Posted By admin on August 26, 2009
Your Name: Tori Christie
Tell us about your family: My husband, Jay Killion, and I will be married 10 years this November. He works at University of Nebraska at Omaha as the Assistant Director of Academic Computing, API and Business Analysis.
What is your hometown? Although I was born in Albia, Iowa, and lived for a few of my early years in Marion, Iowa, I consider Council Bluffs to be my hometown.
Where are you employed? What is your title? Iowa Western Community College, Dean of Enrollment Services
Tell us a little bit about your professional achievements. Iowa Western is the first (and only) place I went to work after graduating from college. I started as the Residence Life Coordinator, and then three years later I assumed the responsibilities of Registrar. Another three years later, I became the Director of Admissions & Advising. And, yes, another three years later, I was promoted to Dean of Enrollment Services. In each of those positions, I was given the opportunity to accomplish many things. Although some of my accomplishments seem small individually, they contribute to the big picture of improving experiences and increasing access for students.
With what volunteer efforts are you involved? I am a commissioner on the Council Bluffs Civil Rights Commission.
Why do you volunteer? Although we make a difference to people whose civil rights are being infringed on and who have sought legal recourse, we also make a difference to people in the community through our community education component, which is an aspect of the Commission that I truly enjoy.
How do you balance your professional career and personal life? Finding a balance doesn’t come naturally to me, but I make it a priority to spend time with family and to spend time doing the things I like to do outside work.
What is your favorite pastime/hobby? When the weather is good, I enjoy being outside, walking my dog or riding my bike. I also enjoy antiquing, and I am an avid reader. In addition, I have recently developed an interest in researching and documenting family history, both mine and my husband’s.
What about your job keeps you motivated? The students are a huge part of why I do what I do – I know I make a difference in their experiences here at the college. Of course, the people I work with are also great motivators – they keep me energized.
What advice would you give to someone interested in your specific career? It’s fulfilling and meaningful, and the fact that you make a difference to so many people is intensely rewarding.
What is the most interesting lesson you have learned in your career? If you trust good people to get the job done, they will.
Who has been a key mentor in the workplace or life for you and how did he or she help you? Jeanine Larsen, Vice President of Student Services, has been a mentor for me at Iowa Western – her leadership and advice have been invaluable. She has modeled conviction, dedication, and strength that I admire and learn from on a regular basis. She has also taught me not to take myself too seriously and that humor is incredibly important.
What are you most proud of having accomplished in your professional career or personal life? I am proud of making things happen for other people, whether they are students or other staff members.
What is your favorite adage or words of wisdom (include author if possible)? A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. - Albert Einstein
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? That my Roadrunner speed may confuse, intimidate, and stress some of the Wile E. Coyotes; a slower pace is sometimes necessary to get things done.
What is the one goal that you would most like to accomplish? My goal is to constantly work to improve services and processes at the college. I would hate to become complacent or to let what we have accomplished so far be a hindrance to what else can be achieved. I truly embrace the concept of “good to great” – the idea that even good things can and should be improved upon.
What do you enjoy most about working in the Council Bluffs community? The people. They want to see the community grow, and they want to see improvements being made – and they take action to ensure that things happen around here. The people in this community are proud of where they live – I have immense pride in my community and its history, and I appreciate that so many people feel the same way.
How long have you been a part of the Council Bluffs community? I grew up in Council Bluffs.
If you could describe Council Bluffs in just 3 words, what would they be? On the up-and-up!