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The Building of a Bay Path Dean

How Dinah Moore’s career became the building blocks of her role as Bay Path’s new Dean of Students

If the old adage “It takes one to know one” is true, then Dinah Moore is well primed to assume her position as Bay Path’s new dean of students. A 2019 graduate of Bay Path’s online Master of Science in Higher Education Administration program, Dean Moore has a personal understanding of the complexities that many of our graduate students and those enrolled in The American Women’s College (TAWC) face returning and learning in an online classroom. “As a graduate student, mother and wife, I had to learn how to balance my time,” Moore shared. “I realized adult learners may need to relearn things from high school or in their first years of college in order to be successful students. To do so, they need intentional and impactful support and programming that fits both their schedules, needs and interests.” 

Her initial reaction to online classes is relatable for many students, too. “I received a postcard with information on the Master’s in Higher Education program, and my first thought was, ‘Online? Oh gosh. I’m not sure if I can do that,’” she shared. “But I decided to do what I always push myself to do. I said ‘Yes,’ to the opportunity, embraced it and committed to figuring it out.” 

Embracing new challenges has been a mainstay in Moore’s career, with each piece of her career puzzle preparing her for her role as dean. “After I graduated with my undergraduate degree in economics, I went to work for The Hartford as a manager, and I learned about investments,” she shared. “I thought my entire career would be in a corporate environment.” When she was given the chance to work in the corporate training division, she jumped at the opportunity to assist employees in becoming more successful and productive. Eventually, she moved on to MassMutual in a similar division, but was asked, every now and then, to provide career development training to MassMutual college scholarship recipients. “That’s what eventually led me to love the college population. I enjoyed working with college students, which is why I decided to pursue an advanced degree in higher education.

That decision to return to college came after being laid off in February of 2016. “The first thing I thought of after realizing I needed to adapt to this new reality was, ‘Okay, I get to decide what I want to do with my life now. Do I want to continue to work in the corporate world or not?’ I viewed this setback as an opportunity to help find my passion and purpose.” While Moore may have been surprised by her pull to higher education, those closest to her saw it as a natural progression. “I called my sister, who is a faculty member at a college in New York, and told her of my plans. Her response? ‘I could always see you in higher ed!’ But it never crossed my mind until now. Taking a step back allowed me the chance to analyze what I loved most about my job. It was those once-in-a-while opportunities that I was given to help college students prepare for the workforce.”

Following her path to work with students, Moore was able to secure a position as the Program Director of The Urban League of Springfield’s High School STEM Program. She was able to establish and facilitate career development and life skill courses, while coordinating STEM programming at several college campuses around Western Massachusetts. While at the Urban League and as a graduate student, Moore completed an internship with the Springfield Technical Community College, working in its Career Center. “I was so empowered by my internship supervisor to not only work with such a diverse group of students on resume building, cover letters, career transitions and more, but I was also able to lead initiatives, such as job fairs, that allowed me to work and collaborate with other university stakeholders.” That internship helped pave the way for what came next for Moore: Serving at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) as assistant director of Career Services. While there, Moore worked closely with students within the UMass College of Computer Science on career development and worked with department staff on strategic planning and departmental initiatives.

She quickly realized the importance and impact of advising, focusing her Bay Path Capstone project on success coaching. After completing her Capstone, Moore was then met with another opportunity to embrace the unknown and say ‘Yes.’  “I’ll never say no to giving a presentation, so when I was invited to do so as a graduate student at Bay Path’s annual Academic Achievement Day in 2019, I said, ‘Yes.’” 

The listeners were so impressed by her presentation that it led to Moore being hired in 2019 as the director of Bay Path’s signature WELL (Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders) program. Moore’s role has included her oversight of advising for Bay Path’s traditional undergraduate students as well as her being appointed as Bay Path’s Title IX Coordinator in 2021. In the spring of 2022, Moore was promoted to dean. 

Her belief in a holistic approach to student care remains as strong as ever in her new role. “For students, if you’re not okay at home, it all spills into how you perform academically,” Moore shared. “We need to understand every obstacle standing in the way of our students’ success. How do we make it better? How do we enhance their time here? What more can we do to enrich their experience?” 

Moore’s experience as an online graduate student, fueled by her passion for working with traditional college students, has driven her to expand her role as dean to fully encompass students from Bay Path’s three populations:  The traditional residential and commuter college, The American Women’s College (TAWC), and Graduate School. “We serve all Bay Path students, and I want our team to be known for those services. Not just the traditional side of the house, but for graduate and TAWC students to be completely and uniquely supported, too.”

“Whether it’s your first time starting college or your fifth, it’s a lot of pressure coming into college,” Moore stated.  “Every experience is a building block. Just because you’re at one block doesn't mean it’s your final destination. I believe that as long as you can keep that authenticity, say yes to opportunities, even if you’re a little scared and nervous, then that’s healthy. Work hard, and go into the experience humble with your sleeves rolled up. You might not know it, or know how, but you’ll see that everything will fall into place, just one block at a time.”

Please visit the MS in Higher Education Administration program page to learn about curriculum, faculty, program options, and more!