Connections to students bolstered by campus directors
Campus directors are often on the front lines when it comes to working with students, both those thrilled with their educational experience and those facing challenges. In our continuing series on Brandman’s culture of support, we take a look at two of the 27 campus and site directors. Whidbey Island’s Barbara Bockman’s 32 years of experience have been a benefit to students at multiple campuses and will retire at the end of September. She reflects on what the position has meant to her. In contrast, Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Lorine Hill is the newest director in the system and brings her own ideas and community connections. Both profiles are by Margo Myers.
Barbara Bockman: ‘Blessed to have had a great career’
It’s not just the beginning of the first fall session and new classes creating a busy schedule for Brandman University’s Whidbey Island campus director Barbara Bockman. Bockman recently announced she is retiring at the end of September and moving to Texas.
“I am blessed to have had such a great career at Brandman,” said Bockman. “I started in 1984 as secretary to the assistant campus director in San Diego. I have literally grown up at Brandman over these many years.”
Bockman’s retirement announcement means a whirlwind of moving and making plans. She and her husband are currently selling their house in Oak Harbor and buying a home in the Houston area, where they have family members.
“I am most looking forward to spending time with children and grandchildren,” Bockman said. “And quilting, as well as volunteering for Days for Girls, sewing health care kits. I am looking forward to enjoying life. There’s a whole world out there to explore. I want to do things that are of value to other people.”
Bockman has advised as many as 2,000 Brandman students over the years, changing the course of their lives through helping them earn an education and a college degree.
“When I look back, it’s not necessarily the lives I’ve impacted, but the impact my students have had on me,” she said. “It’s a two-way street. My experience at Brandman changed me as a person, and it gave me more to think about than just myself.”
Bockman marked 32 years with Brandman University on Sept. 4. She transferred to Whidbey Island 20 years ago with her husband, who was active duty Navy. Brandman named Bockman the campus director for the Whidbey Island campus in 1999, and she’s been at the helm since then.
Bockman considers it an honor to serve students, especially those in the military. She’s well aware of the special challenges faced by military students and their spouses with deployments, heavy workloads or being a single parent. “I know what it’s like to be the military spouse left behind during a long deployment,” she said.
Brandman University is currently conducting a search for its next campus director at Whidbey Island, with an announcement expected in the coming weeks. And while she knows the experience will be different under new leadership, Bockman maintains that Brandman offers a quality education for its students.
“I want the best for our students and our campus,” Bockman said. “I am blessed to have had such a great career here, and now it’s the right time to step aside.”
UPDATE: Mary Ellen Schief begins as campus director for Whidbey Island on Oct. 10, moving from her role as senior academic advisor.
Lorine Hill: ‘Putting students first’
Brandman University’s campuses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are welcoming new campus Director Lorine Hill, who will oversee Brandman’s operations at the military base in Washington state.
“Putting students first is my motto,” said Hill. “I’ve been in higher education for more than 16 years, and we are here to serve our students and help them gain the education they want and the degrees they need to advance in their careers.”
Hill is a Washington state native. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College, and her Master of Science in organizational leadership and human resources from Regis University in Colorado. Her career in education began as a tutor in Richmond, Virginia, and she became an instructor, lead instructor and a campus director in Springfield, Virginia. Moving back to Washington, Hill served as campus director and president for privately held, for-profit and nonprofit schools. She brings her passion for education to Brandman University.
“I want to continue the great customer service that Brandman’s campuses here at JBLM are known for,” said Hill. “One of my big goals is to bring more civilians on base where they can earn their college degrees. Access is not just restricted to active duty or retired military personnel.”
Hill also wants students to know that once they have their bachelor’s degrees, there are often “next step” degrees students can earn. For example, Hill points out that one of the most popular degrees is in organizational leadership. If students earn their bachelor’s degree, they can go on to earn a master’s degree in organizational leadership with as few as seven classes for qualified students.
Most of all, Hill wants to create an active, positive learning community through the programs offered at Brandman’s campuses at JBLM.
“I want to create a fun community,” Hill said. “We have a great team to serve our students.”
Become a Student
Have questions about enrollment, degree programs, financial aid, or next steps?