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Honoring Saint Mary’s retirees: Joe Dulak

July 22, 2022


Current/former title(s)

Assistant director of the Academic Skills Center and Reading Lab supervisor; director of the Academic Skills Center; director of Learning Services; director of Learning Services and First Generation Initiative

How many years have you worked at Saint Mary’s and what brought you here?

31 years. I just graduated from my master’s program in counseling: college student development in Mankato. I was newly married. I was in Mankato and my new wife (Karen) was living in Minneapolis. I had a new job, new living arrangements — a new start to life.

What have you enjoyed most about teaching/your job?

I started as a teacher, teaching college reading and study skills and variations on that theme. I was able to teach technology to the honors students; computer, speech, and reading to the international students; and technology to the faculty. (I was faculty development for a semester.)

I took on more administrative roles, overseeing tutoring, assisting with access services (disability services back then), advising, and became the case manager for Early Alert eventually.

I enjoyed working with the De La Salle Christian Brothers, students, faculty, and staff the most. We felt like family for much of my time here. I got to work with those students who struggled, and those that stood out above the rest (my tutors and peer learning assistants). In my roles, I was able to interact with most of the faculty and much of the staff. It was an honor to be connected to so many individuals who were here to help students at the college.

How do you hope you’re remembered/what will you most be remembered for?

My laugh. I once interrupted a class on the fourth floor of Saint Mary’s Hall as I was laughing and coming out of the Toner Student Center.

What are you most proud of from your career?

The opportunity to have my children attend Saint Mary’s, and now my daughter is working and recently advanced in admissions.

What are your retirement plans?

Lifelong learning, just like our mission has stated all these years. I’m going to improve my guitar playing, learn how to draw, and read a lot. I’m also going to focus on my health and well-being.

What will you miss the most?

The people (the Brothers, students, staff, faculty, and administration).