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Assistant Dean of Continuing Studies
Member, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Ashley Nelms calls being the new assistant dean of Continuing Studies at Salem College a "fun job."
Nelms's face may be familiar to many Salem students. Until late July, she worked part-time in Financial Aid, assisting students and parents with the financial side of attending Salem. She called her new role in Continuing Studies, "a position in which I can help students realize their dreams and attain their goalsâ€¦ especially those who have been away from school for a time." Dr. Alice Patterson, Dean of Continuing Studies, said, "Ashley hit the ground running from the day she arrived. â€¦ She seems to know how to do anything expected of her before she even has to ask or be given direction. Nelms said she had not worked much with adult students in the past. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Duke University and then returned to her home state of Florida, where she worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Rollins College, a small liberal-arts school in Winter Park. Her studies then led her to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she completed her M.Ed. in Education Administration. There, she became assistant director of the Office of Residential and Judicial Affairs. Nelms said the entire student body at Salem could fit into the four dorms she managed at Vanderbilt. But Nelms explains that because Salem is smaller than the other campuses she's experienced, "We have the luxury of meeting students and getting to know them wellâ€¦ That's what I love doing." In addition to advising students about majors and curriculum choices, Nelms enjoys her connection with both CS and traditional-age students. She added, "One of the fun surprises for me was how engaged the adult students were." Nelms started her new position during final planning for fall orientation. Nelms said she noticed that even though CS students have families or jobs pulling at them, they somehow find time to volunteer. "I can't imagine how they do that, but they figure it out," Nelms said. Cheryl Wiebe, a senior majoring in Business who helped plan Orientation, said Nelms is "a team player with a passion for welcoming new students to Salem. She cited Nelms's "great sense of humor and lots of storiesâ€¦. We laughed a lot." Nelms said all students, both traditional and non-traditional, have opportunities to get acquainted and become more involved. For students with little spare time, Nelms suggested telling someone what you're interested in or what your skills are, and "â€¦we can find something to do that [you] might really enjoy. She added, "You can be as involved as you want to be. Even if you don't have much time, you can still make a real impact. You might realize how fun it is." Nelms noted, "Most of the students I've met with have described their feeling of Salem as 'home'â€¦ I kind of feel that way too, professionally.
Ashley Nelms, assistant dean of Continuing Studies, added, "Anyone with any history here is concerned with the future of the grounds.