President's Speeches & Writings

Denison parent update on career and wellbeing programs

President's Office
May 3, 2022

Dear Denison Parents: As we complete the academic year, I wanted to share some good news.

COVID Update: COVID rates have been manageable. Here is our dashboard. COVID will be part of our daily lives for a while, and we feel prepared to manage it on our campus.

Career Exploration: I want to ask you to encourage your Denison student to spend some time this summer thinking about careers. This is particularly important for rising juniors and seniors. A few weeks ago, I shared the following with students. These opportunities are open to graduating seniors as well.

Here are some ways to continue your career planning work with the Knowlton Center team during the summer:

Programs: Knowlton Connect has a full list of programs, including: the “Journey Program” for rising sophomores and juniors, the “Internship Success Series” for those who want to maximize their internship experience, and “Setting Yourself Up for Senior Success” to help rising seniors get a fast start on their job or graduate school search.

Denison Edge: Knowlton has additional programs delivered through Denison Edge. You can find a list here. I am super excited about our new 6-week, hands-on Summer Immersion Program taking place in downtown Columbus, OH. This is a great program for graduating seniors who are still exploring career paths.

Graduating Seniors: The Knowlton Center will provide ongoing programs and 1:1 assistance for class of 2022 grads as you finalize your plans. Please contact Knowlton to set up times and check your email for announcements on programs designed for you.

Career Communities: Students should register for a career community if they haven’t already done so. There will be important information and opportunities presented to students in those communities as well as during the summer.

Summer Coaching: Knowlton Center staff will be available for individual coaching appointments throughout the summer, including for recent graduates. (Click on the “Schedule an Appointment” button on the Knowlton Connect homepage).

Summer Announcements: Students should check their Denison email, Handshake, and Knowlton Connect regularly throughout the summer, so they don’t miss out on employer or graduate school information sessions scheduled during the summer, or jobs/internships that may have mid/late summer deadlines.

AmpersandPro: Denison has a new partnership with EdTech company AmpersandPro, a platform that guides you through these key elements of career preparation. Internships are available for any student or recent graduate who completes the program. Get started here.

New Wellness Center and Partnership with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: In August, we will open the Ann and Thomas Hoaglin Wellness Center. It is a fantastic building that is focused on both providing medical services and helping students develop the habits and skills of wellbeing.

The new building gives us an opportunity to develop new partnerships. I am excited to announce a collaborative partnership with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) on a new initiative that will provide expanded health and wellness services for Denison’s faculty, staff, and students. These services will leverage the health care experience and expertise of OSUWMC while maintaining the personal touch that’s a hallmark of our residential campus.

We chose these new offerings carefully, responding to feedback from students, staff, and faculty, and building on the wellness efforts already underway. For example, physical therapy has been one of the services most requested by our students, and we know the demand for mental health services and wellness programs continues to grow across college campuses.

We also found an ideal partner in OSUWMC, which pairs its renowned health and wellness expertise with the understanding of the unique needs of a higher education community and has been an invaluable guide for Denison as we’ve navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ll be providing more details and a timeline of this project as it develops, but I wanted to share a high-level look at what to expect as we move forward in the coming months. We will be developing:

Comprehensive health and well-being support, guided by a wellness director, drawing from evidence-based programs such as mindfulness and physical health.

Increased access to on-campus mental health services, led by a psychologist in the role of director of mental well-being.

Sports medicine services, featuring access to comprehensive service offerings and providers including physician and athletic training services for student-athletes at the Mitchell Center.

Enhanced access to on-campus specialty care, such as musculoskeletal and physical therapy.

I am thrilled by the many ways this partnership will help us better support health and wellness for our students, faculty, and staff. As you are aware, nurturing the holistic well-being of our Denison community aligns with our liberal arts focus of developing “whole people” prepared to thrive in every aspect of their lives.

Admission: We have enjoyed another great year with admission. Applications increased 28% this year. We had over 12,200 applications, which is the most in the college’s history. We admitted 22% of the students who applied. Right now, we expect an incoming class of about 665 students, which is large but manageable. Students are coming from every corner of the United States and 30 different countries. We are very excited about the incoming class.

A final reflection of gratitude: April is a busy month on campus. Over the last few weeks, I have had fun conversations with students about senior research projects, watched fantastic senior music recitals, enjoyed many athletic games (including some awesome NCAC Championships), and attended art openings, plays, dance recitals, and choir and orchestra concerts. I am always impressed by our students. They are smart, engaged, and talented. They are also awesome people who I am proud to call Denisonians. Thank you for the support you provide to them and for helping them be Denisonians.