A 17-year veteran at Denison, Dyan Couden currently serves as the academic administrative assistant for the studio art and art history and visual culture departments. As the year progressed and Couden’s retirement grew closer, she shared some reflections on her time with Denison’s art programs and students.

Q. How did you come to work in your current role?

A. I majored in art in college and always had a strong interest in art. When I was looking at job openings at Denison, this was my main choice.

Q. What do you enjoy about your role as an academic administrative assistant at Denison?

A. I truly enjoy my work with the students, and with the faculty. We have such great faculty in both departments. I have been able to go on many student trips, which has been a lot of fun. I’ve been on 14 trips to New York City with the studio art senior majors. I also enjoyed eight years of chaperoning the Denison arts orientation trips with incoming freshmen. I especially love the many student art exhibitions — the student’s work always amazes me!

Q. What inspired you to enter your field of work?

A. I began college in pre-veterinary medicine, but there were some aspects of that program that, personality-wise, didn’t mesh with me. I had always enjoyed art, and have painted and drawn all my life; it was something I was actually pretty good at from an early age. I have loved working in the art department because I have a strong interest in art.

Q. What hobby do you enjoy outside of your academic and administrative work?

A. I have a horse and love spending time with him. I am also a CrossFit athlete. I compete as a masters athlete, which pretty much just means you’re an older athlete. I’ve been consistently doing CrossFit for 14 years.

Q. What is one piece of advice you’d give to students?

A. Probably what everyone advises you: Get involved in everything. Get involved in as many things as you can, but don’t overbook yourself. Take time to rest, but realize there are so many opportunities at Denison and so many great things to do.

March 29, 2024