Staff Spotlight: Doug Watson
Meet Doug Watson, Director of Financial Aid and Express Services. Doug joined Midland in 1981 and continues to support Warriors through a wide variety of financial aid services, interpreting federal regulations, and managing information systems that help make achieving a college degree more affordable and attainable for our students. With his long history of dedication to Midland and passion for students, we look forward to the continuation of Doug’s positive impact through financial services and support in the years to come. We sat down with Doug to get to know him better and learn about his interests, both personal and professional.
How many years have you worked at Midland University?
I have been at Midland for over 36 years. I started at Midland in 1981 and left in 2007. I returned in 2010 and have been here ever since.
What do you most enjoy about your current role?
I thoroughly enjoy the variety of work, whether it is working with the students, interpreting federal regulations, working with information systems or interacting with other faculty and staff. Every day is different. Often, I cannot wait to get to the office on Monday morning!
What is one of your greatest accomplishments?
I hope that our work helping students and families explore various college financing options has made a difference in their lives and that they have been able to benefit from their education here.
Do you know your top five Strengths? If so, please share them and how you feel you lead with each of them in your role.
Input, Learner, Achiever, Intellection, and Belief. While all the strengths impact my work, I would like to expand on “Belief.” My faith is very important to me and I am grateful we can demonstrate our faith as we do our work at Midland. Midland’s core values of faith, learning, quality, respect, and stewardship align very closely with who I am and who we are as a university. I try to fulfill my role at Midland by exemplifying these core values as I go about my daily tasks and interactions with those I serve.
What is your favorite book and why?
It is hard to pick a favorite, but a recent one that had a big impact on me was “Mission at Nuremberg” by Tim Townsend. This book told of the life of Pastor Henry Gereke, who served as the Army chaplain at Nuremberg after World War II. He ministered to the men on trial, preaching the Gospel and at the same time having to deal with the reality of the crimes and atrocities they committed.
What do you enjoy doing outside of education?
I enjoy reading, particularly history, politics, and the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott. I enjoy walking, fishing, travel, and the arts, especially music. I am also involved with my church and currently serve as the president of the congregation.
What do you look forward to doing during various breaks?
With three grandchildren and one more on the way, we use some of the break time to visit them in southern Kansas and Minnesota.
Where have you worked outside of Midland and what might the next five years resemble for your future?
In between my two stints at Midland, I was the Executive Director of a social service agency that served families and provided various contract services with the State of Nebraska. I also worked at Metropolitan Community College in financial aid and provided independent higher education consulting services for several clients.
I feel extremely grateful for the privilege to work and serve at Midland to help achieve our mission and try to exemplify our values to the best of my ability.
What is a memorable milestone during your time at Midland?
A memorable milestone was when I started back at Midland just when Dana College closed. We embraced those students and cared for them in new and different ways. It was a privilege to be a part of a community that worked to help the students and families make the difficult and emotional transition to a new university.
What is something you would love to see in the coming year – whether in academics, campus life, communications, facilities, initiatives etc.?
In the coming year, I would like to see Midland continue to focus on strengthening our understanding of our mission and values and how this makes us relentlessly relevant in the world. As we increase the critical mass of faculty, staff, and students that understand and exemplify these, we continue to make the Midland experience even more relevant in the world.
Midland has been a very special place for our family. Our kids grew up on the campus, attending many events over the years. I taught them to ride their bikes on the sidewalks and taught two international students how to drive in our parking lots. Our oldest daughter graduated from Midland in 2018. Her time here was truly a life-changing experience.