Hey there HWUMans! I'm Dorcas, a first year student in International Business Management with Marketing and I'm running to be your Academic Vice President!
I am someone often described as a go-getter, and someone who values progress over perfection. I thrive when I see my peers succeeding, and I only want what is best for my community. The elements I strictly live by are rationality and passion, despite these two seeming to be mutually exclusive. I believe that life is all about balance, and I allow my passion to drive me and become my source of motivation, and remind me of why I started something when I'm at the brink of giving up. Rationality is my grounding elixir and it is what keeps me focused, and guides me during decision-making. In other words, my passion creates the blueprint for me while my rationality paves the way for my life journey; and this same concept applies to my academic life.
I am the current SoSS Officer, and I was also the MFP Officer previously during my Foundation. That would give a total of 2 years experience in the Academic Department for Heriot-Watt, and 3 years if I am elected as VP of Academics! Therefore, I daresay that I have the essential experience and knowledge in HWUMSA to qualify me for this position. I believe that these 2 years I've spent in the Academic Department effectively displays the passion I have for the academic welfare of our students, and I'd be honoured to continue doing so.
As your VP of Academics, I will strive to combine my experience and core values together to coordinate the academic department, and enhance the academic experience of both students and staff alike. Most importantly, I want to make the student voice heard. Academic excellence is the primary essence of universities, and from a rational point of view - the quality of the education received in a university is what creates the justification for fees and all the years spent studying!
Being part of the Academic Team doesn't just mean that we have to ensure that things are going how they supposed to be - exams having no hiccups, or having monthly meetings with class reps and staff to ensure everything is going just fine; however, as your next VP, I aim to go above and beyond to bring about changes that further enhances the learning experience of students. Be it more check-in sessions with personal tutors, academic events or even just the usual talks for students. My goal is to create a channel for students to feel connected to the school, and not to feel like they are burdened by layers and layers of university materials. I want to encourage and use my resources to supplement a system where students and staff alike are on the same page in terms of academic progression and milestones.
Once again, I emphasise that I aim to enhance and improve the academic experience for students, and progress into a more dynamic academic department that acts as a single vocal chord for thousands of voices.
What motivated me to nominate myself?
With what have been said of my character where I am driven by passion, I have really enjoyed being part of the Academic Department for the past 2 years, and I enjoy being the piece that connects the students to the university. Truthfully, I never expected myself to be going for such a big role as VP of Academics, however, I really have seen a growth in my personal development with always being surrounded by such capable individuals in the Academic Team. I was really inspired by the current VP of Academics, and this really has played a significant part in inspiring me to take up this role to be the same great advisor to the next new Academic Team. I am excited to lead a new team, and am looking forward to how I can improve the academic portion of our university with my team in the coming term!
My top three priorities
My first priority when elected is to get to know the other VPs! I strongly believe that integrality between all the other HWUMSA departments can have a great indirect impact on the overall academic experience for students, for example, welfare and sports are crucial for the development of students. A student in a poor mental state is unlikely to do well academically, and this is where it is calls for the teamwork between departments and with mutual effort towards the same direction - the development of a student.
The second priority would be to connect with students. Communication is vital in the academic department, where our effectiveness depends solely on student feedback. I would have to work hard to establish a strong level of trust and dependence with my class reps and students, and allow them to feel comfortable to share any concerns or worries they might have academically, or even welfare! I strive to be able to connect the students to other departments as well, and provide the assurance to students that they have the whole-hearted support of HWUMSA.
The third priority would be to go over and reinforce all the existing protocols of the Academic Department with my team, and work together to see which parts of the system we can improve realistically. While I cannot guarantee that I can change the entire system to become something ideal and mind-blowingly efficient, I can assure you that I will do all I can in my power to tweak and enhance the system as close to perfection as possible. <3
What would I bring to the role?
The main thing I can bring to this role is my experience, as I have definitely gained lots of knowledge in the past few years in HWUMSA's Academic Department. With what I know, I believe I can carry out tasks more efficiently as I am already familiar with the existing system, and I know what is doable within realistic means of the university. With observing my own personal growth in such roles, I do think that I will be able to identify academic opportunities for students to develop their character and portfolio, and encourage growth together as a community.