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One on One With . . . Deb Carter

Editor’s Note: This is a regular Reflections article series, and this issue features longtime Siena Heights faculty member and Dean of the College for Professional Studies Deb Carter, who is retiring in September 2015 after more than 33 years at SHU. Reflections recently sat down with Deb to reflect on her time at Siena Heights.

How did you get your start at Siena Heights?

“Well, it’s an interesting story. I was a teacher of hearing-impaired children in Berrien County, and I had young children (at home). I was working part-time because of my little kids, and administratively they decided to only go with full-time people. I had enough seniority that I could bump somebody, and I just didn’t feel that I could that. So I resigned from my position not knowing where I was going to go or what was going to happen next. This was May of 1982. In the summertime, a friend of mine called me and said she saw a very small ad in our local newspaper … and it was advertising Siena Heights College needs a part-time person to oversee a new degree program for adult students. I hate to admit this because I’ve spent 33 years of my life here now, but I had never heard of Siena Heights College. I had no college experience. No higher ed experience. All my experience was K through 12 teaching hearing impaired kids. … My friend talked me into calling the number, and I got David James, who was the director of Admissions at the time, and I said I was interested in looking at this. (He said) ‘Can you send your resume?’ … So I mailed it. And then a couple of weeks went by, and I got a call, and David said, ‘Our dean is coming out to your area, and he is going to be interviewing candidates.’ … So I met Norm Bukwaz, who was the dean of Admissions and off-campus programs, and we had a conversation. And my curiosity was, ‘what on earth could you see in my background?’ I don’t know that I would have looked at me, because I didn’t have higher ed experience. … (But) I was called and offered the job, and it fit my criteria because I had little kids and (I) worked part-time. And I was hired at, believe it or not, 10 hours a week, roughly two evenings a week. … To this day, I’m grateful for that strange little happenstance … that was I was able to connect with a place that I love dearly.”

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Rising Stars

“Rising Stars” is a regular feature in Reflections. It profiles Siena Heights alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and who excel in their careers, occupations or community service accomplishments. To be considered for “Rising Stars” in an upcoming issue of Reflections, fill out the online form at Those who are selected to be included in an upcoming issue of the magazine will be contacted by the Reflections staff.

Larry Weeks

Graduation year: 2008, Adrian.

Current title/position: Chief of Police, Eaton Rapids, Mich.

What Larry is Doing: At the time he attended Siena Heights, he was the chief of Police for the City of Morenci. After graduation he added director of EMS to his title. He was a member and served as President of the Lenawee County
Police Chiefs Association, member and past president of the Morenci Kiwanis Club and delivery driver for Meals on Wheels. In 2013, he attended the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy at the bureau’s head-
quarters in Quantico, Va. In late 2013, he accepted a position as chief of Police for the City of Eaton Rapids.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: “The assignment from World Religions class regarding research into religions, not my own. I met with individuals at a mosque in Ann Arbor and interviewed their community outreach person. It was extremely educational and enlightening.”

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: Judge Margaret Noe.

My ultimate goal in life is: “Great family, great job and lots of faith. I’m there.”

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: “Having attended SHU at a later stage in life, I would encourage others not to be afraid of returning to school late. Embrace the opportunities around you to grow and learn. It’s never too late.”

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SHU Dedicates New Sculpture “Chaos Getaria”

Siena Heights University acquired a monumental piece of artwork this spring by internationally celebrated sculptor Jedd Novatt and conducted a special dedication ceremony April 18 on the Adrian campus.

The 18-foot stainless steel sculpture entitled “Chaos Getaria,” was completed in 2014 at Novatt’s studio in the Basque region of Spain. Novatt lives in Paris and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. His work has been shown in museums and galleries around the world, and is part of numerous private and public international collections.

Novatt’s work has also been included in five of the highly prestigious exhibitions with Sotheby’s at Chatsworth House in the United Kingdom—the annual exhibition of monumental work by the world’s leading sculptors.

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