Vernon James joins Student Engagement staff
May 31, 2012

Vernon James Vernon J. James has been named LaGrange College’s first Director of Residential Education and Housing within the recently renamed Division of Student Engagement. He comes to the college from the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as a hall coordinator.

“We are pleased to have Vernon join us to lead our campus housing initiatives,” said Marc Shook, Associate Provost and Dean of Student Engagement. “He brings a wealth of residence life knowledge that will benefit our efforts to develop a housing community that enhances a student’s transformational experience at LaGrange.
   
“We also are excited about the expanded mission of our renamed division. Our goal is education: to actively engage students on a personal basis out of the classroom and provide intentional learning opportunities that complement and enhance traditional classroom education.

“We intend to build upon our unit’s past successes by developing more targeted opportunities for student leadership and expanding collaborative relationships with faculty across campus.”

In his new role in the division, James will oversee two professional Area Managers who will live on campus and supervise the residential student staff.

He has six years of professional residence life experience at his alma mater, Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C.  There, he worked in an evolving role in housing that led to him serving as assistant director of residence life. He also worked as the coordinator of multicultural affairs, coordinator of student activities, and coordinator of summer conferences.

More recently, James spent two years in China teaching English and international economics as a faculty member in the School of Foreign Languages at Sias International University.

“Based on my campus visit, LaGrange already feels like home for my wife, Ashleigh, and me,” James said. “We are eager to join the college at this exciting time as the institution continues to focus on new ways to engage and educate students. 

“The residential environment provides a unique opportunity to engage students in a living-learning atmosphere that complements the academic experience by teaching valuable life skills, creating a space to explore individual identity and reflect on life experience, building connections among the campus community, and holding students accountable for their actions.” 

A native of Sumter, S.C., James holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Presbyterian College and a master’s in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina. 

His first day at the college will be July 2, 2012. The search for the Area Manager positions is currently under way; more information can be found here.


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