Spotlight on Staff: Manager of student activities says ASG is an opportunity to give back to students

Posted: June 20, 2016


Juliette Kern, Manager of Student Activities

A native of Christchurch, New Zealand, Juliette Kern moved to Washington at age 12, as a navy kid. “I started my educational career in the community college system, earned an Associate in Arts from Olympic College, and my Bachelor of Arts from University of Washington Tacoma. Even though I was an older student, I was still an engaged student during my time at Olympic College, an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, Clay Club, and other on campus activities,” says Juliette.

She worked in Student Services at UWT during her time as an undergraduate. “I learned so much about student life in that department. I really enjoy higher education and so I was thrilled to be hired on in Student Life at Bates,” she says. “In my spare time, I volunteer with a local dog rescue as a foster home, run an online support group for women with a hereditary cancer gene mutation, I’m a wife, a mother, I raise a few chickens and a couple of rescue dogs, and I sporadically update my recipe blog.”

  1. What inspires you each day?

At work, I am inspired by our students. Many of our students overcome obstacles on a daily basis, either by challenging their past, or things that arise in the present. Many are just learning the skills needed to move forward, but they get up every morning and keep coming back, because they know it will change their lives. I am inspired by their resilience, their persistence, and I am proud that I get to be a part of their journey.

  1. What is your mission at Bates?

My mission at Bates is to keep the students coming back. I want every student to complete their credential. I want them to feel like they are part of the Bates family, like I felt at my alma mater. By connecting students to resources through New Student Orientation, and by connecting students to each other for support, through campus clubs, activities, and events, I hope to raise school spirit, and ultimately, program completion.

  1. What’s the best part of your job so far?

The best part of my job so far is getting to be a part of student development. What we do here at Bates is so dramatic, because there is so much potential for student growth. Our students come here to change their lives.  They sign up to learn a trade, but while they are here, they grow academically, personally, and socially. Many are first-generation college students, from different walks of life, and they don’t know how much education is going to change them, but it does. No matter how great they are when they get here, they leave as even better people, and that’s my favorite part. I don’t know any other career field where you get to be a part of such powerful transformations.

  1. Why do you encourage students to become active in Associated Student Government at Bates?

I would encourage students to join Associated Student Government (ASG) as an opportunity to give back to their fellow students.  ASG has the opportunity to make Bates the most student-centered place that it can be, but not without their involvement.  ASG is hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun and a great way to earn money while learning valuable skills that students will need in the workforce.

  1. If you could have any question answered, what would it be?

If I could have one question answered, it would be “what’s the best way to engage students outside of the classroom?”  If I knew the answer, I would then want to know how I can apply that to help students complete their degrees.