Jamie Thompson ’05, director of Student Involvement, was named assistant dean of students this fall. Since joining Student Involvement in 2009, Thompson has focused on the student experience at Trinity. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration (finance and management) from Trinity University and received her master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Kansas.
We caught up with Thompson to learn about her new position.
What does your new role on campus look like?
The new elements of my role call for helping to build an integrated, proactive, and holistic Trinity student experience that positively impacts retention. In practice, this is a forward-looking approach integrated across and throughout the student journey and includes partnerships and collaborative relationships with Academic Affairs and Alumni Relations, among others. This might include new programs, but is likely to include helping and supporting colleagues connect the dots between existing programs and enhance existing programs where relevant. At first, this will include meeting with faculty, staff, and students to listen and learn. I'll also be benchmarking "signature programs" at peer and aspirant schools to see what we can learn from other institutions.
You’re a Trinity alum (go Tigers!); how have you seen Trinity evolve over the years?
Trinity has changed in myriad ways! Before returning to Trinity as a staff member, I was working at the University of California, Berkeley. Not long after my return to TU, I had a distinctive experience that still sticks with me. I was standing at the top of the Murchison stairs and in under five minutes I heard students speak three different languages. I was struck by how much the student body had changed in really important ways in a short period of time. On a different note, Trinity’s infrastructure has changed, too. We have new and renovated buildings (Dicke Smith, Northrup Hall, CSI) and incredible resources that didn't exist when I was a student (Academic Support, CELCS, and more). And yet, the core of Trinity is still the same. It's full of mentors, ambitious dreams, and creative souls.
Will you continue in your role as Director of Student Involvement? What will that look like?
Yes. I still get to work with the best team on campus: Shannon, Amy, Katharine, Katherine, Wills, Chinyere, and Esther! The work of the Student Involvement team reaches so many students in important ways—helping to make Trinity home, creating and enhancing a sense of belonging, maintaining healthy lifestyles, and providing opportunities for experiential learning and leadership. My work in supporting and leading the team will continue. Several responsibilities and duties have shifted to other team members in this transition to allow for more capacity on my end and professional and career development for other team members.
What kind of changes do you hope to help form as assistant dean?
I hope the new work will give Trinity students plenty of reasons to stay at Trinity and be successful at Trinity and beyond. In terms of specific outcomes and interventions that will positively impact retention and graduation (and the "Trinity experience"), early things I am hearing and learning from others includes mentoring, vocational "wayfinding" (Who am I? and What's my place in this world?), holistic wellbeing, and more.