Student Services Superstar
Spotlight: Barbara Dalene (AKA Big Bad Barb1)
Title: Music Advisor
School: Snow College
Quote from a fan: “Barb has a great sense of humor and she’s so willing to do whatever is needed. I’m so proud of her!” —Susan Larsen, Director of the Student Success Center
Before jumping into her profile & interview, it must be said that Barb has a very special place in our hearts here at Cranium Cafe. Her kindness, verve, and dedication to students are just a few things that make her such a treasure. It has truly been a privilege to know her.
Barbara Dalene started out as the office manager. When the office became a one-stop2 and the school began offering a four-year bachelor’s degree in music, Barb became the music advisor. “I really, really like it and I have a music background3 so it made sense.”
What’s your favorite part of being an advisor? It’s the kids! I love my music kids.
What’s the hardest part of being an advisor? Watching them fail… that’s probably the hardest part.
What do you most look forward to on a day-to-day basis? My appointments with the kids and the kids I get to see. I actually do a lot through Cranium.
Favorite memory? Seeing our music kids, the first seven of them, graduate with their bachelor’s degree and watching them walk across the stage. It was really fun to know that I had a part in them getting there. Oh and all the music kids came and sang to me on Valentine’s Day!
What did they sing? “L Is For The Way You Look At Me.” They brought the xylophone, a bass player, a saxophone, and the singers. That was really fun.
So why do you work so hard? What drives you? Everyone knows that you know you kind of go above and beyond. I just have to make sure all of the kids are taken care of, I just can’t leave a kid out.
Did you have somebody like you when you were a student? Not at all! Back in the day when I went, you just stood in line and handed them the card and they filled it in. Then you’d get to your last class and it would be full so you’d have to start over. It was a bad experience. No, I didn’t have an advisor. You just tracked yourself — a lot of students really struggled with it.
If you had an 8th day every week to spend however you want, what would you do? I’m a cooking fanatic! I would cook.
What’s your favorite thing to cook? I love to cook Chinese.
What’s the best advice you ever got about advising? “The ultimate responsibility is on the students, not me.” That’s a Susan Larsen (director of the Student Success Center) quote.
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself when you just started out as an advisor, what would you say? “Understand that every student is different, and even though you’ve said the same thing over and over again a million times, that student in front of you doesn’t know that. So, you have to treat the student like it’s the first time even though it’s your hundredth time around.” I’m just really getting that now.
What’s your favorite quote? I have a quote on my bulletin board here for the music majors because they’re so high functioning: “Let’s not be so open minded that our brains fall out.” It’s a really important quote for music students.
If you were one of those 40 billionaires who pledged to give away half of your fortune, where would your money go? I would give part of it to my kids and the other part would go to scholarships for the music kids here at Snow. It’s such a great experience and I’d want to offer the opportunity to more students.”
 The music students call her Big Bad Barb (with so much love!). “Because I tell them what to do!”
 In addition to teaching piano, Barb played first chair flute in college and had a music scholarship.
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