Volume 81 | Issue 4
July 2013

Profile: William Takewell, University of Southern Mississippi

TakewellWhat is your primary responsibility?

My primary responsibility is to coordinate all social media efforts for our office while also serving as a liaison between all of our student organizations (more than 230) and the university’s administration and staff.

What would your staff, colleagues, or students say about you?

I would hope that my student staff would say I am a caring and engaging supervisor. I try to keep it fresh and as relevant as possible for my five student desk assistants in training as well as in the job. Hopefully, my colleagues find me to be innovative. I’m in a completely new position in our department. It is challenging but provides an amazing opportunity to create something new and to set new standards for our groups as well as for what our office sends out to our groups.

What’s one innovation or project of which you’re proud to have helped implement?

One project I am excited about has been our campaign for student involvement on campus. I started this initiative with our involvement fair—now known as Involve Me! This fair gives student groups the opportunity to interact with potential members. The other will be Student Involvement Roadshows, during which our student staff will be responsible for going to different areas on campus weekly to distribute information on how to get involved and all of our student organizations. We are attempting to bring student activities to all of our students instead of expecting them to come to us.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working in the profession?

The biggest lesson I have learned while working in the profession is to be true to what is important to you as a professional and to understand your limits. I am in an interesting position because while I am a professional staff member at our university, I am also enrolled in our student affairs program.

What is one phrase to live by or bit of advice you might have for future generations of union professionals?

For union professionals specifically, engage your students and be willing to interact with them as much as possible. We are more than a building for students to be in. We need to remember that we have an obligation to be there when we are needed, and not just for room setups.