One-on-One with Iowa State’s new Dean of Students Pamela Anthony

Aimee Burch

Pamela Anthony was recently named Iowa State’s new dean of students. Currently serving as assistant dean of students at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Anthony will officially take her new post on Aug. 1. Anthony recently took some time to discuss recent events, as well as her life to this point, in a phone interview with the Daily.

What were you doing when you found out you got the job?

It was in the evening, but I don’t remember what exactly I was doing. I remember receiving the call from Tom Hill and being very excited.

What do you hope to accomplish in this position?

I’m new to the area, so I hope to really get acclimated and know the students. I hope to spend time talking to students, like student leaders as well as those not involved in campus activities to see why they are not involved. I hope to understand the ISU experience I have heard so much about. I have many friends and colleagues who spoke highly of the ISU experience. Also, I’ve never lived in the Midwest. I’ve lived in the far West and Alaska, but not the Midwest, so that will be a new experience, getting to know this part of the country.

Why do you do what you do?

Most people don’t go to school saying they want to be a dean of students, but as a student I got involved and was pretty social. I realized then that I could go and have a career where I could be involved in the campus and get to know people. I kind of fell into it serendipitously. It’s now my passion and my purpose.

If you had to do something over in your education path, what would you do differently?

I didn’t study abroad as a student, which is something I wish I would have done. Our world is so global now, and I didn’t necessarily see that as a student. Now you can post something online, and the whole world can see it within minutes. I have traveled internationally quite a bit but as an adult and not in the academic sense. It is important for students to go beyond what they know and get out of their comfort zone. I’m big on exposing students to new opportunities.

You’ve traveled quite a bit. Any favorite spots or memories?

The Great Wall of China, because, well, it’s China and massive and takes a lot of strength to climb. The Swiss Alps were majestic. The next place would probably be Greece. Have you ever seen pictures of something on a postcard and thought, “This can’t be real?” Greece was like that, and it was amazing to look around and see that all of it was real. I love to travel.

Do you have any other hobbies or favorite things?

I love shopping. Anyone who knows me knows I love shoes. I don’t know how many of my heels I’ll be able to wear in Iowa during the winter but I’m going to try. I’ve also gotten into arts and crafts lately. I love reading. I just finished my Ph.D., so the last five years I’ve spent reading academic texts, and I’m looking forward to more leisurely reading. I love being social and meeting people. I’m very much a get up and go type of person. Students will see that I’ll be at events and participating.

Is there anything else students should know about you?

Students can expect me to be fair. They can expect that I will challenge them and be engaged in the process.