200 Days in the Life of the College

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Posse: Leading is learning, too

By Dana J. Quigley ’11

While Dave Bailey’s fresh cup of coffee cools on his desk, the associate professor of geosciences settles into a discussion about diversity. “So much of education is made easier by interacting with those with different viewpoints and backgrounds,” he says.

Bailey first noticed the importance of a diverse student population when he himself was a student at Phillips Exeter Academy. What resonated with him from his Exeter days? That learning about others inevitably initiates a better understanding of oneself. And now Bailey is assuming a leadership role in fostering and supporting student diversity by serving as a mentor for Hamilton’s first Posse group from Miami.

Each year the Posse Foundation selects students with high academic and leadership abilities to receive full-tuition scholarships from its collegiate partners. Hamilton currently has some 40 Boston-area and 10 Miami-area scholars on campus. Bailey chose to mentor in order to help his scholars transition into college and ensure that they capitalize on their potential. He is just 10 days into his new role. He will serve as advisor, mentor, friend and mediator to the scholars under his care, helping them succeed and excel while at Hamilton. Jessica Moulite ’14, one of Bailey’s Miami mentees, says that so far he has been “awesome” and that “he rocks.”

Bailey says that the campus has been transformed over the past decade with the help of Posse scholars. Looking ahead, he thinks the experience of mentoring a new generation of diverse students will come with a great sense of responsibility. But he also understands that the endeavor will be “incredibly rewarding.”