My UMR with Jennifer Hooke - Senior Student Success Coach

Authored By: mknutson 11/04/2019

Jenn HookeHow did you hear about UMR/What brought you to UMR?
I moved to Rochester in 2008 after my husband got a job at Mayo Clinic. As a former high school history teacher, I was glad to find a position in the Office of Admissions at UMR after a few months of substitute teaching. By working in Admissions and helping to recruit the first class of students into the health sciences program I was able to combine several of my interests and skills in my current position as a student success coach. I have stayed at UMR because of our phenomenal students and my committed colleagues!  

What is your role at UMR?
I am a student success coach, which means that I advise a group of students from their start at UMR to graduation around academic planning and support, career decision making and pre-health planning and application, while also helping students navigate life when things don't go as planned. We have a proactive advising model, which means I have the privilege of connecting with faculty around student performance and meeting with students. I also teach in our CLI career development seminar series and an application prep course.
Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now?
My background is in education so I have always been interested in the transformative potential of education and especially higher education. I truly believe that as student development professionals we get both the responsibility and the privilege to help students reflect on their lives to find meaning and unlock their potential. I love talking to people and this job gives me the opportunity to do so all day long, so I am living my dream! I am proud to work with innovative and collaborative colleagues who are committed to helping students reach success.  

What is one of your favorite things about UMR?
I have consistently seen what I describe as a "culture of care" at UMR from students and professionals alike. Maybe because so many students are interested in the helping professions, but students look out for each other and in my experience are genuinely kind people. Staff and faculty truly care about students and each other, too!

What are some small things that make your day better?
Yoga, diet coke, conversation, books and chocolate :).

If you could convince everyone in the world to do one thing at one point in time, what would that thing be?
If everyone, all at once, performed one random act of kindness, or even just had concentrated kindness for 5 minutes, imagine the ripple effect that would have in our world and society!  

What advice do you have for UMR students during their time here?
Explore your passions and interests outside of the classroom! Academics are a very important part of college, but students often underestimate the impact of learning that happens when they volunteer, engage in a research experience, take a leadership role in a club, or just generally engage on campus and in the community. These experiences often help you define career interests and find personal growth and passion. Often this involves some risk-taking - life truly begins at the end of your comfort zone! And then process and seek help from your support network when things start feeling too uncomfortable.