In April, Hiram College’s Professional and Graduate Studies department welcomed their newest staff member: Director of Enrollment and Student Services Tom Deastlov. We sat down with Tom to learn a little more about him and what he brings to Hiram College. Please join us in welcoming Tom!
What is your role at Hiram, and what are you most looking forward to?
As the new Director of Enrollment for PGS, I am most looking forward to increasing awareness of what Hiram College offers in the communities around our home campus as well as our partnerships.
Tell us a little about your professional background?
I have been involved in education, specifically arts education, for more than twenty five years. I was the founder and executive director of two privately owned schools of music, one in the Cleveland area and one in Chicago until 2010, when I took a position as Dean of Student Services for Bryant & Stratton College. I was appointed the first State Director of Student Services for Ohio in 2013 and held that position until I left to take my present position with Hiram.
What is your favorite part of working with students?
The relationships that develop. When you are in a position long enough, you eventually develop a touchpoint with every student. It could be a common interest, a private joke, similar life experiences, or people or places that you both know. Whatever it turns out to be, it becomes the starting place for the development of a strong bond.
What is one thing you’re hoping to accomplish as part of Professional and Graduate Studies?
We definitely want to create and develop more relationships within the communities we serve. This includes businesses, alumni, civic organizations and the community in general. We have a great opportunity to increase enrollment for the college while at the same time making a meaningful and impactful contribution to the areas in which we live and work.
What are your hobbies/interests? What do you like to do for fun?
Music has always been a big part of our life. I have been a percussionist and pianist all my life. Everyone else in my family sings or plays something. We also love the outdoors. We own a houseboat, which is our home away from home during the summer, and we use it as a step-off for lots of hiking trips.
What is your favorite kind of candy, and why?
Jelly beans, because I don’t like them. That means I can keep them in the house for the family and not be tempted to eat them!
If you had to live in a either a library or a zoo for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
A zoo, but it depends on the zoo, and what my job would be. I don’t mind driving the people-mover, but I’d probably outsource the cage-cleaning.
What advice would you give to someone who’s considering coming back to school to finish their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
Make friends and build professional relationships early. You are statistically more likely to succeed if you form a relationship with one fellow student, one faculty member, and one administrator. And see your advisor regularly. Having someone watch over you makes all the difference.