Fairmont State announces Acadamic Affairs staffing changes

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

During Fairmont State University’s December Board of Governors meeting the following staffing changes were announced for Academic Affairs:

  • Pam Stephens, Director of the Charles Pointe Center
  • Beth Thompson, Director of the Tutoring & Testing Center and Dual Enrollment
  • Jennifer Jones, Director of the Advising Center
  • Susan Ross, Executive Director of Academic Programs and Support Services

“We are currently experiencing a season of transition and realignment in Academic Affairs in order to better encourage the academic success of our students,” said Provost Richard Harvey. “In January, we hope to have our newest location, Charles Pointe, operational and supporting online, dual-enrollment, and degree-completion students.  We will also open our new Tutoring & Testing Center which will provide peer mentoring and tutoring in a variety of academic disciplines.  The new Executive Director position will assist with the daily operations of Academic Affairs and enable us to be more responsive to the needs of the students, faculty, and campus.”

In January, Pamela Stephens will transition to the Charles Pointe Center to oversee daily operations in addition to maintaining her current position as the Coordinator of the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Degree Program at Fairmont State University, where she has been employed since 2003.  She received a B.A. degree in English from Penn State University and an M.S. degree in Educational Leadership from Troy University.  She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. degree in Leadership Studies at Marshall University.  

Our Charles Pointe Center location in Bridgeport provides a highly technological and collaborative learning environment fit for both individual study and collaborative learning,” said Stephens. “The venue provides students and local professionals with opportunities to complete Fairmont State courses as well as to participate in continuous learning programs essential for maintaining licensure.  We will offer traditional, flipped, hybrid and blended courses and welcome students in fully online classes to meet for collaborative, team-based projects. I am excited to be a part of this expansion into a new facility and look forward to establishing lifelong learning options for students and professionals in the region.” 

Stephens is a member of Mensa and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), where she serves on the Annual Conference Advisory Board, the 2019 Annual Conference Planning Committee, as a Mentor in the Emerging Leaders Program, and as a Manuscript Reviewer on the Editorial Board of the NACADA Journal.

Beth Thompson has served as the Math Support Coordinator for Fairmont State since 2014 and will soon take on the new role of Director of the Tutoring & Testing Center and Dual Enrollment. In her role as coordinator, she developed courses that integrated essential study skills and remediation into rigorous curricula. 

“I am excited about the opportunities the Tutoring and Testing Center will bring for students, and I am thrilled to be a part of this endeavor,” said Thompson. “My heartfelt wish is for every student to inherently believe in his or her own capabilities to learn and solve tough problems. I strive to equip all students with tangible skills that will serve them well in any classroom setting and beyond.”

A passionate community outreach advocate, she is currently a board member of the WV Robotics Alliance, and has served as a coach, mentor, instructor, and volunteer for a variety of local non-profits in both STEM and the arts. Thompson is a lifelong resident of Marion County, currently residing in Mannington. She and her husband, Michael, have raised four young adults who are all currently pursuing or have recently completed college degrees.

Jennifer “Jenn” Jones will soon transition to Director of the Advising Center after serving as the Associate Director of the Office of Exploratory Advising since February 2017. Jones began her work with Fairmont State in 2014 in academic advising and placement testing. She has worked in academic advising full-time for over ten years with experience at two other higher education institutions.

“I am honored to continue working with the caring team in our center and our wonderful students. I hope to expand upon what we offer to our current and prospective students, strengthen connections across campus to create more opportunities, and revamp some of our processes to better serve our students.”

Pursuing a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from Liberty University, Jones earned a MA in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education. She graduated from Leadership Marion Class of 35 in 2017 and received Advising Excellence Award from Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College in 2012 and Excellence in Advising-Primary Role from the Global Academic Advising Association (NACADA) in 2016. She has served in various leadership roles at the region level of NACADA and is the current co-chair for the 2019 Region 3 conference. She has presented at local, regional, annual, and international conferences.

Dr. Susan Ross has been named Fairmont State University’s Executive Director of Academic Programs and Support Services. Prior to her appointment, she served as the interim Director of Graduate Studies at Fairmont State, the Faculty Athletic Representative, and as a faculty member in the School of Education, Health and Human Performance. Ross is also a national reviewer for the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation/School Health and Physical Education. She earned aPh.D. in Kinesiology from West Virginia University and holds a Quality Matters online teaching certificate.

“My primary role will be serving as the Director of Graduate Studies, managing the curriculum proposal process, and overseeing catalog preparation. I will also represent the Provost’s Office on various committees and meetings at the institutional, state, and national level where appropriate,” said Ross. 

Ross began her career as a faculty member at the University of Central Missouri in the College of Health, Science and Technology where she provided leadership in the development of online graduate programs, and evaluation and reaccreditation of academic programs. She regularly presents at the national and state level, has published in national journals, has been a textbook editor, manuscript reviewer, grant reviewer, and was the 2014 recipient of the Scholar Award for the West Virginia Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. 

Pam Stephens, Director of the Charles Pointe Center  
Beth Thompson, Director of the Tutoring & Testing Center and Dual Enrollment  
Jennifer Jones, Director of the Advising Center  
Susan Ross, Executive Director of Academic Programs and Support Services