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MVNU names Van Dame as Director of Campus Life

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Mount Vernon Nazarene University has appointed Tiffany Van Dame as the new Director of Campus Life, effective Jan. 25.

“Tiffany has a vast amount of student-facing experience in the college setting,” said Vice President for Student Life Tracy Waal. “She has served as an admissions counselor, residential director, adjunct professor and vice president of Student Services. “These are the things that qualify her for the position, but it won’t take the campus too long to discover the things that really set her apart: Her deep care for students, her ability to make them feel heard, her sense of calling to care for others, and her commitment to her faith.”

Van Dame, who grew up in Painesville, Ohio, has a bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and her master’s degree in Transformational Leadership: Spiritual Formation from Barclay College in Kansas, where she served as an admissions counselor, Women’s Resident Director of Housing, adjunct professor and vice president for Student Services at Barclay College. Prior to taking on her new role at MVNU, she served three years as guest services director at Twin Rocks Friends Camp in Rockaway Beach, Oregon.

“God has prepared me for this for several years. I had not lived in Ohio in 14 years, but I knew if a door opened, I’d be OK to come back to Ohio. However, I didn’t want to go to a job with no meaning,” Van Dame said. “When I saw the director of campus life position and read the description, I said, ‘This fits me.’ It’s all the things I enjoy doing.”

Van Dame will be training and mentoring student leaders, engaging the student body and seeking to develop a premiere, holistic student experience. She will serve as the primary leader and mentor for Student Government Association members and provide oversight for all student-sponsored campus events.

Waal said that creativity will be essential as Van Dame navigates the responsibilities of her new position in these challenging times.

“One of the things that Tiffany brings to the table is her ability to think outside the box,” Waal said. “As part of the interview process, Tiffany was asked to create a campus-wide student event that utilized MVNU’s current COVID protocols. The entire interview team was impressed, not only with her creativity, but the amount of thought and detail that went into her event. Being in the Director of Campus Life role during COVID is more than providing creative events, though. Tiffany understands the mental health weight that students carry during this challenging time and the unique needs of different types of students. She was able to clearly weave that into her plan of student engagement.”

Van Dame has already found a home in Knox County for her and her dog, Dixie. Her first plans are to get emerged in MVNU and the Knox County community.

“I want to learn the culture in such a way that I can jump in and play my part for the Kingdom,” she said. “I look forward to seeing what I can do this year.”

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both in-seat and online to more than 2,100 students from 42 states and nine foreign countries.