At work and at home Rose Julius enjoys helping people. Julius, who is closing in on her 30-year anniversary at the UI, began working in the department of accountancy in the College of Commerce and Business Administration, now the College of Business, in September 1976 after she graduated from Villa Grove High School. Julius also worked for nine years at La Casa Cultural Latina before she moved to her current position in 1990 as a staff secretary in the Office of Minority Student Affairs.
Tell me what you do.
I’m the office manager, so I try to make sure that the main office runs smoothly. In January we moved our tutoring services, OMSA East, to a new location on Gregory Street. They have a large staff of student employees who tutor students in many different subjects. I assist them as needed with financial transactions. I do the payroll, the financial transactions, oversee the student workers and do the Banner transactions for our office here.
Our department coordinates the Campus Student Retention Services for the President’s Award Program, the Educational Opportunity Program and other programs. We coordinate several major events each year, including the Minority Student and Parent Orientation Program, the Mom’s Day Awards Program, two career fairs, and the Mid-Year Congratulatory. We have three federal grant programs, and I work directly with two of them – the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program and the Student Support Services Program – and assist with the third program, Upward Bound.
What are the Student Support Services and McNair Scholars programs?
The Student Support Services Program assists minority and underrepresented students with their academics and adjusting to the campus, so we have counselors that arrange tutors and other services.
The McNair program pairs students with faculty mentors for the summer to do research. We have about 42 students this summer, three of whom are from Louisiana. I deal with the financial aspects of the program: I help get their stipend checks and work with their faculty mentors to get their expenses paid.
Each year our staff members organize a national McNair conference in November. We work on it steadily – getting students registered from all across the country, getting the funds in – from about August through mid-November. I deal with the registration and help design the conference booklet and materials.
Even though it’s a whole lot of work, it’s fun to do. When you see the students from universities all over the country presenting their work, it’s worth it. There are several national McNair conferences, but ours is the oldest and largest. This will be our 15th conference this year. We limit it to about 600 participants, which includes faculty and staff members, undergraduates and recruiters from graduate schools across the country. We hold it at Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan, Wis. It is co-sponsored by the MidAmerica Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, and we originally decided to hold our conference there so that the McNair directors could stay and attend the MAEOPP conference afterward. The MAEOPP conference left, but we stayed because the attendees enjoy the site.
What does your office do in terms of counseling?
Incoming freshmen are assigned a counselor, either a full-time staff member or one of about 40 graduate counselors. They report weekly on how the students are doing, so that if a student is starting to have problems – needs tutoring or help with career decisions or problems with their financial aid – we can help them or direct them to another office.
Two of our staff members are advisers for two student groups: the Minority Association of Future Attorneys and the Minority Pre-health Students.
What’s kept you here in the Office of Minority Student Affairs – and on campus – so long?
I think it’s because we have the different programs going on at different times. And from the beginning I liked being at the university because I knew there were a lot of job opportunities available within the system.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Right now, I’m trying to housetrain two 13-week-old Chihuahuas, Duncan and Gabrielle. I also have a 2-year-old Chihuahua named Hercules and a Doberman pinscher/German shepherd mix named Lady.
I enjoy watching Illini basketball and am looking forward to another great season. I also try to help out a couple of elderly neighbors with errands and things like that.