Student Development | When a Leader Creates More Leaders

August 17, 2022

Who adds the extra touch of TLC in student life at Nyack College?

Wanda Velez, Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students

You’ll find these people on the frontlines and behind the scenes giving 110 percent to envisioning and providing a phenomenal campus experience for students. They are the men and women at Nyack who serve in Residence Life, Student Engagement, Athletics, Student Health Services, Counseling Services, Student Leadership and Student Wellness. These teams are led by Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students, Mrs. Wanda Velez who recently facilitated a staff retreat. Her affirming, motivational message mirrored the words of business writer, Tom Peters: “Great leaders do not create followers, they create more leaders.”

“We want to lead like it matters,” she encouraged her professional staff, “because for 140 years this institution that we get to work at has mattered to the Lord. He has never taken His eyes off of Nyack. We can trust that what we do matters to Him and because this is true, we can show up every day and choose how we respond to what may feel like at times it doesn’t matter. It all matters.”

Vice President Velez took the group through a guided reflection of their time as Nyack employees. She challenged them with these prompts. “Consider the ways the Lord has grown you; provided for you; the relationships you have made; the academic experience that has prepared you; the flexibility you have had in your work space; the opportunities Nyack has connected you to beyond campus and the hundreds of students you have impacted; but also, the students that have impacted you.”

As iron sharpened iron during this retreat, the staff was refreshed and refocused for the year ahead and their words expressed the significance of their time together best.

Stephen and Mandy 2

Stephen Locke and Amanda Aikens

“The Student Development Staff retreat was an excellent practice in uplifting and edifying your fellow teammates—everything from our work ethic to your emotional health was addressed and challenged. We were able to pour into one another and come together in a way that really sets the vision and tone of the coming school year.”
Stephen Locke
Graduate Resident Director/Assistant Student Engagement Coordinator

“We learned so much about how each department functions, and now have had the opportunity to spend an entire day together learning from one another. Each member of our department gave a 10-15 minute presentation on topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Boundaries, Extreme Accountability, Effective Leadership, and Motivation.”
Amanda Aikens, Assistant Athletic Director
and Senior Woman Administrator/Compliance Coordinator


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