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Dixie State University

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Dixie State University hires two administrators to better serve students

With enrollment continuing to surge, Dixie State University has announced the hiring of an assistant vice president of Enrollment Management and a director of International Student Services.

Darlene Dilley has been hired as the assistant vice president of Enrollment Management and will start at Dixie State on May 1 while Dr. Catherine Odera has already begun serving as Dixie State’s director of International Student Services.

Dilley’s duties will include focusing on the recruitment of new students and collaborating with other administrators to plan, develop and execute Dixie State’s strategic enrollment plan. Following the enrollment of the largest freshman class in Dixie State history in 2016, Dilley will be in charge of implementing programs to recruit new students while serving in a supervisory capacity over various departments across campus.

Dilley comes to Dixie after decades of experience attending and working for higher education institutions in the state of Utah. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Utah followed by a Master of Education and an Adult Learning Certificate from Westminster College.

Dilley worked in academic advisement and orientation for 11 years at Utah State University Eastern (formerly College of Eastern Utah). She spent another 11 years working in admissions and enrollment at Westminster, most recently serving as the director of admissions and interim chief enrollment officer. Dilley’s commitment to diversity is shown through an increased percentage of students from diverse backgrounds attending Westminster, which reached a 10-year peak in 2016.

Dr. Peter Gitau, vice president of student affairs at Dixie State, said Dilley’s proven track record in enrollment management and her performance throughout the hiring process helped her stand out among other candidates.

“Throughout the interviews, she demonstrated impeccable mastery of the enrollment management process and an exceptional ability to build an effective team and be a leader within the division and on campus,” Gitau said. “We are all excited to welcome Darlene to Dixie State University.”

As Dixie State’s new director of International Student Services, Odera’s responsibilities encompass all facets of the international student programs, from immigration management and visa compliance to international student recruitment and retention. Serving in an administrative role, Odera will be pivotal in marketing and maintaining Dixie State’s International Student Services department.

Odera has a diverse academic background to complement her 16 years of work experience in various capacities in the field of education. She received a Bachelor of Education in English and Literature from Kenyatta University in Kenya before heading to Ohio, where she earned a Master of Education in Educational Administration and College Student Personnel from Kent State University. From there, Odera went on to earn a doctorate in international conflict management from Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

Odera began her professional career in education as a high school teacher. Most recently, she served as the assistant director of international student programs at Kennesaw State. In that role, she helped develop initiatives to enhance international student engagement on campus and built programs to foster the retention and successful graduation of international students. In addition, Odera is a distinguished member of numerous professional organizations, including the Women’s Executive Leadership Program and the Association of International Educators.

Gitau said Odera was part of an exceptionally talented pool of candidates but her experience and dedication helped set her apart.

“Dr. Odera stood out because of her long-term and sustained engagement with international programs at multiple universities and her clear passion for working with students,” Gitau said. “She is exceptionally talented and will bring a perspective that is so much needed as we seek to internationalize our campus.”

To learn more about Dixie State University, visit dixie.edu.