Honors adviser leaves WKU to further career

Amy Chester, academic adviser for the Honors College, will be leaving WKU to become the assistant registrar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City after May 3.

Elizabeth Beilman

Sometimes, just when someone has mastered a skill in his or her field, it’s time to move on.

This is the case with Amy Chester, academic adviser of the Honors College. Chester is leaving WKU to become assistant registrar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“This is what happens. We hire young, talented individuals. They have a chance to grow and do great things,” said Craig Cobane, executive director of the Honors College. “We’re very sad to see Amy leave. But it’s just the nature of the beast.”

Chester, whose last day at WKU is May 3, is from Hardin, Mo., and is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.

She plans to apply what she has learned about advising to her new job.

“I was looking to advance my career, and at this time, the only way to do so was by, unfortunately, leaving WKU,” Chester said this week, replying by email from Missouri.

Chester has been a part of the Honors College since its inception.

She was hired in June 2007, a month before the Honors Program became the Honors College.

Since then, the college has grown from 15 graduates a year to just short of 150, Cobane said.

He said Chester’s contributions have been an integral part of the Honors College’s growth.

“Her work and how to make Honors work in their scheduling, how to augment, how to work Study Abroad — that’s what she did,” Cobane said. “It’s a very complicated puzzle, and she did quite well with it.”

Cobane said working closely with the students to help coordinate their schedules helped Chester get to know them better.

“Students say Amy has helped save their lives multiple times,” he said. “Because of that, she developed deep and personal relationships with many of the Honors College students.”

Interacting with the students has been the highest point of her job as adviser, she said.

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with all the Honors and Harlaxton students,” Chester said. “I am dreading saying goodbye to so many of them.”

Chester’s best quality as an adviser was being able to think across all disciplines, Cobane said.

“Amy had to be able to not be an expert in every one, but to be able to have an understanding of how every department works,” he said.

Lebanon sophomore Suzanne Spalding, an Honors student and the administrative student assistant for the Honors College, said working with Chester as both a student and a colleague has “been a pleasure.”

“She’s just very supportive of every student who comes into her office,” Spalding said. “She always has a smile on her face, and we’re really going to miss her.”

Spalding’s desk is right next to Chester’s office, so the two have gotten to know each other well.

“She’s very comforting, and if you ever have a problem, she’ll just give you her honest opinion and will try her best to help out in any way possible.”

The search for a new adviser has already started, Cobane said.

“We hope to be able to offer someone in the next six weeks,” he said. “For sure, we want to have someone in place by July.”

Chester said two qualities she hopes the next Honors adviser has are charisma and compassion.

“Honors students need an adviser who is not only involved in their academics but an adviser who is also involved in their personal and social lives,” Chester said.