Candidate Dr. Paula Boyum outlined in an open forum how she would act as president of the Puyallup campus by pretending to be the president during a PowerPoint presentation. She also incorporated her life’s story and answered questions during the open forum.
Boyum grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and comes from a family of 10. She earned a doctorate in philosophy in education, as well as a master’s degree in education, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in radiological science from the Chicago Medical School.
Currently, Boyum is the vice president of economic and workforce development at Bellevue Community College. Previously, she served as dean and associate dean at Milwaukee Area Technical College as well as director of curriculum development at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“I love teaching, which is why I went into teaching education,” Boyum said. “I have a passion for education. I am very engaged in student learning.”
During the presentation, Boyum emphasized that, as found through the 2012 Pierce College District Institutional Effectiveness Biennium Report, Puyallup has high instructor ratings, a tight-knit community, successful completion rates for military personnel and a 90 percent rate of students achieving their educational objectives.
“Pierce College has done wonderful things, but there are areas we have to improve,” Boyum said.
She listed the following as different categories that need development: transition rates, support for learners and achievement for professional and technical students. She also concentrated on district-wide unity between the different Pierce College campuses.
Boyum worked in a similar structure at Milwaukee Area Technical College, and in doing so she reported to deans at separate campuses. She said that working across the district wasn’t easy, but she also was quick to point out the positives.
“It’s challenging, but it presents many opportunities that a single campus college wouldn’t have,” Boyum said.
She also mentioned that Pierce should build on its community involvement and work on supporting more high school students by encouraging them to seek further education.
“We want to help those that aren’t showing up to our door (by) reaching out to the community so they will start to think about going to college,” Boyum said. “I understand that there is a need to grow and better serve the community. That’s something I’d be really excited about (if I was selected to be president).”
At Bellevue Community College, Boyum strives to be as active as possible in encouraging the students to be involved. If she is selected as president, she wishes to continue that outlook.
“If you can’t have fun on the job, you shouldn’t be in it anymore,” Boyum said. “I’m a strong believer of that. We are here for our students; that is why we have our jobs. If we strive for excellence at the college, we will improve student success.”
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