Passionate. Committed. Caring. Donene Braithwaite has been described as all these things. After dedicating 13 years to Union College, Dean B. is leaving us to follow a new path.
At a young age, Dean B. spent her summers working at camp where she realized she needed a job that allowed her to work with young people. Halfway through her college career, she made a decision to come to Union College and major in psychology with a minor in religion in hopes of becoming a dean. After college, it wasn’t exactly easy finding a job. For a year, she was hired to work part-time as a head resident assistant for Rees Hall and then accepted an offer as a full-time dean at Mt. Ellis Academy in Montana. Four years later God opened the door and she made her way back to Union College. Dean B says, “It was like coming back home because I went to school here; I loved Union, I knew what Union was about and so I was excited to come back and be a part of that.”
Dean B. loves to get to know students and learn their strengths to help them grow. Her positive outlook on life helps her solve problems with great results, and her belief in those around her is a representation of her undying passion. With Strengths Finder traits such as developer, positivity and belief, it’s no wonder that Dean B. has left an impact on so many students’ lives. Anahi Saenz, a junior who has worked as an RA for the past two years, says, “Dean B. has shown me how to be brave. She is incredibly strong and has the biggest heart.”
According to Dean B., the relationships that she builds with students and the privilege of being part of their day-to-day lives keeps her motivated to come to work. She strives to make dorm life a welcoming environment. Kim Canine, Vice President of Student Life, shares, “Dean B. has been someone who has created great visions for the residential halls.”
Dean B. is heavily involved with Union College as a whole. Not only is she the Head Dean of women, but has also actively involved herself with the Associated Student Body for 12 years. During her time spent with ASB she extended her connections to both female and male students. As a result of her hard work and dedication, she was promoted to the Dean of Students in the Fall of 2016.
“The role she plays is not an easy one, but she does it always with love for the students at the core,” says Dean Emily, Associate Dean of Women. It will be sad to see her go, but it is understandable why Loma Linda University has offered her a job as Associate Dean of Women. Dean B. was not looking to leave Union College, but she strongly believes in prayer and feels that this is where God is calling her and her family. “I love Union,” she says, “and I don't take for granted the amazing opportunities that I was given to build relationships and connections with students.” Her presence will be missed on campus; however, her God-given talents will continue to impact whomever she comes across.
Alaysha Harris is a junior studying communication.