Valerie Simmons-Walston is UT’s new associate vice president of student affairs and director of residence life.
She started her new post Jan. 9.“Ms. Simmons-Walston brings a wealth of student affairs experience to her new role at UT,” Dr. Kaye M. Patten, vice president for student affairs, said. “In her most recent role as dean of students at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, she oversaw Residence Life staff, Career Services, Judicial Affairs, Office of International Studies, and the Office of Military/Veteran Affairs.”
“I am excited to be at The University of Toledo,” Simmons-Walston said. “I’ve enjoyed my first month on campus, and I look forward to learning more about this institution and getting to know more students, staff and faculty.”
Simmons-Walston said she is learning more about University’s academic culture daily.
“Working with multiple offices campus wide, it is my goal to collaboratively serve our students well and retain them through graduation,” she said. “I anticipate more opportunities to work with faculty and partner with my fellow colleagues in Student Affairs to develop and support innovative, noteworthy leadership programs for our students. It is our responsibility to ensure that our students graduate with a prepared advantage over their peers at other institutions.”
She added she plans to continue attending athletic events: “The energy surrounding the games is contagious.”
In 2012, Simmons-Walston received Brenau University’s Haggerman-Thompson Excellence Award for her work with students, faculty and staff.
Prior to joining Brenau University, Simmons-Walston worked at Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.H. Early in her career, she was employed by the Norfolk Public School System in Norfolk, Va.
The Cleveland native received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Kent State University and a master of arts degree in counseling from Hampton University. Simmons-Walston is working on her dissertation for a doctorate in education from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.