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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Cheerleader for the underdog’: Staff Senate president enjoys building relationship with students, faculty

Nithin Reddy Nagapur
Former Staff Senate President Denise Gimlin talks to newly installed President Jason Bosch’s at the meeting on June 20.

Jason Bosch planned to follow one of his high school friends to college — but that friend changed his mind shortly before the fall semester, leading Bosch to enroll in Wichita State instead.

Bosch said he’s grateful for the change of plans. After WSU staff supported him while earning his bachelor’s, he became determined to do the same — something he now does as the assistant dean for student success in the College of Engineering and, more recently, the new Staff Senate president.

Bosch described himself as “an underdog” growing up. He attended the Maize School District from kindergarten until high school graduation, then started as an undecided engineering major at WSU. After he decided the field wasn’t for him, he bounced between majors. He said this decision was “ironic” given his current position.

But Bosch became drawn to psychology and sociology, and as he faced challenges, his advisers in Student Activities Council and his fraternity encouraged him.

Those advisers helped him realize that his passion for working with people could translate to a career in higher education.

“I wanted to pay it forward to future students, just like those people poured into me when I was an undergraduate,” Bosch said.

After graduating from WSU in 2005, Bosch earned his master’s degree in higher education leadership at the University of Arkansas in 2007, with a doctorate in educational leadership from WSU to follow in 2021.

In between those degrees, Bosch worked at Lynn University and Emporia State University, before realizing his career goal to return to his alma mater in 2017, where he has held various positions in the College of Engineering ever since.

In his current position, Bosch supervises Engineering Student Success Center staff, helps students one-on-one, and runs student programs.

“I really enjoy coaching and supervising and leading teams,” Bosch said. “So this job allows me the opportunity to do both — to lead a team to coach and support other staff, but then also to still get to work directly with students myself.”

About three years ago, Bosch started the Spirit Strong First Generation Scholars Program, which he calls “near and dear to my heart.” The program partners with Spirit AeroSystems and mentors up to 40 freshmen, offering free tutoring and academic support to first-generation students in need of financial assistance.

While Bosch said he doesn’t meet the definition of a first-generation student, he can relate to the experience.

“Although my dad did go to college, I didn’t really get a lot of the benefit of his experience,” Bosch said. “My mom tried to help me navigate the college environment, but she hadn’t been to college herself.”

With 30% of WSU students identifying as first-generation, Bosch said WSU has a responsibility to help those students succeed.

“I’ve always been a cheerleader for the underdog,” Bosch said.

As Staff Senate president, Bosch continues helping others in a new role. The Staff Senate provides representation for staff members and communicates with the administration, as well as initiating and reviewing staff-related policies.

Previously senator for two years, Bosch views his presidency through the leadership concept of “first among equals.”

“As president, I don’t necessarily see myself as being any more important or having any more power or influence than any other senator,” Bosch said. “My job is really to support the other elected senators and help us come together to work as a team to advocate for staff.”

Bosch’s favorite part of being involved in Staff Senate, like in his College of Engineering position, is forming relationships with staff across campus.

“It helps to feel like you’re part of a community, and I think that’s important whether you’re a student or a faculty member or a staff member,” Bosch said. “Staff Senate is one way for staff on this campus to … build that community and be able to talk together about their shared interests and their shared concerns.”

Priorities for the year

While the Staff Senate is still identifying this year’s priorities, Bosch noted three concerns they will likely address: staff turnover and retention, morale, and professional development. He said that many of the staff are dedicated and love supporting students.

“I really want WSU to be a place that is so supportive and encouraging to staff that they don’t want to leave, even if they’re presented with other opportunities,” Bosch said.

While Bosch initially prepared to follow a friend to college, his colleague followed Bosch to WSU. Jacob Mendez met Bosch in 2014, and they also worked together at Emporia State, Mendez in university housing, Bosch for student affairs.

Mendez said when he saw his position at WSU’s College of Engineering become available, he jumped to apply, knowing he would get to work for Bosch.

Mendez, who also works alongside Bosch as Staff Senate secretary, called Bosch a “hero and mentor” to him.

“He is a very servant leader, (a) transformational leader, and very kind and hardworking and really encourages us all to be our best, take care of ourselves and work hard,” Mendez said.

To learn more about the Staff Senate and their mission, visit their website.

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About the Contributors
Courtney Brown, Investigative News Editor
Courtney Brown is the investigative news editor for The Sunflower. Brown previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor.
Nithin Reddy Nagapur, Photographer
Nithin Reddy Nagapur is a third-year photographer for The Sunflower.

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