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Perry supports, guides students on their academics paths

by on January 11, 2018 7:16 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK — As thousands of students get back to class this week at Penn State, all have a new semester of academic adventures ahead of them. For some, it will be the final chapter in their college experience, as they ready themselves for careers or further education; for others, it will mean they are another step closer to graduation.

While students continue their journeys at Penn State, Jamey Perry, a longtime university employee, will be there to support and guide students on whatever path they choose to take.

Perry, assistant dean for academic services in the Donald P. Bellasario College of Communications, has the same goal this semester that he has had every other semester during his long tenure at Penn State: He wants to see students succeed.

For more than two decades, Perry has focused on this goal, helping hundreds of communications students through the years realize their potential and prepare for their future careers.

“I love to see students reach their goals,” Perry said. “To see them go through struggles and not give up. I get to be a cheerleader for them. It’s all worth it when you see them walk across the stage and get their diploma.”

Before he took on a career helping students reach their academic goals, Perry was a Penn State student himself. Graduating in 1987 as an administration of justice major, Perry jumped into a career in student services immediately following graduation. He started off at Penn State Beaver, working in residence life. After two years in that role, he moved on to Penn State Berks, where he spent the next seven years working in residence life and student affairs. He began his career in student advising at University Park in 1997, and has made Happy Valley his home for the past 20 years.

As a student, Perry became known as one of the football team’s most notable fans. His stint in the student section earned him recognition as a person who could better utilize his skills in cheering on the sidelines. So, he transitioned from avid fan to Penn State cheerleader, and during those years, he had the added bonus of cheering in two national championship football games.

“Basically, I was a wild man in the student section. I was a fan, but then tried out and cheered during the 1985 and 1986 football seasons. I cheered when Penn State won the national championship in 1986. Cheerleading wasn’t anything I expected to do, but I enjoyed being an ambassador for the university,” Perry said.

From his time as a student to his time at Penn State Beaver and Berks campuses, and for the past two decades at University Park, Perry said he has embraced every single experience that has come his way.

His family, his job and his devotion to the students keep him busy, but he enjoys doing what he can to help in the community, too. As a community member, he likes to pitch in where he can to help out, whether it is in his church life or being involved with Out of the Cold, a local nonprofit that provides warmth and shelter to those who need it.

He said that his time in Happy Valley — as a student, university employee and community member — has provided him with a lifetime of rich and rewarding opportunities, and he has loved it all.

“I love the quality of life here," said Perry. "There is a comfort of daily living here that doesn’t exist in every community. It’s just a good sense of community, both on and off campus. I wanted to live in a town-and-gown environment. I think it’s a healthy way of life.”

 

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