In addition, former student body president Matt James, who has worked at the Student Resource Center for the past four years, is the new assistant dean of student affairs, replacing Vanessa Keadle, who left Marshall in January.
Lapelle has worked at Marshall for nearly 29 years. She has been associate dean of student affairs since 2001 and, before that, she was coordinator of student health education programs and a counselor.
Lapelle said her focus will be on the services and programs Marshall offers to students and how student affairs can work more efficiently and effectively to help them succeed.
“But a piece of my job as interim is to help the unit let go of the past and get excited about the future under new direction, so I’ll work toward that, as well,” Lapelle said.
Previously, Keadle’s position was titled director of parent programs and student advocacy but was reclassified as assistant dean when she left.
“As a result of the new/restructured title, I am now also responsible for the supervision of all programs and staff within the student life division of student affairs,” James said, noting that these areas include student activities, fraternity and sorority life, student organizations and leadership programs, and the office of community engagement.
James is directly responsible for coordinating all parent programs and student advocacy efforts.
James has co-supervised Marshall’s Student Resource Center as a senior resource specialist for the past two years, capping off his four-year tenure in the SRC.
“I look forward to utilizing my institutional knowledge and experiences to further grow and develop the mission of the student affairs unit at Marshall University. I am excited by this opportunity as this is a position I would call my dream job – the ability to both lead staff and effect programmatic change while also working directly with students.” James said.
“I am well aware of the challenges I face as I take on the duties of a person who was here for 43 years,” Lapelle said. “I have a lot to learn, and am especially grateful to everyone who has helped me with their instruction, guidance and patience.”
Lapelle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979, and her master’s degree in clinical psychology in 1982, both from Marshall. James received his B.S. in biological sciences in 2009 and his master’s in counseling in 2011, also both from Marshall. James also is working on his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Nebraska.
James also is the executive adviser to the Student Government Association and the grand chapter adviser to Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. He said his undergraduate student involvement experiences – including student body president, Board of Governors student representative, and chair of the West Virginia State Advisory Council of Students – sparked his passion for a career in higher education.
Photos: Carla Lapelle (above) and Matt James are serving in new roles in Student Affairs.