Current position and responsibilities: Academic dean of students for Kaplan University’s Indianapolis Learning Center, which opened April 2010. I currently serve about 120 students, and we are growing each month. Some of my responsibilities include analyzing trends in student performance to develop retention strategies, managing a staff of three (two academic advisors and an academic coach) and a team of eight faculty members and creating and leading professional development workshops for my faculty. I collaborate with students on academic probation to develop plans for success, and work with students who have disabilities (I am also the campus’ disabilities coordinator) to assure accommodations are met.
I lead New Student Orientation presentations each month and maintain our Learning Center’s Facebook page. I participate in leadership meetings for the campus, lead weekly accountability meetings for the entire campus staff, and coordinate campus events to create a sense of community. I also started The Kaplan Chronicle, our monthly newsletter that includes the “Top Three Need-to-Knows;” it features both a student and a staff member in each issue.
Major project/achievement of the past year: In November I held the first quarterly Academic Honors Recognition Open House; we catered in dinner. I gave a short talk as did the campus president, and we gave each student a certificate and (really awesome) personalized Kaplan calendars.
Why did you choose education/student administration as your career field: I love connecting with people, learning what motivates them and finding ways to help them feel successful, especially those who have been given up on. Every single person, whether 14 or 40, can do amazing things when he is supported with firm compassion.
How did Butler prepare you for your career: To be honest, nothing can prepare you for a career — no, way of life —that is education. However, the best mindset Butler College of Education helped me develop is the importance of being a reflective practitioner. While we all rolled our eyes at having to write another reflection about a classroom observation or lesson taught, I have developed tremendously through my habit of analyzing the activities I’ve led and events I’ve organized so that I can enhance what worked and tweak what didn’t. Being an educator means you are constantly evolving. What could be more satisfying?
Most memorable experience at Butler: I think the most memorable experience for me was my freshman year at Schwitzer. I learned more than I thought possible about who I was as a student, daughter, musician and friend.