Campus / News / March 2, 2016

Wilson looks toward students

Associate Dean of Students Shawn Wilson wants students to call him by his first name, not his title.

“My name is Shawn, not Dean,” said Wilson, who arrived on campus in early January.

Wilson took over the position after it was left vacant in September by Laura Schnack. Since then, he’s been dealing mainly with behavioral misconduct and acting in his role as Deputy Title IX Coordinator. His position also involves planning Orientation and working with class officers.

He won’t disclose what’s on tap for Senior Week, but promises a good time.

Wilson came to Knox from the University of Wisconsin at Stout, where he received his Masters degree.

“One of the things I was looking for was something different. Something different than what I was used to,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he was attracted to the diversity, both among students and staff.

“That was something for me that I found refreshing, and something I wanted to be part of,” he said.

According to Dean of Students Deb Southern, what’s important about finding a good candidate is making sure there’s a good fit when the candidate visits campus.

“What we’re looking for, philosophically, is someone who’s on the same page with me and students and Knox, and on the same page as what our goals are, but also a relationship that allows for questioning,” Southern said.

Both Wilson and Vice President of Student Development Anne Erlich, who arrived on campus March 1, will be working together to plan Orientation Week, but Wilson says he doesn’t want to make too many drastic changes to the structure too quickly.

“Change is not something I’m afraid of. What I’m afraid of is changing things that don’t need to be changed,” he said.

He wants to observe the process and make sure he’s receiving student input.

“He’ll do some new things, but the expectation isn’t a whole new Orientation revamped,” Southern said.

Kate Mishkin
Kate Mishkin is a senior majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. She started working for TKS as a freshman and subsequently served as managing editor, co-news editor and co-mosaic editor. Kate is the recipient of four awards from the Illinois College Press Association for news and feature stories and one award from the Associated Collegiate Press. She won the Theodore Hazen Kimble Prize in 2015 and 2014 and the Ida M. Tarbell Prize in Investigate Journalism in 2014. She has interned at FILTER Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WGIL radio and the Virginian-Pilot.

Twitter: @KateMishkin

Tags:  campus life Dean of Students new staff profile Shawn Wilson

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