Beginning college can be a frightening hurdle for many reasons, one of the most terrifying challenges being how many new faces you’ll be introduced to within your first few weeks at Fairfield. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most important figures on campus to look for so that when move-in day comes, you’ll be fully prepared to make all the crucial connections you’ll need to make it big in Stag country.
Mark R. Nemec, PhD- As of April 2017, Mark R. Nemec, PhD. has been named as the new president of Fairfield University, taking off where Interim President Lynn Babington, PhD eft off. Being that Nemec is new to the university after serving as the dean of the William B. and Catherine V. Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies at the University of Chicago, he’s certainly in need of a warm welcome from the student body to begin his tenure. Nemec is serving as the university’s first lay president, and with that label, Fairfield’s student body, faculty and staff hope that he brings a fresh perspective to campus.
Karen Donoghue ‘03- Karen Donoghue, better known by the student body as Dean Donoghue, is the dean of students at Fairfield University. Dean Donoghue graduated Fairfield in 2003 and received her Master’s in Higher Education from Rider University soon after. During her time at Fairfield, Donoghue made history by becoming the first female FUSA president in 2002. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself getting to know her as a result of poor conduct, as she is the main individual responsible for handling any breaches of conduct among the student body. Despite this, Dean Donoghue is involved in enacting numerous policies and procedures for the student body to abide by. Through all of her responsibilities, her mission is clearly to better the student body.
John Ritchie- John Ritchie is not only one of the most frequently interviewed individuals by the Mirror, but also the assistant director of the Department of Public Safety. Just as DPS’s mission is to keep Fairfield’s campus as safe as possible for its inhabitants, so is Ritchie’s, which is clear in his commitment to following through on any disciplinary cases that present themselves to him. Ritchie is perhaps one of the most outgoing and humorous individuals you’ll find working in DPS, so it’s beneficial to make a connection with him if you’re ever in a time of need or danger during your time at Fairfield.
Glean McClain- Serving as perhaps the most popular Stag Bus driver at Fairfield, Glean’s face is one you’ll see quite often during your time at Fairfield. Whether you choose to ride the Stag Bus into downtown Fairfield for a night out with your friends or take the shuttle service from the Barone Campus Center to Dolan Hall (because we all know how tiring that walk can get), a ride with Glean is sure to put a smile on your face. Glean doesn’t just transport students back and forth from campus to different locations around Fairfield – he finds a way to sprinkle some humor into the lives of his passengers by telling jokes and bringing his infectious laugh into their lives. To top it off, Glean is sure to remember you if you ride the Stag Bus often enough, so be sure to take advantage of his services as soon as possible.
Lucas the Stag- While you may never find out who the man (or woman) underneath the furry Stag costume really is, you’ll surely never be without a couple Lucas sightings every week. Lucas the Stag is Fairfield’s beloved mascot who makes an appearance at nearly every sporting event, and some other attractions on campus as well. Lucas is a clear embodiment of the school spirit here at Fairfield, and a Lucas sighting is sure to bring a smile to your face and perhaps a greater sense of Fairfield pride as well.
Your Academic Advisor- At Fairfield, one of the most important connections you can make is with your academic advisor. You can find the name of your advisor on the top of your degree evaluation on my.fairfield, and they should be a professor within your major (if you’ve already declared one). It’s required that you meet with your advisor at least once during each of your semesters at Fairfield to plan out your schedule for the upcoming semester, as they know what classes you ought to take and can give you suggestions as to which electives would be beneficial. Beyond this, advisors can be helpful in aiding you with finding an internship down the line, and providing advice as a professional in your field of study, so it’s crucial that you make a good connection with this helpful resource.
Barone employees- While it’s easy to ignore the friendly faces giving us our coffee every morning at Einstein’s and making our omelettes every weekend in the Tully, these individuals are some of the most kind and caring people you’ll find on Fairfield’s campus. Despite having the arduous task of taking care of a very hungry student body, you’ll rarely find a Barone employee without a smile on their face. It can’t hurt to strike up a conversation while one of these employees is making your salad at Rob and Iggy’s – they just may brighten your day.
Your RA- Perhaps one of the most important connections you’ll establish during your first year of college is with your Resident Assistant. Your RA has the responsibility of overseeing you and the rest of your floormates to ensure that everyone stays in line, but beyond this, your RA is a built in support system for you. If you ever find yourself in a conflict with your roommate or feeling homesick, your RA is there for you if you need to talk or require conflict resolution. For this reason, it’s imperative that you make a strong connection with your RA as soon as possible, as they can prove to be one of your most vital resources, especially in your first year of college.