Derek Young BS’18 grew up in a town with just nine stoplights. And when he came to study biology at the U, the number of students was more than three times the population of his hometown, Price, Utah. While he was excited to be around other people who were passionate about learning, and he liked that there was a lot more to do, he found it difficult to navigate a much larger campus and city, he says.
“When I first moved here, I didn’t know anyone,” says Young. When he heard about a social gathering for transfer students, he decided to check it out, and that’s where he met Student Success Advocate Tramaine Jones.
Student Success Advocates help students connect to resources on campus and beyond. Whether it’s scholarships, job opportunities, or finding a sense of belonging, the advocates are a front-line resource for students, Jones says. They also can help in crisis situations, such as housing or food emergencies. “It’s important for us to meet students where they’re at, wherever that may be,” Jones says.
“For me, the biggest thing was to have someone to talk to, someone to help me navigate campus,” says Young. “Tramaine told me about events that were coming up and ways to get involved.”
Young graduated in May, and he’s applied to pharmacy schools and hopes to eventually work in his hometown hospital.
“Without Tramaine, my college experience would have been: go to school and go home. I wouldn’t have gotten as involved in school life as I did.”
FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE
Shannon McNatt is no stranger to rigorous training. The U senior and NCAA regional beam champion gymnast spends more than 20 hours training each week preparing for competition. And her dedication in the gym is paralleled in her coursework. She’s in one of the David S. Eccles School of Business’ most demanding majors, Quantitative Analysis […]Learn More
STEWARDS OF OUR NATURAL WORLD
Utah is at the heart of many recent environmental debates, ranging from national parks and water to land use and air quality. These crucial issues can seem impossibly complex, and finding solutions requires collaboration and creativity. Here are just two of many researchers exploring these topics from different perspectives. A cultural perspective: The data is […]Learn More
BRIDGING THE PATH
Sayro Paw was 12 when she arrived in Utah from the Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand. She recalls being totally overwhelmed by the language and cultural differences. “I didn’t know how to communicate with anyone,” she says. “I didn’t know anyone at school, and I couldn’t do homework.” Gradually things improved for Paw, especially […]Learn More
DISCOVERY: A TEAM EFFORT
For most people, a doctorate in human genetics isn’t a fallback career. But when Kristi Russell injured her hip as a tennis player at Weber State University, she says the injury changed the course of her education and profession. She asked her doctor, “Why would this happen to someone so young?” The doctor’s response: sports […]Learn More
FROM DIAGNOSIS TO REMISSION
Whitney Bitner BS’18 started chemotherapy just three days before her senior year at the U. The math and statistics major had been diagnosed with nodular sclerosis classical Hodgkin lymphoma after she noticed a lump on her neck while vacationing with her family at Lake Powell. “It was just like, ‘How can this have happened?’ ” […]Learn More
A LIFE OF SERVICE
Service is in Daniela des Islets’ blood. Her father was an infantry officer in the Honduran military, and she’s been deployed with the U.S. Air Force twice, once in Afghanistan and once in Qatar. And now she’s studying biology, chemistry, and Spanish at the U, with plans to go on to medical school. “I wanted […]Learn More