Meet LCUR’s New Registrar and Academic Advisor

Did You Know?

  • Luther College students pay the same tuition and fees as other University of Regina students.

  • Luther College offers the best of both worlds: a smaller college environment with all the benefits of a larger university.

  • Luther College offers Bundles and Bundles Plus programs! Bundles and Bundles Plus are groupings of courses hand-selected by our academic advisors to help set new students up for a successful first semester.

  • Luther students can sign up for the UR Guarantee program - get a guaranteed job after you graduate!

  • Luther grads attend a special graduation ceremony and luncheon celebration at Luther College as well as the U of R convocation ceremony

  • It pays to go to Luther College. Literally. Luther students are eligible for an additional $100,000 in scholarships, in addition to all of the awards available to them as U of R!

  • ALL U of R students including Luther students can take Luther courses.

  • The Luther Library has over 18,000 items in its collection, 3,000 books checked out per year, and 6,000 students who come through its door per month.

Meet LCUR’s New Registrar and Academic Advisor

From a Luther University student’s first academic advising session to walking across the stage at convocation, Tatum Cruise and Karen Prior (HS’05, U’11) are there with them every step of the way.

Tatum Cruise, Registrar  

A graduate of Campion College (BA, French) and the University of Regina (Master in Leadership, Diploma in Business Administration), Tatum began her career in the Luther College Academic Office and went on to the Faculty of Arts at the University of Regina, serving as Academic Advisor for eight years before moving to the Faculty of Education in 2012, where she served as both Academic Program Advisor and Manager, Student Program Centre. In July 2015, Tatum began her role as the second-ever Registrar in the forty-six-year history of Luther’s University campus. Tatum loves Starbucks coffee (she parks on the other side of campus just so that she can walk past Starbucks every morning to get coffee) and is an avid runner. She ran in the Queen City marathon in 2016 and plans to do so again this year.
 

Karen Prior, Academic Advisor 

An alumna of Luther College High School (HS’05) and University (BA, Psychology) (U’11), Karen began her career in the Luther College Academic Office in 2011 as Academic Clerk. Over the next five years she would alternate between this role and Assistant to the Dean (for two terms) until 2015, when she moved on to Globe Theatre as their Development Manager. She returned to Luther in July 2016 as the new Academic Advisor. Karen can’t live without her tea and is a devoted soccer fan, supporting Liverpool FC.
 

What They Love About Luther Students

For Tatum and Karen, the relationship with the students at Luther goes beyond simply helping them pick their classes – they both really enjoy how they to get to know their students on a personal level and they feel privileged to be part of each student’s academic journey, whether for only a semester or their entire undergraduate degree. “It feels like we have six hundred children of our own that we care for and want to see succeed,” says Tatum. “We are there for them in the good times and the bad, share in their successes, and even worry about them when we are not at work.”

They love that students feel comfortable enough to simply stop by the office (even after graduation) to say hello, to see what they thought of last weekend’s soccer match, or to tell them about how they did on their midterms. A majority of the students even have their favourite and will not waiver. “I have had students tell me that ‘you’re my person,’” says Karen.

The reciprocal relationship can also be very emotional when students show their appreciation. Tatum recalls tearing up after receiving an email from a student who had finally been accepted to a Pharmacy program after struggling for a couple of years. She was so proud. “Advising can be emotionally taxing at times, as you put your heart and soul into your work day, but when you hear that you helped a student reach their goal, it is all worth it,” says Tatum. At the end of the day, both find it very rewarding to work with the students, and show up every day ready to be “professional problem solvers” for the students. “Without the students, we would not be here,” says Karen. “The students and the environment is what brought me back to Luther.”
 

What They Love about the Luther Academic Office

For Tatum and Karen, the staff of the Luther Academic Office is a really strong team that goes above and beyond each day because to everyone it is more than just a job. They all care about the students and care about one another, just like a family. The main office is an open concept, where the team can freely interact with students, faculty, and staff. “The unique and collaborative environment allows the office to solve problems by pulling in different resources and backgrounds from each member of the team,” says Karen. “There is always lots of laughter as we try to keep the office a positive, relaxed, and comfortable environment,” says Tatum. “We hope the students feel that the office is an open and approachable space.”
 

What They Love about the Luther Community

For Tatum and Karen, Luther feels just like home. “During my interview process, I was asked to prepare a presentation on the role of the registrar in a small liberal arts college. I was amazed to see how many people were still at Luther although it had been more than a decade since I had worked in the Academic Office,” says Tatum. “When I saw the familiar faces, I was instantly at ease.” They both love how welcoming and supportive the community is, and how all of the units work so well together, filling in wherever they can. They really look forward to Friday lunches where faculty and staff get together to catch up, laugh, and de-stress, and love that everyone, even student staff, is invited to participate in College-organized events such as the monthly birthday celebrations, All-College meetings, retreats, or after-work social activities. They also appreciate how the Chair of the Board of Regents will periodically join faculty and staff at lunch on Fridays or how board members will participate in Luther’s Spring Convocation ceremony. The Luther community is truly one big family.
 

What They Love about Luther’s Relationship with the University of Regina and the Federated Colleges

For Tatum and Karen, they really value the strong relationships they have developed with the other advisors and registrars on campus through being part of URAAP, a group of academic advising professionals on campus that meet on a monthly basis. “You know everyone by name, and it is nice to have someone to call to troubleshoot with or ask for guidance, especially if you are a new advisor,” says Karen. Tatum confirmed “through being members of this group, working with the U of R Registrar’s Office and the liberal arts faculties, we contribute to the greater University community by participating in a number of committees and offering our assistance to various projects.” Tatum and Karen are able to offer the perspective from the federated colleges, where advisors work with multiple faculties.

There is also a great working relationship between Luther and the two other University of Regina federated colleges, Campion College and First Nations University of Canada. The Registrars meet regularly to discuss best practices and to collaborate on new initiatives. Campion and Luther continue to produce a joint course booklet twice a year to promote their course offerings. This is a long standing initiative that students ask for by name to help them select their courses each term.

Tatum and Karen appreciate the diverse campus and the opportunities to work with staff and faculty who are student-centred. They both agree that it is rare to find this type of supportive and encouraging workplace environment, and that working at Luther College at the University of Regina is “like nowhere else.”