A Guide for Students

Renee Vachon Danho, RWU’s first-ever director of student and family assistance, acts as an educational guide for students and their families

A headshot of Renee Vachon Danho
Renee Vachon Danho, RWU’s first-ever director of student and family assistance, helps empower students with the confidence to succeed as independent adult learners.
Juan Siliezar

BRISTOL, R.I. – Research shows that when students are successful outside the classroom, that success translates inside of it as well. Roger Williams University student life and academic success experts agree. It’s why they’ve been working to focus on better serving students when life outside the classroom intersects with life inside of it.

“For the student it’s seamless,” said Lisa Landreman, assistant vice president and dean of Student Life at RWU. “But there is a whole team of trained professionals invested in connecting students to the right resources.”

One of these experts is Renee Vachon Danho, RWU’s first-ever director of student and family assistance.

Danho is based in the Center for Student Development, where she helps empower students with the confidence to succeed as independent adult learners. Danho acts as an “educational guide” for students and their families, whether the student is an undergraduate or graduate student.

“I’m the person who knows who to connect them with,” Danho said.

In her role, Danho is charged with forming lasting relationships with students and families from pre-orientation through Commencement. Students come or are referred to Danho when they may need guidance on a range of issues and aren’t sure where to go next.

Danho is focused on all students, particularly those in distress, and works with them to connect with the right resources whether that’s in the Counseling Center,Health Services, the Center for Academic Success, Residence Life, or a campus club or organization.

Danho is also the point person for students seeking to take a medical leave of absence. She counsels them through the request process and stays in contact with them while they are away. When students are ready to return, she helps them to smoothly reinstate and resume their college career.

As part of her role, Danho also works with the families of current students. As she does with students, Danho assists families to connect their student with the appropriate resources.

“Sometimes a student doesn’t know who or how to ask, so their family may reach out to me and I am able to connect them from that starting point,” she said.

Other times families notice something is amiss with their student but aren’t sure what it is, so they may contact her.

Danho welcomes these conversations with both students and their families in an effort to identify prospective issues and to guide students to positive outcomes that help them become resilient, successful adult learners.

An educator who has been at Roger Williams University since 2015, Danho brings a wealth of knowledge to her role both from an academic and a student life perspective, and an understanding that her role is about ensuring that students know they are in an environment that is encouraging and supportive of their overall well-being.

Renee Vachon Danho, director of student and family assistance, can be reached at 401-254-3009 or rdanho@rwu.edu.