S is for Success

S is for Success

Returning and new students will find new opportunities to succeed at Saint Mary’s, starting at the Office for Student Success with new director, Diane M. Fox. Fox will be working with students to “capitalize on their strengths and to strengthen their weaknesses.” A life-long resident of South Bend, Fox comes from Holy Cross College where she was previously an academic advisor and an assistant professor of English. In her new role at Saint Mary’s Fox will be creating, implementing, and coordinating activities for the benefit of all Saint Mary’s students. She’ll also teach the first year course, Strategies for Academic Success.

“My philosophy and goals have been to empower students and to ignite a passion in them to be life-long learners,” says Fox. “By serving students as an instructor and a director, I am fortunate enough to be able to help them know, understand, change, and do. Being able to share in this process is a true blessing.”

The Office for Student Success will sponsor eight lunchtime workshops this semester. Titles and topics include, “I Am going to Do It Right THIS Time!” covering time management and goal setting from now until mid-term break; “OK, I’ve Read; Now, What Am I Supposed to Do?” covering reading and note-taking skills; and “I Can’t Concentrate…I’m Too Stressed? Can’t I Do This Tomorrow?” covering concentration, stress, and procrastination. Fox says she wants to empower students to advocate for themselves. Of the topics that will be addressed she says, “Not only are these academic skills, they are life skills.”

With a new year at hand Fox has suggestions for students to get off to a “smart start.” She says, “Attend classes, be engaged in the classroom and while studying, and prioritize and manage your time effectively. Then maintain that ‘start’—continue to go to class, work hard and enjoy your studying in and out of class, and modify your time management with academics as your priority. As you conclude the semester, then look forward to—rather than fear or dread your grades and assessments.” Fox emphasizes that, “Tests, papers, and projects are opportunities. You are given the chance to show what you have mastered!”