10 S AC S TAT E M AGA Z I N E | Fa l l 2 015
SSM: What effect does that have on you
RN: I think it's very personal for me,
getting to hear the stories of the
students, being available to them
so they can talk to me. Using Twitter
to reach out to them so that they
have a feeling of accessibility and that
somebody cares, as Jody says.
Universities can be very large and they can
be very intimidating. But if we reach out to
students it can change their lives, whether
it's a student assistant who you have working
in your office or a student you meet in the
coffeehouse. Every student we meet, we
ask 'What are you studying?' 'When are you
going to graduate?' And (laughing) it better
SSM: How did you arrive at that
RN: It's the students who really matter.
Teaching is a wonderful opportunity.
Talk about transforming lives. Faculty are
transforming lives every day. You get to
know the students' stories and you get to
know them. It becomes very personal. I miss
teaching, but I can do more as a president
than I can as a faculty member. At least I
think I can.
SSM: Jody, you also spent some time in
JN: The University of Texas-Pan
American business college asked me if I
would teach a practicum course to get
students working with local businesses
and nonprofits. That's when I found that
students really energize me. Whether it's
that kind of formal interaction as a faculty
member or being with them at an event or
just talking with them. It's what makes life on
a University campus enjoyable.
SSM: At Sac State, many of our students
are first in their family to attend college.
How do you convince those students'
families that a university education is
RN: We've all heard that statistic about
earning a million dollars more over a lifetime,
but I don't think that's really what a college
FIRST DAY FLURRY—New Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen and Jody Nelsen's first day on campus was a whirlwind of activity that included: (1) a greeting
from Herky, (2) a stop at New Student Orientation, (3) a visit with student leadership and finally, (4) a welcome reception at the Harper Alumni Center.