Chancellor Borrego Charges Forward

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Photo Credit: Media Submitted

Madeline Ciak

Strengthening Ties

UM-Flint has come a long way over the past year thanks to Chancellor Susan Borrego.

Not only has she played an active role in strengthening the ties between the UM-Flint campus and its community, but she’s also working to brighten the futures of students through a few different projects and programs that she has installed during her first full year of work.

The strategic partnership formed with the Crim Fitness Foundation is just one example of strengthening ties between the campus and the community. Not only will the program make a direct impact on the health and wellness of students and members of the community, but it also entails UM-Flint sharing space with the Crim Foundation in order to facilitate research and evaluation, which will help to expand the school’s health and wellness programs.

“Two well-anchored organizations were able to come together for the good of the community and have the opportunity to benefit one another,” Borrego said.

Borrego also believes that the partnership is a way to show the community that UM-Flint wants to be neighborly.

“The community has been waiting for us to act as a good neighbor, and the partnership was a prime opportunity to do so,” she said.

Borrego also said she believes that being a good neighbor entails enhancing the life of a region, and events such as the “Go Blue Barbecue” that were held over the summer helped to do that.

“I love being outside, and being able to hold the barbecues in Buckham Alley were validating experiences for me because the community came together, and walls were broken down,” Borrego said.

Borrego also said she believes that downtown Flint has a great vibe of entrepreneurship, and that it comes from the community’s desire to rebuild.

“Flint has the potential to be anything it wants to be, and the students at UM-Flint can contribute to that movement. They’re coming to Flint to work on building things bigger than themselves,” said Borrego.

Borrego said she believes that repainting the University Pavilion contributes to the vibe of downtown Flint and that the UM-Flint campus is an important facet of the community.

“I wanted to make it very clear that we are here in the community, not that we wish we were here,” said Borrego.

Brighter Futures

In addition to the strategic partnership, Borrego is also actively working to create a streamlined communication plan on campus that will have direct impacts on how messages are communicated when it comes to registration and financial aid, as well as coherent and cohesive advising, which will help students past any roadblocks they might face when it comes to trying to register for classes. Borrego said some holds don’t really even need to be placed on a student account because it prevents a student from easily registering for their classes and that is a problem she’s working on fixing.

“Nothing should get in a student’s way while they’re registering for classes,” Borrego said.

The need for the streamlined communication plan will also benefit students by increasing student support and keeping them in the loop when it comes to deadlines.

“More information doesn’t necessarily mean that things are clearly communicated, but I’m working to change that,” said Borrego.

Another project that Borrego is actively working on to brighten the futures of students is the creation of the Margaret E. Moll scholarship, named after Borrego’s grandmother. The scholarship is endowed for $10,000 and was matched for that amount by Borrego’s cousins Vickie and Joe Crupi, who live in Florida. Borrego created this scholarship in order to pay homage to her grandmother and because she knows what it’s like to be a first generation college student. A student can be a part-time or full-time undergraduate student with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in order to be eligible for the scholarship.

“I wouldn’t sitting where I am today if it wasn’t for my grandmother, her wisdom and the lessons she taught me. She truly shaped who I am, and the scholarship will no doubt help someone who needs it,” Borrego said.