Influential Women at BVU


Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay

Isabel Haas, Arts & Life Editor

At Buena Vista University, there are four deans that lead four schools: The Harold Walter Siebens School of Business, School of Education, School of Science and the new School of Liberal Arts. Of the four deans, three of them are women.

Dr. Lisa Kesting-Best, the Dean of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business is the first permanent female dean of the school of business.

photo courtesy of UMC

“As a corporate defense lawyer, I’ve worked in primarily male dominated industries. So, beginning early in my career, I often found myself the only female in the room,” Best says. “The thing is, I’ve never focused on gender. It has been my professional experience that the things that make someone successful are universal, whether they are male or female.”

From working with administration to help foster new ideas and programs to working individually with students to enhance their educational experience, deans of the schools at BVU work tirelessly to enhance all aspects of the school they oversee.

Dr. Ann Monroe-Baillargeon, the Dean of the School of Education is the newest addition to the BVU family and has already left her mark on the School of Education by creating opportunities for students and fostering new relationships amongst the community.

photo courtesy of UMC

“Creating opportunities for and supporting people that are in the School of Education, department chairs, faculty and students are important parts of being a dean [at BVU],” said Monroe-Baillargeon.

Dr. Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, the Dean of the School of the School of Social Science, Philosophy, and Religion has held her position for eight years. Last year, Bartholomew-Feis held her current dean position while also holding the position of Interim Dean of the School Education. Currently, Bartholomew-Feis splits her time between doing administrative work and teaching.

photo courtesy of UMC

“One of my favorite things is teaching and working with students. I can’t imagine not working with students on an almost daily basis,” Bartholomew-Feis says. “Another one of my favorite things about what I do is working with faculty, especially when thinking about new initiatives, new ideas that can move things forward and creating something new.”

Suzette Radke, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, also holds an important role in BVU administration. In a male dominated field, she and her female predecessor have maintained the BVU finances for over the past decade.

photo courtesy of UMC

“I believe in mentorship, and I hope that what I’ve done, or will do, can inspire men and women. I’ve spoken at various meetings and conventions and one of the things I’ve talked about is mentoring, and I think it’s important for people in this position to help people realize they can be here and to never doubt that you can do it,” Radke explains.

With having accomplished so much in their important and influential roles, Dr. Lisa Kesting-Best, Dr. Ann Monroe-Baillargeon, Dr. Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, and Suzette Radke all give credit to the men and women who came before them and inspired them to become the leaders they are today.

At BVU, there are many influential women whose hard work ethic and dedication to their assignments contribute to their success in their positions. With many women holding leadership positions at BVU, there are countless individuals who contribute to the success of the university.