New president welcomes students

Photo contributed

Photo contributed

Jennifer Methvin
President of Crowder College

In June, it was my honor to begin serving as Crowder College’s 7th president in the 51st year of its remarkable history. At the invitation of the Crowder Sentry editorial staff, it is my honor to use this space to introduce myself to the student body and welcome you to the 2014-2015 academic year. I have been here a short time, but I have come to know one thing clearly.  Both you, a student pursing your educational and career goals, and I, the new president of one of the nation’s most respected community colleges, are profoundly fortunate to be at Crowder College.

Early career

For my entire professional career, I have been engaged in community college work. Many years ago, I was fortunate to be hired as the first general education faculty member at a new community college. There, I learned from the ground up the many ways that community colleges positively impact the lives of those they serve. Later, I moved into administrative work at two additional community colleges and continued to find that making educational opportunities available to meet a variety of learning needs was rewarding and impactful work.

Over the years, I experienced the many facets of the community college mission. I worked with recent high school graduates and working adults. I taught students pursuing careers as diesel mechanics, nurses, history teachers, and computer technicians.  I advised displaced workers after plant closings and taught writing skills to mid-level managers on their lunch breaks. I developed a summer enrichment program for elementary students and directed theatrical productions.  I taught in and administered dual enrollment programs and took community education classes alongside my neighbors.

Path to be president

Because I learned early on that community college professionals do what it takes to serve students, I have gladly painted walls, cleaned restrooms, substituted for ill or absent colleagues, held extra office hours, and carried boxes on dorm move-in day. My husband, Roger, and sons, Luke and Matthew, have embraced this work as well, supporting me, taking classes themselves, and volunteering at college functions.

All of this is what I love about community college work and the community college mission. The educational needs of our communities is our canvas, and we paint in many colors. We focus our work on your goals, we work in tandem with a number of community partners, and we realize that each student is unique. This profession has been a fit for me, and I feel blessed to have been hired for that first job which started me on the path to President of Crowder College.

Likewise, some step or decision has led each of you to Crowder College. I want you to know that I think you are both fortunate and wise. As I walk the halls each day, I see staff members helping students find their way from Newton Hall to Farber; faculty tutoring students before, after, and between classes; and study groups gathered around various tables across our campuses. In our classrooms and labs, I see students and faculty engaged in discussions, demonstrations, and projects. I sit in meetings where my colleagues spend hours solving problems, focusing on student needs, and striving to serve more and to better serve.


I know you have probably seen it on the walls and in our halls, the words of the mission statement that guides our work each day: “Crowder College . . . building a civil, serving, literate, learning community of responsible citizens.”  I want you to know that these aren’t just words to the faculty and staff here at Crowder. Crowder College employees and partners want what you want: to see you meet your career and personal goals, to see you succeed, to watch you go from our doors and likewise make a positive impact on the world.

I’ll say it again: I think you, as a student pursuing an educational and/or career goal, and I, a new college president striving to join her colleagues in making a difference in the lives of the people we serve, are very fortunate to be at Crowder College. Let’s make it our pledge to work as collaboratively, cheerfully, and hard as the faculty, staff, and community partners who stand ready to work with us.

I hope I have the privilege of meeting each of you, and when I do, I look forward to hearing the story of what path led you to Crowder College.