This week, we feature Alex Ulbricht, Director of Campus Involvement.
What brought you to Hiram?
I grew up in Marlboro, Ohio, a very small town. I went to Mount Union College for undergrad and then to Kent State for my master’s degree. There were a couple people in my program at Kent State who went to Hiram and talked about how great of a school it was, and I knew I wanted to work at a small, private liberal arts college, so I thought I would give it a try. When I came to campus, I fell in love.
What are your duties as Director of Campus Involvement?
I work a lot with student organizations, and advise a couple of them. I help put on Welcome Week, New Student Institute, Senior Week, Homecoming, SpringFest, all the large events. I help collaborate and organize with other offices that are interested in having events, manage the online calendar, just a lot of stuff.
What do you enjoy most about working at Hiram?
Working with students; I love working with students. We have probably 15 new student organizations this year because we have a very eager first year class. There’s so many different interests and likes. I like to make personal connections with students and help them do what they want to do. I am the fun office, so I basically have people have fun!
How would you describe students?
Unique; they’re very unique. I think that coming from Mount Union, we had a “type” of student that went there; we were a very big sports school. Here at Hiram, you can find all different types of students, they come from all different backgrounds. I think students here like to find their own niche, and there’s many of them to find. Hiram is just a different place, and I think that there’s a common understanding that Hiram is a home for people.
If prospective parents ask why they should send their student to Hiram, how would you answer?
They will get a personalized experience. Everything that I do in my office and everything I see going on in other offices is unique to the individual. We have rules, we have policies, and we have a lot of procedures, but we aren’t a big school where you’ll get lost in the numbers. I make sure every interaction I have with students is personalized to what they need or what they want. It’s not that we take it easy on students or that we hold their hands; its just the idea that we recognize they’re people. We see that every person is different.
What are you most proud of in terms of campus programming?
I was really proud of Welcome Week this year. I am a one-person office, and although I did get so much help from other staff members, all the planning and organizing was on my behalf. I think that Welcome Week was a huge success; we had so many students come out in more numbers than last year. Overall just talking to students, I think they enjoyed it. I am just glad that students enjoyed it because it’s such a pivotal time, in coming back that first week, having fun, making sure the campus is active and wanting people to like being here.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?
I like that the students are comfortable sharing with me. I feel I can be a professional, but I can still be on their level. I like not just the work talk, but that the people talk about what you want to do with your life, where you see yourself in five years, how classes are, just anything. I like that just as much as I like, “Okay you need to turn this paper in.”