Transforming College Campuses Space Officially Dedicated
Building on the creation of FDU Health, FDU recently created the Transforming College Campuses (TCC) program, spearheaded by the School of Psychology and Counseling, in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs. Funded through a generous donation, the TCC program will support the mental health needs of FDU’s undergraduate students and foster opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students to pursue careers in mental health-related fields. The project embeds graduate students with first-year students taking a mandatory course, Transitioning to University Life. The students remain paired with the graduate students for their first two years at the University to foster support and mentorship. The TCC program also provides physical spaces on our campuses where students can go for support and resources. The office space for TCC on the Florham Campus was officially dedicated on Thursday, October 19. The TCC office on the Metropolitan Campus is located in Robison Hall.
Andrea and Anthony Melchiorre, whose gift has established the “Transforming College Campuses,” program on both the Metropolitan and Florham Campuses, were on hand for the official ribbon-cutting of the space in Hennessy Hall. See photo gallery here.
The gathering of faculty, staff, students and alumni assembled to hear remarks from President Michael Avaltroni, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Uchenna Baker, Director of the School of Psychology and Counseling Benjamin Freer and graduate student Samantha Ippolito, who spoke about the importance of the program in meeting today’s students unique needs and creating an environment that allows students to “thrive, create and connect” in their academic journey.
“Today is a special day at FDU to celebrate the generosity of the Melchiorre family and reinforce our commitment to the student experience while we acknowledge the considerable challenges that our students face today,” said Avaltroni. “Our Students First fund-raising campaign is predicated on our ability to create the very best opportunities for our students to learn and grow in a deeply supported environment. The Students First campaign will lean heavily on our alumni and friends to assist in these efforts and what Andrea and Anthony have done with this commitment is truly significant and extraordinary.”
“Through my position at FDU,” Freer said, “I have been in the position to connect with and support many of our students. What I have learned over and over again is that when students are empowered to achieve, they do amazing things. TCC is a program designed with that thought in mind. I am so grateful, and excited, about the ability to dive deeper into our role as an institution of higher learning to create deep and lasting relationships with our students based on three words we’ve also connected with the acronym TCC: thrive, create and connect. These words are the pillars for how this program will seek to not only meet our students needs but also be the building blocks to a transformational experience.”
Ippolito, who earned her undergraduate degree at FDU and is now part of a four-person graduate assistant team working in the program, said, “We were each excited to join TCC because of its mission to promote student mental health and provide resources that may otherwise be unavailable or hard to access. We are passionate about being part of an organization that cares about students thriving on campus, creating their own spaces, and connecting with each other.”
“I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Andrea and Anthony for this incredible opportunity you have provided for FDU to further meet our students needs and further our legacy as a student-focused, welcoming, and transformational institution,” said Baker.
Kristin Cothran, who is the director of the program, has been excited by the response to the spaces on both the Metropolitan and Florham campuses noting, “I am very encouraged by the impact our program will have on students’ ability to thrive, create, connect at FDU and beyond.”
Find more information on the Students First campaign here.