5 Questions for Debbie Schick, Student Life and LEAD Coordinator

Everyone on the William Woods University campus knows Debbie Schick. Most famous for her wonderful personality, infectious laugh, and extensive owl collection, Schick is the Student Life and LEAD coordinator. When she’s not printing IDs or getting LEAD scanners ready, Schick is greeting students with kind words and a gracious smile. Her office in the McNutt Campus Center is a popular congregating spot. This past April, Schick received the Murphy Tetley Award, which is an annual award given to an individual or individuals who have displayed school spirit for the William Woods Athletics Department.

Schick recently sat down with Emily Barker ’19 to answer 5 Questions.

Q1: What does your job as the LEAD coordinator entail?

I do a lot of different things, but I mainly talk with current and new students about the LEAD program and how to be successful.

I am also responsible for getting the scanners ready so that students get credit for attending LEAD events and helping faculty, staff, and students organize their events.

I’m very lucky because I get to visit with students almost on a daily basis, which I really enjoy doing. I also love making IDs because I get to meet every new student.

Q2: What resources does the Office of Student Life offer students?

This is something I love to talk about because sometimes I think students believe we only do IDs and LEAD. We are so much more. Basically, if it involves student life outside the classroom, it probably falls under us.

We have offices all around campus. Campus Safety, Health Services, Diversity, Ethics and Global Studies, Woods Around the World, Residential Life, Career Services, and Student Involvement all falls under Student Life.

We place a large emphasis on our students and we are really proud that students can come in here and feel welcome and comfortable. All of our offices are safe places. If a student needs help, we will help them.

Q3: Why do you think the LEAD program is so great?

In Student Life, we truly believe that involvement outside the classroom makes for a more well-rounded student. One of the most important aspects about LEAD is that it gets students out and involved. The program allows students to see what faculty, staff, community members, and other students are doing on campus and really encourages students to become more engaged.

With the assistance of the LEAD program, students find themselves going to events they didn’t originally plan on attending. For example, they
 might go to a theatre production, athletic event, or horse show, and that’s something they may not have done if it weren’t for LEAD.

Q4: What questions do students often have about the LEAD program?

Students normally ask questions about an event or about the program in general.

I think a lot of times, students only look at the big picture and say that there’s no way they can get 45 LEAD points. I often break it down into smaller bites so students don’t feel so overwhelmed and so they see that it is very doable. If students attend two events a week, they will have more points than they need by the end of the school year.

Owlnet now features a section where students can view their accumulated LEAD points and the updated WWU app makes it easy for students to see what events are happening each day.

Q5: What has been your favorite LEAD event?

Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles and Debbie Schick

It was an event shortly after students visited the Civil Rights Trail on a Woods Around the World trip in 2009. Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles, a civil rights leader and one of the individuals standing on the balcony when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, came to campus. He told the story of King’s final moments and his perspective on the shooting. He was an absolutely wonderful man and it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Another favorite campus event took place in December 2006. My daughter, Amanda “Mandy”, and I graduated from William Woods on the very same day — she earned a master of education (MEd) in athletics/activities administration and I earned a bachelor of science degree (and went on to later get an MBA at William Woods). It was a special time for our whole family, and it was great that we could share our achievements.