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Former students stick around, lend a helping hand on campus

November 15, 2007

Two former students are now working as program coordinators in the University Center to help current students with difficulties that may arise within a student organization or as a member of Greek life.

Jon Levendoski is the student organizations coordinator and Sara Gliniany is the student activities coordinator.

Levendoski graduated from UWRF in 2004 with a dairy science major. He then went to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to begin work on his masters in genetics. He then realized that genetics wasn’t for him, and decided to leave Minnesota and return to River Falls. He is currently working on his masters in secondary education with a social studies emphasis. He will graduate in December. 

“I originally wanted to stay around here to be close to my girlfriend, who is now my wife,” Levendowski said.

Gliniany, an elementary education major with an early childhood minor, graduated in December 2006 and started her job in January.

The two hold a job that was once held by Sean Blackburn. Blackburn now works at Winthrop College. Blackburn’s recommendations of Levendowski and Gliniany were crucial to them getting their job at the University.

“It’s difficult trying to keep tabs on everything with 126 student organizations,” Levendoski said.

Levendoski started setting up the interview process for his job in December 2006 and began working for the University in August.

This year, he tried something new to get all the student organizations on the same page by planning the first student organization informational session. On Sept. 29, one representative from each organization went to the University Center and went through a number of different sessions, learning everything from how to reserve a room in the University Center to how to get funding from the Leadership Development and Programming Board.

“The turnout was a lot better than I expected,” Levendoski said. “I learned a lot. I freely admit that it lasted too long, but I think overall it was a fantastic success for me.”

Gliniany is in charge of the Homecoming committee and also is in charge of advising the fraternities and sororities on campus, and works with the Greek communities governing councils.

Originally, Gliniany was contacted about taking this job as an emergency replacement following Blackburn’s departure, she said. 

“I would say the best part of my job is the interaction with students,” Gliniany said. “It’s great being connected with them and having them feel comfortable coming in and talking to me about anything.

Both Levendoski and Gliniany agreed it was difficult to make the transition from student to staff. They also said they noticed that some staff had a hard time realizing that they were now co-workers too.

Cara Rubis, a co-worker in the Involvement Center, said she didn’t have a difficult time adjusting to working with Levendowski and Gliniany, because she was introduced to them formally. She also went on to say she could understand how some people would. 

In his spare time, Levendoski likes to quilt, cook and spend time with his wife, whom he married in July.

Gliniany enjoys scrapbooking, shopping and traveling. One of her favorite places to travel is Australia, where she student taught in the summer of 2006.

Gliniany didn’t just suddenly take an interest in Greek life when she accepted this position. During her time as a student at UWRF she was a member of a sorority on campus.

“I think Sara [Gliniany] does a nice job of being available in her office and always having her door open,” Alpha Sigma Alpha member Sarah Saal said. “Sara seems very devoted to her job and makes you feel comfortable if you need to come to her for anything.”

Levendoski and Gliniany put hours of work into making sure all the student groups run smoothly.