Allison J. Schultz, Director of Programs, ACE

Location: 
Center for Academic Community Engagement
1 Fiddlers Lane Loudonville, NY 12211
United States
42° 43' 13.8432" N, 73° 45' 19.3752" W
US

If you’ve ever been to the More House a little ways off campus or heard of friends who participate in service programs as the Bonner or Vista fellows, you’ve gotten a small exposure to ACE, the Academic Community Engagement Center. ACE is comprised of 5% of the student population in 9 different programs to achieve 40% of the service on campus. The women working to direct and oversee this incredible contribution to campus service is Allison J. Schultz.

Official Title: Director of Programs at ACE

Previous Title(s): Assistant Dean, School of Liberal Arts

Years at Siena: 5 years

Alma Mater(s): Cornell University (B.A. in Government), Georgetown University (Master’s in Public Policy)

HCS: What responsibilities does being the Director of Programs at ACE entail? What does your average day look like?

AS: My primary responsibility in the office is as acting as support for the staff and faculty I work with. I try to enable them in their positions to be better able to support the students who they work with inturn. Creating a support system is crucial in not only making sure each program that ACE holds is meeting their goal, but also in enabling them so that they may better connect with one another. I want to make ACE more than just a building the houses individual programs but also brings them all together.

 

HCS: How does this role differ from when you worked as an Assistant Dean of the Liberal Arts School on Campus?

AS: Well, before I came to campus the position never even existed. It was an interesting and challenging experience since I had to navigate through what exactly my responsibilities where and what my exact role would be. Becoming the Director of Programs at ACE was a little bit more simplier of a transition since their had already been someone else in the role. I am still even transitioning now since I have held the position for less than a semester but it has turned out to be an equally rewarding one!

HCS: What do you consider the most rewarding part of your job to be?

AS: I would have to say it’s the students I both directly and indirectly work with on a daily basis. Seeing a student who initially comes into the programs hesitant and unsure grow is both exciting and invigorating. The transition of that first initial introduction, as the student is pushed and stretched  to eventually become confident leaders is what inspires me to keep coming back to work.  

HCS: Is that what initially attracted you to this field? I mean, it’s not like academic administration is something you specifically go to school for so what exactly drew you in?

AS: To be honest, I really just kind of “fell into” working in an admissions office. After graduating from Cornell, I shortly found myself having the opportunity to work in the financial aid office at Georgetown. I came to be very comfortable with the position and working within the inner workings of the university. The ability to make connections which I still have today was invaluable and after receiving Masters at Georgetown I became the Assistant Dean in the undergraduate program at the McDonough School of Business.

HCS: So how did you go from Georgetown to Siena?

AS: Well, job opportunities eventually lead my husband and I to move back to New York. After working at Our World Montessori for a few years, I came to work at Siena when the new position of Assistant Dean was established.

HCS: So, the big question, where was better? Siena, in our little suburb of Albany, or the prestigious Georgetown in D.C.? What is the greatest difference between the two schools?   AS: Well, I wouldn’t say one was better than the other since in both environments I find myself working with bright students who want to do great things. The opportunities that these students have are incredible and the motivation to take these opportunities is abundant in both schools.