As a non-traditional, first-generation undergraduate student at Syracuse University, Chandice Haste-Jackson excelled academically but always felt there was something missing in her pursuit of knowledge.
That missing piece? Connecting with others.
“Ultimately, I discovered that in connecting with others, I could expand my knowledge and understanding beyond anything I learned from textbooks,” Haste-Jackson says. “That set me on a career journey oriented toward human connection, holistic development, and service, whether that be in fields of teaching, counseling, leadership, or administration.”
This past summer, Haste-Jackson’s lifelong journey of connecting with others continued with her appointment as Associate Dean of the Office of Student Services in Falk College. An associate teaching professor in Falk’s Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS), Haste-Jackson previously held several prominent HDFS positions and was chair of the Dean’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. In 2021-22, Haste-Jackson served as Syracuse University’s interim director of the First-Year Seminar course.
Before joining Syracuse University, Haste-Jackson was drawn to work that supported vulnerable populations. It was her job, she says, to help those populations expand their understanding, move from deficit toward sufficiency, and identify what wholeness, health, and stability meant to them and/or their families.
“Was this difficult work at times? Yes!” Haste-Jackson says. “But what I gained from these experiences is that our humanity connects us all, even those who are not like ourselves. We all want similar things–health, happiness, longevity, stability–and that makes us more interconnected than we think we are.”
To introduce Haste-Jackson to Falk students, we asked her to discuss her previous experience with students, the services offered by the Office of Student services, and questions that students might ask. Here’s that conversation:
What attracted you to your new job and why is it important that you’re helping Falk College students succeed?
After 20 years of working in nonprofit organizations and schools, rising through the ranks of direct service to executive leadership and administration, I spent a good deal of time teaching and training frontline employees and college student interns. In working with college student interns, I developed a desire to teach, mentor, and prepare the next generation of human service workers, a field that is very broad but one that involves human connection, holistic development, and service–tenets I live my life by!
Given the climate in which we live in today, college students are dealing with issues that may impact their ability to successfully engage in academic pursuits. The COVID-19 pandemic, mass racial violence, wars, and significant personal losses have impacted academic performance and emotional well-being. Helping students to navigate these challenges during their time with us in Falk College is what I endeavor to do, and I am committed to leading and supporting the professional staff in our office who have made that same commitment to student success.
I’m a first-year or transfer student who isn’t familiar with the Office of Student Services. What are the services you provide?
In your first year at Syracuse University, our office will provide academic counseling and advising around other areas in your life that you identify as being important to your growth as a student in Falk College. Additionally, our office supports career exploration and professional skill development, and offers opportunities for learning through career immersion experiences.
Every first-year and transfer student has an assigned academic counselor, and the Office of Student Services will be one of the first places that you connect with to learn more about your major and all the resources available at Syracuse University.
I’m a student struggling with my classes and I’m not sure if I’ve chosen the right major. How can you help?
This is common for students who are adjusting to the intensity of college-level work. We can help you identify the source/cause of the struggle with your classes and then locate campus resources that you might consider accessing for help.
Sometimes, making a change in how you study, how much time you give to studying, or even where you study is all that may be needed to alleviate the struggle. Sometimes, motivation is at the root of the struggle and subsequently causes you to consider if the major is right or not. We’ll help you to explore and develop a pathway to successful academic performance.
I’m a student having a hard time being away from home and I’ve got personal issues that are getting in the way of my sleep, classwork, and social life. Do I go to you or somewhere else?
You most certainly can meet with your academic counselor to discuss these personal issues. Our academic counselors will listen and help you find the resources that are right for you and meet your needs. You do not have to be alone in trying to address emotional, social, or academic well-being.
We also recommend that students contact the Barnes Center at The Arch and/or Hendricks Chapel for support with any personal issues that arise. We are well-connected to these two resources and support student engagement with their services.
Why is it important for students to see you if they have issues rather than trying to work them out on their own? Isn’t that what college is for, learning how to handle stress?
Absolutely! Learning how to handle stress is an expectation of a college student, yet many students are not prepared for the inherent stress that comes with transitioning to college. During the first year of study or even subsequent years, there are a series of social, emotional, and academic adjustments that must occur for you to be successful as a college student. There will be some new stressors, and some of your past ways of handling stress may not be as effective for you now.
Being proactive in seeking help before something becomes an issue is also something that college students are expected to learn early in their college career. We can help you to learn these skills and support you along the way as you employ them.
Help is Here
The Falk College Office of Student Services is in Suite 330 Barclay Hall. You can visit at any time or schedule an appointment by calling 315.443.3144 or emailing email@example.com. Visit the Office of Student Services webpage for more information and a complete list of services, important announcements, and staff directory.