Program shows off new office

by Yasuyuki Kobayashi

With a celebratory cake decorated with the words, “Hip Hip Hooray!” the Office of Special Learning Opportunities staff opened their new office Monday in Johnston Hall.
The office held an open house to introduce their new office, facilities and ideas to the University community. About 90 people joined the celebration, including students, alumni and faculty members.
“An open house is a chance to highlight the new stuff, the new ideas we have and the direction we are going,” said Lisa Murphy, assistant to the director of the office.
Funded by the College of Liberal Arts and the University College, the office helps CLA alumni and students find information about employment opportunities, volunteer experiences and domestic exchange programs.
Murphy said the main reason for renovating the program’s office was to make it more accessible for students. She said that the move made sense because the career and internship services are now in the same space. The new office also allows more space for the program’s resources and equipment.
Previously located in two different buildings, the office consolidated into one office about twice the size of the others.
The office’s administrators remodeled the larger office in Johnston Hall last summer, tearing down walls, carpeting and painting. The program also bought four new computers for student visitors to use. The total renovation project cost the program about $60,000.
About 2,080 students sought the services of the program last year. Administrators hope to expand this number with the help of new Internet opportunities.
Along with renovation work, the program’s staff project this summer was to set up a World Wide Web homepage. The site, which helps students get information about scholarships, grants, jobs and internships, is updated frequently.
Murphy said program staff hope to have a seminar about job hunting on the Internet next week. “We are really trying to get into technology,” she said.
Shenoa Simpson, a sophomore in International Relations, visits the office to find information about the latest internships. She said the program is very organized and helpful, and the services have aided her on her career path.
Program Director Carl Brandt said he thinks of the open house as a new beginning. “It’s been very successful,” he added.