In this edition of Meet the Team, we sat down with Sarah DeBouter, student support advisor at Norwich University Online.
Q: What is your background?
A: My background is in social work. I worked with homeless and justice-involved veterans for almost two years. Following this work, I proceeded to work with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and help them find and maintain meaningful employment. I have also worked with the Department of Children and Families and am a respite provider for foster families. I came to Norwich University to help make a difference in student’s lives and create an inclusive and diverse environment on our physical and virtual campuses.
Q: What’s your favorite part about working at Norwich?
A: The community! The Norwich community is truly unique in that we are a family. Once a part of this institution, we carry a 200-year-old legacy on our shoulders. As a Norwich alum (and soon to be double alum), I am proud to work with others who recognize this special place and am excited to grow the Norwich family with new students in our online learning environments.
Q: Favorite bit of Norwich history?
A: I love that Norwich is on the right side of history, every time. We were the first military college to admit women in 1974!
Q: Vermont in summer? Or Vermont in winter?
A: Vermont winter! There is something magical about snow and winter in Vermont, whether you can do things outside (skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating) or you are tucked inside with a book, hot chocolate, and a fire. I love it.
Q: Favorite way to spend a weekend?
A: Spending time with family and friends, and doing a fun activity. I enjoy being creative with my hands, reading, playing board games, and community theater. I have been in many plays and am sometimes a character actress for local festivals and fairs. There’s always something to do.
Q: What is one object that best describes your personality?
A: A fantasy mystery novel – because I have a love of language, the written word, many plot turns, and some magic in my life.
Q: Favorite desk décor item?
A: I have these homey wooden crates you can get at Homegoods that has my personal library of professional books, and cute little trinkets to include a mini clay Harry Potter, a glass vial of science-y stuff, and cute plaques.
Q: What’s one thing you’re learning right now, and why is it important?
A: I am learning that to reach a broader goal, no matter how badly you want to reach it now, there are many smaller steps you need to take before you get there. Patience is not one of my stronger skills, but I’m learning how to continue being resilient. Living through our Norwich guiding values continues to serve me every day and make me a better person.
Q: Favorite memory from this past year’s Residency Conference?
A: My favorite memory from residency was commencement. During the week, we meet students from all over the world coming together for the first time. We build relationships and friendships with these people, and commencement is when we can cheer for those people and celebrate them for their accomplishments. As I stood in line, directing students to the stage – several students I had gotten to know throughout the week stopped to give me a hug, handshake, or high five before stepping on stage. It was special.