New CLA Dean Brings Fresh Energy to Mount
Dr. Bryan Zygmont is the new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at Mount St. Mary’s University. Zygmont began his tenure as the CLA Dean on Aug. 1, transferring from his previous job as the associate CLA Dean at Louisiana Tech University. Zygmont is ready to engage with more students and faculty at the Mount and help them achieve the goals and changes they would like to see on campus. He desires to be a voice of the people.
When asked about what drew him to the Mount, Zygmont compared the quaint and communal attributes of the university to his decade-long job (2007-2017) at Clarke University in Iowa.
He said, “I wanted to get back to a place like Clarke in which the ways you make relationships very easily with everyone on every part of campus.” The attributes of being a small, Catholic and liberal arts college in his second home of Maryland also furthered Zygmont’s interest in the Mount. He developed a love for Maryland after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. The location and social environment of Mount St. Mary’s were the definitive factors for his choice to become CLA Dean here.
Zygmont stated how the major difference between the Mount and his previous position at Louisiana Tech is the lack of student interaction because of the location of his office in Bradley. He wants the students to visit him so he can learn of their needs and wants to advocate effectively for them. Zygmont stated, “I’m remarkably committed to making the student experience here better, the door to my office is always open.” Zygmont especially wants to collaborate with the Student Government Association (SGA) on campus. The SGA is the window into the wants of the students, enabling him to provide changes students want to see. No one from the SGA has reached out to him yet and he would really appreciate if they did so. He expressed, “I’m delighted to help the SGA with whatever it needs help with; the question is what the SGA is willing to do to come talk with their dean.”
Zygmont relayed the interesting fact that he does not want to make changes to the university. Instead, he wants to learn about what students and faculty are doing to make the changes they feel are best. He gave the analogy of a government representative to illustrate the purpose of his role as dean, saying, “I don’t vote for myself, I vote for all of you.” Zygmont does not want to make his job about himself but the Mount community. He considers himself not as a change maker but as a facilitator of ideas for the people that are already here.
Starting out his position as the CLA Dean, Zygmont wishes for students and faculty to give him the opportunity to allow him to help enable the visions they want to implement in the university. It is the role of students and faculty as an academic community to collaborate with Zygmont to make the Mount a better place for everyone here.