Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Laura Osteen aims to improve student life

Emily Rubino, Contributing Reporter

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Tulane University welcomed Laura Osteen as the new Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs this year. In her new role, Osteen wants to work on improving services related to campus life and wellness for students. Osteen previously worked in similar roles at the University of Maryland, University of Missouri, Kansas State University and Stephens College and said she is looking forward to her new position at Tulane. 

“My number one goal is to listen, to figure out what do you notice, what do you see, and how can we cross these three areas across the sense of campus life,” Osteen said. “What do you feel when you step on campus? How do you know that you matter when you’re on campus? Those responses I think collectively create goals to move forward.”

Osteen’s responsibilities as Assistant President of Student Affairs involve overseeing Fraternity and Sorority Programs, The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life including Tulane University Campus Programming and student media and New Student Leaderships Programs. 

Osteen is eager to become part of Tulane’s administration, and when the position opened up this summer, she jumped at the chance to begin the application process. 

Courtesy of Florida State University

“There was an interview process this summer, and so I came and went through a two-day, three-day process,” Osteen said. “There are some steps to it that involve application with kind of a cover letter via phone or Skype interview. Then you come in person and they had some great people who I got to work with when I was here, incredible students when I was here, and then I was lucky enough to get the offer.”

Osteen spoke at the first Undergraduate Student Government Senate meeting of the year on Sept. 3 and explained her goals of working closely with all student organizations and helping students feel comfortable and confident on campus. In addition to working with student-run organizations, Osteen hopes to collaborate with faculty members as well. 

“I look forward to partnering more and more with faculty and departments with this idea on how do we integrate your classroom life with your out-of-classroom life which only happens through faculty engagement and understanding what they care about and what they see and realize,” Osteen said. “There are also some really cool opportunities that I think about research and that I think about how do we highlight faculty research.”

Osteen is currently residing in Décout-Labat residence hall, formerly known as Willow, and said she is working to meet as many students as possible. 

“I think just the sense of excitement, right, and this opportunity to truly connect,” Osteen said. “I would just love to find ways to listen and learn from students’ experiences so that we move forward together.”