Jim, thanks for agreeing to be our Meet A Deac this week. Can you start by telling me your job title and how long you’ve worked at Wake? My title is Associate Dean of Students. I’ve been at Wake just over three years.
Tell me a little about your educational background. I have a BS in Biology and in Chemistry from Pittsburg State University and an MA in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University. I have a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and I also did some post-doctoral certifications, one in Institutional Research from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and one in Executive Management from Harvard University.
How would you describe your job in layperson’s terms? I’m the chief conduct officer at Wake Forest. I work to educate, develop, and support students who are alleged to have violated the Student Code of Conduct.
What would you like people to know about your job or area? We are educators who care deeply for students and the Wake Forest community. We listen to each and every student with care and concern, and we focus on how to support and develop each individual student. Conduct is not a legal system or a set of processes like you or I would experience if we broke a law, it’s an educational and supportive system using educational and preventative outcomes to avoid students being separated from Wake Forest.
What do you like best about working at Wake? Definitely the people! We have some of the smartest students I’ve ever worked with here, supported by incredible faculty and staff who are truly at the top of their game.
What advice would you give Wake students if they asked you? Take advantage of all Wake has to offer! You have opportunities to develop important and meaningful relationships with your peers, with faculty, and with staff. Everyone here, including your peers, are exceptional people who are the best at what they do and are incredible representatives of their profession, their country, and the future. Participate in arts, athletics, organizations, speaker series, and all the university has to offer.
Let’s flip the script: what’s your advice for parents and families? Trust your student. They’ll make some mistakes (and we’re here to help pick them up and dust them off when they do) and that’s how they learn. You’ve spent a lot of time, effort, energy, and love to get them here – so remind them where they came from, how much you care for them, and let them explore. Encourage them to get involved in much more than just their major and academics. Our student organizations are awesome places to make new friends, find belonging, and make a difference.
Now we arrive at the bonus questions!
Book(s) you’re reading now, and/or podcasts you are listening to: I have a couple of books on mindfulness I continue to read from. At work, we’re reading/re-reading Brené Brown’s books on leadership. For fun, Stephen King, sci-fi, mystery, or thriller.
Favorite movies/TV shows/Netflix, etc.: I don’t watch a lot of network TV. For Netflix, it’s The Great British Baking Show, several other international series like Derry Girls, and some of the international mystery/thriller series, like Dark.
Website(s) you frequent: I look at news sites and email. I don’t maintain a lot of social media; the work of amassing followers and likes falls way behind playing with the dog, walking, cooking, or sitting on the screened porch.
What brings you joy? Laughing and spending time with friends and family. Making great meals and memories. I like being outdoors – swimming, boating, hiking. We enjoy wine tastings in North Carolina and Virginia, and have re-started going to concerts. We have season tickets at the Tanger Center for the Broadway Series.
Introvert or extrovert? Extrovert most of the time – being around others energizes me.
Something most people don’t know about you: I’m from Kansas!
What didn’t I ask that you’d want to answer? “Why do you do what you do?” I truly believe what we do helps to change the future of our country and our world. Helping students learn, grow, develop, and become all they can be is what drives progress for all of us. Whether that’s research into science and medicine, making laws, leading business or industry, or creative exploration; higher education and the opportunities for learning about self, others, and the world changes the future.
Jim, thanks for being this week’s Meet A Deac, and thank you for all you do for our students and our campus.
Reminder: you can read past Meet A Deacs here.