Valencia Walls, coordinator of the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, gets a chance to do every day at her job what she enjoys most – helping people. Recently, Walls took a few moments to reflect on his current responsibilities and outside interests in a question-and-answer format.
Q: What’s the mission of the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services?
A: Our mission is the holistic development of multicultural students through leadership development, educational programming, and collaboration with university departments.
Q: What are some goals that the office has to accomplish this mission?
A: We strive to increase recruitment and retention of multicultural students through the creation of a strong sense of campus community, and assist them in becoming successful graduates.
Q: When was the office established, and where is it located?
A: The office was created in August of 2012, and we are located in room 219 of the R.C. Cook University Union.
Q: What’s your role as coordinator of the office?
A: I advise the Afro-American Student Organization, the Southern Miss Chapter of the NAACP, the Future Black Law Students Association, I plan and coordinate the university’s Black History Month events and work with other university departments to increase recruitment and retention of multicultural students.
Q: How long have you worked at Southern Miss and in what positions?
A: I first worked as administrative assistant in the Office of Greek Life in 2003, and then after I received my master’s degree from Southern Miss (in student affairs administration), I worked at LSU for two years as assistant director for Greek Life. I came back in 2008 as Greek Life Coordinator.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Student Affairs is a selfless field and is not always instantly gratifying. Seeing the positive influence you have on students, usually after they graduate, and having them express appreciation for what you did for them when they were here is a priceless reward.
Q: If you could do anything else in life, what would it be?
A: Counseling is a field that is interesting, as well as social work, so I could see myself working in one of those fields. I enjoy helping people, and I get to do that a lot in my current job, which is what I enjoy most.