Welcome to a New Semester!

jcu staff, Deanna Mayer, jcu housingGreetings! My name is Deanna Mayer, and I am the Dean of Students and Coordinator of Housing and Residential Life at John Cabot University. I have been in the “dean”-ing business for over a decade and in the education business for 25 years. I am also a parent of four—two of whom are current students at JCU.

My office, the Office of Student Health, Wellbeing and Conduct, is located in the Gianicolo Residence building. For many students, it’s just a quick walk downstairs from their apartment to will find me. My office is located in the same building as the fitness center and the housing offices.

JCU is a great place. The health and wellness resources available to our students are amazing! My staff and I are here to help your sons and daughters take advantage of everything we offer. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding a doctor, setting up a meeting with one of our fabulous counselors, or navigating the insurance system. Other times, a student may just need a listening ear. I have had many students tell me they just needed a “grown-up” to listen as they shared that they felt a bit lonely or that classes are more challenging than they expected. Whatever the case, I love what I do, and I love that I get to be that person who helps and listens. I consider it an honor and a privilege to meet students at what can be an important crossroad of growth as they sort out how to overcome a personal challenge.

This college thing can be hard. Add in the fact that you’re doing it in a culture different to your own, and it is that much more challenging. For some people meeting new friends, exploring a new place, even learning a new language is nothing but excitement. For others, it isn’t easy at all. There is no right or wrong way. I think the two most important things are for students to be honest with themselves, and to be willing to ask for help.

And that’s why we are here! I always tell students not to wait to reach out. I can see them visibly relax when I say that they aren’t the only ones feeling nervous or finding it hard to meet new people. Don’t believe all those smiling, happy faces on Facebook and Instagram. Sure, that’s a part of the story, but nearly everyone hits a rough patch at some point.

Parents, as difficult as it can be: if you receive an unhappy phone call from your child, refrain from giving too much advice. Often your child just needs you to listen. If that’s not enough, encourage your student to seek us out. They can drop by the office or send an email to [email protected]

This spring, my office will be hosting some small groups where students can come by and talk about how they are adjusting to life here in the Eternal City. These groups will be a way for students to connect and support each other in making the most of the time they have in this beautiful city.

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