Featured (Slider) Features

The Importance of Monmouth’s Office of Student Engagement

The Office of Student Engagement is one of the many important departments within Monmouth University. With the recent name change from the Office of Student Activities to the Office of Student Engagement, new staff and a new expectation for campus involvement has helped the student body come together.

There are six crucial faculty members that form this office. Vaughn Clay, Director of Student Engagement; Mustafa Sabuur, Assistant Director of Student Engagement; Nicole Lowden, Associate Director of Student Engagement for Transitions and Leadership; Jayde Ware, Associate Director of Student Engagement for Fraternity and Sorority Life; Kathy Dabney, Campus Life Assistant; Janet Dustman, Student Services Assistant; and three student workers, plus graduate assistants, that work behind the scenes.
The office’s mission statement, states, “Student Engagement exists to inspire growth, building lifelong connections, cultivate transformative experiences, and create bold leaders that impact their communities both on and off Monmouth’s campus.”

The Office of Student Engagement puts on their own events along with helping clubs and organizations run and plan. Some events they put on include mini pop ups outside the office, like a Halloween table with candy, snacks, and a raffle, and “What’s for Lunch?” with OSE.

Mustafa Sabuur is not only the Assistant Director of Student Engagement, but he is also the co-advisor to the Student Activities Board (SAB). This is his second year at Monmouth, and he’s already made an impact on many students’ lives.

Sabuur explained, “When I was an undergraduate student I became passionate about events and programming. It led me to pursue a degree in Higher Education for grad school. During that time I was able to have an assistantship that allowed me to get my degree, but also program late nights and special events. When I got my Master’s degree what I knew was I wanted to continue to program while also working closely with a programming board, which led me to Monmouth.”

Janet Dustman has been at Monmouth for many years. She knows the ins and outs of clubs and assists all students with questions or concerns. Some of the tasks she performs includes updating the Student Center televisions, processing contracts for SAB, and updates club rosters for every club on campus each semester to Monmouth’s database. In her role, she has been a great help to students through the years.
“I was lucky enough to get a position at Monmouth a little over 16 years ago. I had been working on Wall Street (Goldman Sachs) for 14 years and during that time I had two children. Working in the City with two children was starting to become a challenge so I made the decision to leave. I was lucky to be a stay at home mom for the next six or seven years. My oldest daughter was in middle school and I thought, I should try to get a job at a University to be able to put my kids through school.”

Dustman continued, “Believe it or not, I was looking in a newspaper right after that thought and saw that there was an open position at Monmouth in the Software Engineering/Computer Science Department. I applied, got called in for an interview and was hired all within a short period.”

Working in the Office of Student Engagement comes with many positives. Sabuur continued, “Working with students is what makes the job enjoyable and seeing them grow through their college journey!”
Dustman then expressed, “I think I connect with the students because I have children about the same age. I’ve always loved the students and I enjoy talking to them and getting to know them. I’ve always felt that everyone here at Monmouth was a ‘family’ and I try my best to make every student that comes to my desk feel the same way. It has been a privilege for me to work here all of these years and I look forward to many more.”

Being surrounded by supportive faculty on campus has many benefits, one of them being a great help plus a familiar face to go to for help. Sometimes, seeing Sabuur and Dustman in the Office of Student Engagement helps build those connections.

The vision of the Office of Student Engagement is “to foster an environment that cultivates student learning and development through innovative programs, activities, and services that promote student success,” and they have proven time and time again that they want students to be successful and creative in their own ways.

Seeing students emerge as leaders, take on positions in their respective clubs, and witnessing ideas come to life are some of what helps make working in the Office of Student Engagement worthwhile. Located on the second floor of the Student Center, faculty is more than welcome to help create a wonderful campus environment.