Brenau University’s Student Services team welcomed Holly Taylor this fall as the new dean of student life and leadership, and she’s wasted no time getting to work.
“I want to make sure students know that I am there for them,” Taylor said. “My responsibilities on campus are not just to host the programs and balance the budget for Student Services. As the dean of student life and leadership, I know my job is to show up for the students.”
Taylor said her goal is to reach Brenau students by meeting them where they are, including on social media. Taylor is building her following on Instagram as @Brenau_DeanTaylor, where she posts photos and videos, as well as a variety of content to the popular and time-sensitive story feature.
Debra Dobkins, dean of the Women’s College and interim vice president of student services, said she is thrilled to have Taylor on the team.
“A new academic year was a perfect time for Dean Taylor to jump right in,” Dobkins said. “Her eagerness to become part of the fabric of the Brenau community is invigorating, and it’s exciting to see her making real connections with the student body. I encourage all our students to take the time to get to know her and see how she can help them thrive.”
Taylor came to Brenau from Lehigh University, where she most recently worked as the assistant dean of students and director of the office of student conduct. She held similar roles in student affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Western Carolina University. Taylor first began serving students as a graduate work study student at the University of South Florida, and then became a student advocate.
Taylor previously worked with larger, co-ed institutions, and called coming to work at Brenau life-changing.
“The opportunity to be at a small school where I can actually get to know people on a personal level, to focus on sororities and to support female students in The Women’s College, just everything about that was so intriguing,” she said.
The university experience requires a support system, and Taylor wants the Brenau community, including parents, faculty and staff, and alumni, to know how impactful they are as she serves students.
“While it’s about our students, a lot of times we couldn’t do what we’re doing without the support of everyone who supports them – spiritually, socially, financially and in so many other ways.”
As Taylor gets to know the student population, she wants them to get to know her, too. She said she is a big fan of music and knows how to play guitar and sing, which inspired an upcoming open mic event on campus. She also encouraged students to share their playlists with her and send her new music to try. Students can reach Taylor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.