By Taroue Brooks
Tell us about your role at Wabash College.
Steven L. Jones, Wabash Class of 1987, is the Director of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies and the College’s Dean for Professional Development.
Dean Jones returned to his alma mater in 2016 after a 23-year career with IU Health, where he was Vice President of the Adult Academic Health Center and led human resource functions for 6,500 team members. He previously served IU Health as Executive Director of Talent Management, Diversity, and HR Leader; Director of Recruitment, Staffing, and Diversity; and Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
As Dean for Professional Development, he oversees the activities of the Malcolm X Institute, for which he was an award-winning member and chairman during his four years at Wabash. He served as chairman of the MXIBS as a junior. He attempts, each day, to create an environment where students of color may experience a greater sense of belonging on a predominately campus. He also oversees the activities of the nationally ranked Schroeder Center for Career Development, the Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship, and the Wabash Internships and Student Employment program.
What keeps you motivated to remain in the education industry?
Young people deserve the opportunity to be successful and feel proud about their accomplishments. I want young men to be in a position in which they provide for themselves and their family in a way that maybe they have not imagined. Spring Break should not mean Spring Cleaning and Spring Chores. I strive to broaden the horizon of each student who enters Wabash College so he can have the very best possible future.
Why should an African American family consider Wabash College a good place for their child?
Families must trust the process and allow their son to grow and develop. He will be surrounded by faculty and staff that care about his development and future. When he arrives home after his first year, they will join other parents who express how much their son has matured and taken on more responsibility while at Wabash College. Great men have utilized this College as a training ground to find their passion. I encourage you to consider the long-term gain and make the necessary short-term sacrifices. I am certain it will be worth it.
How has Covid – 19 impacted the institution?
There are advantages to being a small campus. We concluded surveillance testing for the Spring 21’ semester with all negative test results. Having zero students in quarantine or isolation was a great way to wrap up finals and move into Commencement. We were honored and pleased to hold an in-person Commencement Ceremony, which allowed us the opportunity to pay tribute to the Classes of 2020 and 2021. Faculty, staff, and students has sacrificed so much to allow a mix of in person and virtual classes since August ’20.
What advice do you have for someone seeking a career in education?
Education is a great space to be in. You contribute to the growth and development of young people. Why would you not want to be someone who changes the life of a young person?
Where do you see your career in the next five years?
While I remain open to professional possibilities, I must admit, I am enjoying my current role. I have always found a way to give back and attempt to assist others throughout my career. The opportunity to share what allowed me to prosper professionally with the next generation of Wabash Men was a no-brainer. I never imaged becoming a vice president at IU Health, so once it was achieved, I knew I had a responsibility to inspire others to become even more than what I had imagined for myself.
“Wabash College Educates Men to Think Critically, Act Responsibly, Lead Effectively and Live Humanely.”
Facebook: Steven L Jones