Wells College Welcomes Three New Members to the Board of Trustees

October 13, 2017
Heather Kowalski '90, Erin Vallely '17, and Tobie van der Vorm '70 join the College's Board for the current term.
trustees in front of macmillan hall during commencement

Last May, the Wells College Board of Trustees elected three new members: Heather Kowalski '90, Erin Vallely '17, and Tobie van der Vorm '70. These individuals began their terms on July 1, 2017, meaning that the October board meeting on campus marks the first session of their current term.

Heather T. Kowalski '90

Heather Kowalski is an Information Technology Program Manager for the United States federal government. Currently, she is the director of the mainframe team for the Office of Personnel Management. She leads the team charged with ensuring the operations and maintenance of an enterprise server infrastructure that supports the monthly distribution of nearly $7 billion in federal retirement payments. She has also worked with National Security Communications for the Department of Homeland Security and as Chief Information Security Officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Before joining the government, Heather worked in the private sector for diverse companies in the technology sector. In addition to her B.A. in Western European Studies from Wells College in 1990, Heather earned an M.B.A. in International Business from the University of Hartford and a master's degree in Information Security Management from Carnegie Mellon University. She has served Wells as a member of the Nominating Committee of the Wells College Association of Alumnae and Alumni (WCA) and as Class Secretary and Reunion Chair for the class of 1990. She also serves as President of her condominium association in Falls Church, Virginia.

Erin Vallely '17

Erin Vallely completed her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Spanish at Wells in 2017, with the goal of pursuing a career in human services or politics. She also held several student life and campus employment positions, including President of Access for All Abilities, Treasurer of the United Way Club and Spanish Club, Spanish tutor and writing center tutor. In her spare time, she serves on the board of directors of the Finger Lakes Independence Center, where she interned as a junior. She is also a member of ADAPT, a national grass-roots disability-rights organization which works to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities so they may live in freedom. This fall she is taking noncredit certification classes and further exploring her interests, in anticipation of enrolling in a master's program in nonprofit management, politics, policy making or other related field.

Patricia "Tobie" Tyler van der Vorm '70

Tobie van der Vorm is a retired higher education search consultant, having assisted schools in their searches for presidents and senior administrators. She consulted for 16 years, first with Academic Search and then with AGB Search, where she continues to serve as counsel. Prior to joining the world of search, she was an administrator for 22 years at American University (AU), where she established the Career Center for undergraduate and graduate students, which emphasized work experience through internships and cooperative education. Having graduated from Wells in 1970 with a B.A. in Psychology, Tobie's early career included work as an admissions counselor at Hollins College and a brief stint in the hotel business. While at AU, Tobie earned her M.A. in Counseling and Ph.D. in Education Administration, served as president of the Cooperative Education Association and was a founding member of Women of Washington, Inc. She previously served as a Wells College trustee from 1996 to 2002, and as board chair for two of those years; she also received the Wells College Alumnae and Alumni Award in 2015. Tobie and her husband, Jaap, recently retired to Longboat Key, Florida, where she serves on the Curriculum Committee of Ringling College's Lifelong Learning Academy.

For more information about the board of trustees, please visit our website.

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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