June 11th, 2019
Garrett College announces 3 new directors
Harvey, Meslener had been interim directors; Stemple's role expanded
Garrett College recently announced the appointment of three staff members to director-level positions, including two who had been serving in interim director roles.
Andrew Harvey is the college's new director of financial aid while Jennifer Meslener has been named director of the library and learning commons. Both had been interim directors since February. Fred Stemple, who already coordinates distance learning for GC, was appointed academic director of STEM programs.
"I strongly support providing outstanding employees with opportunities to take on more responsibility while advancing in their career," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president. "Andrew, Jenny and Fred are those type of employees. I feel confident they will capably serve the college and our students in their new roles."
Harvey started at GC as a student before coming back to the college as a financial aid counselor in 2010.
"As a student it was the smart choice," said Harvey, who earned an Associate of Arts at GC, a Bachelor of Science from Frostburg State University, and a Master of Science from Walden University. "I was accepted at several other places, but it came down to money. And although other schools offered more funding, the costs were also higher. I served as a work-study the entire time I attended here. I felt like part of that family and wanted to come back."
Harvey, however, didn't initially plan a career in financial aid.
"No one is ever drawn into the financial aid profession . . . it sort of just happens," remarked Harvey. "I was told when I started that in six weeks I would know if this was going to be my life career or if I was going to hate it and move on.
"Well, it didn't take 6 weeks," added Harvey. "By the end of my second week on the job, I had been bitten by the financial aid bug. No two days in financial aid are ever the same."
"Andrew is an expert in the financial aid field," said JR Kerns, Garrett College's dean of student affairs. "The college will benefit from him being in this role."
Meslener earned a Bachelor of Arts from Penn State, a Master of Library Science from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Education from Fitchburg State. She came to Garrett College as an instructional librarian in 2017 after service as a reference librarian at Cazenovia College.
"I really appreciated GC's small size and individualized attention and support for students," said Meslener of what attracted her to the college. "I also thoroughly enjoyed the area when I came for my interview."
Meslener said libraries have played a large role in her life going back to her childhood.
"In the summer, libraries were where my mother would take my brother and me for free events and activities," she explained. "Libraries are great for anyone, but especially if you are on a budget. Now I want to pass it forward, and serve others."
Meslener took on additional responsibilities within the Learning Commons in 2018 when Kerns, then the library and learning commons director, became interim dean of student affairs.
"Jenny is a young rising star with great potential," said Dr. Qing Yuan, GC's dean of academic affairs. "I am looking forward to working with Jenny in her new role as director."
Stemple, who grew up in Garrett County, returned home last year after finishing a 30-year career at Tidewater Community College, which was the 10th-largest community college in the country. Starting as a Biology Department instructional assistant, he capped his TCC career with four years of service as associate vice president for faculty professional development.
"I was attracted to Garrett College for its focus on academics and students, and the support the community has given to the college, especially in STEM education," said Stemple, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from Old Dominion University. "Large institutions often miss the opportunity to build relationships with students and develop skills that transition students from academics to careers."
"Fred has vision and thinks strategically about the future of our STEM programs," said Dr. Yuan. "We are already talking about plans to improve STEM education and attract more students in the STEM fields."
"I look forward to joining dedicated faculty who contributed to the vision for bringing Garrett College a state-of-the-art STEM facility and programs," said Stemple, whose career includes two decades as a biology faculty member. "Through continued collaborations with regional and statewide colleges and universities, public schools, industry and the community, our goals are not only to exceed the academic expectations of our students but to provide rich opportunities inside and outside of our classrooms and laboratories."