Carol Menard-Fulthorp, who occupies a split position between Student Life and Development and the Dean of Students Office, CSULB is about student success and development.
"I love to match students with meaningful involvement experiences.
Menard-Fulthorp is a “Beach” alumna success story. She began her CSULB career at the Bickerstaff Academic Center for Student Athletes in July 2001 as a protégé under the mentorship of Gayle Fenton, director of the center. A unique Student Services funded program, the Protégé Program provided two-year paid internships to selected graduate students enrolled in the College of Education’s student development in higher education master of science option. The program gave Menard-Fulthorp the opportunity to work under the mentorship of Fenton and Vice President Doug Robinson, Protégé Program founder. In 2003, Menard-Fulthorp completed her master of science degree, her internship ended and she transitioned to a full-time professional position in Student Services.
In her current assignment as coordinator of the Dean of Students’ Office, Menard-Fulthorp provides administrative support and direction to CSULB’s showcase Partners for Success Faculty Mentoring Students Program. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the program pairs first-generation undergraduate students with faculty members who mentor and advise the students toward successful graduation and post-grad plans.
“I’m ecstatic to participate in Partners for Success,” said Menard-Fulthorp, who received her bachelor of science degree in public relations from Cal Poly Pomona. “It’s a rewarding experience to connect first-generation students with one of our 42 outstanding faculty mentors. As a first-generation student myself, I had dedicated support from my parents to attend college and amazing CSULB faculty and Student Services mentors, which provided the perfect combination of an on/off campus network. I take great joy in knowing that Partners students are receiving these same benefits of a mentoring relationship.”
In her role in the Dean of Students Office, Menard-Fulthorp enjoys working on special projects with Associate Vice President for Student Services/Dean of Students Mike Hostetler. “Dr. Hostetler makes intentional decisions on how a project will best serve CSULB students and the campus community. I enjoy working with these projects, such as the Graduate Student Services Committee.” Hostetler also encouraged Menard-Fulthorp to get professionally involved with the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education; she currently serves on several committees in the Western region.
As a coordinator in Student Life and Development, Menard-Fulthorp advises student leaders in the academic organizations within the colleges of Natural Sciences/Mathematics and Education. She also collaborates with the SLD team on leadership retreats and programs.
For Menard-Fulthorp, a highlight is when student organizations successfully implement special events for the campus community. “The main highlight is commencement,” she said. “It’s so exciting to share in the graduation celebration of your students. On my office wall, I have photos of graduating students covered in confetti showers to share with future student leaders.”
Working with students demands a special skill set. “I need a strong understanding of student development theory, student engagement models, current research trends and counseling skills,” she said. “I need to be able to recognize and validate that every student has different experiences, needs and goals. It is important to learn about them and then facilitate their leadership, career or personal development. Everyone in SLD strives to connect students with meaningful involvement experiences.”
When not at “The Beach,” the Newport Beach resident enjoys outdoor activities in the sun like biking, tennis and attending Angels’ games with her husband, Keith Fulthorp, himself a 2002 CSULB graduate with a master’s in school counseling. Weekends are about family and friends. Annual vacations involve visiting family in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Seattle.
Menard-Fulthorp finds working at CSULB very rewarding. She feels a key to helping students is collaboration with professional colleagues and friends in Student Services. “It’s wonderful to have a network of truly dedicated and knowledgeable colleagues and SDHEers across campus so that I can team up on special projects or refer students to them. It is amazing to me that I have the opportunity and role every day to be part of a CSULB team that serves our students and contributes to their success on the road to graduation.”