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Joel Klump Continues a Family Legacy at Dallas College

A member of Joel Klump’s family — himself included — has either taken classes at or worked at Dallas College from the time it was founded until today.

“This college has been a part of my life as long as I can remember,” he said. “Its history is my history.”

Klump’s mother, Claire Gauntlett, graduated in the first class of Dallas College’s El Centro Campus. She later earned her Ph.D. in administrative education and returned to Dallas College, where she worked for 36 years.

Klump remembers his mom dropping him and his younger brother off at the gym at Richland Campus during the summer while she taught a government class in the mid ’70s.

As a teenager, Klump took scuba lessons at Richland, earning his scuba license before he had even graduated high school. Both he and his brother took classes at Dallas College after high school, and both would eventually graduate from Dallas College’s Eastfield Campus.

Following in his mother’s footsteps, Klump has enjoyed a 25-year career in higher education — most of which has also been spent with Dallas College.

Supporting Each Other

Klump worked for Collin College for a while before applying for a position with TRIO at the Eastfield Campus, where his mom worked at the time.

“We worked together here for about four years. And for the first two of those years, I was known as Dr. Gauntlett’s son. The last two years she was known as Joel Klump’s mother.” Klump said, smiling. “That made me feel good.”

While Dr. Gauntlett retired 12 years ago, Klump is still at Eastfield. He’s held several different positions over the years, including in continuing education and in admissions. Today, he’s the senior administrative assistant for the Office of Student Success, providing support to the dean of Admissions and other administrators.

Klump is perhaps most known for providing exceptional customer service, not only to students, but also to his fellow staff members. In fact, in his spare time he’s currently reading “The Service Culture Handbook.”

“I’ve worked in a lot of different departments within the college, and so if anybody comes to me with anything I won’t turn it down, whether it’s helping a student, or a staff or an administrator.”

For many Eastfield employees, Klump is the first person they see in the morning when they get to work. He shows up early so he can stand in the lobby and greet staff as they arrive on campus.

“We are all here to support a greater cause, sometimes that’s supporting students, sometimes that’s supporting each other,” said Klump. “I try to support the staff by just being a friendly face that they see every morning when they walk in that door.”

Measuring Success

Part of Klump’s role includes taking the official minutes for the Board of Trustees meetings, which provides him with unique insight into how his work is directly connected to our students’ experience. And this ability to impact students’ lives is the reason why he loves coming to work every day.

“I really love my job. You’ll never meet another person with the college who loves coming here more than I do,” he said. “I get to make people’s lives better — both students and staff.”

As for the legacy he hopes to leave at Dallas College, he shared, “My success will be measured by those I have helped to fulfill their dreams of a better life, and the people they help because someone helped them.”

“I was reminded of that just this morning when I stopped at the grocery store to get some food for a birthday party at work. A female employee at the store saw my nametag and stopped me to tell me that she just graduated from Cedar Valley. I shared in her excitement and gave her a hug. That never gets old.”

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