Vice President eager to connect with students

Dr. Howard Spearman to oversee student services at Madison College


Andrew Kicmol

Dr. Howard Spearman is the new Vice President of Student Affairs at Madison Area Technical College

Amara Gobermann, Managing Editor

Dr. Howard Spearman, the new Vice President of Student Affairs has a passion to get to know the students of Madison College and understand all perspectives.

Spearman didn’t always want to be in higher education.

First, he thought he wanted to be a physical education teacher, then he thought he was going to be a coach for football, and he knew he didn’t want to teach elementary either.

After running through many ideas of what he might want to do, he ended up deciding on human services as his degree path at UW-Oshkosh.

Oshkosh has many pre-college programs, and one of the directors had just left. Spearman saw the opportunity and went for it.

“If you let me do the internship for you then, I will do whatever you ask and I will be successful. You can trust me and depend on me,” said Spearman about his interview for the job.

They took his proposal and gave him the benefit of the doubt. He needed to recruit between 25 to 26 students within the next three to four weeks for the SMART program. This was a group of kids who were moving from sixth grade to seventh and were being offered a two-week program at UW-Oshkosh.

He created relationships with students at a Milwaukee school and ended up recruiting 21 out of the 26 that was needed. He hired three other peers to help him and it ended up being a success.

Spearman has lot of respect for the people that helped him on his way, he credits two main supporters in his education path, one was Dr. Karen Bowen his academic advisor of education of human services.

“She loved to have candid conversations with me,” said Spearman.

The second person was Seroj Thekkanath.

“She helped me to stay focused on my career path as well,” said Spearman.

Going back and forth for advice from them both lead him to where he wanted to be and in a timely fashion.

Spearman also credits his mother’s influence growing up. She was single parent who was very supportive and helped him realize how important education truly is through her struggles.

“Watching her struggle through with her nursing books, and math books, coffee, and popcorn helped me to realize the importance of education,” Spearman said with laughter.

This self-advocacy led him to apply for a scholarship that required a 4.0. He didn’t have a 4.0 himself but was asked to interview for the scholarship and ended up splitting it with another student.

“My mom always told me, make them tell you no. I took that as you can’t win if you don’t play. … Apply, because what if you do get it,” said Spearman

He describes his experience in college as life changing and it’s what lead him to Madison College.

“I have been successful at the mid-size college, but when I saw the opportunity at this college that VP was open, I thought I had something to offer,” Spearman said.

He sees Madison College as an exciting and welcoming place so he found it very easy to apply for the position.

That is what he is going to bring to this campus, and to his children as they grow up.

“It is important for my boys to see a positive Black man. I want them to be free and critical thinkers, this is also how I want to interact with students,” said Spearman

Spearman has only been on the job for a couple of weeks but is ready to get to work.

“Madison College is a great place to work, and higher education is my lifestyle,” said Spearman.