Students often recognize how important faculty members, who they interact with during classes, are to their day-to-day lives at Centre. But what about the other staff members who keep the College up and running, and make all aspects of the challenging yet rewarding Centre Experience one worth pursuing?

Throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, The Cento will feature each campus office and ask their staff the tough questions—including what their favorite Cowan food is as well as their favorite spot on campus.

This week’s office is well known to students of all classes: the Student Life Office (SLO). The SLO coordinates various activities and services to better campus life, from Greek Life to community service plunges to monthly CC After Dark events.

When asked about the best resource his office offers students, Dean Hays had this to say:

“Since we touch on so many aspects of students’ lives on campus,” he explained, “I’d say our open-door-ask-us-anything policy is pretty cool.”

Read below to find out about more about the SLO’s staff.

Anita Bertram, Executive Secretary to the Vice President and Dean of Student Life

How You Came to Work at Centre: To make a long story short—I actually turned this job down at first. I had been in the Human Resources department in a local manufacturing facility for 16 years and just wasn’t sure the move was right for me at that time. However, three weeks later the Centre job was offered to me again and I realized Centre was the place for me. I accepted the job and have been here 14 years, and have never regretted my decision.
Favorite TV Show: Nashville
Favorite Thing to Do When Not at Centre: Spending time with family, especially my two most adorable grandchildren, Clayton & Claire. I also bake and decorate cakes.
Favorite Cowan Food: No-Bake Cookies. They remind me of my younger days!
Favorite Place on Campus: Of course, the Campus Center.
Favorite Thing About Your Office: The great group of people I work with and I have the most amazing boss!  We work hard but have fun as well!  I enjoy coming to work each day!

Jenny Connor, Coordinator for Student Activities and Community Standards

Alma Mater(s): Centre College
How You Came to Work at Centre: I was on Panhellenic Exec my junior and senior year, so I worked with several people in the SLO. When I learned that the Student Life Coordinator position was opening up, I jumped at the chance to apply and learn more about higher ed. and student affairs.
Favorite TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy—I’ve been a fan since the 1st season!
Favorite Thing to Do When Not at Centre: I love going to the lake with my family.
Favorite Cowan Food: Definitely the seasoned French fries.
Favorite Place on Campus: The Campus Center. It’s always full of students, no matter what time it is.
Favorite Thing About Your Office: By far the people, whether that’s other staff members or students. I love working with the people in the SLO!

Kendrick Durham, Director of Campus Activities

Alma Mater(s): Bellarmine University, University of South Carolina
How You Came to Work at Centre: I was working in St. Louis and felt the desire to be closer to family.  I was also missing the small school atmosphere.
Favorite TV Show: The Office, but since that is not currently on TV I would choose Modern Family as my favorite current show.
Favorite Thing to Do When Not at Centre: Either something musical or riding my bike.
Favorite Cowan Food: BBQ sandwich with baked beans and mac and cheese
Favorite Place on Campus: The Campus Center of course!
Favorite Thing About Your Office: Physically, the fact that I have a window with plenty of sunlight.  Organizationally, being a part of a tight knit team that I enjoy working with.

Kiana Fields, Coordinator for Greek Life and Shuttle Services

Alma Mater(s): Centre College
How You Came to Work at Centre: As a collegiate, I participated in numerous leadership positions that worked closely with the Student Life Office. The experiences that I had at Centre helped me develop as a leader and student, and I was excited for the opportunity to come back and give back to the Centre community.   Favorite TV Show: Scandal
Favorite Thing to Do When Not at Centre: Spending time with my family and friends, shopping, reading.
Favorite Cowan Food: Stir Fry
Favorite Place on Campus: Greek Row
Favorite Thing About Your Office: My wonderful co-workers and the students, and the windows in my office outlooking Cowan.

Randy Hays, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Alma Mater(s): Berea College, University of Kentucky
How You Came to Work at Centre: After four years at my previous institution, I was looking for something new—and kept finding jobs in Iowa.  I then heard about a job as the Director of Residence Life & Counseling at Centre, interviewed, and started in August of 1993.  I moved into my current role in 2001.
Favorite TV Show:  Modern Family
Favorite Thing to Do When Not at Centre: Spending time with our dogs, Brody and Pippa.
Favorite Cowan Food:  Baked Turkey.  No-bakes are also not to be missed!
Favorite Place on Campus: The Campus Center—the true heart of the campus!  The swing and any green space on campus are also special.
Favorite Thing About Your Office: The SLO staff!  They’re just a bunch of folks who are truly dedicated to educating and working with all of our students outside the classroom.  Their talent is exceeded only by their heart!

Click here for part two, featuring: Dr. Matthew Klooster, Ricky Shear, Chelsea Shields, and Alycia Tidrick.

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