New program ‘Ram Institute’ launches this May

Suffolk University will be launching Ram Institute, a new program for students to expand their network, increase their involvement and explore different pillars of leadership.

Through Ram Institute, students will have a chance to learn more about arts and culture, leadership and social and racial justice.

Alex Paterson, director of orientation and new student programs, said Ram Institute is an extension of Ram Academy and aims to give students more opportunities to explore leadership on campus and beyond.

“It’s like the next level. The concept behind that was to help our students continue to grow their leadership and exposure to campus, different students, and our community in the city of Boston,” said Paterson.

A large focus of the program is on experiential learning, something that Suffolk is prioritizing as part of its 2025 plan.

“Some students aren’t ready to be engaged during their first year or first few weeks of school,” Paterson said. “And so they might be ready to dabble in different experiences on campus at this point, where there also might be someone who was super involved their first year or second year, and they want to go to the next level.”

Casey Mulcare, the director of student leadership and involvement, said the program will push students to reflect on their time at Suffolk thus far with other students.

“We’re gonna push you a little bit more to start thinking about your year, the past year you’ve had and the experiences you’ve had, reflect on some of those pieces work together with another group that you’re not maybe as comfortable with, and really starting to push yourself and think about ‘How do I want to spend the next one to three years here?’” said Mulcare.

Patterson said while the schedule for Ram Institute has not been released, students will be immersed in the city and different aspects of leadership, culture and activism.

“Ram Institute is going to immerse students in all of the tracks,” said Paterson. “So you get a little bit of everything each day.”

The institute is a collaboration between multiple student affairs offices, an opportunity that Kristin Baker, the director of Suffolk Performing Arts, believes was created out of the pandemic.

[Our offices] are not as tracked or siloed as we make them sometimes. So I think this idea that we could pull across offices into one program was an idea that we were swirling around for a little bit,” said Baker.

Because it is a new program, it is difficult to say for sure what exactly students will take away from the event. However, Baker said that participants have a lot to look forward to.

“It’s hard to be the first inaugural class of any program, but we’re excited to try this out to get people’s feedback,” Baker said. “I think that looking at the schedule, I cannot imagine anyone signing up for this showing up and having a bad time. I don’t think it’s possible.”

Ram Institute is open to freshmen, sophomores and juniors and will take place May 10-13. Registration requires a $40 deposit that will be refunded at the completion of the program, and scholarships are available based on circumstances.

To register, visit the link in @suffolkrammy’s Instagram account bio.

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