Staff Council. If you would like to nominate a staff member that you think we should interview, please let us know by filling out this short nomination form or email us at email@example.com.
(SC): Kathleen, tell us a little about your RIT career – how long have you worked here, in what roles, etc.
(KSR): I’ve worked at RIT for 12 years in a variety of roles! I started in the summer of 2003 as a Registration and Advising Assistant in the College of Liberal Arts Office of Student Services. During that time I served on the College’s Staff Advisory Board and was the Assistant Women’s Volleyball Coach. I left that position in the summer of 2005 to finish my master’s degree and returned to RIT in the summer of 2007 as a Community Enrichment Coordinator (now Residence Coordinator) in the Center for Residence Life. Two years later I moved on to become an Area Director in Residence Life. In the fall of 2011 I became a Senior Academic Advisor in the School of Interactive Games and Media in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. In my current position I advise approximately 360 students in Game Design and Development. I also advise the School’s three minors, coordinate the student ambassador program and serve on various departmental, college and University committees.
(SC): What do you enjoy most about your role as a Sr. Academic Advisor in the School of Interactive Games and Media?
(KSR): Being on the front-line of helping students be successful is what I enjoy most and that success can take many different forms. I particularly enjoy working with students who have overcome an obstacle to achieve their goals. It’s extremely rewarding.
(SC): Tell us a little about your experience with Staff Council, how has your involvement contributed to your RIT experience? What have you learned about RIT through your involvement in SC that you did not know? Did anything surprise you?
(KSR): Being part of Staff Council has been eye opening! I thought I understood how the various components of the University worked, but Staff Council has really opened my eyes. I have so much admiration and respect for the staff at RIT. Everything accomplished at the University is with the leadership, input, or support of staff. I get to see the amazing things so many do that others never hear about. I think I was also surprised at just how much the University wants staff to be happy and successful. Dr. Destler was committed to the staff experience and demonstrated that in a variety of ways. I’m looking forward to learning more about Dr. Munson’s vision for RIT and how that will include staff.
(SC): As Staff Council Chair, what is your top priority this year? What prompted you to run for Chair?
(KSR): I have to admit that being Chair of Staff Council was never on my radar. I joined Staff Council so that I could be part of the decisions that shape RIT. I joined Executive Committee a year later so that I could be part of the decisions that shape Staff Council. As Chair, I am representing staff at everything from the Board of Trustees Diversity Committee to University budget hearings. It’s an awesome responsibility that I do not take lightly.
This year, Staff Council will be focused on proactively and collaboratively generating solutions to any University challenges and concerns. We will also be encouraging all staff to strive for excellence in customer service – service to our students, our faculty, and especially to one another. Our daily interactions with each other play a significant role in delivering an excellent educational experience for students. Transparency, flexibility and responsiveness among all of us who make up the RIT community will help to increase productivity and create a welcoming and inclusive environment.
(SC): What is your favorite RIT event and why?
(KSR): I’m going to cheat a little bit and name two RIT events as my favorite. The first is Tiger Walk during Orientation. It is so much fun to watch the new students experience Tiger pride for the first time. I often wonder what types of experiences they will have and how they will grow and develop over the course of their time here. My other favorite day is (surprise, surprise) graduation. I’m always a little sad on this day to see a student go. But, it’s also a happy occasion knowing that the great big world is out there waiting for them.
(SC): What is your favorite/best RIT memory?
(KSR): My favorite memory at RIT was when I had the opportunity to travel to China with the RIT Women’s Volleyball Team in 2004. We stayed in Tianjin and had a chance to visit and play on the campus of the Tianjin University of Technology. We also visited Beijing and climbed the Great Wall of China. It was a life changing experience. The team was comprised of a wonderful group of student athletes who went on to win the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Upstate Championship that year.
Thanks, Kathleen, for sharing your insight and experience with us!