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New Engagement Hub program helps match students to leadership opportunities

The Student Activities Center (SAC) on the College Avenue campus is hosting the Engagement Hub, a new program aimed at connecting students with extracurricular activities to match their interests. – Photo by Uriel Isaacs

Rutgers—New Brunswick has launched the Engagement Hub in the Students Activities Center (SAC) on the College Avenue campus for all undergraduate students to consult with Engagement Ambassadors to find leadership and involvement opportunities on campus.

Karima Woodyard, director of student involvement and leadership within student centers and activities, said that with such a vast campus, students often struggle to find a community to be a part of.

She said the hub began offering appointments last semester, and it has seen an increase in bookings since its launch. The team currently has two ambassadors and is recruiting 10 assistants for the upcoming academic year.

"The Engagement Hub is designed to assist students with discovering their why, exploring their potential and making an impact on campus and beyond," Woodyard said. 

She said that students can schedule one-on-one appointments with Engagement Ambassadors, who are Rutgers students as well, to discuss their interests and personal goals.

She said before students have these appointments, they must fill out a form that allows the Ambassadors to learn more about the student’s interests and expectations.

Woodyard also said that the Involvement Fair and Rutgers' getINVOLVED platform are key to helping students engage with different clubs and organizations across campus.

"Ultimately, the Engagement Hub aims to assist students with becoming well-equipped leaders and learn how to track their co-curricular activities, or to reach their career and academic goals," Woodyard said.

Brianna Medeiros, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and an Engagement Ambassador at the Engagement Hub, said her role is to meet with other students and help find clubs and opportunities that match their interests and goals.

When she was a first-year student, she remembers feeling lost with the number of opportunities offered on campus. She said helping students get involved is what makes this experience rewarding.

Medeiros said that students often struggle with managing their time between school work and co-curricular activities, which holds them back from getting involved on campus.

"It feels good knowing that I am helping students take that first step into building a community full of happiness," she said. "The goal is for them to be able to call Rutgers their home away from home."

Her advice to fellow students is to try and not allow fear to stop them from pursuing their interests and joining a community on campus, she said.

Medeiros also said the Engagement Hub would be hiring Engagement Assistants to meet with students in all student centers on campuses, so students do not need to come to the SAC to have a meeting.

Greeva Patel, a Rutgers Business School sophomore and another Engagement Ambassador at the Engagement Hub, said her role is to help students deal with the overwhelming amount of opportunities available to them and find their calling.

She said that as an international student in her first year of college, she wished she had the resources currently offered by the Engagement Hub.

Patel said her role is not only to meet with students but also to encourage them to take the opportunities offered at Rutgers.

She said students often hesitate to participate in co-curricular activities due to academic or financial responsibilities, but Engagement Ambassadors are there to walk students through their personal conflicts.

Patel said she hopes to see this new program expand to all five student centers in the near future and be able to help even more students.

"I would say only one thing: do what feels right and explore everything that you’re interested in because this is the only time in life so many resources will be at your disposal," she said.

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