Written by Matt Cunningham
Image by Ezra Ekman
Two new instructional deans were hired at the Westminster campus over Winter Break. April Menzies who has used her own personal experiences in life and education earn the title Dean Menzies.
Menzies earned her Ph.D. at Kansas State University. She began as an anthropology instructor at FRCC in 2006.
“I thought that [being an anthropology instructor] was too good to be true,” said Menzies.
Now, with 13 years of experience at the college, she has worked her way up to the dean position. This is vastly different than her childhood dream.
“I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast as a child. My favorite athlete as an adult is Simone Biles,” said Menzies.
As a kid, Menzies was able to see the World Elite Gymnast National Championship. This experience showed her that even professional athletes can make mistakes.
“I was able to see that even [they] are human, because I saw an elite gymnast fail mightily at the pole-vault,” Menzies said. ‘This taught me that regardless of where I am in life, I will have to continue to work hard.”
With much success in her educational career, Menzies offered some advice to aspiring educators at FRCC and beyond.
“Getting first-hand experience is the most important thing in education,” explained Menzies. “Making sure this is actually something you want to do and volunteering is very important.”
By the time Menzies was attending college for her educational degree, she knew that she did not want to be a traditional K-12 teacher, and that she wanted to be a part of higher education.
“I knew that I wanted to be involved in higher ed. I always appreciated what it had to offer.” said Menzies.
From a part-time instructor to one of the new instructional deans of the college, April Menzies shows that it’s possible for one to work their way up in the educational field. Her life lessons as a child contributed to her success, and she hopes to use them in her new job.