Sunday, September 29, 2013

End of An Era: Always a T-Bird

I have only had 1 job since I got out of college - Admissions @ Southern Utah University. I absolutely loved being able to share my enthusiasm of my college experience, favorite professors, pranks pulled & favorite places around southern Utah for nearly 12 years. I had a chance to work with students from tiny towns in southern Utah, Las Vegas natives, families from beach cities in California & even international students across the globe in China. I have been mentored by some very fine higher education professionals who were always willing to share the BIG picture of exactly why we did what we did. 

Some of my favorite moments:

*My 1st week of work at SUU I was sent to visit schools in Bryce Valley, UT [graduating senior class of 9], Escalante, UT & Wayne County, UT. Tiny schools miles & miles apart from each other. It was a beautiful scenic drive to these location. I stayed at a tiny hotel on the edge of Capitol Reef National Park. The front desk gave me my keys & told me to hurry back to the lobby restaurant because dinner was served at 6PM & if I didn't eat there I had to drive 30 miles into the next town for food. Realization I was in small town, rural Utah quick!

*My appendix got mad at me at a Noel-Levitz conference in Denver. 3 great men I was traveling with - Dale Orton, Paul Morris & Dean O'Driscoll took me to the ER.  Dale & Paul stayed with me all night while the doctors gave me the diagnosis - My appendix was bursting & had to come out. I awoke from surgery with Dale Orton sitting next to me. They rarely left me until my Mom arrived to take care of me. Lifelong bond with those gentleman.

*I love working with high school juniors & seniors & their families. I do not love working with junior high students in massive groups for on-campus tours & activities. I had a particularly challenging group one day & threatened to duct tape their mouths shut. Stephen Allen, our VP for Enrollment Services, overheard me & laughed & laughed. He never let me live that one down often handing me duct tape on rough days.

*I have worked with talent over the years - Nicole Funderburk, Jared Wilcken, Kristi Schultz, Andrea Latimer-Wilcox, Brooke Eardley, Jake Johnson, Keena Dexter, Quinn Mortensen, Erin Brown, Ang Hansen-Aiono, Juliann Smith-Jenne, Dave, Paula Parry, Scott Brueck, Kirk Blake, Liz Wallis, Ryan Copeland, Jenna DeGering...and many, many more students & colleagues on-campus. 
[Top Left to Right] Brooke Eardley, Jared Wilcken, Dana
[Bottom Left to Right] Andrea Wilcox, Kristi Schultz

May Planning Retreat - May 2013

Dana, Andrea & Nicole
Utah High School Tour - 2004 or 2005

Jake Johnson, Dana & Jared
New York City
AACRAO National Conference - 2004 or 2005

*Liz & I took a recruiting trip to so. Cal a few years ago & had a ball fighting LA traffic, driving up & down the PCH & almost losing a very important piece of jewelry. We bonded on that trip & will be a force to be reckoned with here on out....

WACAC Conference - Reno - May 2012

*China. Eye-opening. With my good friend Nicole. Crazy food. Crazier taxi drivers. The Great Wall. Huge college fairs. Loved it.

*Long story shorter: Attended a Christmas party at Stephen & Lisa Allen's home years & years ago. Families were invited & we exchanged horrid white elephant presents. Chad & I had taken a funny looking ceramic cat we found at D.I. & got it back at the end of the night. We left it in the Allen's Nativity display & it took them days to find it. They got a kick out of that cat. That cat got exchanged between our families for years & years. That cat went to Chicago, Arizona & even got a custom Snuggie. The cat went missing a few years back but we still joked about it. As I was departing SUU, I found another ugly dollar store cat & left it on Stephen's desk so he can't forget us. 

Alas, after 12 years I felt it was time for a new challenge. My opportunities here in so. California are great & I've had the chance to make some great connections through the Regional Admissions Counselors of California [RACC]. 

So -- after a daunting job search at the end of this summer, I have taken a position as a Regional Admissions Counselor with the University of Delaware. I'll still be living in so. Cal, working from home. UD is looking to expand their name & recognition across the country & was very interested in having an admissions professional on the West Coast who could get their program up & running. I was very interested in this position because as I went through the interview process my opinion was valued & they were asking me the best way to achieve their goals. I wasn't just going to be a road warrior 2,700 miles away. Their staff is driven & I could tell that we spoke the same admissions, fast-paced language.

I will always be a T-Bird at heart & remember my years with SUU fondly. 

Now - I'm adopting blue & gold as new favorite colors & showing students from the Pacific side new opportunities they can have on the Atlantic side.

1 comment:

Sheena said...

Congrats Dana what an exciting new adventure! They are so luck to have you!!!