Rebecca (Becky) Hammell left her position as Assistant Dean of Students at Wilson College on Fri, Sept. 6.
One of the first friendly faces that greeted new students, Hammell guided them through the orientation process. She admits that she fell in love with her job because of these meetings.
“My favorite memories of my time here include freshman orientation. We use a high-rope, low-rope activity that introduces students to a concept called ‘challenge by choice,’” said Hammell. “In a safe environment, students learn problem solving and the value of teamwork while negotiating risks on a zipline.”
Hammell describes this activity as a metaphor for a new student’s initiation into college. Students are coaxed outside of their comfort zones and forced to rely upon each other.
“Like the zipline, college is also a set of risks and choices,” Hammell said. “Learning how to navigate them from the start prepares the student for the academic year.”
Hammell’s colleagues and the campus community will miss her dedication to the students. Her boss, Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students Carolyn Perkins, agrees.
“Becky’s departure left a big vacuum,” said Perkins. “She was well liked by everybody and I could always count on her.”
To fill the void, Hammell’s duties will be divided amongst the remaining staff in the Student Development department. Director of Residence Life Sherri Sadowski and Women With Children Director Katie Cough will assume her most important responsibilities.
Although Hammell expressed sadness in leaving Wilson, she confessed that it is a bittersweet sadness. A new position at Dickinson College means more money and less of a commute.
“I love the students and faculty here, but I have a real opportunity at Dickinson,” said Hammell. “I worked there before and they have a similar portfolio as Wilson, but this time I will be working on some big projects with the administration.”
For all of her hard work and dedication to the students, Wilson wishes her a fond farewell.