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Q&A: Miranda Powers

Miranda Powers, associate vice president of Student Life, encourages Bethel students through the highs and lows of campus life. In this Q&A, Powers shares what she loves about the Bethel community and what serving students looks like for her.

By Anna Bernin '18, Contributing Writer

March 17, 2021 | Noon

Miranda Powers, Associate Vice President of Student Life

Miranda Powers, associate vice president of Student Life, loves to cheer students on throughout their years at Bethel.

Associate Vice President of Student Life Miranda Powers helps students through all aspects of campus life. She works with several departments across campus to provide what Bethel students need and help them find out who they are as they go through their years at Bethel.

In this Q&A, Powers shares what makes the Bethel community unique and what Bethel does to serve its students and make sure they are equipped to go out into the world when they graduate.

What does a typical day look like for you as associate vice president of Student Life?
A typical day is never typical. You never know what is going to happen. Some days, I am working on administrative things, and other days I am doing fun activities like attending Student Activities events. I work on a lot of committees with faculty and staff to address student concerns. Sometimes, I am dealing with a crisis situation. My day is full of quick questions. I advocate for students, support people who support students, take care of student situations, or interact directly with students. I also try to make it to Chapel three times a week and eat in the Dining Center.

What is your favorite part about your job?
I get to help create an experience for students. I went to a Christian college like Bethel. I believe in Christian higher education and its mission to help students become more of who they’re meant to be. A lot of student growth happens outside the classroom. I love the college age. You learn so much about who you are, what you’re good at, what you believe and about relationships. I get to see both the good and the bad in students’ lives. It’s a gift to be a part of people’s stories in those moments.

How have you adjusted to serve students during the pandemic?
We keep our team connected through weekly 10-minute meetings at 10. There are a lot of protocols that students have to keep up with. We have assigned a “dean of the day” to give out mints and gum to students who are wearing their masks. Our students have done over 50 events on campus this year. They have adapted their events to work with COVID-19 restrictions. This year has brought out the very best in our students in terms of creativity. One of the cool events that they put on this year was the human Iditarod race. Students have also taken this time to have meaningful discussions. That’s been a fun thing to witness and support.

How have you seen students impacted by their time at Bethel?
At Bethel, we give our students a lot of autonomy. Students initiated the Kresge patio and the ice rink on campus. One of my Welcome Week staff was a different major when she started out, but as a result of Welcome Week, she learned that she was good at graphic design. She changed her major and is now employed as a graphic designer. I also work with students who hit a rough patch in college and graduate in a totally different place than when they started.

What makes the Bethel community unique?
At Bethel, you start and end your time here with applause. When you arrive during Welcome Week, staff clap for you, and when you graduate, the faculty clap for you. The people who work here really care about the students. They go the extra mile. Staff don’t view this as a job, but as something they’re a part of. Bethel doesn’t tell students what to think, but encourages them to ask questions. This is a safe space for students to process difficult questions with people who love them and desire to see them succeed. One year, I had a student body president and vice president who made their campaign motto “It’s not normal, it’s Bethel.” What Bethel offers is unique.

How do you know this is what you’re meant to do?
I didn’t set out to work in Student Life. I went to a similar college to Bethel, and having someone support my growth left a lasting impression on me. It’s a gift to help people see who they are. I love students and keep that at the forefront of my work.

What do you want Bethel parents to know?
You have put your students in good hands with the faculty and staff who work here. We want to see them grow and succeed. Student Life is committed to walking with students through difficult moments.

Student Life at Bethel. 

The Office of Student Life believes college isn’t just about getting your degree. It’s also about personal growth and becoming well-rounded. It’s about doing things that matter, living out our faith, and building relationships along the way. 

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