Departing Dean says Missoula College is in good hands

Departing Dean says Missoula College is in good hands

August 26, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPENING OF MISSOULA COLLEGE HAS BEEN THE CENTER OF HER LIFE. BUT NOW, DEAN SHANNON O’BRIEN SAYS ITS TIME TO TURN THE SCHOOL OVER TO SOMEONE ELSE AND FOCUS ON THE “CONSTRUCTION” OF HER YOUNG SON’S LIFE. DENNIS BRAGG TALKS WITH O’BRIEN AS SHE PREPARES TO STEP DOWN AS DEAN OF THE NEW SCHOOL THIS COMING WEEK. DR. SHANNON O’BRIEN HAS BEEN DEAN OF MISSOULA COLLEGE FOR THE PAST 2-AND-A-HALF YEARS, COMING ON BOARD SOON AFTER U-M BROKE GROUND FOR THE NEW SCHOOL AT THE MOUTH OF HELLGATE CANYON. DURING HER TENURE, O’BRIEN HAS BEEN THE CENTRAL FIGURE IN GETTING THE NEW COLLEGE CONSTRUCTED AND COMPLETED ON TIME, AND OVERSEEING THE MASSIVE TRANSITION OF MOVING MISSOULA COLLEGE OPERATIONS ACROSS TOWN. BUT NOW, O’BRIEN IS OPTING TO TAKE ONE OF THOSE VOLUNTARY SEVERANCE OFFERS SO SHE CAN SPEND MORE TIME WITH HER YOUNG SON. SHANNON O’BRIEN/MISSOULA COLLEGE DEAN “HE’S 8-YEARS OLD AND HE’S NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER. BUT IS HAS BEEN A PHENOMENAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO WORK WITH SOME AMAZING PEOPLE AT MISSOULA COLLEGE.’ IT’S NOT EVERYDAY SOMEONE GETS THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE A COLLEGE FROM ZERO TO FULL SPEED IN A CAREER. O’BRIEN SAYS IT’S TAKEN DEDICATION, BUT A STAFF WITH A PASSION FOR IDEAS. O’BRIEN “WE’VE HAD A LOT OF CHANGES INDEED. AND THE FACULTY HAVE BEEN SO INNOVATIVE. THEY’VE CREATED APPRENTICESHIPS ACROSS THE CURRICULUM. REALLY HELPING STUDENTS GET THE SKILLS THEY NEED TO BE REAL EFFECTIVE.” YET WHILE SHE DESERVEDLY GIVES CREDIT TO HER COLLEAGUES, THERE’S NO MISTAKING O’BRIEN’S STRONG ADVOCACY FOR THE ROLL OF “CAREER-FOCUSED EDUCATION” IN FIELDS LIKE NURSING, FOOD SERVICE AND VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS, WORKING WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES AND COLLEGE DONORS TO EQUIP AND EXPAND THE NEW “RIVER CAMPUS”. YET WHEN SHE LEAVES NEXT WEEK, SHE’S CONFIDENT THE CAMPUS WILL BE IN GOOD HANDS. O’BRIEN “THE LEADERSHIP AT MISSOULA COLLEGE RIGHT NOW IS SOLID. EVERYONE IS FOCUSED ON THE STUDENTS. MISSOULA COLLEGE IS A COMMUNITY INVESTED IN CREATING RELEVANT AND VALUABLE LEARNING EXPERIENCES FOR OUR STUDENTS.” EDIT O’BRIEN “I JUST WANT TO THANK THE FACULTY AT MISSOULA COLLEGE. THE STAFF AND THE FACULTY AT MISSOULA COLLEGE HAVE MADE THE WORLD A MUCH BETTER PLACE. AND CONTINUE TO.” O’BRIEN SAYS SHE’LL CONTINUE TO LIVE HER IN MISSOULA, WHERE HER HUSBAND IS A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA, AND SAYS SHE MAY DO SOME CONSULTING AND OTHER SPECIAL PROJECTS FROM TIME-TO- TIME.