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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Schlesinger to support UDRs and BPA

Published: October 25, 2013
Section: News

Student leaders have a new resource to help them develop programs for the Brandeis community. Sybil Schlesinger will replace Gretchen Rowley as the new Program Administrator for the Undergraduate Departmental Representatives (UDRs) and the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance programs. Schlesinger will be available to students to help plan events and provide support.

Schlesinger brings a wide variety of experience to the campus, as she directed several non-profit organizations, coordinated volunteer programs and taught English and political science courses at local colleges, such as Babson and UMass/Boston. She currently volunteers as a GED tutor at the Middlesex Correctional Institution in Framingham.

She described her reasons for wanting to become part of the Brandeis community: “This program seems to be a unique option at Brandeis, and it is a great way to give Brandeis students leadership experience while at the same time promoting their departments and their own interests and encouraging more students become as enthusiastically involved,” she said in an email to The Hoot.

In her role, Schlesinger will recruit and train UDRs, support them in their programming throughout the year, assist with financial support and fix any problems the students may have. She will also be part of the group that decides Outstanding UDR awards and assesses their efforts. When faculty and department chairs propose students who they would like to see as UDRs, Schlesinger will work with them to select the best candidates.

“We see the program as a leadership development program for UDRs who serve as peer resources and advocates within majors and minors,” Elaine Wong, senior associate dean of arts and sciences, said.

The Brandeis Pluralism Alliance (BPA) awards grants to students who propose projects that address issues of identity, pluralism and unity. Schlesinger will support the grant selection process and assist with BPA programs, including a spring exhibition, which awards cash prizes.

There are currently no new initiatives Schlesinger is ready to begin, but she hopes to help expand the program in the near future. She expressed that one possibility for expansion would be to “explore ways that parents and alums could become more involved in both the UDR and BPA programs.”

“I hope to be able to provide support to the programs and the students so that the goals of all can be accomplished,” she wrote.