Know Yo' Dean

V1 Staff

When you’re having some troubles at school or at home, who ya’ gonna call? The best option would probably be your Dean of Students. These friendly faces are the liasion between the students and the institution, so it’s beneficial to get to know them. Here’s a start, so maybe next time you’re in hot water you can start with some common ground.

Brian Carlisle

Dean of Students
UW-Eau Claire

Originally from a tiny town in Alabama, Brian Carlisle finished graduate school and ventured to Los Angeles to become associate dean of students at UCLA before eventually making his way to being the dean of students for UW-Eau Claire. His favorite part about being here is obvious: “I love the students at UWEC! They are amazing. Every year I meet new energized and extraordinarily talented students… Students are at the heart of UWEC, and I am honored to be able to serve them.” He enjoys hanging out around campus and says, “If you ever see me there, grab a cup of coffee and join me.”

What is something quirky or interesting that most students wouldn’t guess about you?

I love Xbox 360. Yes, I admit it – I love video games. I think I have played Dragon Age and Dragon Age II at least ten times – each!

What is your favorite local restaurant? What do you order?

Now that you know that I grew up in Alabama, this answer may not shock you. I really like Stella Blues, and I can’t get enough of their fried chicken. The Nucleus Café also has some great French toast and bacon!

What is your favorite movie (or movie genre) of all time?

My favorite movie of all time is without a doubt The Goonies. I remember watching it for the first time as a kid, and I fell in love with the adventure of searching for hidden treasure to save the neighborhood. The kids in the movie set aside their own personal safety to save the traditional ways of life for so many others. If you haven’t seen it, put it in the queue on Netflix.

Are you a “cat person” or a “dog person?”

I’m definitely a dog person. If I said otherwise, my girl Taylor might growl at me in disappointment. I love walking her on campus. She makes students smile, and they always love petting her. For those students on campus who have a dog back home, Taylor reminds them of how much they love their special pet.

Best book you have read recently?

I recently read Life is So Good by George Dawson. Though it was published in 2000, it was new to me. The book catalogs the life of George Dawson who was 101 years old when he wrote the book. He first learned to read when he was 98. George was born the grandson of a slave, and his book follows him on his journey through a hard yet adventurous life. In the last line of his book, George says, “Life is so good and it gets better every day.” I was sad to learn that he died just one year after his book was published. Read this book – it will move you!

Where would you choose for your next travel destination?

I am a huge fan of traveling. I have been fortunate to spend time in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, and many other countries. After seeing the movie Leap Year, I am hoping to travel next to Ireland. I would also like to visit Switzerland, Hungary, and Austria. I hope to include at least 30 countries on my list of visited places before I get too old and weak to travel.

Joan Thomas

Dean of Students
UW-Stout

Joan Thomas completed her undergraduate degree at UW-Stout and didn’t plan on sticking around originally. Her plans obviously changed since she is now serving as their current dean of students. She describes herself as “energetic, dedicated, and a multi-tasker.” After learning that she is a “doting grandma of three little boys” (and a dog named Ernie), a runner of several half-marathons, and an advisor of the Stout Student Association on top of her job title of dean of students, you’ll no doubt agree.

What is your favorite part of working for (UW-Stout) specifically?

UW-Stout is a very integral part of who I am, having been a participant of so many aspects of the campus – student, advisor, administrator, etc.  I believe in the campus philosophy of providing an outstanding education, combining theory and practice… and the very very best part is working with students at such a transformational time in their lives.

What should every (UW-Stout) student experience on campus before they graduate? Off campus in the community?

A performance in the Harvey Hall Theater (newly renovated) on campus and the Mabel Tainter off campus and in the summer the Wilson Park Band Shell performances.

What is your favorite local restaurant? What do you order?

Zanzibar’s Marsala Chicken is great!

Favorite recent item of pop culture (TV show/fad/overplayed song/etc.)?

My iPhone and iPad

What is your favorite food to eat on campus?

The veggies and dip at the food cart in Harvey Hall.  However, the stir-fry at the Memorial Student Center is the best. In times of emergency, the Chex Mix out of the vending machine is a quick fix!

Where did you go to college? Do you have a most embarrassing memory from your college days?

I did my undergraduate work at UW-Stout.  I fell down the stairs of the dining hall while stealing a food tray to go sledding on.

Margo Keys

Vice President of Student Services
Chippewa Valley Technical College

Margo Keys says that her favorite part about working at CVTC is the students. “I admire the dedication to their goals and ability to balance their complex lives.  Our students often face significant adversity as returning adult students and watching as they overcome those challenges to reach their goals is extremely rewarding.” Although she truly loves her job and the students she works with, there is much more to Margo Keys as well.

What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?

Many years ago, I was a Secret Shopper for Dayton’s.  It was a strange feeling to lurk around the store, observing behavior and recording notes.  While I love the art of ‘shopping,’ it was unnatural for me to linger around various departments eavesdropping and evaluating staff interacting with customers.

If you could meet anyone – living or dead – who would it be?

I would interview the Dalai Lama if I had the chance.  His peaceful soul and wisdom is intriguing to me.  I would love to spend an afternoon with him, delving into the challenges he has faced and the lessons learned along the path.  His book, The Art of Happiness struck a chord with me.

What do you love about living in Wisconsin?

The change of seasons. Regardless of the season, I love the first few weeks of each one.  Whether it is the first snow flakes, the first golden leaves in fall or the early flowers of spring, I love the transformation in nature. Summer is my favorite season as I love the warm sun and spending time outdoors.  

Best book you read recently?

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey.  Tina is a hilarious storyteller.  She weaves the humor of life into her chapters.  The challenges and antics she faced being a business women in a male-dominated world are artfully described. 

Where would you choose for your next travel destination?

Machu Picchu, Peru – an ancient energy center of the world.  I am drawn to the history, natural beauty, and the culture.