Spotlight: Area coordinator has spent career
|(Photo by Austin Thomason, U-M Photo Services)|
Fete first became involved in housing when she was a resident adviser at Ohio University, and her interest in helping students adjust to college life led her to complete a master's degree in college student personnel. Even as an undergraduate, Fete had a passion for residence education.
"When I was an R.A. in college, my dad said that I seemed to like my job more than school work," Fete says.
After a two-year stint in housing at Bowling Green University, Fete began at U-M as director of Betsy Barbour, Helen Newberry, Oxford, and Fletcher residence halls before becoming the area coordinator of North Campus. She quickly found she enjoyed working at U-M because her philosophy of residence education is compatible with that of University Housing.
"I love the values and the greater emphasis on social justice," Fete says.
Fete also has developed her individual interests within and outside of Housing. "The department allows you to branch out and pursue your passions so you can get involved in different committees," Fete says.
Such autonomy has allowed Fete to work in one of her greatest areas of interest: assisting veterans and their families with the process of adjustment after they return from active duty and transition to life at the university.
"Veterans are one of our greatest resources, but they also have a special set of needs and concerns that deserve attention, she says.
Fete's determination to assist veterans largely is a result of her 19-year-old cousin, Marine Pvt. Heath Warner, who died as the result of an explosion in Iraq in 2006. Each year on Memorial Day, Fete helps to get the word out and takes part in a 5K run in Canton, Ohio, in Warner's honor, but she also has focused her attention on veterans affairs at U-M.
"I had always dreamed that I could help him transition to the college experience, but now I can help others who will be dealing with the same set of issues," Fete says.
Fete currently works as a housing liaison with the Council on Student Veterans. "When I read that they were expanding resources for veterans on campus, I offered to help however I could," she says.
Fete and others on the council work to assess the needs of student veterans and implement programs to help ease their transition to college life. "U-M Veteran Connections office wants to continue growing so they are working with the outside community too: alums, faculty, and staff," she says.
Fete understands the difficulties that veterans and their families face, and she is confident that new university programs are addressing these needs. "We have made a lot of progress in recognizing that veterans are unique, and we owe it to them to do something extra to help out," Fete says.
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