November 9, 2023

With nine new representatives elected in July, WPI’s inaugural Staff Council is now at full strength. 

The 18 staff members from offices and departments across WPI make up a diverse group that acts as a collective voice for the interests and needs of WPI’s non-union staff, helping to foster a positive and inclusive environment at WPI. The Council evolved from WPI’s strategic plan, Lead with Purpose, which sets as a goal to “expand the voice of staff in steering the university.” 

Through regular meetings with leadership in the Division of Talent & Inclusion and other administrators, Staff Council advocates for WPI’s non-union staff members while also supporting the university’s mission and strategic goals. 

The initial cohort, elected in July 2022, spent several months developing a governance structure and constitution. Now the full body has begun discussions with university leadership about a variety of staff issues, including work schedules and improving communication on matters that have a direct impact on staff. Watch for updates about those conversations in future emails and announcements. 

In the meantime, the most recently elected Staff Council members share in their own words why they got involved and what they hope to achieve. We’ll hear from three in each installment. 

Lusine Baghsarian, Executive Assistant (Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

Staff Council member Lusine Baghsarian

Why did you want to run for Staff Council? 

I’ve been part of the WPI community for the past 10 years. I enjoy the vibe and positive outlook everyone brings to campus. I want to use my skills to help improve staff engagement and give back to the WPI staff community. The staff plays a pivotal role in the operations of the university. Thus, having a robust and connected staff community is important for WPI’s vitality. 

What are the top three things you hope the Council will be able to accomplish?

  • Create opportunities and events for staff members to come together to foster connections and relationships across departments, building a sense of community and belonging. 
  • Create opportunities for staff members’ personal and professional growth through a holistic approach that supports a healthy lifestyle. 
  • Improve communications among staff, faculty, and leadership.

How do you think WPI as a whole will benefit from having a Staff Council?  

I think the Staff Council will help reduce obstacles and challenges some staff members face, which will help make their work experience more pleasant while also improving operations’ efficiency. 

Adrienne Boertjens, Assistant Director of International Student Life (International Operations)

Staff Council member Adrienne Boertjens

Why did you want to run for Staff Council? 

As a relatively new member of the WPI community, I’m excited to collaborate with and get to know colleagues across campus. I believe building staff relationships is paramount to our ability to best serve our students, and I’m excited to advocate for WPI staff in creating a holistically healthy work environment.

What are the top three things you hope the Council will be able to accomplish? 

I hope we can create an environment where our input is well received and thoughtfully considered by decision-makers at the institution. I also hope we can enhance overall staff cohesiveness through collective networking and event planning, and ultimately foster a culture that enables us to be more effective professionals.

How do you think WPI as a whole will benefit from having a Staff Council?  

Staff Council provides staff the opportunity to advocate for ourselves and gives us a “voice” where we might otherwise have none. It also provides a platform for professionals across various areas to connect and collaborate in ways we may not have previously explored. I believe Staff Council not only strengthens WPI’s current professional community, but also serves as a positive indicator of our campus culture for prospective employees. 

Nicole Caligiuri, Grants Specialist (Office of Sponsored Programs)

Staff Council member Nicole Caligiuri

Why did you want to run for Staff Council?

When I started at WPI six years ago, many people helped me gain institutional knowledge, and with each role I’ve taken on, my colleagues trained me and helped me grow professionally. This collaboration has had a great influence on me, and serving on Staff Council is a way for me to build new lines of communication with colleagues. 

What are the top three things you hope the Council will be able to accomplish?

  • I want to help create a strong foundation so that Staff Council develops its full potential as a tool for staff communication, idea exchanges, and growth. 
  • I hope to work with peers across the university to bring people together to communicate and share ideas. 
  • I look forward to helping develop methods of healthy communication throughout our community and discussing matters that are important to the staff with WPI leadership and then circling back with staff. 

How do you think WPI as a whole will benefit from having a Staff Council?

I think it is important to have open lines of communication so that information can easily and effectively be shared throughout the WPI community. I look forward to continuing the work that has been done already in this area so that years from now the WPI Staff Council will be a strong and thriving entity that serves all community members positively. 

You're Invited!


Staff Council will host a Staff Gratitude Gathering with 
refreshments, prizes, and great company!



Monday, November 20, 2-3:30 p.m.

Odeum, Campus Center