Laura DeanI was recently asked to write one or two short paragraphs to congratulate Dr. Laura Dean on being selected as an ACPA Diamond Honoree and to say some words from a (former) student’s perspective. While I can only speak from my experiences, I would be blown away if these were not representative of the hundreds of students who have worked with her.

It would be easy to start with a student affairs cliché and say that Laura appropriately supported and challenged me. In fact, I can think of a specific situation when I was in need of some very serious support, which she gave, and even in that very moment challenged me appropriately. But, on a deeper level, she understands the often unstated, yet necessary, component in the equation: readiness. She expertly knew when to push me, when to get out of my way. She even knew when to tell me I was being lazy or crazy. What’s more, she did all that without being explicit about it. In Dr. Dean, I have found a collaborator, a colleague, and a friend.

Laura is a big fan of Nautilus shells. And, I found out during my time at UGA that the poem The Chambered Nautilus by Oliver Wendell Holmes had a lot to do with it. I imagine that this is due to her commitment to helping students build “more stately mansions.” But, I also think the metaphor works for Dr. Dean’s legacy. Each class of students that moves through the program builds a body of evidence demonstrating the lasting influence of her contributions to our learning and development. What she leaves behind does not disappear; rather, her ongoing effort and dedication creates a nautilus shell whose beauty cannot be ignored.

Congratulations, Laura, on being an ACPA Diamond Honoree.

Dr. Dallin Young – CSAA-D ’12
Assistant Director for Research, Grants, and Assessment at the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

2 thoughts on “A Note to Dr. Laura Dean, ACPA Diamond Honoree

  1. Very well said and I couldn’t agree more about the character and leadership of Dr. Dean. I was fortunately graced by her presence at Pfeiffer University. Although, she moved on before my time at Pfeiffer was done she was never forgotten or adequatly replaced. Congratulations Dr. Dean!!

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