By Chris Byrd | News Writer
After serving for over five years as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Life Programs, Jason Chapman will be departing Whitworth University on March 20th for Hawkeye Community College. During his tenure, Chapman worked with the Associated Students of Whitworth University (ASWU) as their advisor.
“[I] helped with the planning of events, and answering the tough questions. [I was] really charged with making sure the students who are in ASWU are growing professionally, personally,” Chapman said.
Chapman also pioneered numerous programs at the university. The Textbook Lending Library offers required textbooks to students with financial needs, while the Nutrition Center offers rotating recipes and fresh ingredients. Both programs began during Chapman’s tenure.
Chapman said he started the programs for students, “So they can be able to focus on things they need to focus on and not ‘how am I going to get money for this book or for food’ or whatever it may be.”
ASWU, with the help of Chapman, also rebranded Whitworth’s mascot from Walker D. Planks to Captain Patches. According to Chapman, the switch was made in part because Patches offers a more “family-friendly” appearance and one that better represents Whitworth.
Chapman worked with all of ASWU’s executive teams very closely, including ASWU’s current President, Georgia Goff.
“He’s here at almost every single one of our events,” said Goff. “He’s sacrificed a lot of his personal life and personal time to support the students. He served as a mentor for many of us throughout these last few years.”
The move is largely driven by a desire “to get closer to friends and family,” said Chapman. He has also stated he wants to bring additional student success programs to his next college in his role as Director of Student Success, programs which are “similar to the Textbook Lending Library and Nutrition Center– things that I’m really proud of…” The position will allow Chapman to oversee programs related to student success, housing, and financial security for students at the community college.
As Chapman leaves Whitworth, he said he has a few words to share for whoever fills his position.
“Listen to the students. I think that the only way you can be successful in student activities is [by] listening to what the students want, listening to how the students are changing. I think just in higher education in general right now, what worked five years ago isn’t working now. And so the ability for us to hear what these student needs are and be able to adapt and address those is really important”