Five questions with Cindy Graham
The new interim dean of students at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is Cindy Graham. She takes office after the retirement of Steve McLaughlin and comes to Kenosha after serving as an administrator in Madison and as a faculty member and administrator at the UW campus in Superior. Ranger Today recently asked her about her career, her goals for our campus, and about helicopter parents.
Ranger Today: Could you give me a quick synopsis of your professional career?where you've been, what you've done?
Cindy Graham: Most of my professional career has been within the UW System. I taught and was an administrator at UW-Superior for 20 years. I moved to UW System administration and worked as a senior academic planner in the area of student life. The position with UW System allowed me to visit campuses and the colleges and learn about campus programs.
RT: What do you see as your immediate priorities for this job?
CG: Spending time listening to what people do and helping move UW-P forward, especially in Student Affairs plus working with student government on some of their priorities.
RT: What do are your long term goals at UW-Parkside?
CG: I see myself as a bridge (not in a static sense) between the retiring dean of students and the newly hired dean. My goal is to leave the position with a vibrant student affairs group ready to work with the new dean.
RT: You're in a situation where you're the "new person" and the students you'll be dealing with have more of a history with the university than you. How do you get on equal footing with them in terms of historical knowledge?
CG: I doubt I'll ever know as much as the students do about Parkside. I plan to ask many questions.
RT: We've all heard about "helicopter" parents, what is your approach to helping parents--and students--succeed in what might be a new and scary situation for them?
CG: I am a first generation student, I know that awful feeling of not knowing where to go, how to act, who to ask. I think that helps. I think parents (whatever mechanized descriptor we may use) are interested in the same thing we all are: successful students who graduate and succeed beyond the university.Away from work, Graham said she loves photography and enjoys hiking and spending time with her family. Welcome to UW-Parkside, Interim Dean of Students Cindy Graham.