What is your role with the college and where does your passion for this role stem from?
I am the director of counseling, health, and wellness. I am a strong believer in the value of servant leadership. This type of leadership focuses on the well-being and long-term growth of team members. All leaders at Olivet College share this responsibility. In addition to the role of a leader, it is my responsibility to help improve the well-being and long-term growth of the students here as the Director of the Center. Students at Olivet are each building skills and education to be great leaders and, with this, need support to help them achieve all they want. Sometimes there are issues from history that try to trip people up or current stressors that make navigating college more difficult. I believe that by working to remove roadblocks through addressing mental health issues, students can have a clear road to success.
What are the most exciting parts of your role?
The most exciting part of my role is when I get to walk alongside someone who is doing the work to clear those roadblocks and they achieve that goal. It is amazing to be a part of someone’s story where things start to improve and when a person embraces the life they want to have and begins to feel success in life and in their academics once the stressors or issues are addressed.
What “words of wisdom” have you lived by that students can learn from?
One of my favorite quotes is from Bernard Meltzer, who said, “Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no to any of those, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid”. In a world of instant responses, sometimes taking the time to think it through first would be helpful. The same is available when someone says something to you- ask yourself those same questions. Was that true, was it kind, was it necessary or was it helpful- and if one of these is a no, you can determine if this input is valuable to you or disposable. Just because someone says it, doesn’t mean you need to hold onto it or treat it as valuable feedback. If you respect the person, then maybe you respect the input. If you don’t, click delete as fast as you can in your brain, and don’t give it space in an area of such valuable real estate as your own mind.
What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?
I have six feet of record albums and two record players. I love most music with very few exceptions.