LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2021) — Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the culture shock of the transition to college can create challenges. To overcome those challenges, it’s important that students feel a sense of belonging by developing positive and supportive connections with their peers, faculty and staff.
With that mission in mind, a creative idea emerged — After Office Hours.
Every fall semester, the Office of Residence Life invites colleagues from across campus into its residence halls to engage with students after normal business hours. Attendees discuss various topics, such as campus resources and adjusting to college life, as well as students' aspirations, interests and needs.
"Faculty and staff interacting with students during After Office Hours demonstrates how the UK family is caring, supportive and student-centric. Moreover, this event allows our first-year students a chance to build relationships with faculty and staff early in their college career — relationships they may utilize for support in the future," Kenyatta Jeter, acting associate director for residential curriculum, said. "Faculty and staff members who participate enjoy connecting with students about college classes, as well as their overall experience at UK. In fact, many return to volunteer year after year."
After Office Hours will take place on 5-7:00 p.m, Sept. 8. There will be a dinner and orientation in the private dining room in Fresh Food Company at The 90. Resident directors will then escort AOH participants to their respective residence halls to begin After Office Hours.
Volunteers might prepare themselves to answer the following:
- academic advising;
- academic resources;
- how to contact a faculty member;
- how to be involved on campus;
- campus safety; and
- personal needs, etc.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.