Conway Campbell Ed.D.
By Jane Keller Gordon, Assistant Editor
Conway Campbell Ed.D. knows the value of education. Immigrating here from Jamaica when he was 14, he entered the 10th grade in Bridgeport, Conn. He followed a path towards his own education thanks to a caring teacher and a guidance counselor. Now he works at Assumption University as the vice president for student success, something that he knows a lot about.
“I went to a big inner-city high school that did not do a lot of college-prep. Like many students there, I wanted to go to trade school. Actually, I wanted to be an auto mechanic like my favorite uncle. My math teacher Mr. Markle asked me if I had ever thought about attending college. When I said I ‘d give it a try, he connected me with Mr. Johnson, a guidance counselor who was also a Black male. Because of that experience, I know what it means to face barriers,” said Campbell.
The mentorship of Mr. Markle and Mr. Johnson led Campbell to a successful run at the University of Connecticut. In his second year, he became a resident assistant, which covered room and board.
“I was always struggling to pay the bill. I understand what students go through,” he said.
Campbell went on to earn a Master of Education from University of Massachusetts at Lowell (UMass Lowell), and an Ed.D from Regis College in May 2019.
Prior to joining Assumption in 2013 — first as dean of campus life, then dean of students, now his current position — Campbell held several positions relating to resident life at Bentley University, UMass Lowell, and Connecticut College. At UMass Lowell, he was also involved with new student orientation programs.
Assumption is a small liberal arts college with graduate programs that became a university in June 2020. According to Campbell, about 80% of the student body is Catholic and about 20% are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).
Finding a calling and purpose
“Twenty-years ago colleges mostly focused on granting access to as many students as possible. Now we are mainly focused on success. Student Success as a campus division is one of the fastest growing segments in higher education today,” said Campbell.
“We focus on retention, persistence, graduation, and employability. But more importantly, we want our students to find their calling and purpose in life by the time they leave Assumption,” he added.
There are a variety of programs designed to engage students in university life. “One example is Students Involved in Bettering Success (SIBS), a program that was developed by our student government association. It’s designed to help first year students better engage within the university. Student ambassadors reach out to first-year students, present options for engagement, and accompany them to meetings to ease the transition,” said Campbell.
In addition to his work at Assumption, Campbell is a pastor as the Grace Baptist Church in Shrewsbury, and a father to three musically talented children.
“Our goal is that students leave Assumption thinking about their purpose of life informed and guided by their faith… In my own life, I’m doing what God called me to do, serving in ministry and higher education. That’s my purpose and that’s what I’m meant to do,” he said.
For more information about Assumption’s focus on success, visit www.assumption.edu/people-and-departments/organization-listing/division-student-success.