Adult and nontraditional students at Wittenberg might soon notice a shake-up in the office of the School of Community Education. Jennifer Capper, the office manager at the SCE is retiring at the end of the month after 15 years. Capper is probably best known for being exceptionally helpful and invested in getting students set up and on the right track, according to some SCE students. She will be replaced by Michelle Gafford, who is currently the Area Coordinator for New Hall, Woodlawn and Polis House for Residence Life.
Gafford has served Wittenberg since 2013 in Residence Life and has also worked with the Office of Student Involvement coordinating campus leadership programs including Emerging Leaders, Strengths Quest and the Student Leader Fellowship.
Speaking about her new position, Gafford said, “The office manager position allows me to engage with the Wittenberg community in a new way: serving high school, adult and non-traditional students; continuing to invest in and collaborate with current students, faculty and staff; and contributing to new and ongoing projects to benefit both the School of Community Education and the Wittenberg community at large.”
Gafford has spent much of the last 14 years living on college campuses, first as an undergraduate student and then as a professional. Recently, she began looking for new opportunities that would allow her to live off campus. Actively engaged in the Springfield community, she was looking for a position that would allow her to stay in the area.
“Once the office manager position became available through the School of Community Education,” said Gafford, “I recognized the position would fit well with my skills and professional background and would allow me the opportunity to transition to a new position while still remaining a committed member of the Springfield and Wittenberg communities.”
The transition comes at a nontraditional time for such changes, as it is towards the end of one semester and in the middle of an academic year. But, Gafford recognized that the SCE position needed to be filled quickly and saw an opportunity that was too good to pass up. “My colleagues in Residence Life and Student Development were extremely supportive of my decision, knowing it was best for me personally and would allow me to make a position change while still remaining at Wittenberg,” she said.
Asked about the position she was leaving behind, Gafford said, “I believe strongly in the Residence Life program at Wittenberg, and I am confident the students in New Hall, Woodlawn and Polis House will continue to have an exceptional experience in the residence halls without me.”
As for a new area coordinator for Residence Life, a search to fill that position is currently underway. But, students shouldn’t worry about services during the transition period. The RA staff will continue to advocate for students should they have questions, daily needs or concerns, said Residence Life staff. Cliff Saul and Brian Richardson, both Area Coordinators, and Mark DeVilbiss, the
Associate Dean for Residence Life, will all be working together to oversee the residence halls until a new Area Coordinator is hired.