Staff profile: Gregory Moorehead, Director, Center for Students with Disabilities

Please help Student Affairs welcome Gregory A. Moorehead as the new director of the Center for Students with Disabilities. Moorehead comes to DePaul from the University of Chicago, and has held positions at Rutgers and Western Michigan University. He was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions regarding his recent move to DePaul:

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A. My partner and I married this past August, after being together for 10 years. I am originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, a place that will always be near and dear to me.  I am the youngest of eight, and much of my family (including extended family) continues to reside in Kalamazoo.  I love cities, so when we decided to leave the New York City metro area in 2011, there were only a handful of places that we would consider. The winning city had to have good public transportation (I sold my Jeep 11 years ago and have never looked back).  This criterion narrowed the list even further. We are very happy that we landed in Chicago.  We love Chicago. Urban renewal is of keen interest because I love architecture and cities, but also because cities are vital to economic opportunity, and are laboratories for social justice.

Q. How are you liking DePaul so far?
A. I very much like working at DePaul, largely because I believe in its Vincentian mission and its commitment to that mission. I like the friendly and supportive culture. I appreciate the vibrancy of our student body and the breadth and quality of the academic programs that we provide. I am thrilled that DePaul sees Chicago as its classroom.  Chicago is a great city with enormous cultural resources that complement the student experience. Finally, Lincoln Park is a fabulous neighborhood with tons of amenities for students, and unlike many other schools, the campus is integrated into the neighborhood.   The Loop Campus provides all of the excitement and energy of being in one of the world’s best commercial districts, along with tens of thousands of other college students from nearby institutions.

Q. What made you choose DePaul?
A. First, DePaul has a very strong reputation in Student Affairs, and since most of my career has been in Student Affairs, that was very important. Secondly, the university’s historic commitment to providing quality education to populations previously excluded from the academy was very important to me.  Working in disability services within the context of the school’s Vincentian mission was also especially attractive to me.

Q. How did you become interested in student disability services?
A. I was working as the director of the TRiO Student Support Program at Rutgers University in New Jersey, when the vice president for Student Affairs asked me to take over the Office of Disability Services. Thus, like many colleagues in these roles, we have experience in other areas of higher education prior to disability services. I had great mentors at Rutgers, and excellent training opportunities on the East Coast.  It’s a rewarding field because you feel that you really are making a difference in the lives of students and their loved ones.

Q. What does a day at your job look like?
A. My day consists of lots of meetings; talking with staff and talking with students.  Like my colleagues, I spend a lot of time reading and responding to emails.  I also spend a lot of time helping students sort through challenges that extend beyond the services provided by our office.  Often I find myself making many phone calls or sending emails to individuals in other departments who may also support our students. While the quarter is new and I’ve only been at the university a matter of weeks, I know that my days will also consist of talking with faculty, parents, and others who are interested in our student’s success.

Q. How do you hope you can help students at DePaul?
A. The Center for Students with Disabilities has a history of providing exceptional services to students with disabilities, and we will continue with that tradition. I hope to help students at DePaul by assessing our services and identifying opportunities where we may improve the support that we provide to students. This effort will also include talking with campus partners and faculty to see how our office may better support their efforts, and assisting the university  with the awareness that ensuring access to all aspects of university life is the responsibility of all members of our community. 

Q. If you could share one piece of advice with all students, what would it be?
A. Resilience is the key to your goals.  It may sound cliché, but it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, what’s important is that you get back up. After you earn your degree and you’re happy and working in your field you will still encounter challenges. However, because you’ve experienced difficulty before, but more importantly because you’ve experienced coming through those difficult times, you will begin to see success on the other side of your challenges.

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