Newman University is made up of many accomplished students, staff and faculty members, each contributing to the atmosphere of one collective community.
As such, each year the Newman community nominates and votes for one staff member who exemplifies the qualities of someone who serves and supports their colleagues and students at the university.
Advisor for Special Populations Scott Mudloff, who previously was residence life director, was honored with the 2020 Staff Excellence Award.
Through hard work and dedication, Mudloff prioritizes the needs of the students. He is a strong believer in a “student-first” philosophy.
“If you stop and think about it — if there weren’t any students here, what would we all be doing? The students are what make the university what it is,” said Mudloff. “They are the life, the energy and why we all want to be here working with them every day. As staff and faculty, we may be running the university but it’s never about us, it’s never about me. It has to be about the students.”
Before Newman, Mudloff was working as a hall director before leaving to start his own company. Eventually, he recognized his greater passion for working with students when an opportunity at Newman was presented.
“The dean of students at the time called me and told me there was an opening at Newman. He knew I was looking to get back into higher education and that I wanted to work with college students again. In the summer of 2016, I interviewed for that position and started here in August of 2016. I’ve been loving my job ever since.”
To exemplify his passion for his work, Mudloff shared an anecdote from his first year.
“I had a student come into my office, crying and obviously upset. This student was loving the college experience, everything they were doing on campus and everything they were involved with, but they weren’t going to be able to afford to keep coming to Newman.”
Though this particular issue was somewhat out of his purview, he made a few calls asking for assistance from Financial Aid, and ultimately gathered a list of scholarships that the student could apply for. He handed the student the list and told them to get their applications submitted as soon as possible.
“A couple of weeks passed and the student returned, this time crying for an entirely different reason. The student had won the scholarships and was now financially stable to finish out their remaining two years at Newman. To see the pure joy and relief in their eyes and on their face was a feeling I will never forget. That’s what I like most about my job.”
While Mudloff was proficient and accomplished as the residence life director, he felt that he could better serve the university as the advisor for special populations.
“Moving into this new position on campus was a chance to challenge myself and to grow professionally. I would love to be a dean someday and I know it will be hard for me to get a position with only four years of experience after being away for so long. I always believe to truly lead, you need to have some experience with as much variety as possible so you can best understand all of those you work with. That was really the driving force behind the switch.”
Regarding his new role, Mudloff also stated that though he will miss certain aspects of his old position, he is looking forward to this new set of responsibilities.
“I’ve never been on the academic side of the university. I’ve always worked in student affairs. I’m really looking forward to working closely with students and faculty on the academic journey students go through. I’ve done so much with helping students grow socially, I want to work with them now and help them grow academically.”
As for the award itself, Mudloff was absolutely delighted at being honored, expressing his utmost excitement in response to the initial announcement.
“While I’m thrilled I won, and that I’m joining a distinguished list of recipients, ultimately I do what I do for the students. I think sometimes we forget that and sometimes we don’t have that at the forefront of our minds, but it’s what we should all strive for. It’s not about me — it’s about Newman and what we can do to help our students transform society.”