Staff Name: Adena Hamlin
Position: Manager of Student Success
Alma Mater: California State University, Long Beach (B.A. Liberal Studies ‘03)
Office Location: Swenson Hall, Dean’s Suite N120
At the Fowler School of Engineering, students can succeed in a variety of ways beyond the classroom. Some students conduct research with faculty members, studying complex and interesting topics within engineering. At the same time, other students pursue internships and part-time positions in order to prepare themselves for a career after graduation. In any case, students are encouraged to explore their interests and respective pathways towards success. One of those people who continues to encourage and support students in their pursuit of success is Adena Hamlin.
Hamlin is the current Manager of Student Success. Previously, Hamlin worked with former Dean Andrew Lyon at the Schmid College of Science and Technology. She later joined the Fowler community as an Academic Operations Specialist. Now, Hamlin helps students by working with them to find the help they need, whether that’s financial aid, registration, academic advising, or even career-related matters. Hamlin was kind enough to share her experiences with various demographics of Fowler students, from the start of Swenson’s construction to the most recent graduating cohort.
Q&A with Adena Hamlin
What led you to working for the Fowler School of Engineering?
Hamlin: “I had the privilege of joining the Fowler School of Engineering through a unique and exciting journey. Initially, I was the Assistant to the Dean of Schmid College, who was Dean Lyon at the time. I worked closely with him until he was appointed the Founding Dean of the Fowler School of Engineering three months later. Then, I came across a new position within the School of Engineering as an Academic Operations Specialist. Having four years of experience in Academic Advising and nearly a year of valuable exposure on the College side, I saw this as an exceptional opportunity to leverage my skills and expertise. I decided to apply, confident that my background and passion for supporting students would make me a perfect fit for the role. Fortunately, my capabilities were recognized, and I was chosen for the position, officially starting my journey with the School of Engineering in June of 2019. Being part of an innovative institution has been nothing short of extraordinary. Witnessing the growth and development of a brand-new School has been an enriching experience. Due to my dedication and commitment to student success, I was recently promoted to the role of Manager of Student Success. In this capacity, I get to do what I am most passionate about: providing unwavering support to our students and helping them thrive in their academic pursuits. It has been immensely rewarding to contribute to the shaping of the future generation of engineers and researchers within Fowler School of Engineering.”
What are some of your responsibilities as a Manager for Student Success? What do students typically come to you for?
Hamlin: “Some of my responsibilities are to serve as the primary liaison for the different student resources , like the Office of Admissions, Registrar’s Office, Student Affairs, Academic Advising, and other departments that are critical to student success. I also provide support and meet with prospective, new, and continuing students to answer questions they may have about Fowler School of Engineering. I oversee the School’s student-focused events, such as Orientation, Discover Chapman, Preview Day, and Commencement. I have the opportunity to engage with student’s life cycles.
Students come to see me for a variety of reasons. Some students come to me with questions about academic plans and requirements. I can generally help them, but if they came and asked ‘what’s the difference between CPSC 230 and 231? Why should I take one or the other?’ That’s when I would direct them to their major advisors, Dr. Linstead and Dr. Stevens. They also come to me with questions about scholarships, financial aid, and personal issues. I love when they stop me in the hall just to share their accomplishments! They share the good and the bad, and I’m there for them.”
What’s your favorite part of working at the Fowler School of Engineering?
Hamlin: “I love our students. They blow me away with how creative and intelligent they are in their own unique way. I also really enjoy working alongside our brilliant staff and faculty, they are a wealth of knowledge. I would say overall, it’s the culture within Engineering that makes me smile. We all work together as a team, we all have the same end goal in mind, and that’s for our students to succeed.”
What was a memorable experience you’ve had in this position?
Hamlin: “During the COVID pandemic, our staff at Fowler School of Engineering faced a challenging situation with a team of only three members. Despite the limitations, we were determined to ensure that our engineering students continued to receive a hands-on learning experience. To achieve this, we had to ship all the necessary equipment, including Arduino Kits, 3D printers, Filament, Circuit Boards, Raspberry Pi’s, and more, directly to the students’ homes. It required extensive effort and dedication, with us being on campus almost every day, to make this remote learning experience possible.
Another unforgettable experience was during Discover Chapman Day in 2019. Prospective students were given the opportunity to visit the still-under-construction hall of engineering. While the space was far from completion, we showcased the vision for the future space. During their visit, we had these prospective students sign the wall behind what is now the Tech Shop as a symbolic gesture of their potential future with us. One of the students who participated in this event was Sarah Fieck. Now, it is heartwarming to see that she has come a long way and is entering her senior year with us. Having witnessed her journey from a prospective student to becoming an integral part of our engineering community is a gratifying experience.”
If you could choose one person to do your job for a day, who would it be?
Hamlin: “Miyuki Weldon, our Makerspace Manager. We both interact with students, but in very different capacities. I would like to see her engaging with students and leading a university wide academic event, while I try out her position. I would probably hurt myself somehow, but I think it would be a great opportunity and at the same time pretty hilarious!”
How can students truly succeed in Fowler? What do you recommend students should do?
Hamlin: “To truly succeed in Fowler, there’s a couple of essential things you’d need to do. It goes beyond completing your assignments and attending classes. It’s super valuable to engage and connect, and get involved with organizations and student clubs. My number one tip is to seek academic guidance. At least once a semester, go see your advisor, both for your major and overall degree requirements to make sure you are on track to graduate. Utilize your on campus resources. Establish relationships with professors. They have so much to offer: research collaborations, recommendation letters, and mentorship. Many of our professors come from industry backgrounds and can guide you to what you might expect in the real world.”
Students interested in meeting with Hamlin can email her at email@example.com. Read more about Hamlin’s introduction to the Fowler School of Engineering as their Manager of Student Success on our blog.