Jamie Brown, Guest Contributor • firstname.lastname@example.org
As Dean of Student Life Kyle Cutshaw prepared to leave Emory & Henry College, the students, faculty, and staff honored him with a going-away celebration.
Vice President for Student Life and Student Success and Dean of Inclusion John Holloway kicked the celebration off with a few words about Cutshaw.
Holloway said, “Kyle has been a safety net for me,” and that, “it was comforting (to have Kyle as a colleague).” He told Cutshaw, “We know this is a great opportunity to move close to home, and bigger and better things will be happening for you….Don’t be surprised if I still call you.”
Cutshaw is a 2007 graduate of E&H with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Civic Innovation. He was hired on immediately by E&H and got his Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin Online. Cutshaw said, “Working for your alma mater is really special, but when it’s a small college you get to see students come in on moving day all the way to graduation.” He added, “We have wonderful students, and sometimes the choices they make aren’t always the best. Those conversations were really rewarding because I was able to see a lot of growth.”
Cutshaw will be moving back to Tennessee soon to work with an Economic Development Firm. The move will allow Cutshaw to be close to his family and be able to give back to his community.
Over the course of the next 30 minutes, a few dozen people spoke either about or with Cutshaw personally.
Tracey Meek, a counselor in the Powell Resource Center, said, “His humor made hard situations bearable and he will be terribly missed.”
Director of Residence Life Lacey Southwick said, “Kyle leaving is a sad day for Emory & Henry,” and “I am feeling bittersweet, because I am happy for his next adventure, but he will be missed around campus.” Director of Human Resource and Title IX Coordinator Kim Steiner said, “I will miss getting random things through intercampus mail, and we will leave it at that,” adding “Kyle is a fantastic professional who is confident, easygoing and hardworking.”
Senior Rachel Haines, a student in the Religion and Civic Innovation programs, said, “Kyle does not put on a face for others, he is a gentle spirit.” “Even when students screw up, he doesn’t lose hope with them.” “I will miss him picking on people, his laugh, and him making other people laugh. He was like the ‘good uncle.’”
Director of Student Leadership and Area Coordinator Josh Von Castle said, “We have spent last 14 years together, we sat beside each other at graduation, we were RA’s together, Henrays together, and Area Coordinators together.”
“Being the Dean of Students is not a 9-5 job, it’s more of a lifestyle. You sacrifice a lot, you give up a lot of personal and professional time and I don’t know of anybody that has sacrificed as much as Kyle has,” he said. “I am truly going to miss him and the 2 A.M. stressful situations that Kyle has a unique ability to make calmer and sometimes, even fun.”
Cutshaw, at last, gave a few parting words to everyone on the past, the present, and the future. He said, “People ask me what I am going to miss the most about my job and I think it is the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. The good news is we all have that opportunity. Each of you all, no matter what your role, no matter what you are doing here on campus, you can have that opportunity to slow things down a little bit, and make that moment you’re working with someone else, to make that moment special.”