University Leadership: Javaune “Dr. J” Adams-Gaston, PhD
September 11, 2012
This fall is your second year of welcoming Ohio State students to campus at the start of the school year. Are there special moments in Ohio State’s Welcome Week that you've come to look forward to most?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the traditions and spirit of Welcome Week at Ohio State. From speaking at convocation, the welcome event for first-year students, to interacting with thousands of students at the Student Involvement Fair on the Oval as they consider participation in more than 600 student organizations, every opportunity is a chance to introduce them to so many Ohio State possibilities. Participating in the new student Residence Hall Move-In, I have the chance to watch parents and friends linger in saying goodbye while the students shoo them away, ready to take on the new student experience. All of it is exciting and perpetuates the Buckeye experience.
Your office is located in the Ohio Union. It’s hard to imagine being closer to the action of campus life. What have been some of your favorite experiences in the Union since it opened in March 2010?
It’s been a nonstop rush of students, events, and opportunities. The students have been lined up for events, engaged in discussion and debate, and have been eating, sleeping, learning, and “living” in the Union. Calling it exciting is an understatement. This fall I started “Tea with the VP.” Students are invited to meet with me in the VP suite and enjoy tea, coffee, Coke, or water and spend an hour chatting with me about their thoughts and experiences. I love having this opportunity and, since my office is located in the student union, it is easy for the students to participate.
You have been working in higher education for more than 25 years. What stands out to you about today’s students?
Students are bright, talented, tech savvy, and inquisitive. They care about making a difference and they expect that they will have the opportunity to engage and make things happen. This “high tech, high touch” generation is constantly engaged in tweeting, Facebook, e-mail, and texting, but they also like to drop in just to say hello. It’s great.
You became a member of the President’s Club with gifts you made in 2009 shortly after you arrived. How did you decide where to designate your gift? Were you aware that your gift would be recognized by the President’s Club?
Giving back is an important aspect of being a community member. I get so much from this community. I am happy to support programs and opportunities for our students to have extraordinary experiences at Ohio State. Becoming a member of the President’s Club was another, unexpected benefit.