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The shift to college can be an overwhelming experience for students. This Tiger eases that transition by coordinating peer mentoring programs, which support students, hold them accountable and encourage dialogue.
Meet Sarah Dumas.
Title: Coordinator for peer engagement in the Office of Student Transitions and Family Programs
Years at Clemson: One-and-a-half
What I do at Clemson: I develop retention initiatives that support students of color and first-generation students from their freshman years until graduation. In doing this, I work closely with the CONNECTIONS Mentorship Initiative, a program with an LLC component that matches incoming students of color and first-generation students with peer mentors. I also support our other retention programs, and serve as the primary advisor to Sister 2 Sister, an organization devoted to supporting female students of color on Clemson’s campus.
What I love about Clemson: The school spirit of our students, staff, faculty and community members – they are definitely “all in.”
My defining moment at Clemson: I’ve had many! They usually come when I have conversations with students and I can see how they have grown either socially, academically or personally. I love being a part of those moments where I can see a light bulb come on for a student! Other defining moments come when I have the opportunity to collaborate with campus partners to plan an event that supports students. These moments embody what I believe is the purpose of student support services.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of: Planning a retreat for more than 120 of our CONNECTIONS students for the past two fall semesters. Our CONNECTIONS retreat serves as an opportunity for our students to form initial relationships through team building, activities related to identity and personal development, discussion-related campus resources and much more.
Another accomplishment that I am proud of is serving as co-chair for the Tunnel of Oppression and the Martin Luther King, Jr. subcommittee. The Tunnel of Oppression is a signature event that is held during the week of events surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January. It is an awesome opportunity for staff, students and faculty to engage in conversations related to privilege, power and oppression.
Lastly, I am honored to have received the 2018 Walter T. Cox New Professional Award for the South Carolina College Personnel Association. Not only does this award highlight my passion for working with students, but it also represents the encouragement and support that I have received from mentors, family members and friends over the course of my educational and professional journey.
Where I see myself in five years: I see myself pursuing a doctorate in history or African-American studies while fulfilling a professional role with significant student contact. I believe in being called to an institution and/or office, so if I am still at Clemson after five years, it is because I am called to be here.
Last thing I watched on TV: A documentary called Cuba and the Cameraman on Netflix. I give it five stars and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes documentaries.
Guilty pleasure: Thriller/horror movies, indulging in french fries (with ranch, of course) and shopping at thrift stores.
One thing most people don’t know about me: Most people know that I am a huge fan of music, but most don’t know that I collect vinyl records. I love walking into a record store and digging through crates to find some of my favorite records!
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