Christian Diaz, Staff Writer
The dean of students position lay vacant when Cathy Kramer became dean of service, and Deborah Myers has taken over the role.
Myers previously worked in a student life position at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. She focused her career on higher education, earning a master’s degree in student affairs administration from the University of Vermont, and is close to completing her doctorate in higher education leadership. She is simultaneously writing her dissertation and working at Warren Wilson.
Myers became familiar with the Work Colleges Consortium after having served at a work college in the mid-90s. She also enjoys working at smaller schools.
“The smallness of the college allows me to know students very well,” Myers said. “Here, I think I’m really going to get to know students as who they really are, as individuals. Everything’s better when you know people one-on-one.”
“I’m really excited to be here and really happy to get to know the students,” Myers continued. “If students want to get to know me, they should stop by.”
Myers is pleased by the constant traffic to and from her office.
“I generally have a very fixed schedule but there are always surprises,” she said. “That’s one thing I like about this job. I don’t like routine. I like to have different things go on in my day and be really active.”
Myers also noted that although there are specific issues she wants to address during her time here, the processes are not quick fixes. This is why there have been no specific changes this semester other than the addition of resident area coordinators.
“I’m going to work on retention,” Myers said. “I’m going to try and improve our student experience so that more students stick around. I’m going to look at everything from student service to customer service, making sure that students are getting the experience they wanted and that this is the kind of place where students want to live.”
Myers currently lives on campus with her husband and two children, much like the area coordinators do now. A big part of her transition has been settling in with her children, one of whom just began attending kindergarten.
“It’s a struggle for a lot of working moms, but my kids keep me grounded,” Myers said. “If I had a rough day at the office I can’t go home and sing the ABC song without feeling better. They bring a lot of joy into my life and keep me balanced. We like to eat in the dining hall; my kids think it’s Disneyland.”
“To be part of the community is great, but it’s nice we have our own space too.” Myers concluded, “we want to stay here a long time.”