Academic Advising & Counseling Services

Penny Deck

Penny Deck

Director of Counseling & College Services

University of Virginia - BA
Virginia Commonwealth University - MEd

How did you get into college counseling?

My first career was in human resource management working for Fortune 500 companies like Fedex and GE but I left my career in business to work in education because I wanted to do something more meaningful and to work with children and youth. I started in school counseling in Chesterfield County Public Schools and then worked for Maggie Walker Governor’s School as a college counselor for ten years.

How has college counseling changed in the years that you’ve been working in the field?

The field has changed dramatically in the past fifteen years.  It has grown increasingly complex and unpredictable.  Students are applying to more colleges and colleges are changing the way they review applications and make decisions.

What is the single best piece of advice you would give a young woman about applying for college?

There are so many excellent schools that have so much to offer.  Do not pick schools based on rankings or what others think.  Go visit, investigate, and decide which schools fit you!

What else should we know about you? 

I come from a very large Polish family and am the sixth of seven children.  I met my husband at UVA and we have boy/girl twins, who live in New York and on the Eastern Shore respectively, and another son who still lives at home.  I also have two little four-legged children who I adore and who are my constant companions.