Publish Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2021 11:49:47 -0700
After more than 40 years working to lift up students and helping them to achieve their goals at Crafton Hills College (CHC), Dean of Student Services and Student Success Kirsten Colvey is retiring.
Since she was hired at CHC in January 1981 as a learning disabilities specialist, Colvey has been interested in helping students reach their full potential, although she did not initially set out to work at CHC, or any college.
“I kind of fell into it,” said Colvey about working in higher education. “I did a field study for my bachelor’s degree in Community Studies at University of California, Santa Cruz, on higher education, so I did have an interest. When I started my master’s degree at Pepperdine University in Special Education, I was given an opportunity to work with a learning disabilities program at West Los Angeles College, and that [experience] piqued my interest.”
After she completed her master’s, she was ready to start working. Mentors and friends in her professional networks advised her to apply for any position she found as a learning disabilities specialist to get practice for future professional interviews.
Her first practice interview at a community college would be her last -- she was offered the learning disabilities specialist position at CHC, and she never left.
Trying to capture in words the significance of more than four decades of work to give students at CHC every opportunity and resource they need to be successful is overwhelming, especially for those who are not necessarily keen on talking about themselves, like Colvey. But she is sure about one thing: the forty-plus years at CHC have amounted to making a positive difference in countless students’ lives.
“I have fond memories of watching the students I worked with that had learning disabilities walk at graduation,” Colvey said. “It was always so nice to see these students,who did not believe in themselves or their ability, to be successfully changed and walk across the stage with confidence. To know that I played some small part in their achievement is something I am very proud of.”
She plans to spend her retirement enjoying her family, especially her son, grandchild, and the rest of her extended family in Denmark, where she has dual citizenship. Traveling with her husband is also on the agenda, as well as staying busy with crafts and other activities that are important to her, including education, community service, climate change, and expanding access to voting rights.
It is hard to believe that retirement is on the horizon for her, but she is proud of her accomplishments and being a part of the growth and change at CHC during her time serving here.
Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Delmy Spencer commented on Colvey’s retirement. “ Kirsten’s passion and commitment to students, faculty and staff is going to sorely missed. Crafton owes a tremendous debt of gratitude for Kirsten’s academic leadership, vision, and goodwill. She has cultivated the very best at Crafton from its near inception to the vibrant campus it is today. Her dedication to technology, teamwork, and growth have left a legacy. Kirsten’s presence, wisdom, and kind words have inspired faculty, staff, and students. Crafton is deeply honored to call Kirsten not only a colleague, but our friend.We congratulate her on her retirement and wish her the very best. She will be greatly missed and forever remembered.”