On the small campus of Albion College, it’s easy to know who’s new and who’s not. In addition to fulfilling the typical role of the Dean of Students, serving as an administrator who responds to the student body’s needs, Albion College’s new Dean of Students, Leroy Wright, has even more goals to improve the college.
Dean Leroy Wright
Wright has spent 25 years working in higher education thus far. In those years, he has served as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University, Dean of Students at Ferris State University, Multicultural Student Services Program Coordinator at Northern Arizona University and Area Coordinator at the University of Dayton.
Initially, Wright had aspirations to pursue pharmaceutical medicine. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Ferris State University where he spent time working as a resident adviser. Through his work, Wright saw his path steering him to develop close relationships with students.
As resident adviser, Wright was involved in the First-Year Challenge program, a program at Ferris State where a community of students lives together and participate in different focus programs directed toward concepts like life skills, time management and academic success.
Through this, the program aims to help students smoothly transition into a welcoming college atmosphere.
Following his time at Ferris State, Wright went on to receive a master’s degree in counseling from Northern Arizona University.
“I’m a first generation college graduate,” said Wright. “When I was an undergrad, there were people that cared about me, people that guided me through my experience, and I wanted to do the same thing, which is why I chose not to go into pharmaceutical medicine but to go into student affairs and higher education, because I get to help students on that journey.”
His Action Plan for the College
One of Wright’s goals is to help resident advisors build strong relationships with their residents. As a resident advisor at Ferris State University, Wright was able to understand what his residents valued, what sparked their excitement and what challenges they navigated as first-years.
“I was able to develop focus programs and activities, focus on time management and study skills, went to athletic games with my residents, ate at the dining center with my residents,” said Wright. “They came to me.”
He intends to achieve this goal through residential life assessment and evaluation to learn how to get students out of what he calls their “sophomore slump,” “junior jitters” and “senioritis.”
Wright’s ultimate goal is to positively impact the college by creating an atmosphere where students feel supported. After this, he believes academic and personal progression and success will weave into place. As students become more comfortable with an inclusive college environment, they will be more willing to ask the questions they need to become successful.
Wright understands the balance between challenge and support and wants students to see him as a mentor and consultant. In providing a strong support system, Wright hopes to develop strong relationships with students beyond campus and within the greater Albion community.
“If you don’t connect with any other staff [member] or an administrator, you know that your Dean of Students [is] going to advocate for you on your journey,” said Wright.
Wright expands the role of a faculty member by striving to proactively learn about students’ lives beyond the classroom. He aims to prepare students to graduate with a happy, healthy lifestyle by supporting them in their unique experiences as college students.
With the ambition to learn every student’s story, Wright encourages students to view his office, located in Ferguson 216, as a safe, inviting hub for every student at Albion College.
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