Southern Dean Traveled Across Country Before Finding ‘Home’
Southern WV Community & Technical College’s new Dean of Arts and Sciences made his way across the nation to join the staff.
Michael Jiles was born and raised in Southern California. Before coming to Southern, he was a tenured Professor of Administration of Justice and Government and the Division Chair for Social Sciences for a rural community college in Kern County, California.
Jiles began teaching in college as an adjunct instructor and program chair (coordinator) for a community college enforcement training program in Orange County, California.
Before his professorship, Jiles enjoyed a diverse career, working for over 20-years within law enforcement and local government management where he trained others in a variety of roles and situations.
Jiles says he struggled throughout his early education and did not graduate high school with his class. He was told by his high school counselor that he would be, “a waste of a professor’s time” if he went to college and so he didn’t go back to school until he was nearly 30 years old.
When he completed his first college class with an A, he never looked back and graduated with honors in his associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s programs, and his PhD in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership. Mike’s first-born child, Joshua is Autistic, and while helping his son to overcome his personal challenges, Jiles was diagnosed with Asperger’s and dyscalculia by his son’s doctors.
Jiles says he has always wanted to be a professor since his earliest memories, and his special struggles in school have made him very devoted to helping students to succeed.
Jiles says his family was originally from the Virginia / West Virginia area of Appalachia, they moved to Oklahoma after the Civil War and then to Kern County, California during the dust bowl and depression. Mike and his wife and four kids moved to West Virginia to “come back home again” and to be close to his wife’s family with his plans to spend the rest of his life enjoying mountain life.
“The faculty and staff here are wonderful and really devoted to helping students to succeed,” Jiles said. “There are many things to like here besides our students, the local community, and our wonderful natural beauty, Southern provides many valuable educational and uplifting opportunities to the community.”
President Dr. Pamela Alderman says the college is lucky to have Jiles on board. “He brings extensive leadership and teaching experience to his role as Dean. He resonates with our identity and values, and will be a champion of Arts and Sciences, both on campus and throughout our community.”