Mayville State President’s Column for Traill County Tribune

October 24, 2015

Staff Spotlight – Jeffrey Powell


We at Mayville State University are blessed with many great colleagues. These faculty and staff members are making an impact at the university, as well as in the community and beyond. From time to time, I feature someone from the faculty or staff so that you can learn a bit more about them. This week I have chosen to feature Jeffrey Powell, who has joined the Mayville State family as a member of the staff. 

Jeffrey_Powell-web.jpgJeffrey Powell joined the Mayville State staff this fall, as Director of Student Life. In his position, he focuses on a number of areas, including residence life and housing, disciplinary matters, emergency response, and student organizations and activities. In addition, he is in charge of the Campus Center.

Powell has worked at six schools in five states, and in three time zones over the course of his career. He has more than 20 years of working directly with college students. He says, “Working with young people either makes you old, fast, or it keeps you young.” He hopes the second scenario best describes him.

As a college student, he was very involved and enjoyed the experience so much, he’s made working with college students his career. His affinity group in college was marching band, but he also participated in the fraternity system, was in student government, and was a residence hall assistant. He also studied abroad and was an honors student.

Jeffrey has set three goals for his work at Mayville State. His first goal relates to campus safety. He hopes to be a part of educating students about gun violence and sexual assault. Mayville, N.D., by all measures is a safe place, but no campus is immune to what is happening across the country.

His second goal is to guide some of the folks he supervises into their next job or career move. This is a pay-it-forward goal for him. He says he’s had great supervisors who were helpful in pointing out his strengths and capabilities, as well as the places where he needed to grow a bit, and he wants to pay that same favor to those people he’s lucky enough to work with.

Finally, it is Jeffrey’s goal to be - really - an educator. The cost of attending college continues to grow, and he wants to help students have productive and successful experiences. Completing a degree in eight or nine semesters, with good grades, usually correlates with finding a person and a group with whom to connect. He plans to be available to be that person, making sure Mayville State’s student groups are both vibrant and diverse, so that students can find a way to connect. Student success is very important to Mayville State and to Jeffrey personally.

Being at Mayville State has been an adjustment for Jeffrey. It’s the smallest school where he’s worked, but he says it’s also the friendliest campus he’s been on since he was an undergrad.

He says, “I’m enjoying how focused on students and teaching everyone seems to be. I’ve worked in a lot of places, mostly research institutions. Mayville State’s not one of those, but instead it is really a teaching university. The vibe is different. The focus is different. I’m really enjoying this kind of attention that our students are getting.”

At “The School of Personal Service,” our people are our greatest asset. We are happy that Jeffrey has joined us in our endeavor to provide the best possible educational experience for our students. We know that he has a wealth of knowledge to share not only with his students, but with the people of our community. Please join me in welcoming him to Mayville State University.