Monday, April 29, 2013

Wearing Different Hats at Hofstra

It’s tough these days juggling several responsibilities: implementing time management, prioritizing your day and completing tasks. If I sound like a parent, I am; but in addition, I am currently a graduate student, a Hofstra employee and an intern at Hofstra’s Office of Parent & Family Programs. Yes, it seems like a lot, but the benefits outweigh the work involved.

As you have probably experienced, parenting can be a 24/7 career, an opportunity for growth, and a reason to be proud. Being a part of my student’s academics, which basically means respecting their decisions and being there for them, while routinely asking them how they are doing and how class is going, has allowed me to develop a strong bond with my student. I believe just staying close enough to be aware and offering a listening ear can draw them closer while giving them the independence they seek.

Having the opportunity of being a student while I am a parent has helped me to empathize with my student. I have gained a new perspective of what my student has to commit to in order to succeed academically. It has given me opportunities to interact and make suggestions based on current first-hand experience.

I'm a Hofstra mom, a Hofstra student, and I have just celebrated my tenth year of working at Hofstra, yet another hat I wear. Presently I am a senior executive secretary for the School of Health Sciences and Human Services. I am grateful for all the experience and insight Hofstra has given me. The knowledge, lectures, events, campus camaraderie, and just being within the campus environment have been enlightening.  It is a positive place to be and reminds each employee they are connected to the Hofstra PRIDE family.

My newest hat these days is supporting the Office of Parent & Family Programs as an intern. I have gained even more knowledge about how important it is to be involved with your student, all the while letting them grow and become independent adults. I look forward to interacting with other parents, meeting potential students and just being involved with such a supportive office that offers convenient services, such as having a direct contact for parents with various questions to go to. The Office of Parent and Family Programs serves as a sort of liaison between parents and all other campus departments and resources. The Parent and Family office allows parents to “stay in the know” when it comes to Hofstra information and their students.

So far, I have learned what the Division of Student Affairs consists of and how each department runs its office (knowledge I will need for my future counseling position). This knowledge has also personally helped me become even more aware of recognizing the importance of an involved, connected parent while still giving your student the space they need to grow, and overcome the dilemmas they may encounter.

Jeannie knows how crazy it can be to balance work, class and being a Hofstra parent.

-Jeannie Renda, Senior Executive Secretary for the School of Health Sciences & Human Services and Intern at the Office of Parent & Family Programs


Jeannie Renda has been interning with us this semester and will continue throughout the summer of 2013, assisting us with Parent Orientation. She is pursuing a M.S.Ed. in School Counseling under Dr. Laurie Johnson and will graduate this August. As part of Jeannie's internship in the Office of Parent and Family Programs, she is interacting with parents of undergraduates from the winter parent welcome, Admissions' open houses, admitted student days, and Siblings Day to the graduating seniors' send-off reception. In addition, today, Jeannie was observing office operations and daily services. She has given us feedback about our parent web site and publications. Jeannie has also attended Parent Council meetings, helped edit our handbook, blogged, and attended our staff meetings to gain a clearer and deeper understanding of how decisions are made while contributing to our brainstorm sessions.

Jeannie is presently employed as a senior executive secretary for Hofstra's School of Health Sciences and Human Services. She began her journey with Hofstra ten years ago in 2003, working as a part-time secretary in the School of Business. She graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Business Management. All three of her children are also part of the Hofstra Pride: her eldest son is an alumnus, her youngest son is currently a junior, and her daughter will be begin her first year at Hofstra this fall. She lives in Massapequa.


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