JWU Family e-Newsletter
September 2016
The Office of Parent & Family Relations serves as a liaison to the parents and families of incoming and current students through on-going communication and programs. This monthly e-Newsletter helps you stay connected to your student as you journey with them through their JWU experience.
Dear Wildcat Parents & Families, 

On behalf of Johnson & Wales University, Parent & Family Relations would like to welcome you, your family and your student back to campus. The fall term is in full swing and our Wildcats are already busy with assignments, internships and extracurricular activities. Can you believe in just a few short weeks they will begin registering courses for the winter term? The phrase, “time flies…” now has a whole new meaning.  

First-year family member, this is an exciting time for your student. Your Wildcat is meeting new friends, acclimating to their new home away from home, exploring the great city of Providence and learning to develop independence. These new experiences and changes can also lead to a myriad of emotions, all of which are normal, for both you and your student, however. During these next few months be sure to listen and support your student as needed. Even if they don’t say it, they appreciate your help.

The role of a family member of a returning student looks a little different. This year is less about the excitement of new experiences for your student and more about setting goals for the future. This can be overwhelming for your student due to increased academic pressures as they begin taking even more classes in their field of study. Throughout this time your support and understanding is key.

Regardless of your student’s class year, your role in your student’s life is important. We look forward to partnering with you to ensure that your student reaches success.

My best, 

Krystal L. Ristaino
Associate Director, Parent & Family Relations
Campus Catch-Up
On Sept. 1, the John J. Bowen Center for Science and Innovation officially opened. University leadership was joined by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza as a robotic arm, created be students in JWU's robotic engineering and technology program, cut a double helix patterned ribbon to commemorate the official opening. 
JWU's campus came alive during move-in weekend. 
Here are photos capturing those special moments:

Hundreds of new Wildcats participated in service projects as part of the First-Year Kickoff on Sunday, September 4. Wildcats Care service projects, facilitated by student, faculty, and staff volunteers, included: repurposing donated t-shirts to make braided dog toys for the Providence Animal Rescue League; making no-sew fleece blankets for Project Linus, which will be given to children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and local shelters; gardening and planting at Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy Park and General Street Park in collaboration with Partnerships for Providence Parks; a street clean-up in nearby Cranston with Centennial House members; making cards for local children and youth in foster care, in collaboration with Light the Candle (established by a JWU student); and compassion projects facilitated by JWU Providence Counseling Services staff. It was an eventful day that allowed students to connect, learn about service opportunities at JWU, and meet like-minded students from different majors!


Does your Wildcat enjoy volunteering/serving in the community? Encourage them to bookmark the Community Engagement Newsletter and attend the Community Engagement Fair on Monday, September 19 in Pepsi Forum from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. to learn about upcoming and on-going events, programs, and opportunities!

Supporting Your Wildcat
Come back to campus Oct. 21-23 for a memorable weekend filled with festive events the whole family can enjoy. Whether this is your student's first or final Family Weekend before graduating, there is something for everyone. Do not miss out on trivia, dueling pianos, hypnotist, wine tasting, Bingo, corn mazes and much more.  

For more details, including registration, visit the Wildcat Family Weekend website HERE.  

JWU Abroad is holding its Fall Study Abroad Fair on Oct. 5 between 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in Pepsi Forum on the Downcity Campus. The Fair is open to all students of any major. Each program has a minimum GPA requirement, which ranges from 2.5-3.0. JWU offers many different programs for students to attend. Be sure they know their options before finalizing their plans.

For more information on study abroad and JWU programs, students and families can visit our website HERE or call us at 401-598-1406.  


We are excited to work with your students as they progress towards graduation. Each student is assigned an Academic Counselor according to their major and last name. What do Academic Counselors do? Academic Counselors are able to provide guidance on course selection, graduation requirements, major selection and testing for academic credit. We also work with students who may find themselves not within good academic standing or satisfactory academic progress. See academic standards HERE.

Although not mandatory, we encourage all students to meet with their Academic Counselor as needed through scheduled appointments or on a walk-in basis. To schedule an appointment with an Academic Counselor, please have your student view their personalized Success Network under the uSucceed tab on jwuLink. They can also make an appointment by calling 401-598-1088. 


Our Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) team works hard to ensure commuter and off-campus students have multiple opportunities to get involved and stay connected on campus. Whether it is hosting exclusive special events, inviting them to campus activities or periodically checking in, we are dedicated to making commuters feel at home at JWU.


Our Pack Leaders and Den Managers are talented upperclassman who work with new commuting students, guiding them through their first year at JWU answering questions, hosting events and much more. Encourage your student to stop by to meet Rakesh, Keyra, Spencer, Rina, Austin and Anybelka as they are excellent sources of information for your Wildcat.


As the academic year unfolds, OCSS and Pack Leaders will host a variety of programs for commuter and off-campus students including movie showings, game tournaments, and other fun events. Off-campus and commuter students can join OCSS on the Involvement Network on jwuLink. Look for pack members to make a stronger presence at events with Commuting Wildcat teams for the Family Weekend Parade, the Res Life Rumble, and Battle of the Campus.


The Den is open Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. during academic weeks. Commuter students will need their active JWU student ID to access the space.

Now that the dust has settled and the move-in boxes have been recycled, Residential Life is looking forward to a great start to a new academic year. We want our students to take advantage of their resources and opportunities while living in the halls. Remind them that our annual Res Life Rumble (a dodge ball tournament between residence halls, commuters and staff) is on Sept. 30. Additionally, Hall Council elections and desk assistant availabilities are right around the corner. Encourage your student to find out more about these opportunities and others from their resident assistant.  
Did you know that JWU offers many different support resources for your student? One we are especially proud of, Wildcat Watch, is a program that promotes student, faculty and staff success and campus safety by identifying individuals who demonstrate behaviors that may be early warning signs of a larger concern. If someone is concerned about another JWU community member, they can make a report to our Associate Dean of Students who will then follow up with the person of concern. Here at JWU, we care about the safety and well-being of our community and we believe it is everyone's responsibility to take care of each other. For more information, please visit our site  HERE .

Experiential Education & Career Services begins the new year welcoming first year students to campus with a Career Carnival (Sept. 8) and Part-time Job Fair (Sept.15). These two events are geared toward students’ success in understanding the landscape of career events. Our services including internship, resume critique, career planning, and the opportunity to search for local part-time jobs. Career Carnival will take place at the Wildcat Center, and Part-Time Job Fair at Pepsi Forum, both from 1-3 p.m. While our other career events require professional dress, these two events will not, allowing our first-year students the opportunity to get comfortable in a career event environment. Our staff will be on hand to support and introduce students to what we are all about and why we are important to their success at JWU beginning from their first term on-campus.

JWU Parent & Family Community
Each month we will provide suggested talking points to help you navigate timely conversations with your Wildcat. You know your student best, so use this guide as you see fit. Good luck!

How are classes going? 
Coming off of summer break and into a rigorous college schedule can and will be a transition for all students.  Our Wildcats are beginning week two of class and will, in most cases, already have projects, homework and quizzes assigned. They are excited about their new classes and schedule but can quickly feel overwhelmed about the amount of time needed to make it a successful term. Be sure to check-in with your student about prioritization, procrastination and time management. Remind them to visit the Center for Academic Support and professors for guidance. 

What is it like living away from home? 
Students often come to college with many different expectations, specifically about what it is like to live in a residence hall. It is possible that some of our students never shared a room or a bathroom before coming to JWU. Now that your student is here, encourage them to reevaluate their expectations. Are they realistic? Should the roommate agreement be renegotiated? When is the right time to confront their roommate(s)? If your student is feeling challenged living in their community, remind them to reach out to their resident assistant (RA) for guidance. 

Would you like us to visit for Wildcat Parent & Family Weekend? 
This is a popular weekend among families and students. Discuss with your student the date and events going on to establish when you and your family should visit. This is a great opportunity to reunite and experience a memorable weekend together. 

When members of the Parent & Family Advisory Board (PFAB) were asked what advice they would share with "rookie" JWU families, two themes emerged:

Have a plan. 
  • Communicating with your student is important (know their schedule before you call or text).
  • Navigating roommate issues (your student might benefit from thinking about approaches before conflict occurs).
  • Knowing resources (medical needs, transportation, traveling home, Student Handbook, etc.)

Listen rather than react.

  • Ride the roller coaster of emotions that your student will experience during the first weeks.
  • Don't worry - even the pickiest of eaters wont' starve.
  • There is always something happening on-campus. Encourage them to try new things even if they seem scary. 
And of course, enjoy this exciting new time. 

If so, please contact the Parent & Family Advisory Board be emailing family.pvd@jwu.edu.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Mark Your Calendars

Be sure to encourage your Wildcat to engage in some of these academic and social opportunities. To see more information on any of the dates listed below, please visit our events page HERE

Sept.15  Part-time job fair

Sept. 19  Community Engagement Fair

Sept. 21 Good Life Expo

Sept. 22 Retail and Business Career Fair

Sept. 23  Course Registration begins

Oct. 4  Accounting & Finance Career Fair

Oct. 5  Study Abroad Fair

Oct.10  Columbus Day (No Class)

Oct. 20  Food Service & Hospitality Career Fair

Oct. 20  SEEM Internship & Career Fair

Oct. 21-23  Wildcat Family Weekend

Visit www.jwu.edu/academiccalendar for the official University calendar. 

Providence offers a variety of exciting events that your student can enjoy during their downtime. Encourage them to take advantage of living in this great city.

Water Fire - FREE
A fun-filled evening watching Providence rivers light up the city. Find more information HERE.

Movies on the Block - FREE
Students should bring their folding chairs to Grant’s Block (on the corner of Westminster and Union), pack a picnic, and get ready to quote their favorite lines from classics like Office Space, Goodfellas, and St. Elmo’s Fire. Find more information HERE.
Health & Wellness

Be sure to read this month's Student Health 101 for families HERE. Since your student receives their own version of this, we encourage you to have open discussions about these monthly topics. 

The Good Life Expo invites the JWU community to come together and learn about on- and off-campus resources related to all aspects of health and well-being. Students often leave the event with overflowing bags of healthy goodies, from fruits and vegetables to water bottles and shirts. Encourage your student to attend.
We Want To Hear From You!
  QUESTIONS, COMMENTS or CONCERNS? Have topics you would like to see in future issues? Please contact the Office of Parent & Family Relations at 401-598-2895 or by email at family.pvd@jwu.edu