By Katherine Coble || News Editor
Colgate University and Franklin & Marshall College announced this month that Maria Flores-Mills, the Senior Associate Dean of Franklin & Marshall for four years, will depart from the College at the end of the semester. She will begin a new position as Dean of Students for Colgate University in Hamilton, New York beginning on June 4, 2018. Flores-Mills is the second major administrator to announce her departure from the College in recent months after President Dan Porterfield announced his intention to join the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. this June.
Flores-Mills has been a member of the Franklin & Marshall’s Office of the Dean of the College since 2014. When asked what she felt has changed the most about the College since her term began, she mentioned that she is especially proud that the number of alcohol transports to the hospital has declined since she began her position and additionally feels that fraternity and sorority life has “evolved in a positive way” by “living its values more.” She also noted change in the diversity and volume of social activities available students, saying that she feels she has “worked really hard to cultivate a lot of different opportunities and activities for students across the spectrum of interests and ideas.”
Colgate will be the fifth campus Flores-Mills has worked for and she maintains that there is a particular culture to every institution that an administrator must adjust to. Unlike Franklin & Marshall, Colgate has a division one athletics program and has a slightly larger campus population overall with roughly 2,900 undergraduate students. Flores-Mills will also have slightly different responsibilities at Colgate and says she plans to “circle back to diversity and inclusion work” as she began her career in multicultural affairs and previously served as a Posse Foundation mentor.
When asked to reflect on her time at F&M, Flores-Mills cites the Dean of the College, Margaret Hazlett, as “one of the most phenomenal parts about working” for F&M and says that during her tenure at F&M Hazlett has become a “mentor and role model both.” Her advice to students considering pursuing a career in higher education is to keep an open mind and pursue opportunities even if the specific job responsibilities are not what they initially had in mind.
“Young professionals want to step into the ideal role,” Flores-Mills notes, “And sometimes that works but other times you have to pay your dues a little bit.” It is the opportunity for mentorship and varied experience is what makes a job fulfilling. “There’s so much to be said for working with people that you respect and admire and are philosophically aligned with,” Flores-Mills adds. It is clear she found this community at F&M.
Sophomore Katherine Coble is the news editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.