McPherson College Hires New Dean of Students

By Adam Pracht, McPherson College
October 27, 2016

McPherson College has hired a new vice president for student life and dean of students who brings with her a depth of experience and love of small colleges.

Dr. Sue Yowell comes to MC most recently from Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Neb., where she was vice president of student services. Dr. Yowell said her passion is for private higher education and, in particular, for helping students at small colleges.

“I really see value in what a liberal arts education can do and the value of a small campus,” she said. “I am excited about McPherson College’s emphasis in combining entrepreneurship and liberal arts education.”

She has a bachelor of science degree from Southern Methodist University where she majored in anthropology with an emphasis in North American archeology, a master of arts in education, focused on counseling from the University of Colorado, and a juris doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law.

She has more than 36 years working in student affairs, having previously served as the vice president of student affairs, dean of students, or both at several colleges and universities across the U.S. including : Dana College (Blair, Neb.); Brevard College (North Carolina);the University of Detroit Mercy (Michigan); the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and Illinois College (Jacksonville).

Early in her career she served roles at the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Wash.); Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.); and DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.). At the University of Puget Sound where she served as assistant dean, the student government created an annual leadership award named after her – the SKY Cup (after the initials of her name – S.K.Y.) It is given to the graduating student who helped to educate others about the role of student media, and modeled an acceptance of diversity in daily life.

As a high school student and undergraduate she worked on archaeological sites including the “Koster Site” near Eldred, Ill., which includes artifacts up to about 8,000 years old. You might be able to pick her out in the picture she has posted in her office. That dig even landed her on the cover of “Smithsonian” magazine (even if her back happened to be to the camera).

“My educational background in anthropology, counseling and law are all about problem-solving, and have given me an interdisciplinary approach to working with and helping students,” she said.

Now at McPherson College, Dr. Yowell is working to bring those years of experience to bear to make the best possible experience for Bulldog students.

“Hopefully I can bring experience to this position from other places that will continue the good work,” she said, “And also take our students’ campus life experience to the next level.”

Contact:Adam Pracht, public relations coordinator, 620-242-0425, [email protected]

McPherson College, located in central Kansas, is a four-year private liberal arts college offering more than 20 bachelor’s and pre-professional programs. Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to explore their ideas, to learn through doing and to make a difference in the world. McPherson College, affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, is committed to the ideals of scholarship, participation, and service – developing whole persons, prepared for fulfilling life vocations.


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