Hoffer Sees Involvement Key to Student Success
By Serenity McLean, Staff Writer
One of the most enthusiastic voices stressing student involvement as a key to success in college is the recently appointed Assistant Director for Student Engagement Dalton Hoffer.
“We want to equip students with the tools to become civically engaged in the community and develop their personal passion for change,” Hoffer said. Part of the Office for Community and Civic Engagement (CCE), the goal is not only involvement on campus but in the local community as well.
Programs such as academic service learning courses, mentoring and literacy programs for at-risk youth of Robeson County and the CARE resource center are just a few of the programs supported by CCE.
Special programs like the Alternative Break Trips held during the fall and spring give students volunteer experience outside the local community and the opportunity to explore culture in out of state cities. Events such as Days of Service are improvement efforts in the local community.
Beginning on the morning of Sept. 13, Hoffer and his co-workers at CCE executed a successful first day of service, with more than 100 volunteers despite the high chance of rain.
“I think we had a really awesome response from students the 9/11 Day of Service despite of the rainy weather because I feel that the students were really eager to volunteer,” Hoffer said.
In observation of both 9/11 and Arbor Day – a green holiday that encourages tree planting- students, staff and community members worked on beautification projects on campus.
Hoffer organized and coordinated all of these programs and events. Because of the great turn out, CCE held a cookout for those volunteers on Sept 22.
Despite upper level staff changes within the office at the beginning of the school year, CCE is blossoming with success.
Hoffer credits the smooth transition to the teamwork of his co-workers, the passion for what he does and a well established foundation left by the past staff members.
“When you love your job, it makes the job a lot easier. The CCE staff – my mentors – helped me in my success so far; now I get to see those people everyday,” Hoffer said.
Hoffer began his career at UNCP as a student, graduating with a Public Relations and Music Theater degree in May 2013.
From student service leader to NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps Vista employee and now Assistant Director, Hoffer has created a deep relationship with the campus and the community. Originally from the small town of Sneads Ferry, N.C., Hoffer described a strong sense of home in Pembroke.
“I couldn’t ask for a better university; Pembroke is so rich in culture and diversity. The community is so accepting. It feels so much like home. I encourage the students of UNCP to get involved and do what you love. Discover your passion and find work that will help you build on that passion,” Hoffer said.
CCE is now collaborating with various student organizations on campus and are traveling to Charleston, S.C., over fall break.
Photo by Tomeka Sinclair. Dalton Hoffer works scheduling events for CCE.