Graceland Names Deb Skinner Dean of Undergraduate Admissions

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Administration and Staff, Alumni, Press Release

October 28, 2019

Graceland Names Deb Skinner Dean of Undergraduate Admissions

Deb Skinner

Graceland University is excited to announce the hiring of Deb Skinner ‘93 as dean of undergraduate admissions. Skinner will assume the role effective Nov. 1.

The dean of undergraduate admissions is a new position created to strategically structure Graceland’s admissions office in a way that addresses new challenges present in higher education. In this new role, Skinner will report directly to President Draves and will fill a vacancy created by the departure of the Vice President of Enrollment Management in September.

Skinner brings a wide variety of experience to the role, both inside and outside of the university. She has worked at Graceland in a variety of different roles over the last 20 years – for the last 10 as the director of residence life. She has also worked in Educational Talent Search, Career Services, Athletics, and as a residence hall director. Her experience outside of Graceland includes hall director for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and she served in law enforcement as a detective and forensic artist.

“I have had a diverse path, but I felt like all paths led me back to Graceland – to my life’s work,” shared Skinner. “There’s nothing more meaningful to me than to help Graceland succeed. I’ll draw on all those life experiences and share my passion for Graceland. One of the things that we focus on in Residence Life is how to be caring and considerate of our students. I’m really interested to explore how we show care and consideration to our students before we even enroll them. We are producing graduates who are going to go out and make the world a better place. I’m excited to go out and share that story.”

Nate WoodWith the vacancy in Residence Life left by Skinner’s new role with Graceland, Nate Wood ’99 will be promoted to director of residence life, also effective Nov. 1.

Wood served as a residence hall director from 2001 through 2009, at which time he and his family moved back to Canada, where he became an owner/operator with Nerds-On-Site, an information technology services provider to small and medium businesses. This unique blend of a constant change in a shifting technology landscape provided Wood with a new challenge in forecasting future needs and managing relationships with clients.

Wood shared of his experience with Nerds-On-Site, “I was constantly reminded of my time at Graceland, as I found myself implementing house president training skills and tools in meeting the needs of my diverse clientele, and as I shifted in my role in IT from provider to manager.”

Wood returned to Graceland in July of 2018 to serve as a residence hall director once again. He also currently oversees the Small and Thomas apartments and works with the new esports program.

“Returning to Graceland, while initially unplanned, is a return to heart and community, which were things I missed greatly,” Wood concluded.

“Both Deb and Nate bring their strong passion for Graceland to their new roles. As alumni, that passion is evident in their work ethic and their approach to Graceland students,” said Patricia H. Draves, Graceland president. “I am thrilled to have them in these new roles and am looking forward to working alongside them to further Graceland’s mission.”

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