RCC’s Summer Renovations Benefit the Student Experience

November 8, 2022
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Deanna Vatan: ‘It’s an umbrella for academic success’

Robinson Communication Center (RCC) is often a hub of activity: students working on assignments in the multiple computer labs, The Quake Radio on the air, communication arts students engaged in classes and students taking advantage of services designed to ensure their academic and personal success.

PICTURED: (ABOVE) Members of the campus community tour the Student Success Center and adjacent services and academic areas in Robinson Communication Center earlier this fall. (BELOW) Chip Murdock works with sophomore Nathan Sorn in RCC’s Audio Lab.

This summer, RCC underwent some major interior renovation. The result is a more efficient use of space, enhanced work areas and a more inviting environment for teaching and learning — and living.

Deanna Vatan is the associate vice president of retention and academic success, who, as part of the renovation plan, relocated from the administration building to RCC, where she can offer more hands-on leadership. She heads the portion of RCC dedicated to services for academic success, which includes the Student Resource Center (SRC), Student Success Center (SSC), First-Year Connections (FYC) and Accessibility & Disability Services.

“It’s a cohesive network of support for our students — an umbrella for academic success,” she said. “We’re collaborative both within our area and across campus in assisting with students’ academic and personal challenges.”

The Student Resource Center offers individual peer tutoring, supplemental instruction and SRC employment, and works closely in coordinating services with The Math Center and The Quaker Writing Center. Accessibility & Disability Services work with students and faculty to ensure that disability will not be a barrier to equal opportunity or access to educational programs and services. It emphasizes students’ own engagement in the accommodation process as a key factor to their success. The Student Success Center features ample space for quiet study and small group work. The SSC staff provides direct support for at-risk students and offers integrated coordination between retention assessment, student placement, academic advising and student support services.

Audio LabPartnering with Residence Life, First-Year Connections develops programming and campus initiatives that support the academic and personal needs of first-year students. FYC efforts are focused on helping first-year students be as successful as possible in transitioning to the Wilmington College community.

“The intent is for this to be a space where students feel they can land, a comfortable place to study and interact with fellow students and staff,” Vatan said about the Center. “We want students to consider campus their home. I want them to think of RCC and specifically the Academic Success spaces as a part of their living room.”

Also, the communication arts side of RCC underwent a renovation highlighted with the so-called “maker space” with new workstations with iMacs, a large format printer and enhanced by new flooring, lighting and enlarged space. Video editing is but one of the classes instructed in the facility. Also, additional spaces feature a new setup for The Quake radio station, an audio lab, a photography studio and a collaborative workspace open to all students

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