Allison Norris: A fresh face in administration

allison norris HE photo

Over the summer, Maryville College welcomed a new team member into the Student Development Office. The self-proclaimed “soccer mom and social media enthusiast” is Allison Norris, our new assistant dean of students.
A Tennessee native, Norris hails from Hendersonville, a city close to Nashville. She earned her undergraduate degree at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C. After graduating from Lees-McRae, Norris attended Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Johnson City, Tenn.
Prior to this summer, Norris had returned to Lees-McRae to work as the college’s dean of students for seven years.
“I was more of an administrator [at Lees McRae] and my interaction with students was on a minimal basis. I had to work really hard for that interaction,” Norris said. “I dealt a lot with, as they say, putting out fires. I loved what I did, but here, I have more direct contact with the students.”
Norris said that as assistant dean at MC, she is directly responsible for areas of student development.
“What I do here is more focused,” she said.
Norris said that this job seemed like “the right fit, the right time, the right place.” While Norris did attend other interviews, she canceled them after her interview at MC. She said that she was “wowed” by the beauty of the campus, which is on her list of “favorite things about MC.” The welcoming nature of the college and friendliness of faculty and staff also made that list.
A common question among students when a new administrator comes to campus is “What should we expect?”
“I hope to meet most of the students without them, quote, ‘having’ to come see me. I don’t want to only know those students that are required to come see me, I want to know the entire student body,” Norris said.
Norris said that she would be attending as many campus events as she could in order to meet MC students other than who are required to visit her.
“For those who are required to come see me for whatever reason, know that I’ll be fair and open-minded,” Norris said. “I’m not scary, I’m not intimidating I hope, but I’ll be honest with you. I expect honesty from the students.”
Outside of the Student Development Office, Norris said that she enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, who are 9 and 5-years-old. The Norris boys keep their mother busy running them to soccer practices multiple times a week.
She took special care to mention that she played soccer herself through college, and was even recruited by the Maryville College soccer team in 1988.
Perhaps, although she chose a different school in 1988, Norris was always meant to have a place here at MC.

One thought on “Allison Norris: A fresh face in administration

  • September 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    MC is blessed to have Allison Norris! I have been blessed to call her my boss but more importantly “MY FRIEND”. She is wonderful!


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