Student Support Services is losing two popular staff

By Murphy Obershaw, Copy Editor

Two Runway Learning Center staff members are flying on to new opportunities at Wichita State University.

Ami Alvidrez and Debbie Haslam both announced last week that they would be leaving Newman.

Alvidrez, whose last day was Feb. 14, was an advisor for undecided students and students transitioning from one major to another and a test proctor.

She had been at Newman for almost 15 years, but decided to take a job as an academic advisor at WSU Tech, she said.

“I had been doing some soul searching about what I felt like where my place was in the universe, and it just kept coming back to academic advising...I love Newman, but it just felt like a good time to see if there was something else, and then there was,” Alvidrez said.

In addition to her job at the Runway, she was also the club advisor for both the Multicultural Leadership Organization and the Asian Student Association.

“MCLO and ASA have been fabulous to work with, and I am so proud of all that has been accomplished with their groups as well as Kaleidoscope, Black Student Union, Hispanic American Leadership Organization and Diversity Round Table Ambassadors,” Alvidrez said.

Paola Nunez from admissions will be the new MCLO advisor.  ASA is still looking for a new advisor.

Haslam, whose last day is Feb. 28, is in charge of the tutoring program, Project Care and counseling services.

She has worked at Newman for seven years, starting as an administrative assistant for math and science before moving to Student Support Services.  Haslam will be moving on to the Wichita State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a student success coach.

“I just finished my master’s degree last year here at Newman, and so this gives me the opportunity to more fully use that with the hopes of potential growth in the future,” she said.

Like Alvidrez, Haslam said she loved her time at Newman.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with all of the students here at Newman and will miss so many of the students that I have developed relationships with...That’s probably the hardest part of the change is knowing that I’m leaving people that I’ve become friends with and developed good relationships with,” Haslam said.

Deseray Cruz, a student worker at the Runway, said that Alvidrez and Haslam will be missed.

“They’ve been really caring and just overall nice to me.  They always ask how I’m doing.  It’s just really nice to have those people here for you while you’re working...I think they’ll be missed a lot by not just me but everyone who works here, everyone who has got to know them through their time here,” Cruz said.

Alvidrez said that she wants everyone to remember that while she and Haslam will be gone, things that the Runway will continue as normal.

“Students should know that the Runway Learning Center (301 Sacred Heart Hall) will continue to serve students and I highly recommend that students continue visiting whenever they need some support, are not sure where to go or who to talk to. The Runway has a number of resources available to meet students' needs, and I appreciate all the changes we have made to make it a better place for students to find help,” Alvidrez said.

PHOTO: Dania Jumpa, Staff Photographer