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SMC appoints program director

Megan Loney | Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saint Mary’s administration and student body welcomed Diane M. Fox, the new Director of Student Success at the College, to her position in June 1 after a nationwide search to fill the post.

Although new to the College, Fox is not unfamiliar with the area or to working with students. She worked at Holy Cross College as the Director of Advising for five years and as the Director of the school’s College Success Program. Fox worked at Saint Joseph’s High School in South Bend as an English teacher and also served as the Communications Coordinator, according to a press release from the College.

Her experiences in South Bend, especially with Holy Cross Education, add to Fox’s appeal and what she offers to the College.

“Diane really understands the quality Holy Cross educational experience we provide and will only enhance our students’ lives with the resources and talents she offers,” Dr. Patricia Fleming, senior vice president and dean of faculty, said in a July press release.

Fortunately for Fox, she does not have to choose between teaching and advising students; both aspects of her work experience are part of her job. As the director, she has the responsibility of teaching academic strategies courses as well as advising all students in the Student Success Program.

Fox feels that she is adapting well to Saint Mary’s.

“I am enjoying my new environment at Saint Mary’s College so very much,” Fox said. “As a woman, I appreciate the opportunity to empower the young women of Saint Mary’s College. I have also found SMC administrators, staff and faculty to be impressive. I have been kindly and warmly welcomed, and I am truly inspired by the genuine care and commitment they feel to and for the young women we serve. I am very blessed and grateful to be here.”

The Office of Student Success, which falls under the Division of Academic Affairs and is designed for first-year students as a means of support during a transition time that can often be difficult. The program focuses on empowerment, motivation and the development of key skills strategies needed to succeed in a college career.

There are currently 33 students accepted to the Student Success Program.

Although Fox’s primary focus is first-year students, she and the program can prove helpful for all Saint Mary’s students.

“While the successful transition of my first-year students is my major focus, another of my responsibilities is to be available to other students who may want to take advantage of the resources of the Office for Student Success,” Fox said. “In fact, I welcome the opportunity to do so.”

Fox is conducting eight workshops this semester in the Academic Resource Center room, located across from room 103 in Madeleva Hall. These workshops, which are open to all students, will address various topics including time management, the learning process, combating forgetfulness, reading, note-taking, studying and testing skills, all of which benefit students’ academic efforts, Fox said.

All of the workshops will be offered from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The first of these will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 1 and will focus on the learning process and forgetting. Students are welcome to bring their lunches to all of the workshops, but pizza will be available for the first one.

For more information about the Office of Student Success and the workshops, students may visit Diane Fox in her office located in the Academic Resource Center, in room 103 in Madaleva Hall, or contact her by e-mail or phone.

Fox has a message for students as the semester begins:

“Get off to a good start. Realize that pursuing an education is why you are here, so make it a priority and act accordingly, now and throughout the semester,” Fox said.