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Student Life

Donna McGalliard To Lead NC State’s Office of Student Life and Advocacy

Donna McGalliard will lead NC State's new Office of Student Life and Advocacy.
Donna McGalliard will lead NC State's new Office of Student Life and Advocacy.

The Division of Academic and Student Affairs is taking its efforts to “support the whole student” at NC State to new heights. 

Last year, one of several recommendations that the Student Mental Health Task Force made up of faculty, staff, and students was to establish a “Dean of Students” type office at NC State. 

We are excited to launch this impactful, campus-changing office.

Doneka R. Scott, the Division of Academic and Student Affairs’ Vice Chancellor and Dean, said that this brand-new service at NC State will likely change the university in ways that aren’t yet known and will continue to evolve over time. 

“We are excited to launch this impactful, campus-changing office,” Scott said. “It will help elevate the student experience by centralizing many important resources, making it easier to navigate the university.”

The division will move forward on the recommendation with the launch of the new Office of Student Life and Advocacy, headed by Associate Vice Chancellor and Associate Dean of Student Life and Advocacy Donna McGalliard.

This office will bring together two existing units in Fraternity and Sorority Life, headed by Shelly Brown Dobek, and Student Leadership and Engagement, led by Michelle Kurtz. 

McGalliard explained that, with these well-established units, bringing them together under this new umbrella is about creating greater synergies and “being able to leverage ideas, resources and the staffing of both of those units in a way that collectively helps students understand what options they have for getting involved.”

“Those units work together already, but the new structure will elevate it to a different level that will help us think more intentionally about student development, support, resources and programmatic offerings,” McGalliard said. 

The new office will serve as the initial point of contact for students, families, faculty, staff, administration and the community to triage acute student needs and make referrals to campus partners.

The Office of Student Life and Advocacy will also launch a new unit called Resiliency and Support, led by Assistant Vice Chancellor Justine Hollingshead. 

This office will handle services such as written student complaints and absence verification, as well as community relationships along Hillsborough Street and with surrounding neighborhood associations and event resource planning for student organizations. 

It will also bring several critical student resources together, including the Pack Essentials program, which recently opened a physical hub in North Hall, and the Feed the Pack Food Pantry. 

These resources are dedicated to combating food, housing and other financial insecurities for NC State students, and will now have additional support and staffing through the Office of Student Life and Advocacy. 

“It really became even more evident that pulling Pack Essentials, the food pantry and other things that have yet to be developed under one umbrella, providing full time support for that program in ways that raise the awareness of our community is really, really important,” McGalliard said. “So we’re very  happy that we’re going to be able to pull those critical resources together under the resiliency and community support umbrella as well.” 

Bringing these units together will also add further collaborative opportunities between University Housing, which McGalliard will continue to lead, and the new Office of Student Life and Advocacy. 

McGalliard said this will provide “a wrap-around experience” for students living on and off campus. 

“The coming together of these units in one area within DASA creates the bookends of experiences for students and everything in between,” she said. “These units not only provide opportunities for engagement but also for referral to other units within our division and across campus that provide support for students.  At the end of the day, we want students to have an incredible Wolfpack experience.  The alignment of existing departments, creation of a new department and the development of a Dean of Students-type structure better position us to support that vision.”