OUSC advisor takes on new role

As the Oakland University campus continues to expand to appease the heightened interest in a medical program, the Center for Student Activities has agreed to lend one of their best to help construct student life at the new William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development Jean Szura has stepped down from her current position at OU. Szura has accepted a position as the Director of Student Activities at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Szura has been responsible for planning organizing leadership events such as Leadership Challenge OU, an annual leadership retreat and various other leadership-related events. She also served as the advisor for the Oakland University Student Congress, a position she stepped down from as well.

Current OUSC President Brandon Gustafson sees Szura as more than just a typical OUSC advisor.

“She held more than an advisor role, more like a part of the organization,” Gustafson said. “She always had a vested interest. We (the OUSC members) will miss her more than she will miss us.”

The William Beaumont School of Medicine is set to open in the fall of 2011. For the next year, Szura will work diligently to start the school’s activities from the ground up. The first task at hand will be organizing and planning orientation so things are in order for the cardinal year.

“Right now, no programs are in place, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build student activities from the ground from up,” Szura said. “I’m always brainstorming.”

Aside from planning orientation for the school, Szura will also be in charge of arranging new student activities on campus as well as planning various ceremonies such as the prestigious white coat ceremony.

Szura is a 2003 English and political science graduate from OU. Before starting her career as a Graduate Assistant for Student Activities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, she received her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University in 2006.

The new position piqued Szura’s interest when she stumbled upon the job posting on the university website. 

Szura said the prospect of working at a “phenomenal school with great opportunities” is what initially drew her to the job.

Staying true to her organizations, Szura plans to have continuing involvement with the programs at OU, especially during the transition of directors.

As well as working at the new Director of Student Activities, Szura is currently working on her Ph.D in educational leadership from OU.

What she will miss the most about working in her Oakland Center office are the daily interactions she has with co-workers and student leaders.

“I will be so close, I don’t know how much I will miss,” Szura said. Her new office is in the William Beaumont section of O’Dowd Hall.

Director of Student Activities, Jean Ann Miller has known Szura since she was an undergrad student at OU as well as a co-worker in the CSA office for the past four years. Miller said she wishes Szura a lot of happiness and success.

“(Szura) has made wonderful contributions to OU over the years, (she) will continue to make these positive contributions to the university and medical school,” Miller said.

As far as what to expect at her new position, Szura says she is excited to work with an entire new set of staff and students. The sheer task of building the infrastructure of the medical school will be plenty enough to keep Szura busy as well as working on her degree.

Szura’s last day working in the Oakland Center will be Friday, Sept. 3. The new director of Student Activities will begin her new position on Tuesday, Sept. 7 of this year.