by Araceli Esparza
Barbara Schiller, new director of the Academic Advising Department at the University of La Verne, was recently hired to fill in the vacant position left by former director Art Stenmo, who left the University late July.
“Art Stenmo was offered an opportunity at Cal Poly [California Polytechnic University], Pomona, as the director of Student Outreach and Recruitment Services,” said Adeline Cardenas-Clague, dean of academic support and retention services at ULV and supervisor to the director. “When he left, we started advertising immediately according to the job description and the needs of the department.”
Cardenas-Clague said that a panel of several University administrators was formed to begin the application review and individual interview process. From advertisements used to promote the vacant position, an estimated 25 individuals submitted an application with interest in the position.
“We were looking for someone who was student-centered and who came from a student advocacy background,” said Cardenas-Clague. “The director’s job is to advise students and be a support for faculty.”
Keeping such factors in mind, the panel found that Schiller “had all those qualifications,” and the decision to hire her was unanimous.
Schiller’s resume and interview fit the desired criteria. Prior to her acceptance of the position at ULV, Schiller had also served as a coordinator of advising for the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona (UA). In addition, she has also had experience within this area from a related position she held at Pima Community College which is located in Arizona.
At UA, Schiller was responsible for working with more than 1,300 students involved in the program; at Pima, she held an integral role as an employee of one of the nation’s largest community colleges.
“She had all the qualifications that we were looking for,” said Cardenas-Clague. “She made it a very easy decision.”
Though the panel’s decision for a new director did not take much convincing and planning, Schiller’s decision to accept the offer did take some thought. At the time in which she had undergone the interview process, Schiller was still a resident of Arizona.
“I wasn’t very open to going many places,” said Schiller of her preferences in seeking a directoral position. “I wanted to stay in Arizona or go to California.”
Schiller said the thought of attaining a position as a director of advising has been a longtime personal goal, and that “the position [at ULV] and college was too good to pass up.” Now one of the newest residents of the City of La Verne, this advising director admitted to being excited about the University and the town.
Regarding her expectations and anticipations for the new position, Schiller is also hoping to hold a good relationship with the University community and concentrate primarily on tactics used in advising students academically.
“What I hope to have is a very personal and close relationship with students, faculty and staff,” she said. “I want to integrate advising with career counseling; career development is a big part of my background.
“I also want to teach a University 100 class.”
Schiller hopes that her experience at a larger school of higher education will benefit her abilities at ULV. Cardenas-Clague has similar aspirations as well.
“She had successful ideas at the University of Arizona,” said Cardenas-Clague, “and we hope she will implement those at La Verne where appropriate.
“Academic advising at the University of La Verne has always been rated very high. We look forward to her contributions and hope to have her stick around for a long, long time.”
Schiller also intends to be a part of the University for a long period of time, admitting that in the past she has held several positions for a minimum of 10 years per position.