Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nota Bene: Appointment of 2017-18 Presidential Associates

In 1998, while President of Wesley College, I had the pleasure of serving on the Joint Civilian Orientation Council at the Pentagon by invitation of then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen. A part of that program was traveling around the country with Pentagon officials visiting various military installations over a 10-day period. During those visits, I observed talented 18-to-22-year-olds exhibiting tremendous leadership in critical areas and operating multi-billion-dollar pieces of equipment.

My fascination with this program translated to the establishment of the Presidential Assistant/Associate Program at Wesley that fall. Surely, if the military could train and trust college-aged individuals with this tremendous level of responsibility, higher education could and should do the same.

The Presidential Assistant/Associate Program was established at Wesley College in the fall of 1998. I continued the program at Bethany College during my eight years there and have continued a similar program at Virginia Wesleyan University.

Virginia Wesleyan’s Presidential Associates program provides an opportunity for students to work closely with the Office of the President on projects that support the mission and purpose of the University. The number of students hired in a given semester is dependent on a range of factors, but I have utilized from two to 10 in a semester. Typically, Presidential Associates do not receive academic credit, unless they make arrangements through their department to complete departmental internship requirements. Most Presidential Associates are appointed for the academic year and can be re-appointed for additional years.

Projects and responsibilities include assistance with presidential communication, legislative research, social media, student leadership programs, athletics and recreation, walkabouts, Greek life, presidential archives, and more.

I am pleased to introduce the Virginia Wesleyan University
Presidential Associates for 2017-18:

Alana Peters '18
Madeline Snyder '18

This program is truly a "win-win"—meaningful employment for students that contributes to their career portfolios, and assistance with important work for the Office of the President.