Simpson welcomes new faculty, staff

by Erin Johnson, Staff Reporter

Each year, new additions arrive on Simpson College’s campus, but not just in terms of students. Those who keep the campus running continue to change as well. This fall, Simpson would like to welcome all new staff and faculty, including Abby Hahn, Rebecca Nation, and Heidi Levine.

Fresh out of graduate school at Iowa State University, Abby Hahn is the new area coordinator for the first-year area, encompassing Kresge Hall and Barker Hall. Before ISU, the Nebraska native studied at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Like Simpson, it is a small, liberal arts school with many of the same values Hahn finds essential.

“I really wanted to get back to a small school,” she said. “Just because I liked knowing people. You know, walking down the side walk and knowing who’s there.”

Another factor in accepting the job at Simpson for Hahn was the school’s dedication to service. With a master’s degree in higher education student affairs, she has a passion for helping students succeed, a vital component for working with freshmen transitioning to life at college.

This fall, Simpson College hired not one, but two new area coordinators. Taking charge of the apartments is Rebecca Nation. Nation has undergraduate degrees in Linguistics and International Studies along with a master’s in student affairs. Unlike Hahn, being at a small college is a new experience for Nation. Previously she worked at ISU where she assisted students in the Academic Success Center.

What drew Nation into Simpson was the proximity to home and the challenge the new career posed. “I wanted to find a different higher education institution and possibly a different area for academic support.”

Perhaps the most important change is Heidi Levine, the new vice president for student development. Her role on campus is to provide leadership for the entirety of student development, such as counseling, residence life and service groups.

“I would describe myself as somebody who really leads through relationships,” she said. “Part of the reason I chose to come to Simpson is that I really liked being a part of small and close-knit communities where I have the opportunity to get to know the students and my colleagues.”

Levine is spearheading the job with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in counselor education and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. Before this position, she worked at a few mid-sized schools but gravitated mostly toward smaller institutions. It seems there’s a certain appeal to small schools like Simpson.

“I love what this place is about,” Levine said. “I was impressed with how committed people are at Simpson. People love this school.”