by Renata Opoczynski, Assistant Dean for Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives

When I worked in Student Affairs, I loved the predictable flow of the year.  Training new student leaders in August, the excitement of new activities and events for the fall, seeing students grow into their roles and abilities by winter break, beginning the shift to selecting new leaders in the spring and the relative quiet in July. My current role does not allow as much of that predictable flow, but this time of year I do always know I have two things to focus on. First, getting to reflect on the year and all we have accomplished as I read over assessment reports, and second, starting to think about next year and what we need to do as I prepare for Student Success Launch and identify the strategic initiatives for next year. 

For those who have never attended, the Student Success Launch, or just “Launch” as we tend to call it, is a chance for the campus community to get together and discuss student success with an eye towards where we want to go and what we want to accomplish. It is often a chance to showcase the multiple places on campus where student success work happens and network with other folks doing similar work. The event regularly draws over 400 participants, and in past years we have had to close RSVPs as we have reached max capacity for our spaces. This year I am excited to say that with the success of virtual Launch last year we have decided to move forward in a hybrid format. We will once again gather in the Kellogg Center for those who want to attend in person, but we will also offer a virtual format for those who would prefer to Zoom in from their desk. Please keep your eye out for an RSVP link coming soon, but for now be sure to mark September 20th 9:00-11:30am down on your calendar!

Launch is planned each year by a campus wide group and we would love to have you involved on the planning team if you are interested! The group is tasked with deciding the agenda for launch, coordinating speakers and presenters as needed, and helping run the event itself. The time commitment is on the lower end as the group only meets July through September to plan the details of Launch and then debrief the event afterward. We love to have a diverse group of faculty and staff planning the event so if you are interested in participating on the planning team, please email me at