Anne Skutnik directs the college’s new Office of Student Success, established to enhance support and spotlight the avenues that bring students to their engineering journey.
“We provide a comprehensive and cohesive approach from K–12 through to graduate school,” said Skutnik. “By focusing on accessible, attainable engineering education and addressing this from multiple fronts, the mission of the Office of Student Success is to make the pathways available to be eligible for admission through outreach and recruitment.”
After students have applied and been accepted, this office helps connect students to resources such as scholarships, engagement opportunities with faculty and students, and other ways to cultivate a sense of belonging at TCE and UT.
“We will position them for success with retention-focused opportunities (e.g. mentoring, undergraduate research, international experiences) with the goal of graduating and placing students in successful career opportunities,” said Skutnik.
During its first semester in operation, the office will hire a student-success recruiter and a coordinator and connect existing TCE opportunities. Student Success operates as part of Associate Dean Ozlem Kilic’s Office of Academic and Student Affairs (ASA). An element of Skutnik’s role as director will be to serve as liaison for Kilic in all student-success advisory board initiatives.
“I am excited to have this new office under ASA, and enthusiastic about the potential Anne brings with her energy and great team spirit as its director,” said Kilic. “I see this office as a central point for all the different initiatives we have recently been launching in the college to attract, retain, and graduate our students. The student-success advisory board and committees established under ASA will have dedicated central support with this new office, and we will invest in our student-centric activities with greater focus.”
“This board was established to investigate, develop, and implement initiatives that relate to student success and consist of eight committees,” said Skutnik. “Including Diversity, First Year Studies and initiatives, International Programs, Outreach, Recruitment, Retention, Scholarships, and Women in Engineering.”
Skutnik brings experience to this position after working as education and outreach coordinator with the CURENT research center for the past several years, connecting K–12 students with STEM education and maintaining retention of graduate students for the center.
“I’ve also been leading the newly established Broadening Participation Program for ASA, which engages faculty with our on-going successful programs as they write their grants,” said Skutnik.
Her PhD in learning environments and educational studies positions her expertise at an intersection of educational psychology, instructional design, and cultural studies.
“I think this gives me a holistic view of education that focuses on students’ lived experiences and the influence of that on being a student,” she said.
This experience and background of study makes Skutnik a great fit for this new initiative.
“I think this office will be another touchpoint to add to all the wonderful ones we already have,” she said. “From Advising to Diversity Programs to Women in Engineering and Engineering Fundamentals.”