Dec 17, 2004 — Under the direction of Thea Volpe, PhD, the academic Advising Center on the Wilf Campus will offer Yeshiva College and Sy Syms School of Business students a number of supportive services to help them realize academic goals.
In keeping with President Richard M. Joel’s vision of strengthening the campus community of faculty, staff, and students, the center will use a model of mentorship to guide undergraduates.
Center staff will pair students with faculty mentors who represent the students’ interests and who will remain a constant in their college lives – from before they set foot on campus until graduation.
“We play an important role in shaping students’ futures,” said Dr. Volpe. “It’s incumbent upon us to give them excellent advice, listen to them, and help them understand the big picture.”
A seasoned educational advisor who prides herself on being an enthusiastic student advocate, Dr. Volpe envisions the center as “a one-stop shop for all student advising concerns.”
The center will provide each student with services during three critical phases: upon arrival and throughout freshman year, during selection of a major, and in weighing post-college options.
Dr. Volpe earned her doctorate in medieval history from New York University and taught the history of Classical, medieval, and Western civilization at the College of Arts and Science and the School of Continuing Education, both at NYU and Lehman College. She directed the post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Columbia University, served as associate dean at the Scripps Research Institute in California and at NYU’s College of Arts and Science, and held other positions in advising and administration at NYU.
“We want to provide the best education for all undergraduate students, so they can make intelligent choices about their futures, said Morton H. Lowengrub, PhD, vice president for academic affairs. “I would like to see a situation where every first-year student will have a mentor to follow his progress and foster a relationship that gives the student a sense of belonging to the YU community.”
Another focus of the center will be a holistic approach to secular academic life and religious education. Dr. Volpe and her staff will work with roshei yeshiva and faculty so that advisors are knowledgeable about students’ complete portfolios.
“All advisors will be expected to take into account both secular and Jewish studies in guiding students, and they will interact with roshei yeshiva to make them more cognizant of the secular curriculum,” Dr. Lowengrub said.
Plans are under way to create a physical space for the Academic Advsing Center, and several vacant spaces on campus requiring little renovation are being considered.