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Jessica Chambers is new dean of student affairs at Hagerstown Community College

July 07, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Jessica Chambers is the new dean of student affairs at Hagerstown Community College.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Less than two months after receiving her Ph.D. from Seton Hall University while serving as the director of admissions at County College of Morris in Randolph, N.J., Jessica Chambers on Friday completed her first week in her new position as dean of student affairs at Hagerstown Community College.

“I’m looking forward to really getting to know the students better, and be able to participate in their day-to-day lives and experience here on campus,” she said.

Chambers, 38, was announced as the new dean of student affairs by HCC in a news release in early June, replacing Donna Rudy, who retired in the spring, according to the college.

“The dean of students is a very important student advocacy position on campus and we are fortunate to have found the right person in Dr. Chambers,” HCC President Guy Altieri said in the news release. “She brings a strong mix of skills essential to ensuring that students have the support they need throughout their collegiate experience, from registration through graduation.”

In her new position, Chambers said she will be responsible for student discipline, dealing with student issues that develop, involvement with student organizations and athletics, and helping with recruitment, enrollment and registration. She described the new position as “perfect” for her.

“It allows me to still oversee the enrollment services portion of the college, but also take over some of the student affairs division as well,” she said. “It was just a perfect combination job that allowed me to explore both sides of the college.”

She added that she has been told she has a lot of energy and wants to bring it to the college.

“Hopefully I can bring some of the great ideas and some of the projects and processes that we were able to implement at the College of Morris,” she said. “Hopefully I can just bring some of those ideas to the table, and just examine how things are done here and figure out the kind of best practices and ways to help the students and really focus on student success and degree completion.”

Chambers was interviewing for the job at the end of May and the beginning of June. She said her first Skype interview was two days after her college graduation.

Tina Dillow, executive assistant to the dean of student affairs, said she was able to listen to some of the interviews and described Chambers as outgoing.

“I liked her and thought she was a very strong candidate and that she would do well in the position,” she said. “What impressed me most about her, I felt she would do very well with our current administration and be able to advocate for our division.”

Born and raised in Piqua, Ohio, Chambers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She later spent four years working in the admissions office at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., while getting her master’s degree. She left there in 2004 to take her most recent position at County College of Morris.

She said Hagerstown reminds her of where she grew up and is very different from where she was in New Jersey, including the fact that all the public schools are part of one school system in Washington County.

“I moved into this area just last Friday, and I’m still learning the ropes of it,” she said. “So far I really am enjoying the area and everything here at the college.”

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