For The Record

Sometimes small things matter in important ways. And sometimes they come in adorable packages.

Meet Joyce, an outgoing pup with a heart of gold who has become a regular at the law school. She started coming to campus to keep her owner Alex Sklut, associate dean of students, company at a time the building was largely empty due to COVID-19 protocols. As students, faculty, and staff started coming back, Joyce kept coming, too, charming everyone around her.

Her secret? “You don’t need to impress her,” Sklut says. She’s extroverted and always happy to see everyone.

Sklut took note of the impression Joyce’s friendly disposition consistently made on others. Sklut’s responsibilities include developing programs to support student well-being, and she recognized that students enduring the pressures and stress of a rigorous law education got a welcome break whenever Joyce came their way.

The next step was obvious: “I should make it official,” Sklut said. Joyce is now in formal training to become a certified therapy dog and another credentialed member of the law school team serving students.