Meet Dr. Shailen M. Singh, the director of the Byrne Student Success Center in the College of Education & Human Development at Texas A&M University. Singh earned his master’s in higher education from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. in human resource development from Texas A&M. His research has encompassed issues on student retention and transition, as well as issues related to work and family balance for higher education professionals.
Singh has a unique connection to University of Arkansas and Texas A&M through one of Texas A&M’s longest and most popular traditions − Fish Camp. While Singh was working with Fish Camp as an undergraduate at Texas A&M, advisers from the University of Arkansas visited the camp to learn more about the program and how to adopt ideas and concepts for their own extended student orientation program.
Singh met with the Arkansas advisers and seized the opportunity to work for the University of Arkansas as a graduate assistant. Over the next two years, he helped develop Rock Camp, the university’s own student orientation program.
“It was just perfect timing. Right around the time I made the decision that I wanted to work in higher education, the University of Arkansas came calling,” Singh said. “After I graduated from A&M, I moved to Fayetteville and started taking masters level courses and working as a graduate assistant on projects and initiatives, like Rock Camp.”
While there are similarities between Fish Camp and Rock Camp, he feels the differences between the two are important.
“The greatest thing about these two camps is the differences, because each camp is culturally-driven and culturally-based on integrating students into the particular culture of each school and campus,” said Singh. “The camps essentially give students the opportunity to interact and develop a good network of social support before they even arrive to campus. I think that is the most valuable experience of those camps.”
In his role as director of the Byrne Student Success Center, Singh still uses some of the principles he learned early on in his professional and academic career at University of Arkansas.
Singh is responsible for making sure students have access to the proper resources and tools to build a secure support network to achieve academic success.
“My personal goal while working here at the Byrne Center is to create self-directed learners and get students to be invested in their learning process. I want them to have some sense of ownership for the results they see while working toward success,” said Singh.
Singh said he is grateful for the opportunity to learn and work at Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas and for the life and professional experiences afforded by both.
Established in 2007, the Byrne Student Success Center enhances and promotes academic success through counseling, academic and student life services, computer lab, free tutoring for math and science classes, and career development and study skills workshops. Learn more about the center at http://education.tamu.edu/byrne-student-success-center.
Media contact: Kathy Koza, Director of Communications & PR, College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University; firstname.lastname@example.org, 979-845-7917