Krista DeLone is an idea generator and implementor. You have to be when you're developing fun, educational programs for hundreds of summer campers with relatively short attention spans.
DeLone is now bringing that creativity and ingenuity from her former role as Program Director at YMCA Camp Tockwogh, in Worton, MD, to her new role at Temple University Ambler — Assistant Director for Student and Campus Life.
"When I worked at summer camps, my primary responsibility was overseeing the development of events and programs, but I think what I enjoyed the most was just building that sense of community in a place," said DeLone, who has hit the ground running supporting a diversity of student-centered programs, from the recent Admitted Student Reception and Student Achievement Banquet to the University College Graduation Ceremony held on May 12. "People might come to a place where contributing to a community isn't the first thing on their minds. At Temple they may be here for class, for summer camp they were there for activities, but I think the reason they ultimately love it and get so much out of it is that community, the friendships and relationships they've made while achieving their goals."
As a member of the Academic and Student Services team at Temple Ambler, DeLone will work to ensure that students are provided with an engaging academic experience outside of the classroom. She will collaborate with faculty, departments, staff and external stakeholders to plan, develop, organize, implement and evaluate all student and campus life activities and events, student engagement programming (on and off-campus), leadership development opportunities, and provide oversight of student organizations and community service initiatives at the Ambler Campus.
"One of the main reasons to go to college beyond preparing for a career is to learn about yourself and come out as a well-rounded individual. I think success in that isn't made up of just what you learn in class," said DeLone, who has extensive teambuilding training and experience. "The connections and relationships that you create along the way are essential. Supplementing what they are doing in the classroom with what we do here in Student Life, I think, works hands-in-hand to create the best outcomes and greatest success for our students. I really want to leverage all of the amazing things that are going on at Temple Ambler."
Prior to arriving at Temple Ambler, DeLone was the Program Director for YMCA Camp Tockwogh in Worton, MD, where she recruited and interviewed more than 150 seasonal staff yearly, directed all aspects of the campus Teen Leadership programs, developed and implemented extensive staff training programs, among numerous other duties. Before becoming program director, she was Head Counselor at the camp, mentoring and supervising more than 400 campers, 120 staff members and six managers while supporting day-to-day camp operations.
"As program director, I oversaw all of our activity programs in the summer, everything from arts and crafts to archery to a gardening program. I also directed all aspects of the campus Teen Leadership programs. We created programs for 16 and 17-year-olds where they came to camp for a month to develop their leadership skills. I also managed staff needs, retreat groups and family camps," she said. "I grew up working at that summer camp throughout college; I taught water skiing, which is how I started working in outdoor environments. Through all of that, I really always enjoyed being outdoors, which I think is part of why I fell in love with Temple Ambler — there is much going on outdoors in the Arboretum and the Field Station and the Challenge Course."
DeLone said she arrived at Temple Ambler seeking a new challenge while remaining committed to "helping young people develop into great adults and members of society."
"I really wanted to move on from the camp environment and focus on something that had a broader scope and might be a little more education oriented. I thought higher education was the perfect place to do that. I felt that this position leans into a lot of my skills — working with students in a fun way but also fostering education and personal development," she said. "Programs can be fun and they can also act as a helpful resource — hopefully they are both — connecting students to a network of possibilities that they may not have otherwise been aware of, the Ambler Arboretum, the Field Station and Recreation, Outdoor Education and Wellness at Temple Ambler, for example."
DeLone said she "arrived at a really great time at Temple Ambler to get a feel for Temple and the Ambler Campus going into summer and preparing for the fall semester."
"Right now, I'm focusing on new student orientation as a way to get our students engaged in the campus from the very beginning. My biggest goal is to really get students to become engaged with the campus and the university," she said. "I want to keep those students from going from their car to class and back to their car. I want to encourage every student that comes to campus for a class or to work with a department to find something else that also sparks their interests outside of the classroom whether that's participating in an event or joining an organization."
For the summer months, DeLone said she is looking forward to developing programs for a diversity of students who may be coming to campus for different educational endeavors but are "all part of what makes this campus community so interesting," from students taking summer courses to Field Station research interns and Architecture students in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture Summer Design-Build Institute to cadets in the Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy.
She has developed a new "Student Meet and Eat" series that will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Learning Center Lawn (rain location Bright Hall Lounge) every Thursday, from May 25 through at least June 28. During the programs, DeLone said, "students are encouraged to meet together for lunch provided by the Office of Student and Campus Life, get to know other students in a relaxed atmosphere and take part in fun activities."
"I think the coolest thing about Temple Ambler is the diversity of spaces there are. I'm excited to collaborate with our departments and programs to develop great experiences for our students," she said. "I hope students really grow and develop in their time here, that they leave here feeling secure as a person exploring their interests and ready to go on and leave their mark in the world."