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Introducing New Student Services Director, Ms. Iman Bearde

Ms. Iman Bearde and Ms. Zarafshaan Nadeem

Ms. Iman Bearde, an Oakland native, joined Lincoln University as Student Services Director in January 2023. She brings a wide range of experiences and enthusiasm, which she shared in a video interview on April 11, 2023.

Editor: "Student Services plays a vital role in every educational organization, so we would like to ask a few questions to help Lincoln students get to know you better. To start with, can you tell us a little about yourself and your past experiences before joining Lincoln?"

Ms. Iman: "I was born and raised in Oakland, California, so Oakland is home for me. I have a long-standing history in sports -- coaching and playing -- and I've had vast experience in many different categories of life. I've done admin positions before, and I was in sales, but I decided to transition to something more developmental, where I can have a bigger impact on students like yourself."

Editor: "What sparked your interest in sports?"

Ms. Iman: "My parents didn't know what to do with me, and I had too much energy, so they threw me into soccer. And from nine years old until now I've been stuck to it, and I love it. It will always be a part of me."

Editor: "What do you think are the biggest challenges facing students today, and how do you plan to address those challenges in your role?"

Ms. Iman: "I think kids have almost too much access, and everything is findable, doable, and searchable on their phone. So, I think our challenge as a school is meeting them where they are in their ability to access things. We can update, stay relevant, and give them tools that will help them in this quickly accessible world. I would say one of the challenges is just getting everyone on board in the same direction."

Editor: "How can students get involved with student services, and what types of services does Lincoln need and require?"

Ms. Iman: "I really feel like we need more student involvement. I am a big advocate of giving students a well-rounded experience. I know we're a small campus and we don't have the typical facilities that a huge university has, so I think the more we can involve the students in these social activities, whether it be workshops, going out to events, or hosting things here like cultural day coming up. I really feel like the student engagement needs to rise and increase so that Lincoln students can get a full well-rounded experience here and not just go to class and then go home."

Editor: "In your opinion, what are the most important services that student services should provide to students, and how will you ensure that they are made accessible and effective?"

Ms. Iman: "Definitely health insurance is a big part of Lincoln University's student services. A lot of us are coming from other countries or other parts of the states, so making sure that obviously they have health insurance is a big one. Also, finding jobs, you know, once kids graduate. We want to strengthen our network and our alumni group so that when our students graduate, they have a network to kind of lean on once they're off the campus."

Editor: "What advice would you give a student who is unsure how to approach student services or may feel hesitant to seek help?"

Ms. Iman: "I would definitely say find someone who's not hesitant and have them drag them into student services and come knock on our door. My door is always open for anyone who wants to ask questions, sit in there, and just talk. My door is open for anyone for any reason, so come on down."

Editor: "So, what upcoming changes should the students of Lincoln expect from the student services?"

Ms. Iman: "I definitely want to put together more social activities for you guys. I feel like student services needs to up their game and do a better job of engaging you guys in all kinds of events and social outings so that you guys feel part of a student body and part of Oakland. Oakland is a wealth of food, culture, diversity on many levels, art, music, and I think I want to expose you guys to all that Oakland has to offer."

Editor: "So we hear that Ms. Iman said that the student services is ready to up their game. So, we should also up ourselves and not hold us back and bring out the energy and whatever aspirations, dreams, enthusiasm we have come here for and put ourselves together and join hands with the student services."

Watch the complete video interview (8 min).



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