Wes Whiteside, associate director of recruitment and diversity at the Newhouse School, has been recognized with a Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in the category of Outstanding Contributions to the Student Experience and University Initiatives. The citation recognizes individuals who have enhanced the undergraduate experience or have made invaluable contributions to advancing the University’s mission and goals.
“Wes is part of the fabric of the Newhouse School, and has been a key player in both developing and supporting our efforts to creating a welcoming, supportive environment,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “The enthusiasm and creativity he brings to the job every day is infectious.”
Whiteside, affectionately dubbed “the mayor of Newhouse” by his colleagues, is a staff member at the Newhouse Visitors Center, which serves as a first stop for prospective students and families who are visiting campus. Whiteside plays a pivotal role in undergraduate recruitment for the Newhouse School, leading tours and hosting information sessions. When COVID safety protocols closed campus to visitors, Whiteside developed and led a series of online information sessions and casual “fireside chats,” allowing prospective and admitted students to ask questions and get to know current students. He also conducted live virtual tours of the Newhouse facilities.
In addition to prospective students, Whiteside also works closely with current students. He oversees the Newhouse Ambassadors, a group of students from diverse backgrounds who connect with prospective and first-year students for peer support in an effort to create a more inclusive environment at Newhouse.
His work with students and his leadership in diversity initiatives was a major contributor to the Newhouse School winning the AEJMC Equity & Diversity Award, one of the highest honors in diversity and inclusion, last spring.
“Wes’s hard work and dedication to students helped earned him a title he rightly deserves—‘the mayor of Newhouse,’” says Melissa Chessher, chair of magazine, news and digital journalism, who nominated Whiteside for the recognition. “But the challenges brought on by the pandemic and by the #NotAgainSU student movement highlighted the depth of his commitment to students and his willingness to go to any length to support their academic, social and emotional well-being. He has been instrumental in our work to make Newhouse a more diverse and inclusive space, and he deserves this honor for all that he does to support all Newhouse students.”
Whiteside joined Syracuse University in 2009, and has held positions as an admissions counselor in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, academic adviser at the Newhouse School and career exploration specialist in the Office of Central Career Services.