Dr. Scott Thayer wants to ensure that every student at San Bernardino Valley College feels welcome and supported. "I believe it's been my personal mission to try to be a voice for those who have no voice," he said. "That's something I try not to lose sight of, to make sure the concerns of our students are being articulated and discussed." 
Thayer, SBVC's Vice President of Student Services, is a community college graduate and transfer student himself. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he always loved school, and "it wasn't are you going to college, it's where are you going. It was a mindset my parents provided for us."  
He earned a baseball scholarship, transferring from a community college to Rollins College in Florida, then launched his career in education as a crisis intervention counselor for a special education middle school in Minnesota, before heading west and becoming a second grade teacher in Southern California. He made the move to higher education, starting as the director of a pre-college program at a Pasadena community college. Working his way up, Thayer eventually became a director and dean in San Diego before arriving at SBVC in July 2017 as the interim Vice President of Student Services.  
"I really enjoy working with the student population at SBVC and the passion and commitment from the faculty, staff, and administration who support the students in the pursuit of their goals," Thayer said. He officially became Vice President of Student Services in April, and oversees all areas within student services, including counseling, admissions and records, and financial aid.  
"This is a very committed, passionate group of people working on behalf of students," Thayer said. "We want students to know that we're here to support them and really want them to have an enjoyable experience as they work towards a degree, a certificate, or to transfer to a university. We want to make sure they have clear information in order to do those things." 
Thayer is working on strengthening SBVC's learning communities, enhancing the student experience, and finding creative ways to help Wolverines. One new project that assists students is the food bank on campus, a place where students dealing with food insecurity can pick up non-perishable items to take home. Thayer wants students to know about opportunities on campus available to them, whether it's visiting the health center or performing in a play or signing up for tutoring, and utilize those resources. 
"Being engaged on campus is critically important to student success," he said, and students are always welcome to come to him if they need any information. "We are here on campus to answer the questions of these students. If I don't have the answer right away, I'll find an answer for them." 
Thayer is married and the father of two daughters, and in his spare time enjoys spending time with his family and watching his children play sports. Looking back at his 21 years working in higher education, Thayer says it's been "a great journey," and he enjoys being able to identify student needs and "work at implementing a solution."