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Center for Student Wellbeing Graduate Assistant

Center for Student Wellbeing, Dean of Students

Primary Contact: Rachel Eskridge

Position Summary:

The Graduate Assistant is part of the Center for Student Wellbeing (CSW) in the Dean of Students division at Vanderbilt University.  The Graduate Assistant will provide individual coaching, present educational programs to the campus community, plan and coordinate campus-wide events, and assist with CSW initiatives and programs. In addition, the Graduate Assistant will conduct brief screenings for students found responsible for an Alcohol or Controlled Substances Policy violation from the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.

Time Commitment:

The position will begin in August 2020 and last for 9 months.  Continuation of the assistantship will depend upon satisfactory performance of your assigned duties and progress toward your degree. You will be expected to work 20 hours per week excluding university breaks. This may include some evening and weekend hours.

About the Work Unit:
The Center for Student Wellbeing at Vanderbilt University works to create a culture that supports the personal development and academic success of students using an integrative, holistic framework. Through inclusive and collaborative programming, support services, and campus initiatives, the Center cultivates engagement in lifelong wellbeing practices that enhance students’ ability to thrive within the Vanderbilt community and beyond.

About the Office of the Dean of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students serves a central role in student learning and development at Vanderbilt, advancing the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service by fostering academic and social networks through which students develop as intentional learners and global citizens. The Office of the Dean of Students creates opportunities to involve students, faculty and staff in diverse learning communities and provides a critical support structure for enriching the overall student experience. We achieve these ends through strategic alignment, both internally and in concert with other university departments. We care deeply. We educate completely. We lead with excellence. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and mental health are top priorities for the institution and by extension the offices of the Dean of Students. Our staff are committed to continued growth in knowledge, awareness, skills, and experience engaging with these priorities in a higher education environment.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:

  • Coach students individually on the following topics:
    • Emotional Wellbeing (coping skills, managing negative emotions/cultivating positive emotions)
    • Stress Management (stress reduction techniques, time management, goal setting)
    • Self-Efficacy (values strengthening, self-confidence, self-image)
    • Financial Wellbeing (budgeting, credit education, financial goal-setting, saving)
    • Life Transitions (personal, academic, and social changes)
    • Social Support/Relationship Building (community on campus, finding sense of belonging)
    • Personal Health (nutrition, sleep habits)
  • Present educational programs to the Vanderbilt community on the following topics:
    • Alcohol & other drugs
    • Holistic health & wellbeing
    • Mindfulness & meditation
    • Resilience
    • Time management
    • Others, as requested
  • Plan & coordinate campus-wide events, such as:
    • Parents & Family Weekend Events
    • Alcohol & Other Drug Awareness Week (October)
    • Safe Spring Break Week (week before Vanderbilt Spring Break)
    • Any newly developed campus-wide events
  • Table at informational fairs & events to promote the Center for Student Wellbeing
  • Assist with CSW programs and initiatives
    • LEAPS (Liaisons Educating & Advocating for Psychological Support)
    • [IM]Perfection Project
    • Peer Guides
    • Vanderbilt Recovery Support
  • Conduct brief screenings for students found responsible for an Alcohol or Controlled Substances Policy violation from the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity
    • BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students): Two-session alcohol screening and discussion to explore alcohol use patterns.
    • Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT): 10-item screening tool
    • Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test (CUDIT): 8-item screening tool
  • Assist Center for Student Wellbeing staff members with additional tasks, as needed including:
    • Ordering & coordinating delivery of food for events
    • Publicity (social media, event descriptions, flyers & posters)
    • Compiling data on office’s programs & attendance (submit monthly tracking form to director
    • Update Maxient files
  • Participate in division wide events as needed (Move-In Day, Rites of Spring, Diverse ‘Dores Day, MLK Day, etc.) to support colleagues and ensure these events run smoothly.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to support colleagues across the division in order to encourage the implementation or fulfillment of divisional goals and strategic priorities; other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Relationships:

This position reports administratively and functionally to Rachel Eskridge, director of the Center for Student Wellbeing. 

Education and Certifications:

  • Full-time enrollment in graduate degree program at Vanderbilt University is required
  • Enrollment in the M.Ed. Higher Administration Education program in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College is strongly preferred

Experience and Skills:

  • Ability to work independently is necessary
  • High level of attention to detail is necessary
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated knowledge of higher education law and the legal and ethical issues involved in student disciplinary matters including FERPA, HIPAA, Clery, Title IX, and other relevant laws and regulations, and adherence to the highest standards of confidentiality is necessary
  • Ability to work effectively with students from diverse backgrounds attending highly selective institutions with a broad range of campus groups, departments, and organizations is necessary
  • Proven ability to handle multiple priorities while maintaining a high level of professionalism and attention to detail is necessary
  • Strong computer skills in the use of word processing, spreadsheet, email, internet applications, and student databases; experience with Maxient Conduct Manager or an equivalent student conduct system is strongly preferred
  • Experience with the following are strongly preferred:
    • experience in motivational interviewing/coaching techniques
    • experience with outreach programming in a collegiate environment
    • skills in assessing AOD usage including screenings and/or BASIC interventions
    • knowledge and experience in assessing and implementing AOD prevention best practices in the community
    • experience in designing and delivering workshops and programs about AOD education, wellbeing, and academic skills
    • skills and ability to train or coach student leaders, volunteers and/or peer mentors


The compensation for this assistantship includes an annual stipend of $11,300 paid over the 9-month period and a 66% tuition scholarship, (33% paid by the Office of the Dean of Students/Office of the Provost and 33% paid by Peabody College) paid directly to your student account. The tuition benefit is for the total minimum number of hours needed to complete your academic program.

NOTE: It is required that you apply for financial aid and request that any available work-study funding be used towards these positions.

*The tuition award is tied to your academic year, rising 2nd and 3rd-year students’ tuition scholarship differs.