By Layth Ismail, Contributing Writer ||
Maria del Carmen Flores-Mills was hired as the new senior associate dean of the College this past summer. Prior to accepting her position at the College, Flores-Mills worked in various positions in the field of higher education for 20 years.
Flores-Mills is the first person to hold the position of senior associate dean of the College since Steven O’Day left F&M to accept a job as special assistant to the president of Lebanon Valley College at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. For the 2013-2014 year, O’Day’s responsibilities were split between Ralph Taber and Todd DeKay, both associate deans of the College.
To be considered for the job, Flores-Mills submitted both a resume and cover letter before speaking with Margaret Hazlett, dean of the College, over the phone to discuss the position in greater detail.
“Next, I came to campus to spend time with the Search Committee,” Flores-Mills said. “Eventually, I returned as a finalist and spent the day at F&M with the Search Committee and a variety of people from across campus, including students.”
Prior to joining F&M’s administration, Flores-Mills worked as a graduate sssistant in the Provost’s Office at the University of Iowa, the assistant director of multicultural affairs at DePauw University, and eventually as the director of judicial affairs at DePauw. In 2001, she accepted a position as assistant dean of undergraduate students at Princeton University, becoming an associate dean at Princeton in 2006.
Speaking on her experiences at F&M thus far, Flores-Mills said she enjoyed both Orientation and Convocation, the “Summer to Fummer” event, Common Hour, and more.
“The campus is beautiful,” she said. “Everyone has been very welcoming as I transition into my new role. The students I met during my interview and my first few weeks on the job have been amazing.”
Flores-Mills also expressed an interest in upcoming events, like Homecoming and
She hopes F&M is able to achieve its vision, as articulated by Dan Porterfield, president of the College, to be one of the best private, liberal arts institutions in the country. To that end, she also hopes to make contributions, especially in the co-curricular sphere, to make the F&M experience a positive one for all members of the College community.
Flores-Mills had some advice to share with students, particularly members of the Class of 2018.
“First, understand that this is your first step into your adult life, meaning you need to take responsibility for getting everything you can out of this experience,” she said. “It means decisions and deadlines, but there are many people here to help you along the way. Use them! But it is your role to reach out and ask for help.
“Second, this is the time to step outside your comfort zone, try something new and meet different people,” she continued. “Spend some time figuring out who you are and what’s important to you. Finally, while this may seem to contradict the last point, it’s really a nuance, don’t forget who you are and that which is an inherent part of you — what makes you, you! Have fun!”