Meet Aron Kidane, CMC Senior Accountant
Aron started at the beginning of October and has been getting up to speed on the many systems that keep CMC running!
What do you think of CMC so far?
I’m still learning. I am enjoying the people I work with. It’s a very cooperative atmosphere. I am impressed by CMC’s mission and like seeing the students and hearing the music. I am still new here, but I think CMC is an amazing organization.
What’s your background?
I was born Asmara, Eritrea but lived in South Africa for college. I did a masters in financial management in Pretoria, South Africa and came to the United States in 2005. I’ve been an accountant for 10 years, seven of those years for nonprofits. I worked for ConnectEd an organization in Berkeley that helps young underprivileged high school student with college and career readiness. I worked with an organization in San Rafael that provides direct services to people with disabilities. I prefer working for nonprofits, because I love the different missions. I like working with people who are passionate and visionary about helping people and I’m impressed at how people work hard to help people in the community and state.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I consider myself a sports junky! I love playing soccer. I’m into all kinds of sports. I love watching Arsenal Football Club from England. I like local teams; the Warriors and Raiders. I like traveling and have traveled to different countries.
Are you a music lover?
I love music of all types. A couple favorite artists are John Meyer and “The Boss.”
I always wanted to play the guitar. I’ll need a very patient teacher!
Introducing David Dezern, CMC Associate Registrar Mission Branch
David’s first day was October 24. He has been learning all about the registration processes and systems, as Winter Quarter approaches.
How have your first couple of weeks been? What do you think of CMC?
I don’t like to judge a book by its cover, but I have a good feeling so far! People seem nice and upbeat, as you would expect from a place that has music as the focus. It’s hard to be anything but happy when you’ve got a song in your head.
I hear that you come to CMC with a background in administration at other educational institutions. Tell me about some of the other work you’ve done.
I worked for many years at a progressive seminary called Starr King School for the Ministry. First as the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty and then as Director of Faculty Services. It was similar to CMC in the sense that it was very student-centered, and intentional about wanting to form “whole” people, with the arts as a major component of that.
I worked in a lot of different areas while I was there, which gave me a good overview of how a school works from different angles and perspectives. I built calendars, procedure manuals and course catalogs. I worked with faculty schedules and contracts and everyday office duties. I helped register students and was always looking for new ways to streamline the process to make it easier and more understandable. I taught classes and assisted with faculty hiring and training around pedagogies. I co-chaired the school’s accreditation committee and worked on their comprehensive strategic plan.
There was always a new program or event that they were trying to establish, so I got to see how those got built from scratch, from just an idea through to implementation, and then hopefully folding it into the regular routine and procedures so that it would be institutionalized and administered into the future. I learned that calling something a “special project” was a good way to get an idea started, but if you wanted it to last you had to incorporate it into the regular order — not leave it hanging as separate thing.
What do you like about this kind of work?
I think music and the arts are very important for both personal well-being and for society as a whole. Just imagine how much better we’d be if world leaders spent more time getting in touch with beauty and the arts!
I find that my administrative skills are the best way that I’m able to support that goal. My mind has always been attuned to thinking about systems, structures, holistic processes. I’m still learning my way around, but my hope would be to help the registrar’s office work as efficiently and painlessly as possible, so that our students and faculty could focus on the music.
Any other interests or hobbies you’d care to share? Have you studied music?
I also love watching movies. Blockbusters are ok, but it’s usually the smaller independent and foreign films that I find most interesting. I like things that give me a different perspective and challenge the norms.
I started playing the tuba in sixth grade, and continued for eleven years until I graduated from college. I was very active in the concert and marching bands. It kept me out of trouble (most of the time!), and marching around with a sousaphone strapped on me was good exercise. It also allowed me to travel since the bands would go on concert tours and performances. My high school marching band won the state marching championship one year. We were in several different bowl game parades, and I got to visit Ireland when my college band visited there.