New Orientation Program Helps Build Connections

The Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) holds the unique privilege of impacting virtually every undergraduate student on campus through our programs and services. We’re the home of intramural sports, tutoring and writing services, undergraduate research, and dozens of other student focused programs. With more than 50 programs and services, there’s no question that our division is sizable. To foster a sense of connection and collegiality, we have launched a new program to welcome new staff members and identify a clear vision for what it means to be part of the division.

On Sept. 21, a pilot session of the new DASA Connect: New Employee Orientation was held in the Playzone at Carmichael Center. Program leaders from across the division were invited to share the mission and goals of their respective areas with those in attendance. The program is designed to complement the university’s onboarding program for new employees. “The University Onboarding program provides a positive start for all new NC State employees. DASA Connect is meant to complement the university program by picking up where it leaves off,” said Beth Buck, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and co-chair of the DASA Connect committee.  “DASA is a large, complex organization and new employees need to know our mission and understand their role in carrying out that mission. Additionally, we wanted new employees to meet the leadership team, have the benefit of connecting with each other and start forming relationships with faculty and staff in other units.”

DASA Connect offers a high-level overview of the division and gives new employees a big-picture understanding of how they fit into division wide strategic plans, while also ensuring they are informed of helpful on-campus resources. For the newest additions to the division, it’s one of the earliest opportunities to meet members of the leadership team, and to begin building connections with colleagues from across the division. A representative of the Office of Marketing and Communications was also present to take head shots for new employees.

Co-chair and director of DASA Tech Leslie Dare sees the program as an opportunity to equip new employees with the information and tools to support the division’s commitment to promoting the success of the whole student. “My observation, which I believe is shared by others, is that many employees in the division could benefit from having a deeper understanding of what DASA is all about – who we are, what we do, why we do it. With approximately 50 departments, it is challenging for everyone to have a good grasp of what each of those units is trying accomplish, and how we are all working towards the same same goal of promoting student success. My hope is that this new DASA Connect program will provide that foundation of information. When you couple that with opportunities for new (and all) staff to connect with each other in a variety of ways, the end result should be a stronger division overall. We’ve got to equip each person with the tools of information and partnerships to really succeed at our mission.”

The next session is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2018.