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Dr. Alison Wells Spotlighting a UH Woman Each Month

What is your position and title at UH?
Assistant Dean of Students (Dean of Students Office, DSA)

How long have you worked here?
I’ve been in the DOS for 4 years and previously have worked in The Center for Student Involvement for 2 years.

What are your job responsibilities and duties?
I oversee Parent and Family Programs which strives to establish a positive relationship with parents/family members of our students by keeping them informed and involved in their student’s college experience. This includes oversight of the Parent Website, a monthly e-newsletter, the Parent Guidebook and implementation of the annual Family Weekend event.

I also oversee Commuter Student Services, this is a brand new initiative of the university, to help address the unique needs and challenges of students who live off campus. I strive to provide support services and effective communication to help facilitate commuter students’ success and connection to the UH community. Currently, we’ve developed a website, with various resources to assist commuters, and are in the process of implementing a program to help “at-risk” commuter students as well as a commuter-mentor program this spring.

As a member of the Dean of Students Office, I also serve as a Student Advocate. This is a “problem-solving” service that assists students with various issues by providing information that can help students resolve their problem, as well as explaining university policies and procedures and their impact on students.

What do you enjoy about your work?
Currently, I love the challenge of creating a new program for our students. I’m excited to see the progression of our Commuter Student Services and look forward to how this program will positively impact our commuter students’ college experience.

What is your most proud UH accomplishment?
Not necessarily work-related, but my proudest UH accomplishment is graduating with my doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision this past December. I worked full-time throughout the entire doctoral program, though at times this was a bit of a challenge, I’m proud that I was able to successfully balance the dissertation process and work! This was a personal and professional goal of mine since beginning my career in Student Affairs and I’m still a bit in disbelief that I’ve accomplished it.

What advice or encouragement would you give UH staff and students?
I see so many students and colleagues that are stressed and feeling overwhelmed by life. One small thing I do to bring order to some of life’s chaos is creating to-do lists. I swear by the simple process of creating a check-list! Every week I create a list of tasks I need to accomplish, both professionally and personally. The physical act of writing these things down helps to clear my mind and to prioritizes what needs to happen that week. Plus, there is an amazing sense satisfaction when you get to check off of an item when it’s accomplished!

What is something about you that many co-workers do not know about you?
During my undergraduate years, I spent a semester working at The Magic Kingdom as part of the Walt Disney World College Intern Program. I had to wear a costume that resembled a character from the “The Sound of Music” (yes, petticoat included), became an expert on the underground tunnels-learning all the secret entrances into the park, and once even had the opportunity to help evacuate guests from the “It’s A Small World” ride all while keeping the Disney magic alive. I also learned about the business philosophies and practices of an amazing Fortune 500 Company and lived with students from around the world.  Though I admit, the experience made me a bit of a Disney fanatic; it was singlehandedly the best experience of my college career.

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it. Always remember this whole thing started with a dream and a mouse”- Walt Disney