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EIU Master of Arts in English

English MA alum seeks to improve the world around her

Deborah Hutti

Deborah (Greiner) Hutti ‘91, Associate Vice President for Educational Services
Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL

Eastern Illinois University English MA alumna Deborah Hutti constantly strives to make the world around her a better place, and she credits her degree for giving her the tools to do just that.

“My English MA from EIU provided me with the education that allowed me to become a better critical thinker, problem solver, and writer,” Dr. Hutti said. “Each of those areas is crucial not only as an individual pursuing a Ph.D., but as a person seeking to add to or improve the world around me. EIU had a global focus for me, wanting me to reach out and see more than just what was right in front of me.”

After completing her MA in 1991, Dr. Hutti immediately accepted a full-time temporary position in the EIU English Department. At the same time, she pursued a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. She started her career at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill. in 1996 as a grantwriter and moved through the ranks as a director of a large technological collaborative to Dean of Instruction before settling into her current position as Associate Vice President for Educational Services (APVES) in 2002.

Her responsibilities include transfer education, service on numerous committees, oversight for the library, adjunct faculty, dual credit and off campus locations, and leadership in the area of accreditation and assessment.

A typical day for Dr. Hutti includes meeting with faculty and staff regarding current educational/classroom challenges, issues and opportunities. It also includes meeting with students who are seeking solutions to current or past barriers, she said.

“A day in the life of the AVPES at LLC starts off like a sprint and finishes likewise,” she said. “A portion of my day is spent out and about on campus meeting with faculty and staff in their offices in order to develop strong relationships with colleagues.”

Like most academic administrators, Dr. Hutti attends several committee meetings or subcommittee meetings, and juggles paperwork, phone calls, and emails throughout the day.

“I’ve learned that just when I think I have learned as much as I can about my position, something changes,” she said. “No two days are alike. Everything changes all the time – which keeps it fun and exciting.”

Dr. Hutti’s advice to current MA students:

“An English MA is a very versatile degree. It certainly can lead to teaching opportunities, but it can also lead to a diverse group of careers. My only advice would be to focus on creativity, innovation, and the unknown at all times. Most careers do not begin and end with that first position out of the gate. Most of them start with a general initial position and require the employee to pursue adventure at every turn. The more adventure … the better.”


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