Dawn Lindsay is a name which will soon be recognized by students, faculty and staff. She succeeds Steve White, who is retiring at the end of the year, as the new Vice President of Instructional Services.
A master’s degree, five years of successful managerial experience and five years of teaching experience at a post-secondary institution were the minimum requirements needed for the position.
Kathleen Burke-Kelly, Dawn Lindsay, Tim McGrath and Gary Thomas Scott were all chosen as final contenders for the position.
After an elaborate interview process, Dawn Lindsay, Dean of Instruction at Riverside Community College (RCC) was selected.
“I’m glad that I was chosen,” she said. “When colleges are hiring someone [for a position] they are looking for a fit. Everyone has the qualifications, but everyone has different skill sets. [GCC] is a really good institution to work for. The qualities of the programs are well known and [the faculty] likes working there so much.”
Lindsay has worked in administration since 1984, starting on the East Coast. She also use to work in the field of medicine until she was recruited into teaching in 1991. The transition to academics corresponded with her previous experience because “administrators are discipline experts.”
She went to McDaniel College where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’sof science degree in social work and her master’s of education in the field of educational training at Western Maryland College. She then went to Pepperdine University, where she earned her doctorate of education in the field of organizational leadership.
Her path towards academics began in Maryland. She started as a part-time faculty member at both Dundalk Community College and Howard Community College during the early ’90s.
“I [was also] lecturing at the police academy and continued with all three groups until 1994, when I moved to California from Maryland,” said Lindsay.
Once in California, she worked at Saddleback College in Orange County in 1995 as their Re-Entry Coordinator, where she explained that she helped returning adult students who were going back to school, usually to get new career skills.
After two years, she was hired as Saddleback’s Matriculation Coordinator. She started at RCC in May 2003, as the Dean of Student Services. “[After] we reorganized, I then became the Dean of Academic and Student Affairs,” said Lindsay. “[I am] now the Dean of Instruction [at RCC].”
Current Vice President of Instructional Services, Steve White, said that he has been working at GCC for 23 years. He has been in his current position as vice president for five years. Previously, he was an instructor of economics.
Upon his retirement in December, Lindsay will become a part of the GCC faculty.
White said that one of the challenges that Lindsay might face is boosting GCC’s enrollment.
“GCC has not qualified for full growth funding since 2004,” White said, “We have to increase enrollment for growth funds from the state.”
In response to low enrollment, Lindsay said that increasing enrollment requires taking a look at many aspects because it requires multiple strategies.
“We need to look at retention and persistence. We lose students when they opt to not continue with Glendale. We need to figure out why we’re losing them,” she said.
At RCC, she said that they lost much of the “human contact” with their students applying and registering online. “[Students] didn’t have someone to come to if they got stuck,” said Lindsay,
“[So] we decided to put computer stations in our lobby during registration. This allowed students who struggled with technology to attain assistance and feel successful. Both staff and students have responded to several efforts we put into place to return human exchange [and] the application process is just one example.”
However, for Lindsay, low enrollment is not one of her biggest concerns. She considers her biggest challenge upon arriving at GCC to be attaining trust from the faculty “because people are going to assess me [and] I believe that trust is given not earned.”
“My parents were success driven. They pushed me to do my best and to do better,” said Lindsay. “My dad has been supportive [and] the women in my family are career driven. My mom is 85 years old and she is still [out there] selling real estate.”
“As far as professional goals I would ultimately like to be a college president, but [I] have found much pleasure in every step I have had so far in my professional career,” said Lindsay.
“I come to Glendale with personal and professional integrity believe [that] I am a good ‘fit’ for this position. [I] look forward to joining such a dedicated group of people [and] meeting and interacting with all the campus constituents.”