As students and faculty returned after the holidays, the University’s student ambassadors made final preparations for the third annual Dean’s Winterfest
On Friday, January 11, students were welcomed back to the Hafter Student Center which was transformed into a winter wonderland representing this year’s theme of fire and ice. There were hand-made wooden trees donned with ornaments, a Christmas tree filled with sentiments for the New Year, and a runway covered with snow, fire, and ice.
Students and faculty came dressed in their ugliest of sweaters, excited to walk the runway for the ugly sweater contest. James Caldwell, OD, EdM, dean of Student Affairs and Monae Kelsey, MS, assistant director of Admissions and Salus Student Ambassador advisor, were in attendance, also dressed to impress, and were excited to connect and chill out with students.
“When the students came to me with this year’s theme – I absolutely loved it,” said Dr. Caldwell. “It really is a student run event, and they do a great job at it.”
The two hours were filled with activities for students and staff including holiday trivia, festive games, cookie decorating, and of course, a wide spread of comfort food aligned with the theme.
Winterfest started two years ago
and quickly grew into a large scale event that shows off the Office of Student Affairs in a different light—one that is a bit more light-hearted. It gives students the opportunity to interact with Dr. Caldwell in a capacity they don’t get to see as often, engaging with students in a more social setting.
“We started planning in November and met three or four times before winter break,” said Puja Patel ‘21OD. “We split into committees to make sure every aspect of the event was covered.”
And, the outcome was a success.
“Not only is it a fun event, but it’s a great opportunity for the students to practice event planning and public speaking in a safe environment,” said Dr. Caldwell. “It’s really what the Department of Student Affairs is about.”
The next event that the student ambassadors look forward to is the Student Awards Gala (SAG)
, which will be held on Friday, February 8.