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Features Headline — 07 October 2013

By Tess Haadsma

There is a fresh face in the Campus Programs and Organizations office, and it belongs to Jon Collier, the new Greek coordinator.

Hailing from Indianapolis, Ind., Collier graduated from Hanover College, a small liberal arts school in southern Indiana, where he played baseball and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

After graduating, Collier spent two years as a coordinator for Phi Delta Theta. During this time, he traveled throughout the Southeast region of the country, visiting chapters at a wide variety of colleges and universities. It was this experience that led Collier to obtain his masters degree from Bowling Green State University and pursue a career in student affairs.

“I was one of those who kind of graduated college knowing that I wanted to be in education in some form,” Collier said. “But I didn’t realize that higher education and student affairs was a career until I started traveling for my fraternity and meeting folks on a regular basis who were in student affairs.”

Throughout his job search, Collier knew he wanted to work for a small, private liberal arts college, and said he fell in love with Albion as soon as he visited campus. After accepting the job offer and moving to Albion with his wife, Collier immediately started meeting with college and community members, as well as students to get to know Albion’s community.

“You can sit there and read the information and things like that, but I tried to reach out to all the members of the community as soon as I started,” Collier said.

Collier says community building, specifically within the Greek community, is a major focus this year, not only for him, but for the student population as well.

“A lot of our students who are in IFC (Inter-fraternity  Council) and Panhel, instead of being 12 sioloed [separate] organizations, they want to be one Greek community, and understand what that means and how to go about that and understand what can be done once we have that community,” Collier said.

Michael Dix, Rockford senior and IFC president, believes Collier is a great fit for Albion.

“He is exactly what the Greek community needs right now,” Dix said. “He has a large amount of experience in the Greek community and, as a result, has been a catalyst for many of the positive changes that have been happening lately.”

Danielle Wesolowicz, Northville senior and Panhellenic president, expressed similar sentiments.

“We’ve really needed a consistent and strong leader for Greek life after the shuffle of many Greek advisers throughout the past few years,” Wesolowicz said. “With Jon’s experience, knowledge and personality, IFC and Panhel have already made impressive strides into becoming more strong, cohesive and relevant groups on campus.”

Collier has worked closely with both Dix and Wesolowicz to strengthen both Panhellenic Council and IFC, and believes that much progress has been made already, especially with IFC.

“Panhellenic was strong before I came in and we’ve just continued to make it stronger,” Collier said. “With IFC, we’ve made some huge strides so far. I’m very impressed by the progress we’ve made so far, and Michael Dix has been outstanding as our IFC president.”

Since Collier’s arrival, IFC has grown from a group of three officers to a council of seven men, and Dix has already noticed the benefits of having a full executive board.

“We have added several executive board positions as well as programming, budget and constitutional review committees to help get all of the houses involved in IFC,” Dix said. “The new, larger exec board has been able to accomplish more in the last few weeks than we were able to accomplish in a semester.”

Collier says he is impressed with all the progress both Dix and Wesolowicz have made so far this semester, and he expects it is only just the beginning.

“My goal and my hope is to be a really strong advocate for our Greeks, but also a big part [of my job] is to push them to become better,” Collier said.

Photo by Tess Haadsma

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About Author

Tess is a senior from Battle Creek, Mich., studying English literature and psychology. She is a member of the swimming and diving team, and is an avid burrito enthusiast. Follow her on twitter at @TessHaadsma.

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