Q: Can you describe your life?
I’m the Student Life vice president, but before this, I was a teenager growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in Bloomington. I had just started skiing and I loved it. So I decided to come to Rick’s College because of the local skiing and, you know, the fun things to do outdoors. I found my way to what I’m doing right now by starting with a communication background. I was a journalism major and then went on to do public relations. I just loved the opportunity, through student government, at Idaho State University to serve students. So when I had an opportunity to come back here as a student advisor, I jumped on the chance to do that and have enjoyed about 16 years here; eight different positions leading up to this one that I’m doing now.
Q: What is a description of your job or what you do on a daily basis?
I get to focus on students and making sure they are agents who can act. I do that by making sure they have what they need when they need it. It’s so fun to support students in their non-academic pursuits. As we do that, we find that students are very successful in their academic pursuits.
Q: Have you ever experienced any sexism or discrimination throughout your career?
Yeah. You know, I think anybody who is coming up in the world experiences hardships and maybe what they would consider unfair or an injustice. I think that is just part of the human experience. But I am so lucky and so blessed that this is the place where I have spent a lot of my career, because, on the rare occasion that does happen, I work with really great people. Or if I inflict that, right? It’s such a great place to learn and to grow.
Q: How would you deal with situations like that?
Sometimes it’s just unaware, people being unaware. It’s not that they’re ignorant. Usually, they’re unaware. And so usually that would just be a, “Hey, I don’t know if you noticed,” or “I’m not sure if you saw it this way. Here’s my experience.” So, it really, in this atmosphere, is an opportunity to go to my colleague or for them to come to me and say, “Hey, this is what I experienced.” That’s the best thing when it can happen that way.
Q: What if it is a more serious situation?
So I think we would agree that it is the ideal situation if you can just go to your colleague and work things out, but we all know that there are times when the offense is so jarring or, on the extreme, so severe that going to the offender is not the way to do it. So, I do want our students to know about resources that they have on campus. If you have an issue with your faculty member, let’s say, comments you don’t appreciate or experiences with that faculty member that don’t feel right to you, know that you can always go to the department chair through their academic leadership lines. The department chair is always available to talk to students. But as a student, know that you also have an advocate in the dean of students. And so if you don’t know who the department chair is or that just doesn’t feel comfortable to you, Brother Kipp Harris is our dean of students, and he works in the Kimball Building. He’s available in Kimball 290 for drop-ins or to call at extension 9200. Whatever is comfortable, know you can do that. And he’s a great resource for any issue someone may be facing. But if it does fall into more severe issues like sexual assault or sexual discrimination I would love for our students to know about Nick Rammell in the Title IX Office. Brother Rammell is fantastic on helping with those kinds of issues. I would also offer that when you’re dealing with issues of sexual discrimination or sexual assault as a woman, it can just feel a lot better to talk to a woman about those kinds of issues. So, of course, I’m always available, but we have a professional counselor on campus and her name is Emily Brumbaugh. She’s in the Counseling Center and she’s our sexual assault support counselor and she’s fantastic. And so I would advise students who are dealing with tough issues to know that they’re not alone. There’s a wonderful dean of students. There’s a wonderful Title IX coordinator and there’s also Sister Brumbaugh. So, I just hope that every student is having a positive experience and that they’re growing and flourishing here. But on those cases where we’re getting it wrong, we do have resources to help students.
Q: What does it mean to you to be in a leadership position?
I think “leadership” is the title. We come to school here so that we can be disciples of Jesus Christ who are leaders in our homes, and church and the community, but what you quickly find is that as a disciple, leadership means service. If you’re not serving those that you’re leading, I think we’re missing it.
Q: This year there are a lot of women running for office. Do you have any thoughts on women in leadership positions?
Yeah, you know, the thing that I love about life is the opportunities to lead where we stand. So just like our mission statement says, we will have seasons where that is in the home, we will have seasons where that is in the community, and we will have seasons where that is in our workplaces of choice. So I’m just so excited for any woman who finds herself in a season of leadership on behalf of her community. It’s a really exciting thing.
Q: Do you have any advice specifically for young women who are in college or starting their careers?
My biggest advice would be to be confident in your choice and in your developing. You don’t know everything, but you know enough. I would want women to know that they are smart enough, they are capable enough, they are the right person to do their dream. It’s easy, I think, as people — a man or a woman — to discount themselves and feel less than somebody else who has it all together. No, that is not true. Everybody has their own stuff. I just hope that all of our students have confidence in themselves because they have confidence in God. I really do and I want them to go for their dreams and not stand back thinking someone else is better.