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The Collegian

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Fresno State welcomes new dean of students

Terree+Stevenson+speaking+to+guests.
Cesar Maya/The Collegian
Terree Stevenson speaking to guests.

Terree Stevenson, whose professional career in higher education has spanned over multiple campuses, organizations and programs, has been newly appointed as the dean of students on Sept. 1.

In honor of her appointment, a meet and greet was held in the Ruiz Ballroom of the RSU where faculty, staff and students were invited for morning pastries and a chance to converse one-on-one with Stevenson herself.

Kent Willis, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, appointed Stevenson to the position. He spoke to attendees of the event to express his gratitude for everyone who helped in the appointment process and his excitement for what’s to come next.

“I never want it to be missed that we have so many wonderful, talented people [at Fresno State] and we invite, once again, another wonderful talented professional to the team in, Terree Stevenson,” Willis said.

Various members of Fresno State faculty and staff attended the event where they expressed similar levels of anticipation for what Stevenson can bring to the campus.

Diana Karageozian, the clinical case manager for the Center for Essential Needs, said that she hopes Stevenson gets a chance to see how much Fresno State has to offer, in terms of student success, and is excited to work with her for the Essential Needs Program.

“We report to Terree and she will help guide us, kind of usher us into this new year of merging all the essential needs programming like the student cupboard and case management together and just provide support to us and guidance and leadership. I’m really looking forward to that,” Karageozian said.

Sam Fairbanks, a community engagement and outreach specialist at the Water, Energy and Technology Center at Fresno State, met Stevenson when he walked into the meet and greet and said that the new appointment is a good opportunity for the student body.

“It was great to meet her; super warm and welcoming. I think it’s going to be great for students to have an awesome, new and vibrant personality on campus; someone who is approachable for students, which I can already tell she is. Sometimes it’s hard to get into contact with leadership at any business or institution, and it’s good having someone that can be easily reachable. That’s just advocating for students with an open-door policy,” Fairbanks said.

The open-door policy has been advocated by Stevenson ever since she started her career in education and has been a way for her to connect with students, letting them know that she wants to be more than just a position heard about on campus.

“I want to do some pop-ups on campus so that students know who I am. At least know my name and face because they might hear dean or Terree Stevenson, but they might not know my name and face and I want them to know it so that they have the opportunity [to know me directly],” Stevenson said.

Stevenson had the opportunity to directly speak with members of the student body as they arrived at the meet and greet.
Viridiana Milian, a Fresno State student, spoke directly to Stevenson and found her to be welcoming.

“I thought she was very kind. She seemed interested in what we were majoring in. She asked when we were graduating so that was very nice of her and she seems like she cares about the students,” Milian said.

Karen Carrillo, ASI president, met Stevenson during an open forum last semester when candidates for the position were going through their interview process and found her to be very exciting.

“She had a lot of great ideas and it felt like this is her place. She’s already talking to me about coming to our meeting tomorrow, our very first senate meeting, wanting to come to stop by the office, or even just setting up a meeting with me. I can already sense a strong allyship with her so I look forward to meeting with her and seeing what great things we have for this upcoming year,” Carrillo said.

As attendees left the Ruiz ballroom, Stevenson continued to speak with those who remained.

“I want to hear about your experience, and most importantly I want to hear about how I can be of support to you,” Stevenson said.

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