Thursday, September 22, 2011
Take 5 with Glenn McIntosh
Composed of a diverse array of faculty, staff and administrators, the Oakland University community is unique, creative, and dedicated. As part of a continuing effort to explore the various roles and lives of our Golden Grizzlies, the News @ OU website presents a new interview series. We invite you to share these stories and “Take 5” with OU.
“Take 5 with Glenn McIntosh”
Glenn McIntosh is the assistant vice president for Student Affairs and dean of Student Life. He has been busy in many roles at Oakland University since joining the community in 1994. Glenn began as the first director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (formerly the Office of Equity), a position that later grew into a dual directorship with the Advising Resource Center as well. A Detroit native, Glenn attended Central Michigan University and worked as a housing administrator at several universities and academic advisor at Wayne State University before coming to Oakland.
1) What sports team do you cheer for?
The Golden Grizzlies! I attend most of our men’s and women’s basketball games and have become a soccer fan as well. At the same time, I still hope, pray and attend Lions games. I actually grew up about six blocks from old Tiger Stadium, where the Lions used to play. After about the first quarter, they would let us neighborhood kids in to the games to watch. That was when the players lived in the community, so we could get to know them. My favorites were Dick “Night Train” Lane and Al Kaline from the Tigers.
2) What are the special challenges you face as the dean of students and assistant vice president for Student Affairs?
All students come to the university with the goal of earning a degree, but many come in with an array of challenges as well. Whether they are financial, family related or something different, these issues tend to play out in the campus community, and often end up in my office. I want to help students, so I engage each student in a thoughtful discussion to determine how best to help them. There are many delicate choices that students face, and many decisions are very tough. Each student has his or her different set of circumstances, and we work to find the best way to help that student develop and learn, even from a disciplinary infraction.
I wish more students were aware of the outstanding resources we have available on campus. The Graham Counseling Center is a good place to begin to explore emotional issues and develop effective strategies to handle life issues. The Writing Center also provides individual help and can assist students with their writing skills and teach them about how to avoid plagiarism. Then the Recreation Center is great because health is very important. Working out is a great stress reliever too, and helps students find the energy they need to achieve their goals.
3) What is something many people at OU don’t know about you?
As I grew up, I realized that health and fitness were very important to me. I had always played sports, but had poor eating habits. At one point, I was tired of being heavy and began to carve off the fat and reveal muscle. Learning about nutrition and applying myself in the gym led me to become a body builder. I actually competed in many competitions and won the title of Mr. Michigan and Mr. Iron Man. I really liked the challenges that came with that, to be disciplined and consistent – they are very transferrable skills. So I have travelled around the U.S., presenting workshops, doing product endorsements. Those trips opened up all kinds of opportunities for me to travel and learn about different cultures and lifestyles. One of my most awesome experiences at that time was meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 90s when he was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. He was a really nice man, always joking around.
4) Do you have any special interests or hobbies?
For several years, I have been writing self-help articles and teaching through workshops. I recently completed a new book, “It’s Time to Bring Your ‘A’ Game.” This is a self development book that helps to show adults that it is never too late to do what you’ve delayed and to believe that you are capable of changing your life at any point. It explores why people settle for less than what they have dreamt of. I help to challenge people, to help them set goals, develop an action plan and achieve what they really want. The book was published and just came out to buy from booksellers and for electronic readers this September.
5) What is a typical workday like for you?
Every day is different. I have a dual role of dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs, so I work to provide service in those areas and keep abreast of our department goals. As dean, I am part of the judicial process for the university, and am on call in case of a crisis 24/7. There are all different types of situations that arise and a lot of different issues that I need to give attention to on a given day. I work out at 5 a.m. at least six days a week, and usually am around campus until about 8 p.m. at night. We always have a lot of programs going on at night, and oftentimes student issues such as behavioral or medical issues have me working through the night as well.