When I debated which college to attend—way back in 2012—I’d hear things such as “Union College is really friendly!” and “The faculty actually make time to talk with you!” After four years on campus, I’ve found that experience to be true.
Union’s faculty are one of the things about the college I love. I usually can walk into a faculty member’s office and have a conversation with them. Or, I receive a hello from a professor while grocery shopping at Walmart on 84th street—true story, go ask Dr. Fitts.
Dr. Frankie Rose, the Vice President of Academic Administration, is one of the faculty members willing to chat with students. One day I saw him walking from the parking lot, and started up a conversation. Now, I’ve never attended any other college than Union, but from what I’ve heard, other colleges’ Vice Presidents don’t just stop and talk to students, let alone know your name and your older brother.
A former student, Dr. Frankie Rose chose to come to Union because of his high school sweetheart. He followed her to the college and declared the same major as her—nursing. Although he figured nursing would make him marketable, one of his professors suggested he consider a future in medicine. Soon after the professor’s advice, Dr. Rose switched majors.
“Dr. Freidline, my chemistry teacher, changed my life,” Rose explained. “He put his all into Union College. Dr. Freidline would receive students all the time. He genuinely, truly, loved his students. His example formed part of my own philosophy of education.”
Now that he’s back at Union College and holds the title of Vice President of Academic Administration, Dr. Rose works closely with faculty members to give students the best experience and education possible.
Some of his jobs include: creating the graduation/major requirements, allocating resources among the divisions, and supporting the faculty, who in turn, support the students. For example, Dr. Rose is involved in every new faculty search. He works to identify which new employee will fit at Union and who can help change lives. “My favorite part of the job is making sure the ground here at Union is fertile so that the maximum amount of students can have the type of experience I had.”
Dr. Rose explained how he was part of the first generation of his family to attend college. Before Union, he expected to stay at a low-skilled job that he didn’t enjoy. “The trajectory of my life changed at Union. I was given mentorship that guided me toward better spirituality, better social development and a better skill set.”
“I feel like an echo from the many people who shaped me. To mention a few: Chris Blake and his critical thinking; Dave Show and his ability to strengthen someone’s argument; KennaLee Carlson’s willingness to smile and greet students; Dr. Freidline and his love for students. And, of course, the girl I followed from high school.”
“My girlfriend had really high expectations academically. Through her example, I knew I should be performing well.” Ellen Rose is now a faculty member in the Nursing Department here at Union—another faculty member who adds positivity and mentorship to Union’s friendly environment.
As Dr. Rose expressed, “There is scientific data explaining that students with mentors are more likely to end up in a job they love and are more likely to have a higher well-being overall—financially, socially, emotionally, physically and academically.” Certainly his experience at Union can be a testimony to that.
Students have a chance to form strong relationships with faculty here at Union. Faculty at Union open up their homes to students during events such as soup suppers.They sit in the row next to us on Saturday morning at church. They take our education seriously and often become references on our resumes.
Who would want to miss out on that?
Melissa Ratter is a senior studying language arts education.