Mississippi University for Women (MUW) has announced Mea E. Ashley as director of Student Life.
After her 3½ years, Ashley has built a strong rapport with students, faculty and alumni that has allowed her to be a servant leader. She will have an opportunity to build even stronger relationships in her new role because building relationships is part of what makes MUW unique.
“My plans as a director are to create a strong team of Student Affairs professionals to serve the students at our full potential,” said Ashley, a native of Jackson who received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism from Jackson State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. “I want my team to be scholar-practitioners in that we are well-versed in best practices in our field and fittingly applying them to our campus.”
Ashley, who served as interim director of Student Life, is pursuing a doctorate in leadership and change at Antioch University. After receiving her degree from Columbia, Ashley worked in the Department of Alumni and Constituency Relations at Jackson State. She also gained experience in Student Affairs as the assistant director for Student Involvement in the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership. In this role, she managed the Royalty and Pageants Leadership Program, Blue Key Honor Society, Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Leadership Institute, Student Government Association and registered clubs and organizations.
At MUW, Ashley led orientation (a program that assists freshmen and transfers in their transition to the school) for a brief stint and advised all of the social and Greek councils and the Student Programming Board. She credits work with helping her learn about the importance of the institution’s traditions.
“I value the relationships I’ve built during my time here, and if we incorporate the knowledge about Student Affairs with a pure heart for The W and its students, it’ll be a sure recipe for success,” Ashley said.
Ashley said everyone in the Office of Student Life has grown from the challenges presented by COVID-19. She added that she’s excited to continue implementing lessons learned during the pandemic.