From the Desk of Dean Waite

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Welcoming the Incoming Class of 2023 to Cougar Nation!


Dear Incoming First-Year Student:

Welcome to Cougar Nation and the start of the 2019-2020 Academic Year! The Division of Student Affairs is looking forward to connecting with you throughout the year. Our office serves as one of the many resources available to Chatham students and can help you with your transition to college.

It is such an honor to serve all of you as Chatham’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Even after being here for over ten years, I love every minute of being in Cougar Nation. In my role, I do encourage students to get out of their comfort zone; to truly embrace the journey of discovery and to learn from one another, from new experiences, and even from failures. While transitioning to college can be challenging in new and unexpected ways, I am confident you have built a great foundation to excel at Chatham. Here’s a gentle reminder of what you can do throughout the summer to help prepare you for a rewarding college adventure. We have sent a welcome letter to your parents/guardians as some of the tips below should be completed with them 🙂

7 Things (one for each day of the week) To Do Between Now and Orientation:

  1. Health Checks and Wellness Routine: Make sure you visit the Med+Proctor website and download the Immunization Certificate and Meningitis Information forms for completion by your medical provider. Check your Chatham email to create an account and gain access to the forms. Once completed, an image of the forms should be uploaded to Med+Proctor for review. If you need to participate in ongoing therapy sessions or take any long-term prescriptions, please be sure to connect with Counseling services to arrange therapy sessions, a medication routine, and/or a plan for self-advocacy (as applicable) prior to beginning the school year. In fact, establishing a routine to complete tasks on your own now is a good move – from waking up on time, to doing laundry, room-cleaning, and hygiene.
  2.  Social Media: Keep your social media image in mind. Today, we’re all accessible at the click of a button – and the things we say online follow us. Take time to review their social media content and clean it up, if there is a need. Begin getting connected with Chatham by following us on Twitter and Instagram (@ChathamU, @zwaite), Snapchat (@chathamusnaps), Facebook (Chatham University Office of Student Affairs), and more!
  3. Share Hopes and Expectations: The transition to college can be challenging for your family, too. Do spend time with your family to share your hopes and expectations and listen to their feedback.. Trust me, it may be awkward and difficult, but it is worth doing. Be on the look-out for the next letter – I will list suggested topics to converse with your family.
  4. Chatham Values

These values guide Chatham’s community to build a campus culture that we are proud of.

Be on the lookout for the next communication that will expound on these values and how you can continue to explore and practice these values daily.



  1. Got a Problem? We encourage you to connect directly with me or any staff member of Student Affairs:,, or (412) 365-1286. Reach out to us or the relevant on campus office as the first step and immediately (do not wait until the end of the semester to do so), versus calling home and asking family members to take care of the issue on your behalf.
  2. Making Connections: You have three key advocates built right into your academic schedule – an academic advisor and your SDE 101 (Strategies for Success in College) instructor/success coach and Graduate Assistant Success Coach. Checking in with these advocates early-on and often can help you integrate smoothly into the Chatham community.
  3. Apparel Must Have – Building Your Professional Wardrobe Now: It is not too early to start building your professional wardrobe. Spend time getting the following items: blazers, dress pants, button down shirts, sweaters/cardigans, dresses and skirts, tops/polos/blouses, shoes (flats), briefcases/handbags and accessories. A great article to review before starting a list of what to get – You should also make sure to have a winter coat and other winter clothing—Pittsburgh does get cold!

I am excited to meet each of you during Orientation on Wednesday, August

21st—Sunday August 25th. We are also happy to provide guidance or answer questions before orientation as well. Feel free to connect with me directly at or 412-365-1286. Enjoy the rest of your summer!  GO COUGARS !!!

 On behalf of the Division of Student Affairs – Chatham University,


Zauyah Waite, Ph.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

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