Alan Worley recently was named as the new dean of arts and sciences at South Plains College.
Worley attended high school in Eunice, New Mexico. He later received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University in mathematics and biology in 1996. He continued to graduate school at New Mexico State University, where he earned a master’s degree in experimental statistics, with an emphasis in biostatistics.
“I did many activities,” Worley said. “I was very involved. I was in honor fraternities and honor societies. I won awards, and graduated summa cum laude.”
Worley has two daughters. One is a junior in high school, and the other is an eighth-grader. His wife began this year as a first grade teacher in Levelland.
Worley began working for SPC in 1998 as a faculty member. He later became a program coordinator for mathematics in 201,1 then became the chairperson of math in 2012 before taking on the his new role as Dean of Arts and Sciences.
“My first full-time job was at SPC,” Worley explained. “I was 23 years old. I was still going to college, and I finished my degree in August, and a week later I started to work here.”
Through the years, Worley has been a part of several programs involving the Mathematics and Engineering Department.
“We’ve always had a community college aerospace program,” Worley said, “which allows students to go to different space centers around the country and participate in a workshop. Then that opens up doors for internships and co-ops and jobs.”
Worley explained that SPC also started participating in the University Innovation Fellows (UIF), which is a national movement to ensure that students gain attitudes, skills and knowledge required for them to compete in the economy of the future. Worley also helped begin a S.E.A.R.C.H. committee, where students cause change on campus and in the community.
“That’s how we got the Maker Space,” Worley said, “through UIF. and S.E.A.R.C.H.”
The Maker Space, unlike the normal classroom environment, is designed for movement. The idea is for the Maker Space to be a community where students can create, innovate, collaborate, and study.
Worley also has participated in a zero gravity flight as a part of research for NASA.
“There were about four SPC faculty who joined NASA,” Worley explained. “And we got to do some experimentation on the zero gravity flight.”
Worley explained that he wants to impact the lives of students at SPC in whatever role he can.
“I’m still going to be a student-centered dean,” Worley said. “Just like I was a student-centered instructor. My job is to open doors and remove celings from our departments and allow them to shine and do great things.”
Worley said that he has many plans for his new position and the Mathematics and Engineering Department, but none he can disclose yet.
He plans to continue to teach, in addition to performing his duties as a dean.
“I feel as leader I would rather lead from the classroom rather than an office,” Worley said. “I’m a teacher first, and so my thinking will be as a teacher. So I plan to remain in the classroom to have the experience on what students and teachers face.”
Worley currently teaches two new corequisite courses, for Statistical Methods and Contemporary Math. Corequisite courses are for non TSI-compliant students, who can take a college-ready class along with a support class.
“I am currently developing these courses from scratch,” Worley explained. “And building these and teaching these new courses.”