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 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 is Gabby Wahla, a student in the Student Affairs Administration Master’s program at Michigan State University.

In Spring 2020, the staff of WSS doubled in size as practicum student May Lopez and intern Sami Prakash joined. May is a first-year student in the Student Affairs Administration Master’s program at Michigan State University, and Sami is a graduating senior majoring in Gender Studies. At the end of January, Kaylee Keesler joined as a ComArts graphic design intern.

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.

As the Spring 2020 semester drew to a close, we are looking strategically at the future, given the state of affairs on campus, in our country, and indeed in our world. What does it mean to create gender equity and promote justice and inclusion in the age of COVID-19? We will have many opportunities to think through and plan this together as a Spartan community in the coming months.