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
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.