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James Edwards: Chesapeake Campus Dean of Student Services

“It feels good to be home. After nine months, I can honestly say that I love my job. We’re like family here,” James Edwards said. “It’s a great time to be at the college; we have a mandate to serve the students and community here.”

Edwards got his start in higher education administration at James Madison University where he served as director of multicultural and international student services. During his tenure in higher education, Edwards has worked in a variety of areas, including student services, enrollment management, first year success, orientation, residence life, university unions, student activities, counseling and advising, and student development centers.
James EdwardsSince his arrival at Tidewater Community College, Edwards has launched several initiatives, including the Leadership Institute, which provides students with a variety of learning opportunities, speakers and conferences. “We want to make sure our students have the skills necessary to be competitive in today’s market and that they develop the critical skills that employers are looking for when hiring,” Edwards said.

The Leadership Institute is open to all students, and more than 100 students have attended the twice monthly seminars held since the beginning of fall semester.

Edwards also initiated a monthly “Dining with the Dean” event, which gives a group of students the chance to share a meal with him in the newly opened student center. “This is my chance to get to know students, to listen to their concerns and to be a resource for them,” Edwards added.
“I love to see that ‘ah-ha’ moment that comes when you share your experiences and show students how to possibly avoid pitfalls.”
The dean’s office is also producing a PEAKE (Promoting Excellence and Knowledge Elevation) publication for students to share information and highlight success stories on campus.

Edwards says he enjoys the day-to-day interaction with students and helping them become better versions of themselves. “Community college is a place where students can blossom, especially when connected to administrators, faculty and their peers,” Edwards said.
An avid runner, Edwards hits the pavement three times a week, but the highlight of weekends is spending time with his wife, Beverly, and the couple’s three teenage daughters.