In a Nutshell - March 25, 2022

March 25, 2022

Dear Partners in Student Success, 

It seems like not very long ago my monthly message started with a welcome to the new school year, and now here we are post-Spring Break. Even though we are closing in on the end of Spring Semester, I know these last few weeks can be some of the busiest and most stressful. I hope you and the students we serve will have a well-paced and successful close to the year. Below are a few updates and bits of information that I hope you will find helpful: 

What’s in this edition? 

  • Student Engagement 
    • Leadership Awards Celebration 
    • Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week 
    • Philanthropy Week 
  • Student Support 
    • Sexual Assault Awareness Month 
    • First-Generation Empowerment Series 
    • Mental Health and Well-being Resources 
  • Student Life Updates  
    • New Tag Line 
    • Belonging and Inclusion Statement 


Student Engagement
Leadership Awards Celebration
The annual Student Life Leadership Awards will be held on Friday, April 8, at 4 p.m. to celebrate members of the Ohio State community who have demonstrated exceptional skills in leadership, activism, community engagement and enhancing the student experience. Over the past 62 years, Ohio State has recognized thousands of students, advisors and organizations who demonstrate leadership, collaboration and a commitment to the university community. The event will be held as a virtual celebration on the Student Life YouTube page.

Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week
From research and generating academic insights to teaching, clinical work and serving in important assistantships, graduate and professional students make countless contributions to the Ohio State community. I invite you to join in acknowledging their impact during Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week, April 4-8. I wish all Ohio State graduate and professional students our very best, and I encourage you to think about the many graduate and professional students with whom you work, and take a moment to send them a note to tell them how Scarlet and Grateful you are for their efforts.

Philanthropy Week 
This year, Ohio State students raised more than $1 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and 74% of student respondents to the 2021 Multi-institutional Study of Leadership reported that they participate in activities that contribute to the common good. Clearly, paying forward is an important part of the iconic Ohio State experience and we invite the entire campus community – students, staff and faculty – to participate in Philanthropy Week, March 28 – April 1. Throughout the week, Student Life will host in-person and virtual events to promote the purpose and benefits of philanthropy. BuckeyeThon, Student Philanthropy Council and Class Gift Council will also host events to highlight their work and the many opportunities to get involved with philanthropy at Ohio State. A full calendar of Philanthropy Week events can be found online.

Student Support
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 
The end of April is the deadline for Ohio State employees to complete the Report=Support training, and the month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Ohio State will offer a variety of events and activities to raise awareness of sexual violence and provide education about how to prevent it. Throughout the month, programs will cover topics such as survivor support, self-expression, prevention, advocacy and allyship. Sexual Assault Awareness Month programs are open to all students, staff and faculty. For more information, visit

First-Gen Student Empowerment Series 
Being first in your family to attend college is something to be proud of - I know I take great pride in being a first-generation college graduate. It is also important to remember that first-gen students may have unique support needs when it comes to navigating the college experience. For instance, according to Ohio State's 2021 Graduation Survey, 19% of first-generation students indicated they had accepted an employment position after graduation compared to 26% of continuing generation students. If you know a first-generation student who is getting ready to graduate, please consider referring them to the Student Life Multicultural Center’s First-Gen Student Empowerment Series. The April 6 program, ‘So You’re Graduating: Now What?’, will offer important financial tips, house and job hunting, transitioning to graduate school and more. Additional information about workshops can be found on the Student Life Multicultural Center’s website

Mental Health and Well-being Resources 

On Saturday, April 9, Ohio State’s Suicide Prevention Program will hold the Out of the Darkness Campus Walk and RUOK? Day. The walk will raise funds to engage young adults in the fight to prevent suicide. At this time of year and always, it is important to know how to refer students who may need emotional support. The Get Help website has a comprehensive list of suicide prevention and mental health resources available to the campus community, including for employees. Additional resources are available through Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service?and the?Ohio State Suicide Prevention Program

Student Life Updates
Engage. Learn. Thrive. 

We have a new tagline in the Office of Student Life: Engage. Learn. Thrive.

At first glance it may appear overly simple and even a little obvious. But we’re digging deeper into it. First, it’s important to note that this commitment is to both students and staff members. We also know that I have asked our team members to think critically about how they interpret those words in the context of what they do in Student Life. Consider their role in engagement, learning and helping students and staff thrive. What those words mean to one team member is likely to be very different from that of others, so I have challenged them to reflect, and act, individually on these ideas.

Belonging and Inclusion Statement
The Student Life Commitment and Action Planning Team (CAPT), working with Associate Vice President for Belonging and Inclusion Dr. Tanisha Jenkins, has developed a Belonging and Inclusion statement for the Office of Student Life that summarizes our dedication to being inclusive and equity-minded. This statement helps crystallize who we are in Student Life, what we believe, how we treat each other and how we do our work. I’m proud to share it with you: 

“As a premier student affairs division, The Ohio State University Office of Student Life values and fosters a campus culture that affirms the dignity of every student and staff member and their unique backgrounds, identities and experiences. Our commitment is demonstrated through our honoring of Indigenous lands, creation of accessible, engaging and equity-minded experiences, and the promotion of civic engagement in a global society. Our work is grounded in appreciation, support, connection and care, and we cultivate personal and professional skills that nurture a sense of belonging, grow empathy and compassion for others, and contribute to positive social change.” 

You can read more online:  

Melissa S. Shivers, PhD 

Senior Vice President for Student Life 
The Ohio State University