Club Meeting – February 19th, 2015
Today Aaron Fetrow VP of Student Affairs at Roanoke College and Thomas Lux President of the Student Government Association spoke on the topic of how small liberal arts colleges offer students opportunities to develop leadership skills. Their presentations provided insights as to how Roanoke College administration and students work together to build a sense of community on campus.
Our program was the third in a series prior to the beginning of our Club’s hosting the ODAC Basketball Tournament. These programs have informed Club members of just some of the many reasons we support NCAA Division III student-athletes and the schools they represent.
Mr. Fetrow introduced Thomas Lux, who was under time restraints due to an upcoming biology exam. In his introduction Mr. Fetrow spoke of how their talk today was about the “outside the classroom piece of higher education,” which is a big part of Roanoke College and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) small liberal arts college experience.
Thomas Lux is a Junior majoring in computer science with a double minor in mathematics and physics. His academic interests lead him to research in artificial intelligence and robotics. In large universities it is easy to get lost and burrow into whatever niche may be your liking. But to Thomas, a small college environment presents “countless opportunities” (to easily) interact with fellow students and develop leadership skills. This has enabled Thomas the opportunity to try and develop practical applications for his research to benefit student government administration. The small college experience has allowed Thomas to fully “chase his passions”.
As Thomas ran off to his exam, Mr. Fetrow provided the closing remarks for our program. Mr. Fetrow spoke of how as an administrator he is all about “connecting students” and developing “a sense of community” on campus. His focus has to be on identifying the “affinities” shared by students and how best to encourage their being nurtured. Sometimes it is as simple as having small round tables in the dining areas to encourage student’s interaction. At other times, you have the luxury of calling upon the best and brightest of your students, who fortunately can further add their academic research to help achieve their common goals.
Roanoke College has increased its “on campus” student population significantly over the past few years. That along with students like Thomas Lux and administrators like Aaron Fetrow, they are building a sense of community for Roanoke College students and fostering leadership qualities to aid them into the future.