Paul Adams knows what it takes to Be Colonel

Paul Adams knows what it takes to Be Colonel

David Lee

Dr. Paul Adams

Justin Topa, Correspondent

Paul Adams is a Colonel fan, a pottery collector, a family man and the vice president of Student Affairs for Wilkes University.

In his role as vice president, Adams is responsible for much of the student life outside of the classroom. He oversees intercollegiate athletics, University College, Student Development, Student Health and Wellness Services, Residence Life and Judicial Affairs.

He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in education from Wilkes, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational leadership and curriculum instruction from University of Pennsylvania. Adams has been a Wilkes faculty member since 1979 and has served in his current position since 2002.

Outside of the office, Adams says he enjoys spending time with his wife, Jean, who is an Integrated Media and Art adjunct professor, and their two children. Adams and his wife met while both were students at Wilkes.

This is when, he says, their extensive pottery collection began. His eldest daughter is a recent graduate and now teaches higher education, herself. The younger of the two Adams’ daughters is a freshman at Susquehanna University.

Adams encourages students to leave their comfort zone to broaden their experiences and perspectives.

“Learn to leave your comfort zone,” Adams says. “It sounds cliché, but you come here to change and to do that you need to have new experiences. Your willingness to put yourself out there and try something you’ve never done before or spend time with people you’ve never been with are the things that are going to help you grow and broaden your experience and perspectives. That’s what a Wilkes education is about. It’s about taking you beyond your perceived potential.”

Adams has seen Wilkes grow from a college to a university. His experience with Wilkes spreads over 34 years as a faculty member in addition to his time as a student. During this time, his personal view on what it means to “Be Colonel” has been shaped.

“To me, ‘Being Colonel’ is being a part of something bigger than yourself. You look out for those around you and you’re willing to put yourself out there in support of those with whom we share this community. I think ‘Being Colonel’ is about being willing to leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself and challenge others when they may not be in the right.

“I think it’s being enthusiastic for everyone’s success here and recognizing that we all create this experience together and that this experience can only be excellent when each of us gives everything we have inside of us to make it better,” Adams said. “That’s what ‘Being Colonel’ is.”