Get to Know: The Office of Parent Relations
A conversation with Julie Bialkowski, Director of Parent Relations, about this new office.
What is the purpose of the Parent Relations Ofﬁce?
“One of the first words that anyone says when talking about The University of Scranton is ‘community.’ We have always believed that parents are part of our community and integral partners in the success of their daughters and sons at Scranton. The Office of Parent Relations serves as a gateway between parents and the University. We answer questions, provide information, celebrate success, and coordinate programs, events and activities to engage and serve parents in positive and supportive ways.
Why are parents such an important part of the University community?
“The support parents give their students is a big factor in their success. So for that reason alone, there’s a connection between the University, student and parent. We know by educating our parents of the opportunities available to the students of Scranton and including them in our University family that we’re strengthening our community as a whole.”
Where did the idea for the office originate?
“It was really something that came from our Board of Trustees. They realize the important role parents play in the success of their student. They looked at the resources we had in our parents and saw what kind of an impact they could make in terms of support and volunteerism. We know we have an amazing parent population out there, and we wanted to get to know them better and learn how they could contribute to life at the University.”
What makes your team most excited about this department?
“Corey, Peggy and I have all worked in one way or another with students. Getting to know our parents through the work of the Office is an exciting opportunity. We also realize that our work can benefit parents, students and the University as a whole. We look forward to assisting parents at those important moments on campus – orientation, move-in day, Family Weekend or Commencement – and also through the transitions that are natural to having a child in college. It is a special privilege to be a resource that will help them keep and strengthen the bond with their children.”
What can parents look forward to from your ofﬁce?
“We’re looking for some creative ways to bring information to parents through our website and Royal News. For example, we’ll have articles highlighting different events and programs on campus that they may be hearing about from their students. We are also going to make sure when families come to campus that we provide a welcoming presence for them so that they feel at home.
Our office will be in charge of Family Weekend, which is a big event on our campus and community. Family Weekend is a long-standing and successful tradition at The University of Scranton, but we have some new ideas and plans in the works that give it a boost.
Are you open to feedback?
“Absolutely. If there’s something they’d like to see on our website or something they’d like us to communicate about more – please let us know. We need parents to call not just with questions and concerns but with feedback. With their input, we can make sure we’re providing the information and services they want and need.”
What should parents do if they have a question or need help?
“Parents can call our office (570-941-4222) or reach us by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions they may have. They can also check our website –www.scranton.edu/parents – for updates and articles about what’s going on at Scranton.”