Many students adapting to college can be challenging, but having the necessary resources can set them up for success.
At GSU, the mission of Student Affairs is to respond to students' needs by offering a safe and healthy environment that encourages and supports student involvement on campus and the development of the student.
Dean Gourjoine Wade is the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Grambling State University.
From the piney hills of north, Louisiana by way of Monroe La., and a GSU alumnus Wade has been in his position since August 2017.
"Working with colleagues and other key university officials to support our students with the services and experiences they need to successfully navigate Grambling and eventually graduate is the duties of my position,” Wade said. I provide day to day leadership to our student services and student experience units which make up Student Affairs."
The COVID-19 pandemic has alternated the day-to-day tasks and communication for Wade as from previous semesters.
"The pandemic has evolved me to be virtual, and face to face with the virtual part being complex in regards to it hands-ones the hands-on, face to face connections I would normally have with students,” Wade said. It has required me to be more flexible in how I support my teams and my students."
Adapting to the online and virtual world has not been a challenge for Wade, but time has become a factor in getting things done.
''Not a challenge, but it has required me to adapt and be more flexible in how I manage my time, '' Wade said.
Amid COVID- 19, Wade's workload has not increased any, as his schedule has always been steady before these unforeseen circumstances.
"My work has been and remains very busy; I would say there are more meetings,” Wade said.
The journey of the college student and the efforts put in making sure that they make it to graduation is what Wade enjoys most about his position.
"I enjoy hearing the stories of my students; where they are from, their goals, dreams, aspirations; and eventually watching them accomplish those things and make themselves, their families, and their communities proud, " Wade said. "That joy comes to an ultimate culmination when I see them walk across that stage at Commencement."
Wade's most memorable memory working here at GSU has come full circle as he now holds the official position in which he did work-study as a student.
"Here at Grambling, every day is special for me, and each day is nostalgic when I was a student here I did my work-study in the Vice President for Student Affairs' Office, “Wade said. "To work in that same area now, helping and supporting students just as I was helped and supported; it is indeed an honor and a blessing."
Wade's word of advice to students is to never let anyone dictate their journey in life.
"Don't let anyone navigate your journey. Sail your ship; chart your course; and plot your destinations. And wear your mask." Wade said.