The Daily Gamecock

New dean of students looks to improve student experience at USC

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Marc Shook was hired as the dean of students and deputy Title IX coordinator within the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support in July as a way to put emphasis on improving the student experience.

Within the position, Shook oversees a number of university offices, chairs the Hardship Withdrawal Committee and represents the division on several university committees. He also plays a role in guiding student education, training, positive engagement and compliance efforts. 

“Every student is going to come across hardship at some point in time in their career,” Shook said. “Every student is going to come across a time where they need some support, and my area, along with several other units within student affairs, is that kind of resource.” 

Prior to joining USC’s faculty, Shook previously held student affairs positions at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Alabama, the University of Virginia and Presbyterian College in South Carolina. 

“I’ve been blessed to have a career that started here in South Carolina,” Shook said. 

In his career, Shook has received the Bobby E. Leach Award for significant contribution to the development of multicultural relations on campus from the Southern Association for College Student Affairs, the Annette Gibbs Research and Publication Award from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and the Walter T. Cox New Professional Award from the South Carolina College Personnel Association (SCCPA). 

“When you voluntarily work in the field of student conduct, you have to have the philosophy that allows you to find meaning in that work,” said Shook. “I’ve always explained to folks, college is about learning.” 

A rewarding part of the job for Shook is seeing former students that have chosen to enter the same field. He continues to keep up with these students, some of whom have gone on to hold positions at Shook’s alma maters. 

“One of my favorite parts about my job, there are a lot of hours that go into it, 'cause you spend a lot of your time talking with students.”

Along with serving as the dean of students and deputy Title IX coordinator, Shook also teaches a University 101 class, where he is able to interact directly with students. 

“Mark Shook sounds like he really cares about students and he genuinely wants to provide support for them when inevitably they'll need it,” said Claire Rich, a second-year retail management student.

During his time at USC, Shook hopes to build stronger relationships with students.

“I do want to be asking questions," Shook said. "Constantly challenging our processes, making sure that what we have in place has been thought about and embedded by students and make sure everything we’re doing is in the best interests of our students and the institution."