Student Success Center Welcomes New Director


New student success center director Jessica Randall poses for a picture.

Courtney Garloff, Editor-In-Chief

   Jessica Randall is settling in at The Student Success Center after she took the helm as Director over winter break.

   “We are very excited to have Jessica come in and be a part of the Student Success Center,” said Student Success Center and CAPS Center secretary Carol Llewellyn.

   Randall takes over from interim Student Success Center Director Kristen Ricardo. Ricardo took the position after former Student Success Center director Amy Lahart was promoted to Dean of Students.

   Randall is spending time getting to know her new job.

   “I want to start off by really listening to students and staff to see what is needed. This center already has a positive reputation and I want to make sure it stays that way,” said Randall.

   She already has some ideas.

   “I am looking into the possibility of trying to do more things electronically to be as environmentally friendly and efficient as we possibly can,” said Randall.

   She said she will build upon what the Student Success Center already does well and try to provide services to accommodate as many of the students’ needs as possible.

   “I’m excited to see what new and fresh ideas she will bring to the Student Success Center,” said Llewellyn.

   Randall graduated from Hope College in Michigan. She then went on to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Phoenix, University of Louisville and Bellarmine University.

   At her previous job as Assistant Director of the Student Success Center at Campbell University in North Carolina, Randall started a supplemental instruction program.

   “This program includes a peer led tutoring session similar to the peer tutoring that is currently offered here,” said Randall.

   The main difference between the two programs is that supplemental instruction is group-based. She helped create it to aid students taking difficult classes that have a high drop out rate, and those taking prerequisites for major programs.

    Randall said she is considering expanding the role of peer educators beyond those they play in tutoring sessions.

   “We could also use peer educators for academic coaching and teaching study skills like our staff members currently do. Using students could be a better way to help students,” said Randall.

   Peer educators might be able to answer questions students don’t feel comfortable asking faculty and staff.

   “Our staff already teaches study skills, but I think using students to teach these skills would help make it more relatable to their peers,” she said.

   Randall said her experience helps her to understand students’ needs – and their feelings. For example, she said her recent job search resembled a student’s search for the right college.

   “You are looking for that right fit and then when you find it you just know that this is the place for you, and Misericordia had that feeling for me,” said Randall.

   Randall wanted to work at a smaller institution and Misericordia was a good match for her professionally.

   “I knew I wanted to be at a small school, and MU just hit a number of things on my wish list,” said Randall.

   The Student Success Center is located in the basement of Alumni hall. Its mission is to provide academic and personal support services to students who wish to improve their academic lives. Peer tutoring is available for students who are having trouble in their classes or just want to stay ahead.

   Students can take advantage of workshops, peer tutoring, free online 24/7 tutoring through Smart-thinking and one-on-one study skills teaching sessions.

   For more information e-mail Carol Llewellyn [email protected] or stop by.