Spotlight On: The Office of Student Involvement & Leadership
As the Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership, Kristin Hayes gets to witness Bay State College student journeys from start to finish. “I have the pleasure to greet these students at orientation and help them transition into college,” she says. “I’m also helping them put their caps and gowns on for the moment that they walk across the stage.” Her office’s contributions include on- and off-campus programming, student recognition, student clubs and organizations, study abroad opportunities, and everything in between.
One of Hayes’s favorite on-campus programs is the Chipotle Buffet at the start of each semester, welcoming students back. “It gets everybody together in our lobby to chat with one another. Staff and faculty are involved, and it’s a nice way for students to engage with the campus community.” Other activities range from celebrating “National Cheese Pizza Day” to more meaningful initiatives, “like showing a documentary for Black History Month, or bringing in someone from the city to help register students to vote.”
Off-campus programming includes shows at Improv Asylum as well as shows at the Wilbur Theater. “And Red Sox games are really popular,” Hayes says, to no one’s surprise. Going even farther off-campus, Hayes oversees all study abroad opportunities at Bay State, helping place students in exciting programs around the world.
Student clubs and organizations are another way to engage students. They’re all student-run, with support from the Office, Hayes points out, “whether it’s moving along an established club, or helping a student create a new club.” Bulldog Pride, Bay State College’s LGBTQ+ organization, has a National Coming Out Day in the fall and an annual drag show in the spring. “It’s one of the larger events on campus. They invite performers from inside and outside the college community. It’s a great evening for students to participate, whether they want to perform or go see the show.” The Community O's, another student group, works to give back to the community, with everything from collecting Toys for Tots to clothing drives.
Bay State honors students in every facet of involvement with an annual ceremony to hand out awards in such categories as program excellence, clinical excellence, or emerging student of the year. But no matter what level of involvement a student may enjoy, Hayes is there to help them all towards a common goal: “To make our students successful in every possible way, whether that’s emotional success, academic success, social success, or career success.”