B.S. Business Administration
How did you discover Western?
My journey to the Gunnison Valley commenced in 1973 when my parents and I embarked on a Westward trip from Illinois in a VW Van. The purpose was to find a teaching position for my father, who was an Art Teacher for grades K-12. At the time, I was a mere 4 years old. Our explorations led us to the Black Canyon, where we camped and I gained an unexpected companion—a free puppy who quickly became my new best friend. Despite the scenic detour, my father didn’t secure a teaching position, and with my mother pregnant, we ultimately settled in Wisconsin, where he found an Art position. However, our connection to the Gunnison Valley didn’t end there. In 1974, my Uncle, Jerry Deverell, relocated to Crested Butte, and our family visits to the area began in the early ’80s. Fast forward to the early ’90s, when a friend and I, somewhat rebelliously using my dad’s VW Van (who had advised me not to leave the state of Wisconsin), embarked on a biking vacation to visit my uncle in Crested Butte, Colorado. As I left Colorado, gazing at the receding mountains in the rearview mirror, a profound realization struck—I knew that Colorado was destined to be my long-term home. In the spring of 1996, having completed a Master’s in Education at UW-La Crosse and returned from my second overseas journey, I set the wheels in motion for my move out West. By October of the same year, I had relocated to Crested Butte, securing positions at the CBMR Ski School Desk, Crested Butte Country Club, and Slogar’s Restaurant. In 1999, a pivotal career shift occurred when I accepted a position at Western State Colorado as Assistant Campus Life Director. Over the years, I climbed the professional ladder—first as the Director of Campus Life in 2003, then as the Associate VP of Student Affairs. In 2012, I briefly left to take on the role of the Town Clerk of Crested Butte, only to return to Western in 2014 as the Director of Residence Life. Presently, in 2022, I serve as the Director of the Center for Learning & Innovation.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
Throughout my career, a source of immense fulfillment has been guiding and empowering numerous students over the past decades. I’ve consistently taken on the role of both challenger and supporter, assisting them in overcoming various obstacles on their journey towards becoming the person they aspire to be in this world.
What excites you most about your field?
What excites me about my career is the dynamic blend of personal and professional growth woven into its fabric. The opportunity to guide and influence students, helping them overcome challenges and shape their identities, has been a continual source of fulfillment. Witnessing their transformative journeys from uncertainty to confidence, and being a catalyst in that process, fuels my passion for education. Moreover, the ever-evolving nature of my roles, from the ski school desk to campus life director and beyond, has kept me engaged and inspired. Each step presents new challenges and opportunities, fostering adaptability and creativity. The satisfaction of contributing to the vibrant community at Western State Colorado University, and now leading the Center for Learning & Innovation, adds a profound layer of meaning to my work. The scenic backdrop of Crested Butte, coupled with the sense of community and connection that permeates both the town and university, enhances the overall experience. Whether it’s mentoring students or collaborating with colleagues, the collaborative spirit and the pursuit of knowledge in an inspiring environment continue to be driving forces that excite and motivate me in my career.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
What I particularly appreciate about the Gunnison Valley is the expansive, uninterrupted panorama of 360 degrees of open space. The vastness of the surroundings offers a sense of freedom and connection with nature that is truly unparalleled. The unobstructed views in every direction create a breathtaking backdrop, fostering a deep appreciation for the natural beauty that envelops the valley.
- Headwaters 100