Episode 11: RUSM and Student Support Services


In this episode, we focus on Student Support Services - a team dedicated to your success. They oversee academic advising, mentoring, wellness and counseling, student finance, student organizations, and many other aspects of campus life.

Episode 11 - RUSM and Student Support Services Transcript

Milena Garcia: Welcome back everybody. Thanks for joining me again. This week we will be focusing on student support services. My guest is Dr. Brian Hayes, Associate Dean of medical sciences and student affairs. Dr. Hayes, welcome. Thank you for joining us. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Bryan Hayse: Yeah, happy to be here. Thank you. So a little bit about me. I'm was born and raised in Kentucky, Western Kentucky, where I went and did my grad and undergrad and then quickly then kind of traveled around the South. Lived in Louisiana for a few years, where I met my wife of now 15 years. We moved to Nashville, so live there for a little bit and in Georgia, where our son was born, many, many more years ago that I would like to admit at this point. That's been kind of my journey before coming to Ross.

Milena Garcia: And Dr. Hayes manages several areas at RUSM, including academic advising, student-faculty mentoring, student professionalism and integrity, wellness, and counseling, campus life, new and continuing student orientation.

Bryan Hayse: Yeah, and our team. I do that, our team helps connect students with offices and services across the university, you know, that could be other student support services. I'm transitioning them  from the island to IMF, or internal medicine foundations and then their clinical clerkships and helping them connect with us and finance immigration. Really our goal is to be that one stop shop. So if you're not sure who to go to or what the answer is, We can either answer it for you or get you there in one quick step.

Milena Garcia: As a doctor. He also partners with Faculty Fellow administrators, and has established several student centered initiatives focused on enhancing overall academic and personal development by empowering the students to achieve their goals. I think my first question to you, sir. When do you sleep?

Bryan Hayse: Listen, we've got a great team here that I'll tell you what that loved students loves working with students. You know, supporting them in the great times that's always the highlight and seeing the success and supporting them. And a lot of times and things aren't going as well for them. Personally, professionally, whatever that is, and helping them get through that, which also has its own bit of reward. And so by no means you have ourselves. I think many of the people that you've talked to talked before they've seen some of that great team, but just a great team of people here that are here to support the students through everything.

The Path to RUSM Student Affairs

Milena Garcia: At what was your path to student affairs?

Bryan Hayse: Like anybody who's in student affairs, I kind of happened upon it, you know. And I was, I knew I wanted to go to grad school after undergrad. I wanted to get that graduate degree and to pay for it, I worked in housing to pay for that as many do and end up liking it a whole lot and kind of veered my career path at that point because you got to interact with students on a daily basis, as well as, you know, do things that impacted them positively. And so between working there and then eventually I moved over to administration working in conduct, orientation, transition services, academic success. transition programming, as far as I can to make transitions in the school and through the semesters. Where health, health and wellness, fitness, etc. And so all of that kind of prepared me before coming into Ross and then of course with Ross, moving into medical education as the primary focus here.

Milena Garcia: And why did you choose Ross?

Bryan Hayse: For me it was twofold. One, from a professional standpoint, like I said, moving into medical education was a huge plus I really enjoyed what I've done before working with undergraduate students. But we're hitting professional students as I'd done somewhat before, but this was doing it in a much more broad way. And so being able to do that and work with students kind of to achieve that dream of becoming a physician. Once you once you get to that point it was exciting to me and still is. The other piece was, like I said, at that point, my son was six years old. And so, my wife and I came across, interviewed, at that time in Dominica, but in the Caribbean and the idea of bringing our six year old to new country to work, to live that life, to see a whole different culture. Which is really unique and interesting. I know I grew up and lived in the same town my entire life growing up, my wife, and then the same. So the idea  to export him out of the US was really, really fantastic.

Milena Garcia: What a great childhood he must be having

Bryan Hayse: He is, absolutely. He's living all of our best life right now. He’s playing and everything else, but he gets to play in the sand, go to the beach every weekend, he doesn't understand it now, but one day you will look back 

Milena Garcia: It's all the shame, I do. Right. I don't know who quoted this and I have to look this up but youth is wasted on the young, right?

Bryan Hayse: Yes, yeah.

Milena Garcia: Dr. Hayes. What kind of academic support do we offer our current students?

Bryan Hayse: Yeah, you know, this is one of the things that I think for me that I'm the most proud of here at Ross is the amount of support that we give our students. And we will talk about this when you come to orientation or improvement circulation and you come in, but you know it really is on you to take advantage of things. I'll start talking about our faculty mentoring program and so near and dear and we started talking about five years ago. And this is one where you come in, you meet with the faculty mentor even before school starts. You start that group and you're with that document or throughout the medical sciences. So for the first two years.

And when you meet with them and talk through a lot of your academic Pieces and know how to respond if you have questions, if they aren't the expert, they'll get you either a teaching faculty member who is the expert in that specific area, or help you work through that. The beauty of our teaching faculty, and their main role is to teach, which means they have a lot more time to spend with you working, working through the curriculum, working through on the areas that you're finding a little bit more difficult or, you know, they may send you over to the Academy for teaching and learning. And those are learning our faculty who are learning specialist, that's what they  went to school for and that's the professionalism professional Journey they've chosen is to help, help students and then academic journey from study skills, test taking on too many things like that to help help students navigate and understand material, but how to ingest that much material and really go through it. Outside of that, you know, we've got our library services as you are getting deeper in the curriculum and want to learn more, or looking for research opportunities. I can write the library and they can help you navigate through that and then you know the other piece in student affairs that we do is our academic advisor because as you go through the medical sciences, the clinical clinical sciences and on the residents and etc. There's a lot of decisions and a lot of choices along the way. And so between our office in Barbados, where we work with you on those decisions that have to do with your curriculum. And right now, and then you start thinking about moving into your core rotations and then electives. And then our Office of Career attainment and others on the clinical side you're going to work with.

That helps you with those decisions. What electives to take were to take those electives. What  your timeline looks like and where are you looking to match, which industry, etc. So we make sure you're set up, ready to go with that when match comes around.

RUSM Student Support Programs

Milena Garcia: And you mentioned all the support that we give the students. So not only academic, but we also have the personal side of it. I understand your team also assists with the community building wellness professional professionalism. Can you elaborate on these programs as well?

Bryan Hayse: Yeah, absolutely. We, you know, we understand that the medical school economics is half the battle. Right. You're coming in. You've got to learn all this material, but you are on an island, literally, I guess, when you come into medical science. We don't want you to feel like you're an island. Right. We want to make sure that you understand that you're within a community of learners, within a community of people who want you to be successful and one of the other resources we give you right away as assign you to a student care coordinator

And that is one of our colleagues and volunteers to help a student out and navigate within that. And the cool thing about this is this is somebody who, you know, to really promote anything, I'm sure I'm Linda can talk all day about the fun and exciting conversations that she's had but this is anywhere from, where do I go to the shop in Barbados to what does immigration look like to ‘Wait, my money's coming up. Oh my gosh. What do I do to go get help?’ Right. There's lots and lots of things that they can help you in connection to those resources. And so they're kind of your transition from your new student coordinator. I'm coming from admissions into the university and travel and like I said, you still have that mentor with you as well through stays with you the full time. Excuse me, a medical sciences, but that SEC is really focused on that transition period of that first semester and there's so many things coming because again, you're coming to. 

The vast majority coming know foreign countries, coming to somewhere you have never been before. And so we've got a very broad reaching Campus Life program, we've got on campus housing. We've got programs, we've got our Student Government Association. That works to advocate for students as well as they host over 50 student organizations that are all student run, student led. And so while a lot of those stay with us for a long, long period of time on some pop up every semester because we have a different grouping of students who have an interest in something different, like, you know, we've got our long standing ones like you know our career focused. 

You've got your Medicine. You've got your PS, you've got your internal, got lots of your professional tracks and then a lot of your religious oriented tribes, you've got a Christian organization, Muslim organization, Jewish Student Association. Catholic Student Association and many more. And then some of our more lifestyle oriented. I guess I'm one that's called halls that loves animals and so does a lot of service learning or service in the community with animals, animal rescue, etc. 

We've got a mixed martial arts club that discusses and even practices and exercises together and then a gaming club that just gets together to play games. Either we have an electronic version. And then the board game version, like I said, it's a social outlet and a professional outlet. Because it's important to do that balance. We've got our special   counselor wellness in counseling department, a whole department for counseling and wellness that can do individual or group counseling for you. 

They also do programming as far as our wellness Wednesdays, which is a big hit with our students right now. We do it. We'll do a meal, sit down, have a discussion with one of our counselors about a specific topic now. So I'll host and about a couple times a semester I will go out with a lot of local community members hiking in Barbados, it starts early on Sunday morning. 

So if you're up for it, look out for that. And then the last thing I'll talk about we've got an opposite professionalism integrity and that's just their one to help you figure out what that means to be professional in this new audience. Wanting and what does that mean for you as well as it helps educate our students on what the standards are for Ralston professionalism, because what we want to make sure we do is have those standards set and then a place for you to go if you feel like any concerns from you or another student to help help us help you work through that with you.

Milena Garcia: And you mentioned the academy for teaching and learning and the Counseling Center. I do intend on doing a podcast dedicated to each one of these departments. So everybody listening, check back for the episodes. On the academy for teaching and learning and the Counseling Center, We actually did one with the Latino medical student association. We interviewed two of the officers, so definitely something to look at and listen to. As far as the interest, I'm always amazed at how dedicated our students are to their academic goals and their personal goals for sure that our students work hard. Dr. Hayes, what have your priorities been at RUSM?

Bryan Hayse: First I'll say, you know, creating and sustaining, of course, an inclusive environment. For personal and academic development. Right. Everything we do is geared toward that. And a lot of that stuff, kind of repeating myself, all about that the kind of areas that we focus on you know is that is community development, that student developing as a student. Come to that community realm and get connected to other people, that's, you know, other students, your peers, as well as faculty and staff, they're going to help you along and help you identify not only your, you know, your assignment or ID mentors along the way in these different specialties. You're looking for Wellness talk about before wellness is a big key to help students succeed to make sure during a headspace that they're taking care of themselves. You can't take care of other people unless you're in a good place. Right? So to make sure that you know how to do that from the beginning. So when you are practicing you continue that and then at the end of the day, you know, helping you find that career. And so that career, especially that advisor that goes along with that and then academic success is the undergirding. All these things are to help you be academically successful as you searched out that career and decide what special is right for you. And so you've got the academic sort of backup, that residency application when it gets to that very exciting time to go into the match process.

Measuring Success at RUSM

Milena Garcia: How do you measure success?

Bryan Hayse: You know, for us, success is when students achieve their goal and that goal is different, somewhat, for everybody. The path to it is definitely different for everybody. And a lot of broad strokes of how we help students get there. At the end of the day, it's helping them to find that success and then seeing that success moving past medical sciences passing. Step one. Doing well doing well at step one, because for they're looking for when, you know, until it goes out of it doesn't have a score anymore and then going on to step two. And then matching the residency, etc. And, and especially that they're excited about. And so for us, that is success. It's seeing the students reach those goals, that somewhat they set in the beginning, but the change along the way as you learn more about yourself and about the profession engine on the options that are out there for you.

Milena Garcia: Speaking of success. I heard that you used to live next door to Bruce Willis.

Bryan Hayse: Thank you for that. So there was a film for some from Paducah, Kentucky. You all can google this. I'm not gonna say the name of it. I'll let you Google that just as give you homework. So the film, they actually filmed it about six houses down for me. But then a couple houses the other direction on him and Demi and and I think that one child at the time. Every now and then you and people see him at the store. The Piggly Wiggly. And so I will say this is before the die hard days. And so this is a long time ago when I was when I was very young. 

Milena Garcia: Well, I once met somebody who had met Kevin Bacon. So there you go you and everybody listening is now connected to Kevin Bacon through me through her so by three degrees. There you go. Dr. Hayes, any last recommendations or advice for our future Rossies?

Bryan Hayse: Yeah, you know, it's this question of what advice would you give me right now coming in and I think it's twofold. One, everybody's always looking for what can I do to get ahead. And no matter what I say. That's always the focus right and so I'd say if you're looking for what can I do to prepare myself to be the most successful, you know, I would say if it's been a while, or you've got some some deficiencies that you've noticed in maybe physiology, biochemistry or anatomy. That's a lot of what's hit hard in the beginning. And so they might not be a bad idea to kind of brush up on those areas. And if you've not had a large background in it, you're not wasting your time, so that's a good place to put your energy. If you must put it somewhere but overarching what I'll say is medical schools is not a sprint. It's a marathon, you're going to be doing for years. And medical school, you're going to do three to seven years in a residency and then after that you may do a fellowship, then practice where you're gonna be continuing education. Right. And depending on the specialty you get into it may never slowed down right there's different specialties that are a lot more fast paced. There's not depends on the lifestyle because you choose to live out. And so what I'll say now is why you can if you're able to breathe. Rest, do something fun, whatever that means, ever. It's different for everybody what that means. And it's not that you're not gonna have downtime, you'll have some right. Like I said, there's other kinds of outlets we want to get you plugged into. But this is the time to kind of take advantage of that time you have, because we know that it can be wearing on you when you do start many times and so taking your majors, a little bit of time you have now or time you have now until you start. Absolutely. That's where I'd say is the most valuable, valuable use of what you got into your star.

Milena Garcia: This is great advice. Thank you so much for sharing your time and your insights with us. I appreciate it.  And thank you for your time and for everyone out there listening. Thanks for joining us once again. We shall see you all next week.