Student Life Professional Development is excited to announce a program for newcomers to our campus and our division. “This is Student Life” is an Orientation and Onboarding program to support new staff members of any professional background with an introduction to the Division. This program is meant to complement the UA New Staff Orientation that all staff attend, and it was created to develop connections across departments, enhance the Student Life staff experience from the very start and strategically form more shared knowledge among Student Life Staff members.

This is Student Life – Orientation and Onboarding Program

This program begins with a Student Life welcome! Event that is followed by three monthly sessions to achieve the learning outcomes of the program. Within these monthly meetings, members of campus and Student Life leadership will join us to provide participants with unique access to those who collaboratively set the vision for Student Life.

If you have any questions regarding the current session, please email Laura Thomas.

Register for Spring 2024 This is Student Life sessions

Session One

Welcome Celebration! Who we are as Student Life
March 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Featured speakers will introduce or refresh participants on Mission, Vision, and Values of SL. Also, during this session, information will be shared about the UA System, with a focus on the main Tuscaloosa Campus. We will also spend time learning about the Organizational Chart for Student Life and how it relates to the work we do.  

Session Two

Our Work is the Student Experience
April 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
During this session, our featured speakers will highlight the ways in which we serve and support the UA student community and maximize learning.  

Session Three

Responsible Resource Management
May 1, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Support programs will be featured from SL and across campus that provide examples of how to effectively and responsibly manage our resources. These resources include but are not limited to financial resources, human resources, facility management, etc. Additionally, staff that represent communications, assessment, business services, etc. will join us!

Session Four - Final Session

Program Completion and Celebration
June 5, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
In addition to the specific topics for each session, there will be time dedicated to networking for this group to enhance the staff experience in support of the strategic value of Commitment to Employee Success.

Division of Student Life Breakout Sessions

The Division of Student Life meets monthly to share updates and any information from the vice president and his executive leadership team. As a benefit to all Student Life staff and to further support the priority of investing in staff during these divisional meetings, breakout sessions are offered to all staff. The learning outcomes of these breakout sessions are as follows:

  • Provide general professional development for all staff on a consistent basis
  • Aim to transfer knowledge of different hot topics, recommended trainings, or new initiatives to SL staff
  • Increase SL staff knowledge about the work being done by fellow staff members in the division on a range of topics
  • Enhance visibility and access of SL executive leadership team members to divisional staff

These breakout sessions will support the following themes (outlined below) that will rotate each month.

student life breakout themes

social justice series breakout theme

Social Justice Series

The Social Justice Series aims to integrate knowledge of social justice, inclusion, oppression, privilege and power into the practice of Student Life professionals. These topics will help identify systems of socialization that influence one’s multiple identities and sociopolitical perspectives and how they impact one’s lived experiences. Additionally, these sessions aim to help staff understand how they are affected by and participate in maintaining systems of oppression, privilege and power and challenge SL staff to engage in critical reflection to identify their own prejudices and biases. The goal of these sessions is to offer opportunities to collaborate with experiences across campus and the community to provide training that increases the awareness, knowledge and skills needed to work with a diverse group of students and staff.

staff health and well being breakout theme

Staff Health and Wellbeing

Based on feedback from staff in Spring 2022, Student Life will continue to show a commitment to the health and wellbeing of our staff. Partnering with many different campus and local entities, these sessions will highlight different ways to prioritize holistic health and wellness in your routine. This series is meant to support you as you support our students. These topics will be broad in focus and will be applicable to any divisional staff members.


share the wealth breakout theme

Share the Wealth (of Knowledge)

For any staff member that has been selected to present or keynote at a UA (non-SL), local, state, regional, national or international conference, this series will allow an opportunity to share that knowledge with colleagues within SL. All staff are eligible to volunteer for this series, and any presentations from previous years are welcome. The goal of this is multifaceted: to enhance peer knowledge of the accomplishments of our staff, to provide cross-training/knowledge sharing across the division, to enhance collaboration across departments and to allow staff of all levels to present in front of the division.

If you are interested in hosting one of these breakout sessions, please complete the Share the Wealth Presentation submission form.


leadership and growth breakout theme

Leadership and Growth

The Business Analytics and Process Improvement Team at UA Supports units by helping to identify inefficient or outdated processes. These could be university-wide, academic or individual department processes. The goal is to streamline processes, raise employee morale, improve productivity, increase stakeholder satisfaction and align daily activities to help UA achieve its mission. The goal of this SL series is to enhance our staff’s understanding of Agility, Continuous Improvement and Process Improvement to be more effective leaders.


supporting students breakout theme

Supporting Students

These sessions will offer different opportunities to better equip our staff to serve our diverse student body and a variety of their needs. We will feature SL departments but also create space for external experts to present to our division. We will focus our conversations on ways to enhance our divisional knowledge of serving the whole student body among such a diverse campus community.


human resources breakout theme

Highlighted Trainings

These divisional breakout sessions will focus on a different topic each month. SL will partner with HR Learning and Development to bring topics of interest to our in-person SL meetings.