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Saint Mary’s fills 4 administrative positions

Liz Harter | Friday, August 24, 2007

Saint Mary’s has filled four vacant administrative positions that were left open at the end of the 2006-07 school year.

Janice Thomasson began her new position as chief information officer (CIO) July 23. Thomasson most recently served as CIO at Murray State University in Kentucky and has held similar positions at Daytona Beach Community College and the Medical College of Georgia.

While she has not enacted any major changes at the College so far, Thomasson said she has several ideas for technology enhancements that she will introduce over the next year as they receive approval from College President Carol Ann Mooney.

“I am currently in listening mode,” Thomasson said. “To make changes before I fully comprehend the situation here would be inadvisable.”

Thomasson said she wants Saint Mary’s students to work with her in some sort of job shadowing capacity in the Department of Information Technology.

“This would be more than just having roundtable career discussions or monthly meetings in a group,” she said. “It would be much more focused and personalized.”

While there is no such shadowing program in place at the College yet, Thomasson is committed to make it happen because “it is one of the most effective ways for young women to determine whether a telecommunications career is for them.”

Thomasson started in the position after former CIO Keith Fowlkes, who had been at the College for more than five years, left to become the vice chancellor of information technology and CIO at the University of Virginia at Wise.

Saint Mary’s also filled the position of director of student involvement – formerly named the director of student activities – over the summer.

Karen Siron, previously the coordinator of residential life and assistant director of campus activities and student commons at Jacksonville University, replaces former director George Rosenbush, who retired during winter break in 2006 for health reasons.

Siron has been spending her time preparing for freshman orientation and learning about Saint Mary’s, Vice President of Student Affairs Karen Johnson said.

The position and office were renamed in order to better reflect Siron’s new responsibilities, Johnson said.

“[It] is a more descriptive name of what that office does – it is much more than just activities,” Johnson said.

The College also hired Slandeh Dieujuste, who will serve as the new director of residence life.

Dieujuste replaces former director Michelle Russell, who left Saint Mary’s to pursue a Ph.D. at State University of New York-Buffalo.

“It had been [Russell’s] plan to return to school sooner,” Johnson said, “but she decided to stay on last year.”

Dieujuste comes to Saint Mary’s from Northeastern University in Boston, where she was the assistant director of residence life. She also won the Resident Assistant of the Year Award at Boston College, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Larisa Olin also took over a new position at the College during the summer. Olin, who served as the assistant director of multicultural affairs for close to two years, recently became the director of multicultural affairs after that position remained open for a year.

Olin’s plans for the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) include the creation of a new student club and issuing a biannual newsletter to alumnae who were active with OMA.

“I’ll be working with the student leaders this year to incorporate other cultural aspects that reflect the diversity present here in our campus,” Olin said.

She also plans to reach out to other offices and departments on campus to “coordinate programs and explore where we can potentially collaborate.”

While it is an important role of OMA, Olin said increasing the recognition of diversity at Saint Mary’s is a task that extends beyond the office.

“Diversity requires everybody’s commitment and a change in our attitudes to create an inclusive environment in which every single member of a community has a very important contribution to make,” she said.