Q&A: Shaping the Student Experience

Adam Hartstone-Rose

Adam Hartstone-Rose joined the college as associate dean for academic affairs in October 2017. Junior Claudia Mesa sat down with him recently to learn more about him and his vision for the student experience in the college.

Tell me a little bit about your background and how you came to NC State.
I first came to the Research Triangle for my undergraduate degree at Duke University, and I stayed at Duke for my Ph.D., spending nine great years in Durham. As an undergrad, I took an ethnomusicology class that was taught by a professor at NC State and also attended many women’s basketball games during the Kay Yow era, so I’ve always had a really great relationship with NC State. About six months ago I saw this amazing job opportunity here. I’ve always thought in the back of my mind that I would like to be an administrator to expand the kind of opportunities that I have created in my own research lab to more students.

What is the mission of the Office of Academic Affairs?
It’s all about student success. This means taking students in from freshman year to graduation and really giving them a rich academic experience. It means giving them the life skills they need to do a great job and all the aspects of development of academic programs and approving new courses. There’s a lot of fostering the direction that we’re trying to go to create all these new experiences. That’s the part of the job I’m the most excited about.

How will your past experience, including your research activities, affect your role in the College of Sciences?
I study comparative anatomy, and I run my lab with 12-15 students each semester. I’ve found it really exciting to give amazing research opportunities to students. My students have published papers in all sorts of leading journals. I’ve taken students to collect data all over the world including museums in the United States and collections in South Africa, Spain, Paris and Madagascar. I’ve loved creating these experiences for students, and I want to do this here on a broader scale by getting students out of the classroom and into the places where leading science is done. There are all these amazing institutions in RTP that are eager to work with NC State students. I want to establish pipelines to these and work with faculty to create the richest academic experiences possible for our students.

What are your first goals as the new associate dean for academic affairs?
I will be looking at our first-year programs, including the Life Sciences First Year Program, COS 100 and the Environmental First Year Program, as well as how we integrate transfer students. My first goal is to understand how are students coming through here and to make sure that as soon as students hit the ground they have the support structure and academic trajectory to set them in the right direction. Long term, I want to work more on opportunities for sophomores, juniors and seniors. I think everyone in the college should have research opportunities.

What should the student experience be? And how will you help create that experience?
There are two things we need to pay attention to when we’re helping students think about their time in college. The first is that we have to make sure that by the time they graduate they have enough life skills and work skills to get a job. At the same time, these four or five years are going to be some of the most exciting times of their lives. We want them to be exploring amazing things and trying things that aren’t necessarily going to have anything to do with what they envision for themselves afterward. It’s important that each student grow as a person.

How should students get in touch with you?
Well, we have a great office. We have snacks and couches, so they should come by and hang out. Many students use our space for studying. If students want to reach me directly, they can email me at AdamHRose@ncsu.edu. I’m always excited to meet with students! Stop by and say hi!

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