The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

VP search narrows to three finalists

Sam Whitney
Campus awaits the candidate that comes out on top.

The hiring process for EvCC’s newly created Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success position is nearing completion, with the opening likely to be filled by the end of winter quarter.

Last week, the open forums for students were held, during which members of the student body had the opportunity to interview one of the three finalists each day from Wednesday, Jan. 31 to Friday, Feb. 2.

Wednesday’s candidate, Dr. Jane F. Reeder said she saw herself pushed out of her previous student affairs position at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon due to administrative reorganization. She said she was moved to the position of Grant Manager, and while she was grateful for the opportunity, finance is not where her passion lies.

Rather, Reeder said she places great emphasis on collaborating with students, especially when it comes to working with student government to improve the overall campus experience.

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“Sometimes we forget what the student experience is, and we need you to remind us,” Reeder said. “We need you to tell us what we’re missing.”

A large part of Reeder’s philosophy regarding student affairs is the concept of “making the student whole.” Essentially, she said she wants to help students reach their goals and complete their degrees.

“From my point of view, if we put our students first, it may not meet every need, but it will put us on the right track,” Reeder said.

As far as why Reeder is eyeing a position at EvCC, she said she appreciates that first-year President Chemene Crawford is working to establish a communicative, transparent leadership team.

“Everett is a college in change, and change is scary, but it’s also fun.”

Thursday’s candidate, Dr. Ryan A. Aiello, said a job at EvCC would be something of a homecoming, as he has previously lived in Washington.

Aiello said his interest in a career in education stems largely from his struggles as a student. He attended 17 schools before he graduated high school, and he felt lost upon arriving at his first college campus. It is that lost feeling that led him to want to help other students navigate their educational journeys.

Currently, he works as Dean of Student Engagement and Retention at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.

Aiello, extroverted by nature, said he makes a conscious effort to connect with the students on his campus and wants to create stability and community.

“Once I get to know the students, I remember them,” Aiello said. “It’s not just about the numbers… It’s about a healthy campus climate.”

Regarding those numbers, one of his goals upon assuming the position would be to boost completion rates to around 80%, much higher than the national average of 33%. Moreover, Aiello said he wants to create a positive legacy in the community.

“We have to be intentional about creating inclusive environments,” he said. “I will never say no to meeting with a student and hearing their story.”

Chief among Aiello’s values are transparency and accountability. It is evident that he cares for the students he works for.

Speaking candidly to close the forum, he said, “You are why I do my job.”

The series of forums wrapped up on Friday with Brandon Dyer, who currently serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at South Piedmont Community College in Polkton, North Carolina.

For Dyer, the geographical distance between job opportunities is no object. What drew him to apply to EvCC was the administrative philosophy under President Crawford.

“One of the things that appealed to me was Everett’s goal to close completion gaps,” he said.

Dyer said he enjoys improving the implementation of policy to help avoid the marginalization of certain populations. He said he wants to help ensure equal opportunity for students, which is, in part, what led him to pursue employment at community colleges.

“I fell in love with community colleges as open access institutions,” he said.

Dyer said he wishes to give his students opportunity for self-expression, particularly in terms of celebrating successes and discussing important issues.

“I appreciate giving students opportunities and platforms,” Dyer said.

He even joins his current students’ knitting club on occasion.

Dyer said he defines success not just by statistics, but with consideration for students’ personal goals.

“You have to have checks and balances and be reasonable.”

All three candidates made strong cases for themselves, and no matter who is hired, they will surely impact campus in a positive fashion, drawing from their unique life experiences to connect with and serve the student body.

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About the Contributor
Sam Whitney
Sam Whitney, Managing Editor of Content
What is your dream job? My ultimate dream job would be to work as an analytical sportswriter for or FanGraphs, breaking down aspects of baseball and sharing my passion for the game with others. It would also be awesome if I could somehow work my way into a front office job with an MLB organization. When you aren't doing things for the Clipper, what can you be found doing? Away from the Clipper, I can often be found reading or watching anything baseball-related that I can find. Otherwise, I might be spending time with friends, playing with my dog Cashmere, or reading about history. And sleeping. Lots of sleeping. Which historical or fictitious figure do you most identify with?  The fictitious figure I like to identify with is Steve Harrington from Stranger Things. I may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I have my moments, and I'm protective of those I care about and I'm there for them when it counts.

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