When you open the Seton Hall University website, a large tab off to the right-center of the screen reads “Catholic Mission.” Under that tab a “values and tradition” page explains all the ways our campus provides a helping hand while embodying the Catholic message to assist.
I’ve been on this campus for four years. I’ve met a lot of people who represent those values. But none have been better, or more helpful, than Associate Vice President & Dean of Students, Karen Van Norman. Words cannot describe how far Dean Van Norman extends her hand for help. As a student, when you think there is nowhere left to turn, nothing left to do, and feel as if you have no option but to fall flat on your face, Dean Van Norman is there to pick you up. She’s picked me up more times than I can count.
Dean Van Norman doesn’t do this for praise. She doesn’t expect a reward, or a pat on the back. She does it because she truly cares about the students.Their success is her success.
I’ve never been the most dedicated individual in the classroom. As a journalism major, my work outside of school always seemed to hold my attention more than course work. As my time in South Orange comes to an end, I can’t possibly imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t have failed out of school if not for the help of Dean Van Norman.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to fully repay Dean Van Norman for the countless hours spent mapping out my school work on a weekly basis to ensure I didn’t blank and fail my classes. To her, seeing me, along with the long list of other students she works closely with, be able to walk across that stage and grab a diploma is all the payback she needs.
Seton Hall is represented by a many number of things, but in Dean Karen Van Norman, it is represented by a woman with true Catholic compassion. And for that, I am grateful.
Journalism, Class of 2017