Written by Mateo J. Biggs
Q: How did you feel about the inauguration itself?
President Frank Shushok: “It’s always one of those things to think about. The inauguration isn’t about me as an individual but the community and the college as a whole. It represents the seasons of the college’s life. The thing I appreciate most was reading about the history of the college and what it has been through over the years; the changes and the transformations. Where its been, where it could go, and how we are all a part of a story that has been going on for 180 years and will continue on”
Q: What changes will you be proactive about with Roanoke?
President Shushok: “this will go back to what I said, what i learned with the history. 5 years after its founding it moved to Salem and part of the goal was to allow affordable tuition and allow expansion to the community. I think the college’s goal is to be more affordable to expand on the student’s coming in on campus. One of my goals is to grow the resources our students can have. To make education more affordable and to expand upon the students able to come join us. The third most equal is to make a great impact on the community– to do that you have to listen to what the community needs and to give it. For me that is expanding the programs we are able to give out and how we can serve adult students who want to experience Roanoke college but can’t fit it in their current lives. All-in-all we are thinking ‘how can we serve more people, how can we make a bigger impact’”
Q: So is community a large part of what you find important?
President Shushok: “Oh for sure. I think, fundamentally, that everything we are about is for how we serve the community, how we define our communities. We start with the local community and then the state community, but for many of us our community expands to international. Part of the education we provide is with real issues, real problems, and real opportunities even right here in the roanoke valley. We have a deep desire to serve the diversity of humanity. Being a community that serves the diverse needs of people in all compelling ways”
Q: Is there anything you wish for students to know?
President Shushok: “Yes, I want students to know that every decision I make and every choice that we consider is designed to serve the students that are here today and the students who will be coming more than anything. We want the school to be ready because we have so much hope in our students and their ability to guide us to a better future.”