From the outside looking in, it is easy to overlook the hard work that happens behind the scenes on campus. Between Denison athletics, health services, campus safety and more, the amount of effort and time required can become quite overwhelming.

The work of the individuals who coordinate and instruct these campus organizations and teams is driven by their passion and motivation to supply Denison students with positive experiences that will aid them in their future endeavors. Over the span of a college career, students are bound to expand and increase their developmental capabilities with the help of many professionals. It is appropriate to acknowledge the strenuous obligations that come with working at Denison and reward those who work hard and are passionate about what they do.

Last week, two Student Development staff members were promoted. Erik Farley and Matthew Vetter are both deeply respected by students for their commitment to student success. Erik Farley, a Denison ‘03 alumni, was promoted to Dean of Student Leadership and Community Engagement. He earned a master of arts degree from Eastern Michigan University, where his experience included two years as an academic intervention specialist and an administrative internship in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Ursuline College. He also served as an administrative department head for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and director of their Diversity Center at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

He strongly believes in the importance of diversity in leadership development and multiculturalism. His current responsibilities include providing the overall design and coordination of programming with regard to diversity and multicultural relations. He also organizes the Paving the Way pre-orientation program, which assists traditionally underrepresented student populations in transitioning to the academic, social and cultural climate of Denison.

Armando Roman, a sophomore studio art major from Chicago works closely with Farley. “Part of me being here can be attributed to him seeing something in me. He always listens to me when I have any problems with academics or social life. He’s really great at helping me remember that I’m special and important, which is something he does for a lot of students of color on campus.”

With this new position comes new responsibilities. Farley’s new job includes overseeing the Directors of CLIC and the Alford Center/DCA, Residential Education and the Center for Women and Gender Action.

Along with Farley, Matthew Vetter was promoted to the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center’s new director. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in psychology with minors in music and history, and later furthered his education by earning his master’s degree in counseling and personnel services from the University of Louisville. He anticipates the completion of his doctorate degree from Azusa Pacific University in 2018.

In Vetter’s previous position as Assistant Director, he was in charge of overseeing campus organizations and promoting student programming, carried out through advising the University Programming Council, DCGA Finance Committee, and DCGA Rules Committee. Over the past few years, Vetter has been a key contributor in building a strong Campus Leadership and Involvement Center and will continue to with this new position. His commitment to leadership development, mentoring students and dedication to his research will serve him well in this exciting new responsibility.

Denison prides itself on hard work. These promotions re-emphasize Denison’s mission statement of active learning and the transformative power of education.