Written by Matt Cunningham
image by Ezra Ekman
FRCC’s new instructional dean Andrea DeCosmo’s path to becoming a dean involved a wealth of experience in higher education, the ability to learn challenging life lessons, and an extreme passion for education. DeCosmo started her new position on Jan. 7; she serves as the allied health dean for the Westminster campus and oversees the Brighton campus.
DeCosmo frequently coordinates with the other deans across all campuses on budgeting issues and the faculty hiring process. An instructional dean will typically indirectly interact with the students by ensuring their instructors are doing their jobs properly.
DeCosmo discussed the various responsibilities of a dean. There isn’t one set responsibility that deans have, as they are required to oversee a variety of moving parts.
“Pointing [faculty] in the right direction” is essential, according to DeCosmo. DeCosmo discussed the oversight of the budget, and how the deans have to manage “multiple pots of money.”
DeCosmo majored in mathematics to earn her bachelor’s degree at Saint Mary’s college in Indiana, then went on to the University of Missouri to earn her master’s degree in mathematics and education. She taught about every level of math imaginable, from elementary algebra to integrated math II. She has also worked for other community colleges in Tulsa, Okla.; Oak Lawn, Ind.; and Hudson Valley, N.Y.
The new dean at FRCC has lived in a number of places. She did a lot of her moving when she was a child, which caused a lot of uncertainty in her life. Growing up in Southwest Michigan, living in upstate New York, DeCosmo’s path to Colorado led her all around the country.
“It was not easy being taken away from my friends all the time,” said DeCosmo. “This all taught me how to work hard for everything.”
Her childhood still had plenty of positive moments. From sports with her father to family vacations, she managed to find abundant enjoyment as a kid.
“I remember watching the Chicago Bears games, sitting next to my dad as he explained the rules of football to me,” said DeCosmo.
However, Decosmo’s favorite childhood memory was “the family vacations to Cedar Point. I enjoyed riding Blue Streak and Gemini the most.”
DeCosmo has some strong opinions on education in the state of Colorado.
“We, as a state, don’t value education enough to fund it properly,” said Decosmo. “I would like to see more transparency in the state budget and promote our own citizens more.”
DeCosmo is new to the position, but her experience in education has led to a high-level status. She hopes to use her opinions on education and leadership to bring a fresh perspective to the dean position.