Lynn Phillips, senior lecturer and chief undergraduate advisor in the department of communication, has been appointed director of academic engagement and student success for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In this position, she will further develop and lead the college in the implementation of SBS Pathways.
SBS Pathways is a holistic approach to student success that supports students throughout all aspects of their university careers, including their academic, co-curricular, experiential learning and career and professional development experiences.
Phillips’s agenda includes creating programs, resources, and communication strategies for students who have historically been underserved in secondary and post-secondary settings. She will also continue to teach courses as a faculty member in communication.
As a social and developmental psychologist with a focus on the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood, social justice education and advocacy, and cultural discourses about coping and choice, Phillips’s teaching and research explore many of the issues that she anticipates arising in her new position.
As the chief undergraduate advisor in the communication department for the past eight years, Phillips focused on fostering students’ growth as intellectuals, community members and global citizens and emerging professionals. “This position will be a very natural fit for me,” she says. “Scaling up to design new initiatives for all SBS students, not just communication students, will be an exciting challenge.”
Phillips is looking forward to broadening SBS students’ connections to the critical information, resources and support they need to become engaged educational decision makers.
“I view every element of this work through pedagogical, holistic student development, and social justice lenses,” says Phillips. “I begin from a belief in the transformative potential of a high-quality, liberal arts education and from the premise that structured race, class and cultural inequities differentially equip students with the social and cultural capital necessary to anticipate and navigate the hidden curriculum of higher education. These same systemic inequalities discourage many students from developing or expressing a sense of entitlement to ask questions and access the support they need. I believe that we in SBS have a responsibility to offer high-impact opportunities and resources and to draw on students’ expertise about barriers to participation and what they would need – from concrete skills and information to financial support to a deeper sense of community – in order to access and maximize the many options the college and the university provide.”
Phillips says she will work in partnership with students and colleagues to help develop college-wide conditions that promote intentional academic decision-making, support persistence, open pathways to graduate study and rewarding careers, and foster a sense of belonging to a vibrant social and intellectual community.