Throughout most of her professional career in education, Lilly Leon-Vicks has vigorously worked with college students. She is drawn to their energy, personal development and excitement.
As Western Nevada Collegeâ€™s new coordinator of student life, Leon-Vicks wants to play an instrumental role in helping students enjoy their college experience and grow from them.
â€œThe Associated Students of Western Nevada is all about providing a really engaged, vibrant campus community â€¦ a place where you can just feel the hum of activity and excitement and are happy to come to work every day.
She also values the opportunity â€œto develop leadership skills for students that are important in life management and career management as they move on to the next stage of their lives.
â€œI have a completely open-door policy,â€ Leon-Vicks said. â€œIf Iâ€™m in the office, you are able to come on in. I genuinely value student input and hope to get to know them better and see if there is anything I can do to support them.â€
Leon-Vicks will develop, organize and deliver programs to enhance and support student life and the overall WNC experience. Sheâ€™ll support student services including activities, recreation and social and cultural resources while managing the Student Center. In essence, Leon-Vicks wants to promote the intellectual, cultural, personal and social development of students through high-quality student life programs, training and events.
â€œItâ€™s really an honor to be a spectator in someoneâ€™s life when they are going through this transition,â€ she said. â€œYou cheer them on and you might coach them a little bit. Itâ€™s really exciting.
â€œLeon-Vicks said itâ€™s important for a college to provide students with opportunities to make a difference on their own campus.
â€œThey need opportunities to challenge their thinking and start to expand their world view. They need an opportunity to be responsible for real decision-making and really be able to affect things like policy and structure for the benefit of future students,â€ she said.
Before coming to WNC, Leon-Vicks held a similar post at Millersville University in Millersville, Penn., and has worked at Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and National Louis University, filling a variety of education roles.
Some of the honors that Leon-Vicks has received are the Rigoberta Menchu Appreciation Award, Black Student Union Presidentâ€™s Award, Dimon Distinguished Community School (Illinois), Outstanding Volunteer Bronzeville Community Action Council and Kennedy King College Service Award.