Women's History Month Spotlight: VU Early College Assistant Dean of Instruction Dr. Odelet Nance West

Dr. Odelet Nance West headshot

March 28, 2024

Vincennes University is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting the exceptional women who contribute to our university community. These inspiring leaders include trailblazing educators and visionary administrators who motivate us to support each other, rise together, and create a future where every individual's potential is realized. Through this series, we honor and recognize the strength, achievements, and service of VU's women leaders. Together, we strive to foster a culture of encouragement and inspiration.

Dr. Odelet Nance West is the VU Assistant Dean of Instruction at East Allen University. She embarked on a journey in education after graduating from Indiana University. She quickly developed an interest in out-of-school learning and the potential for innovative methods to enrich educational experiences beyond the classroom.

Her passion for learning and teaching led her to immerse herself in an internship with the Boys & Girls Club, where she advanced to the role of program director. She pursued her doctorate while contributing to federal outreach and student services programs and teaching college students. Her commitment to diversity and inclusivity led her to become the director of multicultural affairs at a small Christian college before joining VU.

With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Nance West continues to inspire and empower students in the Fort Wayne area on their educational journeys. Her dedication to inclusive education is unmatched, and she is committed to creating innovative, enriching experiences that extend beyond the classroom.

Tell us about your current role as the VU Early College Assistant Dean of Instruction at East Allen University in Fort Wayne and what you enjoy about it.

“I am passionate about providing all students with support systems and wraparound services that lead to success.”

Who are the women who have inspired or influenced you the most, and why? 

“I have been blessed to have many women who have inspired me to be "better" and to examine ways that I can improve myself, my community, and the environment. These women have taught me to be faithful to my calling, and purpose, and to walk in true authenticity.”

You work with female high school students. What strategies or approaches do you implement in your role to positively influence and mentor young women? 

“I have been privileged to mentor many young women over the years by meeting them where they are...trying to understand their backgrounds and then positively connecting with them. My mentorship strategy is to be optimistic by admitting my imperfections and emulating how to learn from our mistakes and challenges.”

What advice do you have for women beginning their careers? 

“Stay prayerful, patient, persistent, and passionate.”

What are your hopes and dreams for the female leaders of the future? 

“I hope that the female leaders of the world be bold and courageous influencers and different yet team players ready to change their world.”

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