Berea College named Sylvia E.M. Asante as Dean of Labor, effective Monday, October, 1, 2017.
Asante most recently served as Associate Director of Career Development at Gettysburg College, where her work included career and professional development services for students and managing Student On-Campus Employment Services. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, a master of science degree in Counseling/College Student Personnel from Shippensburg University, and a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from Gettysburg College.
At Gettysburg College, Asante also held the positions of Associate Dean of Intercultural Advancement, Assistant Director of Intercultural Advancement, and Student Development Specialist.
Commenting on the Berea College mission, Asante stated, “I value Berea’s history and contributions to the cultural and economic development of its community. Furthermore, I am attracted to Berea College because of its diverse student body, strong commitment to social justice, and its uniquely distinct identity as a ‘work college,’ vested in learning, labor and service.”
Berea College has a long tradition of student labor. From its founding in 1855, the College has provided work so students could earn money to help pay their educational expenses. Later on the Labor Program was established, requiring every student to work a minimum of 10 hours per week in a job that assists in the operation of the College. Today, students work in hundreds of jobs in more than 120 different departments. Every student earns a Labor Transcript, which documents the labor positions they have held and how well they performed each job. Employers find that graduates of Berea College have gained specific job skills as well as developed a strong work ethic in addition to their academic abilities.