As we prepare to welcome students back to Farmville, this week we are highlighting some of the new faces around campus. Whether it’s a new academic dean, new professor, or new staff member, these individuals are ready to hit the ground running as we begin the new academic year. Some have long Longwood roots, while some bring a brand new perspective. We are happy to welcome them into the Longwood community.

Sara Neher

I had a scholarship for college and that was really helpful to me. So the first place I came back to work in higher education was at a scholarship foundation. And part of what I like about the interim dean role at the College of Business and Economics is being a part of connecting alumni with the institution to help raise money for things like scholarships that will support Longwood students going forward. That has definitely been a theme my whole career.

Most recently I’ve worked as a consultant for higher education, helping colleges and universities with their challenges. Before that, I worked for 16 years at the University of Virginia, where I did a variety of things. I worked with scholarships, with students, with admissions and then my longest stretch was as the admissions dean at the Darden School of Business. I also did strategic work there and worked on real estate projects, so all kinds of things. Before that I worked in sales for Proctor and Gamble, so I had a traditional business job to start my career. I was an economics and history major at UVA, where I got my undergraduate degree. Then I got my MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business.

My advice to students is that college is the time to take a class in a subject that you might not know much about, but have some curiosity about. I think back to what I wish I had taken in college. Even though I didn’t major in business, I took a lot of business courses and those ended up being really helpful in my job. But I also took art history and I really like going to museums now as an adult. Take something that you think you might like for your hobby or personal side, in addition to things that will help you for your career side. 

What I enjoy most about working with college students is that piece where they are learning new things all the time, and so I also then learn new things. That time in your life when your only job is to learn new things is an exciting place to be and it’s enjoyable to be around them. I’m also really excited about bringing new ideas to the College of Business and Economics. I know that there are good ideas that students, faculty and staff might have as well. So I’m open to hearing good ideas from anyone. I’m happy to have people reach out and have a conversation.

One fun fact about me is that I’m related to the tallest man in the world ever, who was Robert Wadlow. He was 8 feet, 11.1 inches tall and if you’ve ever been to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! they have that statue of the tallest man—that’s him. I also really like to travel and my dog and I like going for walks. While I’m based in Charlottesville I will be living part of the week in Farmville, so people should be on the lookout for me and my dog walking around town in the evenings.

Sara Neher
Interim Dean, College of Business and Economics

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