I came to Denison in 1988 to teach in the Communication Department. I later served for six years as Communication’s department chair before becoming the Dean of First-Year Students. I loved working with students beyond the classroom, and enjoyed the creative challenges of operating a program that had so many facets: helping students with transition concerns, overseeing orientation programs, publishing an annual anthology, coordinating first-year advising. After five years, I became the Director of the Alford Center for Service-Learning, a role that allowed me to work with students and faculty, and with our local community, in new ways. Since 2010, I’ve been honored to serve as the Vice President for Student Development. Colleges and universities are usually inspiring places to work, but Denison is truly special. For 25 years, I’ve been given worthwhile work to do with wonderful students and colleagues I admire deeply.
I arrived at Denison in July 2007 as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Education. I transitioned to the Dean of Students role during the summer of 2012. I moved to Granville from Washington, DC where I served in student development roles at Georgetown and CUA for seven years. I am very fortunate to be a dean on this campus because so much good is happening here on our hilltop and every day brings new challenges and opportunities. In my role I supervise the residential education team, support students through the withdraw/return process, advise DCGA, manage the after hours on call response team, coordinate networks of support for students who may be dealing with a significant concern or circumstance, and promote programs that help students fully enjoy their experience. I came to Denison because of the distinctive residential college experience it offers to students during their four years living on campus. As an educator in a setting like ours, I look for ways to challenge and support students as they become engaged citizens in community. Thank you for reading our commentary and I hope to learn from your feedback.
I had the good fortune of coming to Denison in the summer of 2011 as the Director of Career Exploration and Development. My career has taken me from Ohio-Ashland College to Illinois-Knox College to Iowa-Grinnell College and before arriving at Denison, The University of Akron. Coming to Denison was a conscious decision. Having built my career at small, private, selective institutions and then launching into new waters at a state institution with 30,000 students and a staff of 30, I reflected on what mattered most to me and why I choose a career in higher education. It came down to students. Students, particularly Denison students, bring me excitement and a sense of accomplishment. In my short time, we have created a program that works with all class years, connected with parents and alumni, established off-campus opportunities through First Look Chicago and ExternsEverywere, and developed opportunities for students to reflect on their own career development. I welcome the opportunities students bring and the work that is happening with Career Exploration and Development. I hope you will enjoy the posts and I look forward to your feedback.
I am the Coordinator of Assessment & Research in Student Development. I am asked all the time, “so what does that mean?” Great question! I work with each department in Student Development (e.g. Residential Education, Career Exploration, Health & Counseling Services, etc.) to measure effectiveness. We want to be sure we’re serving students in the best way possible and that students are learning from their co-curricular experiences. What do you learn by participating in DU Lead or August Orientation? What do you learn from your appointment at Whisler or your meetings with your tutor? The “research” portion of my title means that I investigate the questions that are on the minds of individuals within the community, meaning I get to dig down into the data to unearth patterns or trends within the student body or conduct focus groups to hear students’ voices on a particular matter. And then, there are the other fun things I get to do—the most familiar to students may be the popular Tuesday Questions. I love numbers and data. I love deciphering patterns and trying to discern what the data mean. When interpreting data, I also benefit from having lived the Denison student experience (being an alumna from the class of 2009), so while I can see the trends and the patterns, I have a bit of context behind the numbers as well.