Wesley “Wes” Whiteside is dwelling his desire.
As affiliate director of variety and recruitment in the S.I. Newhouse College of Public Communications, Whiteside delivers the Newhouse College experience to everyday living for future and admitted college students. He enthusiastically supports university student involvement at Newhouse and is a motivator, connector, facilitator and harmless haven for learners, specifically students of coloration.
His do the job in the parts of range, fairness and inclusion performed a essential position in the prestigious Association for Education and learning in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Equity and Range Award, been given by the Newhouse College in Could 2020. And this previous May, Whiteside was named as a recipient of a 2021 Chancellor’s Quotation for Excellence for Remarkable Contributions to the Pupil Expertise and College Initiatives. The award highlights faculty and workers who have increased the undergraduate practical experience or built invaluable contributions to advancing the University’s mission and goals.
“It’s a blessing each individual working day to come into the Newhouse University and get the job done with awesome students, college and staff,” he says.
Whiteside was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and raised in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He played football at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, graduating in 2006 with a diploma in communications and staying for an more 12 months of soccer eligibility. “I was blessed to perform football and get an outstanding instruction at Gannon College,” he suggests. “It is a place of satisfaction for me, and I point out it in all of my details sessions for my pupils.” After graduation, he started his job in Gannon’s admissions office, where by he worked for two yrs.
His exposure to university admissions commenced even ahead of he stepped foot on Gannon’s campus. “I consider again to my college range method and I genuinely did not have one. My believed was that I was going to go wherever I would get an supply of a scholarship,” he claims. “Fortunately for me, it was Gannon College. But I did get to see the procedure with my more mature brothers.”
His oldest brother, Nick, went to Indiana Tech, wherever Whiteside obtained his to start with glimpse of a higher education campus. “Being 8 or 9 several years previous at the time, that was definitely amazing,” he says. His center brother, Darius, who is three years more mature, went to Grambling Point out to participate in basketball. “I actually received to pay a visit to universities as he was exploring for his university. As a younger sibling, that was really cool to expertise.”
Whiteside brought that wonder he felt individuals a lot of many years back into his position at Gannon, and now he brings it to his role at Syracuse. “There is practically nothing more thrilling than to sit with a family members and discuss to them about the establishment and what the institution can supply for them,” he states. “And then to see students on campus that you engaged with at an information and facts session.”
Whiteside arrived to Syracuse in November 2009. He knew about the University’s robust legacy and experienced a potent tie to Syracuse—it is the hometown of his spouse, Christina, whom he achieved at Gannon, where by she performed women’s lacrosse. “I got the simply call for my next interview at Syracuse and we received engaged the exact same weekend. When I acquired the get in touch with for the second job interview, I felt like the position was destined to occur.”
Whiteside originally started off in the central Admissions workplace, the place he satisfied students both equally in Syracuse and on the road as he traveled by way of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions of the U.S. He settled into his latest position in 2019 following roles on the Newhouse School’s academic advising crew and in the central Profession Solutions office environment.
“I was drawn back mainly because Newhouse is a relatives,” he suggests.
Whiteside’s common week requires information sessions for both of those potential learners and admitted college students and excursions. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a new way of executing things and the have to have for out-of-the-box considering. “We wanted to deliver the Newhouse College and Syracuse University specifically to them in their dwelling rooms or anywhere they are,” Whiteside says.
He also oversees the Newhouse Ambassadors program—a 120-member volunteer cohort of various students from distinctive backgrounds and cultures who support to market the Newhouse University to prospective and admitted students. “I lean on them a large amount,” Whiteside suggests. “I have been out of the college match considering that 2006. The tutorial and campus knowledge has modified a whole lot in that time. I rely on the ambassadors to genuinely existing to the pupils and family members their perspectives, what they are executing in the classroom, in internships and on campus. They do an wonderful task of achieving out and sharing their experiences.”
The Newhouse Ambassadors are also engaged in Friday Chats, alternatives for learners to directly meet up with and examine topics ranging from internships to classroom encounters to occupation preparing. Whiteside collaborates with colleagues Karen McGee, assistant dean of university student achievement, and Julie Walas, director of recruitment and student engagement on this program.
Whiteside is also a member of the Newhouse Suggestions (Inclusion, Range, Fairness and Accessibility) Committee and the school’s Employees Council.
“There are not many at the Newhouse School that never know Wes, and if you don’t know him, you figure out him,” claims McGee. “Wes would make a issue to get out and meet students, establish relationships with college and staff, and be an approachable and friendly facial area to all. I am frequently surprised at how lots of students (and alumni) he understands and retains keep track of of.”
Higher than and outside of his operate to market the Newhouse Faculty, Whiteside strives to be a beacon of calm for college students in an often stormy environment. “With all of the gatherings that have transpired in the recent past—the demise of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the violence against Asian Americans—sometimes my workplace is the position in which college students will occur to just be,” he states. “My business office is usually open up in which pupils can have a seat and I will pay attention.”
“In addition to his task obligations, Wes serves as a significantly-required sounding board for learners,” states McGee. “Wes has the ability to tune in to the scholar pulse and his perception and care has assisted Newhouse come to be a protected haven.”
Newhouse alumna Daijha Thompson ’21 satisfied Whiteside during her junior yr and says he has generally expressed and shown his desire in viewing both prospective and recent students be successful.
“Wes is passionate about serving to pupils get to the place they want to be by connecting them with the proper individuals and supplying them the facts and methods they require to be thriving,” she claims. “He is much more than just a personnel member to the learners who know him—he is a confidant, a mentor and a pal. He is the particular person you go to when you need to have academic or occupation assistance or when you just need anyone to chat to about existence. There are not sufficient terms in the dictionary to explain how considerably of an impact he has experienced on my faculty job and life. I am forever grateful for his mentorship.”
Priscilla Kang ’22 says Whiteside energizes what ever room he walks into. “Whether it is Newhouse Ambassadors, future students or school and team, Wes generally can make positive that everyone feels welcome and appreciated. I truly feel like his presence is what lets folks loosen up and be by themselves,” she states. “Wes helps make positive that everyone feels like they’re a part of the Newhouse spouse and children, whether they are admitted or not.”
Whiteside was the initially human being to welcome Marnie Muñoz ’22 to Newhouse and has been a good existence in her daily life. “In my very first year, he remembered my title and generally stated hello, no matter if inside Newhouse or though waiting around for a bus. In my 2nd 12 months, Wes grew to become much more of a mentor to me as one of the only faces I noticed continuously during my remote learning experience absent from Syracuse. He supported me when I felt directionless and guided me when I figured out what way to get. On the lookout again nowadays, I am thankful to know him and do the job jointly in building up the Newhouse neighborhood.”
Whiteside is grateful for the property he has located at Syracuse University. Two summers ago, Whiteside’s brother brought his relatives to Syracuse and to campus for a go to. Whiteside gave them a tour of the Newhouse facility and studios. “When you have relatives occur in and say, ‘Wow, you perform listed here!’ it’s very touching. My brother is one of my idols, and to listen to him say he is proud of me was rather amazing.”