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Student Life & Engagement

In this Section
The Office of Student Life & Engagement (OSL) strives to assist students in developing into well-rounded individuals through community service, co-curricular programming, and social events. This office organizes New Student Orientation, Convocation, Family Weekend, Spirit Week, Clarkson's Got Talent, MLK Day of Service, community service, and Late Knights. We also bring lectures and films to campus, fund field trips, develop co-curricular programs, and connect faculty, students, and alumni. 
Why should you get involved at Clarkson?
Getting involved on campus is one of the most important things a student can do.  Being involved has no limitation! You can be the president of an organization, be an active member of an organization, serve in student government, participate in on-campus research, go on ski-trips, climbing trips, field trips, or even volunteer on campus or in the community.

Some of the Benefits of Being Involved:

1) Establish a Sense of Belonging
-Becoming involved on campus will ease the transition from high school to college.  Joining an organization will allow you to meet people with similar interests and goals which helps you feel more satisfied with your college experience, and gives you a feeling of purpose at Clarkson. Plus, you can get the "real deal" about Clarkson life from students who have already been through their first year!
-Establishing a stable group of peers is a very important aspect of the college experience. It allows you to broaden your horizons and keeps your mind active, rather than on a single track if you are not challenged by your surroundings.

2) Involved Students Do Better
-Students who are involved on campus tend to have better grades and are more likely to graduate from their university.
-Involvement on campus allows you to meet people who have similar majors and similar problems to the ones you are facing. Opening yourself up to others allows them to help you overcome tasks that you sometimes wouldn’t be able to face on your own, whether they be academic or personal.

3) Get Real-World Experience
-Joining an organization will help build leadership skills and get you real-world experience that will prepare you for the workforce.  At Clarkson we have over 140 organizations that students can join, and if a student does not find an organization of interest they can start their own!
-The work you do outside the classroom in organizations, student government, and other co-curricular programs may be your best chance to learn real-life transactional skills like managing a budget, recruiting members, creating, promoting, and evaluating an event, delegating tasks, and more!
-Becoming a member of a club allows for potential growth within said club and within the Clarkson community. It allows students to interact with faculty, staff, and peers, all while building bonds with students and alumni who could eventually help you in the future! Plus, you get to leave your mark and shape Clarkson for the students who will come after you!

4) Most of All, it is FUN!
-Joining organizations will help you relax, have fun, and maybe try something new! College is SUPPOSED to be fun, after all- and Clarkson students know how to work hard and play hard!
-Being involved helps build friendships with people that you would otherwise not have met or worked with. Bonds made within a service project or an organization can extend beyond, creating a friendlier, more welcoming campus. 

Staff Bios
Tamera Rizk   

Tamera Rizk is the Assistant Dean of Students for Student Life and Engagement. Prior to her position in Student Life, Tamera has worked for Residence Life and Institutional Diversity Initiatives at Clarkson. She has a B.A. in communications from Penn State and a Master's of Science in Education from SUNY Potsdam. Tamera has worked at Clarkson for eight years, where she loves working with her incredible student staff to plan and implement major campus events and traditions like New Student Orientation, Holcroft Knight, Convocation, and Family Weekend. Her favorite event is the annual “Clarkson’s Got Talent” competition, where students get to show off their hard work and incredible talents. 

Kelsey Deso is Director of Student Organizations & Student Center and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Affairs. Prior to joining the Clarkson team in August 2015, Kelsey worked in Residence Life at SUNY Potsdam and Keuka College. She earned her M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University and B.S. in Accounting from SUNY Oswego. Kelsey is originally from Rouses Point, New York, a small village on the borders of New York, Vermont, and Canada. Kelsey's favorite event is OSL's a cappella competition, where groups from the four local colleges showcase their talents. She highly recommends attending the annual First Saturday as an opportunity to visit all of the amazing local shops. In her personal time, Kelsey loves reading, spending time with her family, and taking day trips.


Corey Riley is a senior from Ilion, NY majoring in Aeronautical/Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Project Management. Corey has been a member of the OSL team since he was a first-year student. You may also see Corey in his role as CUSA President.  Corey's favorite part about working for The Office of Student Life is being able to see Clarkson students enjoy themselves at the numerous OSL events. One of Corey's favorite events is Holcroft Knight which caps off Orientation weekend. Outside of the Office of Student Life, Corey is involved in CUSA Senate and Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Some of Corey's other interests are hiking, golfing, and following his favorite sports teams. 

Emily Campbell

Emily Campbell is a junior majoring in Computer Engineering from Montpelier, VT. Emily is involved in the Honors program as an ambassador and mentor, is an officer in High Dive Ultimate Frisbee, and is researching developing MEMS boards. Emily is the most artistic member of the OSL team and has used her talents in various monthly Arts & Crafts programs as well as while giving henna tattoos at Hellcroft Knight. Emily's hobbies are drawing, programming, cooking, horseback riding, and snowboarding.


Keena Powell is a junior majoring in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering. Keena is originally from the great state of New Jersey in the town of Willingboro. Keena is an active member in the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO). Her interests include playing the saxophone and going on walks in the park. She is also an avid binge watcher of her favorite TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy as well as The Vampire Diaries. Keena has been part of the OSL team for over one semester and is very excited to continue to contribute to the fun and exhilarating events we have on campus.


Claire Liu is a sophomore majoring in Global Supply Chain Management from Beijing, China. She is the secretary of Chinese Student Scholar Association and the treasurer of the International Student Organization. She is in the Honors Program as well. Claire is definitely in love with Chinese food and other delicious cuisines. She enjoys playing ukulele and drawing during her free time. Being a part of OSL is one of the best decisions she had ever made in college. 


Kyle Tobin is a junior from Buffalo, New York majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Kyle has been part of the OSL team for over one semester. His interests include eating chicken wings and calling fizzy soft drinks pop (not soda). On campus, Kyle holds a chair position in a Greek organization and is a member of the Outing Club. In his free time, you can catch Kyle trying to pursue his ADK 46 (while wearing Hawaiian shirts) or playing pickup sports. 

Ilyas Aricanli is a senior from New Hampshire majoring in Applied Mathematics and Physics with a minor in Computer Science. Ilyas has just joined the OSL team, and you may have seen him working at the front desk last semester. He's a fan of distance bicycling and long walks on the beach. Ilyas has seen the great things OSL has done for the student body over the years and he is excited for his chance to give back. This is his last semester at Clarkson, but he's sure that he can make it a memorable one for the students at Clarkson University.
Bradley Gosselin is a senior from Rodman, NY majoring in Aeronautical Engineering. He is a lead designer for Clarkson's Design/Build/Fly SPEED team, as well as its treasurer and shop coordinator. Brad channels his love for RC planes through active participation in Flying Club, and plans to work with drones in the future. His hobbies include skiing, listening to music, and playing cards. This is his first semester working with OSL, and he's excited to apply his creativity to the planning of fun events.
Lydia Bruffey is a senior from Corning, NY majoring in Biology, minoring in Psychology and Chemistry, and with a concentration in Pre-Medicine. Lydia is involved in various aspects of campus as President of Doctors Without Borders, an RA in the first-year student residence halls, and as a TA for the Anatomy and Physiology Labs. In her free time she enjoys ballroom dancing, skiing and hiking.

Genevieve Fidler is a senior from Beaver Falls, NY majoring in Political Science and Law Studies. After she graduates in May, Genevieve plans to attend law school. This is Genevieve’s first semester as a member of the OSL team. In addition to her role in OSL, Genevieve is also Vice President of the student body. Although this will be Genevieve’s only semester working for OSL she is excited to be able to work with the Office of Student Life and to leave her mark on Clarkson. In addition to her work with OSL, Genevieve is associated with the sorority Delta Zeta, CUSA and, Clarkson’s pre-law society. Beyond Clarkson, Genevieve’s interests include road cycling, mountain biking, alpine skiing, nordic skiing and, playing outside. 


Jessie is a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in mathematics, originally from Starksboro, VT. Jessie is a new member of the OSL staff this semester, and is involved in student organizations on campus including student government, the Society of Women Engineers, and she is also an RA in Woodstock. In her free time, Jessie enjoys spending time outdoors Telemark skiing and biking. She also loves gardening; it is directly proportional to her love of snacks. 

OSL running a gift-wrapping event for the Potsdam Holiday Fund.
OSL running a gift-wrapping event for the Potsdam Holiday Fund.

Class of 2017
The class of 2017 during their class photo at Orientation.

Mission: The Office of Student Life & Engagement (OSL) creates an engaged University community. OSL assists students in reaching their fullest potential by tying classroom learning to real-world experience through co-curricular lectures and programs, and provides opportunities for student growth and leadership skill-building through campus events and community service partnerships. OSL enhances the quality of student life by providing social and stress-relieving programs, providing safe alternatives to alcohol use through late night, weekend events, and providing opportunities for meaningful interactions between faculty and students. By creating a fun, inclusive, and engaging community, we believe our objectives encourage lifetime engagement between students and the University.