Advisory council

The First and Second Year Experiences and Transitions Advisory Council was established in 2022 to promote collaboration and integration across university programs in order to create a coherent pathway for the first-year and second-year experience as students transition from high school to their junior year at VCU; with the ultimate goal of increasing the student retention and graduation rates at VCU. 

Council charge

The council is led by the Director of First and Second Year Experiences and Transitions and is charged with the following duties:

  • Review and provide feedback on existing programs/initiatives and their effectiveness on the student experience 
  • Recommend new initiatives based on assessment data/literature/best practices regarding the first and second-year experience
  • Review qualitative and quantitative data related to VCU students' lived experiences and perceptions of VCU (focus groups, NSSE, CSI, MYSA, SYSA)
  • Serve as a liaison with other departments/colleges/divisions as part of a larger effort to inform and address issues involving first and second-year students
  • Report findings and progress of goals to be highlighted in the "State of First and Second Year" annual report 

Council members

Members of the council are faculty, staff and students across academic and student affairs on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses who are committed to student success, development and excellence and whose departmental goals work in tandem with that of the Office of FYE/SYE.

  • Alena Campbell, Ph.D., LCP - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Success; VCU College of Health Professions
  • Andrea Becker, Ed.D. - Associate Director, Residential Initiatives; Residential Life and Housing
  • Audrey Short - Interim Assistant Director; VCU Globe
  • Austin Ezzard - Undergraduate, Class of ‘24
  • Bria Taylor, MS - Assistant Director, Student Programming and Campus Engagement; University Student Commons and Activities
  • Brian McTague - Director, VCU Writing Center
  • Brooke Berry, JD - Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Division of Student Affairs
  • Cathryn Coffey - Senior Discovery Academic Advisor; University Academic Advising
  • Elizabeth Bambacus, Ph.D., NCC - Director, First-Generation Experience; Summer Studies and Special Programs 
  • Haley Sims, M.Ed. - Senior Associate Director for Career Advising & Discovery; VCU Career Services
  • Jimmie Gahagan, Ph.D. - Director, Office of Student Leadership and Engaged Learning; Division of Student Affairs
  • Jorge Piocuda - Associate Director, Partnerships and Programs; Division for Student Engagement and Impact
  • Katoya Wagner - Director, Student Financial Management Center
  • Kristian Carden - Associate Director, Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity
  • Michael Abelson - Associate Professor, Department of Focused Inquiry
  • Michal Coffey - Director, Campus Learning Center
  • Oscar Kemp - Undergraduate, Class of ‘23
  • Roy Roach III, MS - Director, Office of Student Engagement; Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences
  • Trisha Saunders, M.Ed., NCC - Interim Associate Director for Programs, Recreation and Well-Being (RecWell)