Scott Dams, Dean of Graduate & Adult Enrollment
What is your role at the college and what is something many may not know about the work you do?
I direct enrollment activities for graduate and continuing education under the purview of the Provost’s Office. Our office works with a wide variety of students including traditional graduate program candidates applying directly after receiving bachelor’s degrees, working adults seeking master’s degrees and professional certifications, as well as adult learners working to finish their bachelor’s degrees. We are also developing strategies to partner with businesses and organizations to deliver customized education programs. A new position has been developed to better support our students. The Student Experience Mentors (SEMs) will use technology and traditional counseling techniques to help students throughout their entire student lifecycle. The SEMs will not only provide traditional admissions and financial aid support, but will also act as liaisons and advocates for our students through graduation and beyond. The Moravian College SEM’s are part admissions counselor, part academic advisor, and part life coach. We feel that this position will be a game-changer for our students and in some ways be a little revolutionary in how colleges support their adult learners!
My favorite spot on campus is…
Benigna Hall. There is so much energy in this building! From what was once a sleepy and forgotten corner of the campus has emerged a vibrant hub of activity. Multiple facets of the Provost’s office are housed here, including the Dean’s offices, Study Abroad, as well as the Graduate & Continuing Education Admissions Department (collectively, we affectionately refer to ourselves as Rogue 12). There are many new initiatives that are being managed out of Benigna, which lends to the start-up type atmosphere…not a day goes by where we don’t laugh, crank up the music, and innovate! Stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime…
What’s your favorite Moravian College tradition?
Freshmen Move-In Day. I love the tradition of helping new freshmen move into their dorms… it reflects the warm and welcoming culture of the college. I know it helps parents with the transition as well. As someone who works on the admissions team, it is quite gratifying to make the connection between the hard work that goes into building an incoming class and seeing the new students who you have worked with arrive, in-person, to begin their little revolutions. Now that I have moved to graduate and continuing education admissions, I look forward to building similar life-long learning relationships with our adult students and their families.
My typical weekend would go something like this:
Friday night: Throw some food on the grill and enjoy the sunset with my wife (Sarah) and daughters (Charlotte – 5yrs, Eleanor – 8 mo).
Saturday: Cartoons and playtime in the a.m. with Charlotte and Ellie. Download some new music, go out for a run and listen to my new music. We usually fall into some kind of family activity, depending on the season, in the afternoon.
Sunday: Wake up and spend a couple hours with Charlotte learning about something cultural (last week was Miles Davis). And of course playing. Lots of playing. Afternoon usually is made up of some sort of chilled out activity (including, chilling out!).
Finish this sentence: “When I grow up, I want to be _____.”
Closer to a beach, because, I need to start surfing again.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Be where your feet are! What you do now is not only something… it’s everything. Being PRESENT has become my life’s mantra. It takes more conscious effort than you might think, but, the rewards of being present are truly limitless.
What sound do you love? Why?
Music! Music has been a big part of my life, for my entire life. I took piano lessons for 8 years as a kid, played punk and skater music as a teen, traveled with the Grateful Dead a bit in college, captured field recordings of jazz, world music, and reggae shows for a decade in Philly and New York, and have enjoyed being an amateur DJ for the last 16 years (no, I don’t do weddings or bar mitzvahs). Music is the ultimate tool, for me, to remain present (see above), and is often my connection to the past. Many of my best memories seem to be connected to music – my life’s own little soundtrack. I am psyched to work in a place with such a proud musical tradition, and, one of these days will lobby for my own radio show where I can share my music collection with all of you! The older I get, the more I appreciate ambient and unintentional music. I lived in Istanbul for 6 years and still miss the beautiful adhan, echoing throughout the city, 5 times a day. (You can listen here.)
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Pistachio—on a sugar cone. It tastes awesome and I like the color. But mostly because it tastes awesome.
I can never resist a good __________.
What makes you happy?
Hearing my daughters’ laughter.