By HALEY DICK
Gull Life Editor
Featured image: Courtesy of Conquering Life.
After nine years of employment at Salisbury University, Coordinator of Student Life Sara Lowery will step down to continue employment at the University of Delaware as the assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, according to her Instagram account.
“And so my ride at Salisbury University has officially ended,” Lowery posted on her Instagram account. “I have had my last hug with Sammy and I will welcome a new bird in my life…a BLUE HEN…I will start my new ride at…University of Delaware.”
Lowery said she has a passion for motivational speaking, and has played a big role in overseeing and interacting with the various Greek life organizations on campus throughout her years as a seagull. She was also in charge of recruiting and training orientation leaders.
“Congratulations!” alumna Ashley Hardy commented. “I couldn’t imagine having such an amazing Greek life experience without you!”
Lowery was pursuing her undergraduate degree at SU and working in the Student Activities office when she was sought out by current vice president of student affairs at the time, Ellen J. Neufeldt, to consider applying for the vacant spot she currently holds. The position would come to be a new experience for Lowery, whose main involvement up to that point was with housing and residence life.
“She asked me to think about it and I thought about it,” Lowery said. “I loved the school and I had such a great experience as a student, so I said ‘yeah, let’s do it.’”
Lowery began the position working primarily with recognized student organizations, the campus radio station and the student newspaper. She now oversees fraternity and sorority life, as well as runs the new student orientations throughout the summer and fall.
Lowery’s primary focus at the University of Delaware will be on monitoring and interacting with the numerous Greek organizations on campus, the difference being UD’s Greek life size, which is more than double that of Salisbury.
“I think for them, they are in the process of wanting to change their culture and how men and women see fraternity and sorority life. Where I think we have kind of done that here already,” Lowery said. “When I first came in 2009 to when I look at it now, there is a massive difference. People value their organizations a little bit more than they did back then.”
Lowery will be faced with overcoming the obstacle of having to build strong relationships with the plentiful organizations at UD in a way that came rather easy to her here.
“I was able to touch and had touch points with each one of our organizations,” Lowery said. “I think for me I am going to have to be patient with myself to learn how to make those touch points [at UD] because it is my goal that every organization know who I am, I have a relationship with every organization and that every organization feels comfortable to be able to come into that office.”
Lowery will miss the environment surrounding SU, as well as the students and colleagues she has built relationships with over her nine years as a staff member.
“Salisbury has a way that it wraps the staff, and wraps the students and wraps the faculty in a way that you know you’re family, and you know you are home when you’re here,” Lowery said.
However, Lowery sees the positivity in new adventures, and looks forward to transitioning to the University of Delaware to continue to do what she loves as a career. She will also continue her public speaking endeavors as time permits.
“New is always fun for me,” Lowery said. “I am addicted to solving problems so I am excited to get in there and see what some of their areas of concern are and being able to create opportunities for fixing those areas.”
The search for the new coordinator of student life will be carried out like all other positions with posting the opening in the higher education world. Director of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership Tricia Garvey Smith will then gather a group of faculty, staff and students to create a search committee that will be responsible for reviewing the applications.
Potential candidates will be brought to campus to give a presentation and answer any questions the campus community may have. Interested students will be allowed to attend the presentations to get a feel for the individual who might fill the position.
“You saw me cry and shed tears because I’m going to miss this place, and this place has definitely been a wonderful platform for me,” Lowery said. “It has meant a lot to me and it is a really hard for me to leave, but in order to grow you have to take that next step forward.”