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Maureen Keizer "Blessed" With Forty Year Career

By Kenneth Stratton '19 THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2019 - 11:00 AM WNE100

A professional’s experience and expertise will often not only benefit their work, but the work of those around them as well. For 40 years, this has been true of Maureen Keizer, and the staff and students she has worked with.

Keizer, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development, is approaching retirement after her decades of service to the University. She reflected on her career fondly, saying she has enjoyed it from the start.

“There have probably been only a handful of days that I can honestly say, I was less than motivated to come to the office,” Keizer said. “I have been blessed with finding a career that I am passionate about,” the Dean added.

But before she found her niche here at Western New England, like many of the individuals she works with every day, Keizer began her journey as a college student trying to find her way.

Keizer studied Elementary and Music Education as an undergraduate at Bridgewater State University. By the end of her first year, she was selected to become a member of the Student Union Programming Council.

“I was fortunate to have been placed on the ‘entertainment’ subcommittee and learned much about contracting and hosting events,” Keizer explained. She went on to say that she was even given a small budget as a Sophomore to bring more Arts programming to Bridgewater. The Arts Series she began continues still to this day.

College life was enjoyable for Keizer, as she found a core group of friends, and stayed active on campus. But like so many other college seniors, she was faced with a lot of uncertainty.

“I was faced with many decisions not too different from what our seniors are facing now,” Keizer explained. “Should I go directly to graduate school, and if so, for what field of study; or should I apply for a teaching job, or should I explore this newly defined field of Higher Education and Student Affairs?” Keizer realized that whatever her next career move was, it had to be one that she was passionate about, and made her feel happy to go to work.

While studying for her Master’s Degree in Counseling at Springfield College, Keizer took on the role of Coordinator of Student Activities at Western New England, and has been here ever since.

“There were approximately 12 organizations and I advised the Committee on Programming and Entertainment, now renamed the Campus Activities Board,” Keizer said. “I was the department, so my office became my home away from home!” Keizer recalled.

According to Keizer, her early years were a terrific way to be tested as a professional, but the tests never stopped, as Western New England continued to grow. Keizer has seen clubs and organizations grow from 12 to 70, has seen two renovations of the Campus Center with a third on the way, and one name change for Western New England from College to University.

Keizer noted that of all the changes and developments she’s seen over the years, she’s particularly proud of establishing the band program, which includes pep and concert band, as well as her personal favorite, the drumline. And in honor of her support of students, Western New England’s chapter of the National Residence Hall Association was renamed the Maureen Keizer chapter of NRHH.

“What has not changed is the school’s philosophy. None of our students choose to come here because they want to be a number. We get to know them, and it allows for more conversations, more personal relationships,” Keizer said.

Keizer has carried this philosophy, and believes it is reflected in the students as well. With an illustrious career in Student Affairs that involves work with Student Senate and Title IX, the advice she provides has not fallen on deaf ears.

“Dean Keizer is incredible because she is always willing to help students and give them advice on what they can do better in their leadership roles,” said Tucker France, graduate of the Class of 2018. As a former President of Student Senate, France worked closely with Keizer, and knows her well.

“She’s special because she is able to do that in a way that promotes self-discovery while still making sure that the students she works with, get done everything they need to do,” France added.

“My hope for our seniors is for them to find a field, an idea or a vision that excites them, and pursue it! Hopefully, they will understand that they will have a few jobs or careers before they find their niche and a place to flourish,” Keizer emphasized.

Based on her experience and expertise, Keizer has been able to offer advice like this to Western New England students for decades. In that time, a lot changed on campus, but her love for the career she will soon leave behind always remained constant.