Sunday, November 6, 2016

Employee spotlight: Mary Eden, acting counseling services supervisor at Cuyamaca College

Mary Eden
Ask Mary Eden why she has spent the past quarter century working at community colleges, and she’ll answer without hesitation. “There’s nothing better than helping somebody succeed in getting an education,” she said.


Eden, who is Cuyamaca College’s acting counseling services supervisor, launched her community college career as a staffer in the Assessments Office at Scott Community College near Davenport, Iowa, upon earning an associate degree from the school. After seven years in a variety of posts that included working as an administrative assistant to the college registrar, she and her then-boyfriend – whom she would later marry – decided to leave the brutal winters behind, take a leap of faith, and move to San Diego.


Eden quickly found work at the San Diego State University Admissions Office. Less than a year later, she was hired as student services assistant at the Grossmont College Counseling Office, where for the next 15 years she did everything from scheduling appointments to helping out with outreach activities.


After working her way up to the position of Interim Scholarship Specialist in the Financial Aid Office and earning a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Azusa Pacific University in San Diego, Eden came to Cuyamaca College in March 2016 to serve as acting supervisor for Counseling Services.


She has developed lifelong bonds with both students and faculty during her 16 years with the district. Her greatest reward, though, is being part of a team that puts students first.


“Seeing our students come in here not knowing what to expect and then watching them grow and gain confidence, seeing them graduate, it is an incredibly rewarding thing to experience,” she said.


“The staff and the instructors at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges care about our students and we care about each other,” Eden said. “It truly is like a family.”