Tim Cox is the junior and senior class dean, supporting students in achieving their academic, professional, and personal goals. He has 11 years of experience in enrollment management, student affairs, and academic advising. He earned a master’s degree in higher education administration from Baruch College, CUNY, and another in academic advising from Kansas State University. He earned a Ph.D. with concentrations in higher education and academic advising at George Mason University.

When did you join Lafayette?

I consider myself a newbie. I joined Lafayette in September 2019. Before my first day, I attended new student orientation to get a feel for the campus. It was cool to meet so many members of the Laf family then.

What were you doing before?

I was working at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, so yes, it was a big change in terms of location, school size, type, and culture. I had been there for five years, so I was looking for an opportunity to develop professionally.

What is most challenging about your job?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach in helping students make the most of their educational experiences. Students bring their unique backgrounds, characteristics, values, and goals into our meetings. With that said, it’s impossible to know all of the answers. My goal, though, is to try.

What do you find most enjoyable about it?

I would say the same thing that makes it so challenging. Every time I meet with students (familiar and new), I learn something new. I add these lessons to my mental toolbox, which helps me become more well-rounded, experienced, and knowledgeable.

What have you found particularly fulfilling?

First off—shoutout to my first class, the STRONG Class of 2020! This year, our seniors were presented with a serious unexpected transition in the middle of their final semester. Whether it was working closely with their professors to provide support, developing a plan for graduation, or sharing simple words of encouragement, it was most fulfilling to see that many of my students completed their senior year successfully!

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work?

COVID-19 has allowed me and members of the Office of Advising & Co-Curricular Programs to be more creative and flexible with how we connect with students and colleagues. I’ve actually transformed my second guest room into my new “office.” Everything Lafayette is in there. It makes me feel like I’m on campus.

What's been the most difficult part about it?

I wish I could have done more for the students who were severely affected—either by COVID-19, mental health illness, anxiety, stress, finances—you name it.

What, if any, unexpected positives have you seen during this time?

I’m happy to say that I was still able to connect with students and colleagues—even those whom I have not met in person (thanks to Google Meet and Zoom). I was also surprised to see that we were able to do our jobs without many hiccups!

What have you done for fun during this period away?

I’ve really tapped into my creativity. I’ve created virtual escape rooms and crime/murder mysteries for friends and colleagues. I’ve also started to paint. Outside that, I’ve maintained virtual contact with family, friends, and colleagues. It’s always good to check in on my people!

What are your other hobbies outside work?

I am a self-proclaimed foodie, so I can’t wait to continue checking out new restaurants. I also enjoy traveling with friends, frat, and family. Oh—and if there’s music with a good beat, you can find me on the dance floor!

What else would you like to add?

I like it here. My team is amazing, and so are the people. This is an interesting time to be at Laf—especially as we are facing two pandemics: COVID-19 and systemic racism. I look forward to working with our administration, faculty, staff, and students to create a safe and healthy community of inclusion.

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