In earlier videos, I interviewed each of the academic deans here at OSUIT. Deans are really essential to helping us maintain communication across this campus between upper administration and the rest of the campus. Essentially, every faculty member on this campus has a dean who speaks for them within administration. However, a lot of people may not realize that every student on this campus also has a dean who speaks for them within administration. That would be the Dean of Students. On our campus that is Devin DeBock. If you haven’t had an opportunity to meet this dean, I would like to introduce him to you at this time.
Devin, thank you for joining me for this interview today, we’re appropriately in the PSO Lounge in the Student Union. We’re not too far from your office, it’s just down the hallway. This is a great place for students to meet, they congregate here, it’s just a wonderful place to hang out.
Devin, I know you pretty well. I know that your roots within the OSU System run pretty deep.
“Yes, they do.”
Could you tell me a little bit about your background, but specifically, how long have you worked on this campus and what positions have you held here?
“We truly bleed orange in my home. I’m a second-generation alumni. We are tickled to be a part of OSU and have always been that way. I came from OSU Stillwater to our campus here in 1999. What brought me here originally, was our students. That is what drew me here. I began my career here at OSUIT in Student Life. I started as the wellness and activities coordinator and then had the opportunity, not too long after that, to accept administration as the Director of Student Life. I enjoyed doing that for many, many years, serving our students through Student Life.
That led to other opportunities, that began in Residential Life, and then within Student Conduct and also Emergency Management. More recently, in 2014, I accepted this awesome opportunity to serve our student body as their Dean of Students.”
Help me understand that role. I mean, you’ve worn a lot of hats since you’ve been here.
A lot of people may not be familiar what a Dean of Students is. Tell us, what does a dean of students do?
“You summed it up perfectly, I am that liaison, I am that connection between our student body and our administration, specifically, your President’s Cabinet. I get that opportunity to interact with students on a daily basis, as well as listen to what they have to say and be a part of their experience at OSUIT.”
So specifically tell me, what areas do you oversee on campus, and what services do they provide to our students?
“Frankly, my two favorite days of the semester are the beginning, with Move-In Day, where we welcome our students, and again on Graduation, when we celebrate their accomplishments. So, when we welcome them in on move-in day, their first experience is with Residential Life, and Residential Life is one of the areas that I oversee. Our students also have the opportunity in the Union to visit our post office, the campus bookstore as well as the Cowboy Café, which maybe other people would refer to as a cafeteria, but honestly, if you’ve had an opportunity to dine in our café, you’ll know very quickly, it’s not a cafeteria, it’s much, much more.
All of these areas I oversee, along with our campus daycare. Then one the areas that can be a little more serious, but I am very proud to say, is that I oversee the Emergency Management as the emergency manager here on campus as well.”
I would like to hear an example, if you can give me, where you have taken ideas, that have been given to you by students and made some changes on campus.
“Absolutely, we heard that students housing needs, although they were very happy, were not quite complete. Specifically, we had students who were over the age of 21, who through our internships and through our programs, were taking wonderful opportunity of their education, yet, when they are here for eight weeks, and gone for eight weeks on an intern, finding rental property off campus can be a challenge. So, we needed to meet that need, and that need was met. It started with the students and ended with our administration and finally with the success of the campus community and then our local community with the Grand Old Post Office, the residential life apartments that are downtown. That are not truly a dorm, but not quite truly just a run-of-the-mill apartment, they have been tailored to meet all of those specific student needs.”
You’re exactly right. They have really helped us address some of the non-traditional needs of non-traditional students.
Devin, it sounds like from this conversation that you are someone who really enjoys their job. If you could narrow it down to one thing.... What would you say is the best part of your job, and why?…other than doing on-camera interviews with the president, of course.
“Haha, of course, that one goes without saying. Really, it’s easy to sum up in one word, the best about my job and that’s my purpose, students. It’s the students total experience. From the time a student is welcomed here on move-in day, to the time we celebrate their accomplishments on graduation. To the times that they are maybe a nervous or anxious freshman in the dorms. Where you happen to catch them here in the Union just sitting down with that look of ‘I know I need to know someone and I know I need to do something, but I’m not quite sure how and what that is.” That is such a wonderful opportunity, not only for myself, but all of the campus faculty and staff, just to sit down and talk to someone and realize, we are not just making a difference with one person’s life, we’re changing the future of their entire family.”
Devin, I want to thank you again, I can’t think of a better place for us to conclude this interview, because, I know how much you really do care about our students on this campus and you understand our students are central to everything we do here at OSUIT. I really want to let you know how much I appreciate you and all of the work that your staff does to support their needs.
So, there’s the interview folks. This is Dean DeBock, he is the chief advocate for students all across the campus here at OSUIT. He reports directly to the Vice President of Student Services, but he briefs me, on a regular basis about the needs of our students and the issues that they are facing.
Didn’t I tell you I was going to be introducing you to some outstanding people on this campus? People who are really passionate about the work they do, and I guarantee you, that they are so many more just like that and we’re going to discover more folks that are outstanding in their areas the next time we go, Inside OSUIT.