The new face of Cornwall’s St. Lawrence College
From her new office on the third floor of the St. Lawrence College, Debra Stava, the institution’s newest dean, looks down on the peaceful St. Lawrence River.
By Francis Racine, The Cornwall Journal
“I’m a coffee type of person, so I often stand right here early in the morning and enjoy my coffee, while looking at the river,” she said, a smile on the corner of her lips. “I give my thanks.”
Taking over the reins of retired dean Don Fairweather was quite the endeavor for Stava, who recently moved to Cornwall, wasn’t a resident of the province, let alone the time zone. The woman is an accomplished community college administrator with over 25 years of progressive experience in post-secondary education. She most recently was Associate Vice President at Northwest Community College in Terrace, British Columbia. She has provided leadership in a mix of academic programs and in an environment that mirrors the offerings of the Cornwall campus.
“It makes for quite a long plane ride,” she said, before bursting out in laughter. “I came to visit Cornwall when I saw the job posting, to see what exactly this city was made of. I loved what I saw, a welcoming community with a great size.”
Yet before leaving her province, Stava did quite a good amount of research. She says that the city boasts of several websites, which she visited before coming to Cornwall. “There’s a lot of information on those,” she stressed. “I’m talking about sites like Choose Cornwall and the city’s, just to name a few.”
Stava is quick to point out that the move was well worth it. “I love the campus here and I love coming to work every day,” she admitted, still smiling. “I’m very impressed with our staff, our faculties and, above all else, our students.”
According to the dean, there aren’t that many differences between Northwest College and her newest employer. “They both strive for the same goals, student success.”
To that end, Stava can’t help but realise just how much the education staff at the post secondary institution are dedicated to their students. “These people are there for their students, they want them to succeed.”
In addition, the staff also helped her get settled in and offered to help her get to know her new community. “They were very helpful and welcoming,” she exclaimed.
The many books on the big bookcase in her office prove that the woman holds education quite close to her heart. “There is value to education throughout our lives, for personal and professional gain,” she pointed out. “St. Lawrence College continues to look at innovative ways to help people discover the knowledge that excites them the most.”
Read the whole article in this week's Journal