Julia and Sara, director and assistant director, peanut butter and jelly…and what they may jokingly refer to themselves as, dumb and dumber.

But this duo is far from that title. From working in the First Year Programs (FYP) office for years, Julia Roland and Sara Juckem have a rich history at MSUM and have developed a close friendship.

Both began their journey in their undergrad years at MSUM. Julia worked as a student orientation counselor (SOC) at that time, and then eventually came back to MSUM for graduate school. After working in the FYP office again at the graduate level, she became the assistant director, and finally, her current position, director of First Year Programs in 2014.

Sara shares a similar story as Julia. She started as a SOC and Dragon Mentor. She worked with FYP during her graduate years as well, and in the fall of 2018, was hired as the assistant director of First Year Programs.

Is it their shared love of guiding new MSUM students that make these two out to be such a dynamic duo, or could it be their similar spunky attitudes they bring to work each day?

According to one of Sara’s first memories of Julia back when she was hired as an undergrad, it could be the latter.

“To see a professional female leading people on campus and have a role like that was inspiring,” Sara recalls.

She remembers thinking she and Julia had similar personalities, and that it was great to see somebody being a leader but still who they truly are.

Julia remembers meeting a smiling and eager young Sara, although thinking back, never thought she’d be working so closely with her still to this day.

“It was super fun to watch her grow,” Julia said.

Now, the two work collaboratively. According to Sara they’re “very in-tune,” and according to Julia, “Sara does an awesome job at reading my mind.” Communication is key for them, even if that means yelling across the hall into each other’s office.

They know a lot about each other, including Sara’s knowledge of Julia’s extensive Holiday Barbie collection. They have shared many memories not only working together in the office, but also during SOC training and Welcome Week, a busy time for the FYP team.

This year may have looked different for the two, but they still have been working hard to get ready for the start of the school year. If you see this duo around campus, say hello and you’re guaranteed a laugh.

Do you know a duo on campus who would make a great feature? Send their names to marketingteam@mnstate.edu.