History of Women*s Student Services

A Short History of Women*s Student Services at MSU

Women*s Student Services was established within the Division of Student Affairs and Services under the leadership of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Student Affairs and Services, Dr. Denise Maybank in 2019 in response to direct student feedback and growing needs after the closure of the MSU Women*s Resource Center several years prior. Dr. Maybank’s vision for WSS is to promote a women-led agenda for students at Michigan State University, to foster women’s leadership development, and to promote women’s mentoring. Women*s Student Services will accomplish Dr. Maybank’s vision by advocating for gender equity among students at MSU through the engagement, empowerment, and leadership of all women-identified students.

In July, 2019 Dr. Maybank hired the director of Women*s Student Services to lead these new initiatives. Dr. Heather Shea joined the Division of Student Affairs and Services after completing her Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at MSU. Also joining the staff of Women*s Student Services in Fall 2019 was Gabby Wahla, a student in the Student Affairs Administration Master’s program at Michigan State University. In Fall 2019, the WILD Conference returned to campus through the help of Women*s Student Service and the student-led WILD Planning Committee.

In Spring 2020, the staff of WSS doubled in size as graduate practicum students and undergraduate interns joined the staff.

In mid-March 2020, Women*s Student Services, like many other offices on campus began serving students remotely in response to the Governor's executive order due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Pivoting to providing workshops, office hours, and WSS events/programs online began at the end of March and we successfully held the first ever virtual LUNAFEST film festival.

In Fall 2020, W*SS expanded virtual efforts by putting on the first virtual WILD Conference, as well as the first FEMfest at MSU. 

In Spring 2021, our office grew even larger as we added 5 undergraduate interns to our staff. W*SS became the leaders of Women's History Month efforts on campus, and continued to create virtual programs for Spartans to find community virutally.

In Fall 2021, Makenzie Morales, a student in the Student Affairs Administration Master’s program at Michigan State University, joined the staff. Many programs adopted a hybrid format, and we were fortunate to put on the first in-person (and second annual) FEMfest. The third WILD Conference returned to its in-person format.

In Spring 2022, Gabby Wahla returned to the Women*s Student Services office as the Assistant Director, and the W*SS office put on a series of Women's History Month events. W*SS also co-hosted the Unconditional Love Fund 5K in person at the end of the Spring 2022 semester.

In Fall 2022, W*SS reached a new record of staff members - we currently have 8 undergraduate interns, 1 graduate assistant, 1 assistant director, and 1 director! The 11 of us have been working on the WILD Conference, movie nights, crafternoons, and many more programs.