FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2010
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081
WOMEN, NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS SHARE NEW HOME AT MTSU
July 1 Start Date for June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students
(MURFREESBORO) – Summer might be a time of relaxation for most people, but the staff and volunteers of two of MTSU’s busiest agencies are working even harder this summer. They are merging the June Anderson Women’s Center (JAWC) and the Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) Office into the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students.
By the target date of July 1, the new center will be housed in the current OCSS digs in Room 320 of the Keathley University Center (KUC) with clerical support from the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership in KUC 326. By September, director Terri Johnson intends to have everything in readiness for an open house to help people familiarize themselves with the consolidated center.
“We’re open to suggestions and comments,” says Johnson. “I think a lot of the first year will include listening to students and assessing their needs. At the same time, we’ll be doing important projects and reaching out to the community.”
Dr. Deb Sells, Vice President for Student Affairs, says the idea for the merger grew out of the President’s Task Force for Positioning the University for the Future.
“It is clearly meant to be a cost-cutting measure,” says Sells. “But it seems to be reasonable without creating gaps in services. There are a lot of commonalities the offices share.”
While specific details are still being arranged, a proposed mission statement says the center will offer “student support services conducive to learning and personal development for both women students and for the adult students who generally work fulltime, are married, have children and other adult responsibilities beyond their college experiences.”
Valerie Avent, assistant director of the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, will transfer to the new center and assume the role of assistant director there. Avent, a Shelbyville native, has been employed at MTSU for 14 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1979, her master’s degree in education in 1996, and her specialist’s degree in education in 2005, all from MTSU.
“I am elated to be a member of the JAC team,” says Avent. “It is with great anticipation that I plan to help the new center.”
“Having an assistant director on board will provide opportunities for both the center director and assistant director to take the lead on programs and services,” says Johnson. “It will take some of the pressure off the director to be in all places at all times.”
In addition, Johnson says, student workers, scholarship students and volunteers will pitch in on a variety of projects, including National Women’s History Month and Nontraditional Students Week.
Dr. Carol Ann Baily, current director of Off-Campus Student Services, will return to teaching in the fall, guiding classes in French and educational leadership. She says she anticipates continuing her advisory role with Older Wiser Learners (OWLs), Riding Raiders, and Pinnacle, the honor society for nontraditional students.
With three Nobel Prize winners among its alumni and former faculty, Middle Tennessee State University confers master’s degrees in 10 areas, the Specialist in Education degree, the Doctor of Arts degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. MTSU is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the nation in the Forbes “America’s Best Colleges” 2009 survey.