Dr. Gyolai’s student meetings strive to solve community and individual issues


Alexis Hoedeman

Students sign up for a meeting during “office hours” after school.

Before coming to BSM, Dr. Kevin Gyolai had a goal: to personally know all students and the issues that they care about. He started on his goal with a whiteboard, where students can write the issues that they want to fix in their community, but is completing it by holding meetings with students of BSM.

Gyolai, before coming to BSM, was a dean at Inver Hills Community College and a professor at North Dakota Science College. With these roles, however, he did not feel as if he was really involved in his students’ lives. “As a dean, my interaction with students was often during conflict. The connection with the students was through a formal sense, and usually focused around conflict or criticism,” Gyolai said.

So when Gyolai’s position changed, he wanted his relationship with the student body to change with it. “I’m excited to get to know the students as people, where they come from, and what their passions are,” Gyolai said. These new meetings are allowing these goals to be met.

Although Gyolai wants to meet and discuss students’ passions and problems, he really wants to hear the problems that regard that student body and school as a whole. “I want them to talk about the student experience at the school and also talk about how I might not be the best person to help them. So if they have a question about a class, they should go to the teacher. Or if they have a question about a college or university of their choice that is sort of specific to their future plans, then they should see one of the college advisors,” Gyolai said.

I’m excited to get to know the students as people, where they come from, and what their passions are

— Dr. Kevin Gyolai

Gyolai also wants these meetings to be easy to fit into the students’ schedules. “I try to be mindful of their time because many times when I connect with students, after school they are working on homework, in the hallways they are going somewhere, and lunch time is their social time. So that is why the meetings are set up during office hours, so the students and I can find a time to meet that can fit in their schedule,” Gyolai said. These office hours are before, during, and after school so they can fit in students’ busy schedules.

These new meetings are meant to help the students, but will also benefit Dr. Gyolai, because with his new knowledge, he will be able to make BSM a better school for everyone in it.