The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association recently welcomed Lauren Richards as the organization’s new manager of programs.
Richards, a Ridgeland, Miss., native, earned a degree in elementary education from Southern Miss in 2011. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Richards was employed as a leadership development consultant for national Kappa Delta Sorority, where she traveled the country working with collegiate women to improve their leadership skills, organizational procedures and recruitment processes. She also assisted in starting new Kappa Delta chapters at select universities.
Following her time as a leadership consultant, Richards attended Florida State University, where she earned a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. While at Florida State, Richards served as a graduate assistant for the University Honors Program. In this role, she advised students on how to complete the honors curriculum, managed two honors student organizations, and assisted with the interview process for scholarship selection.
Richards also has experience in orientation programs, student-athlete academic advisement and student leadership programs at various institutions.
As the manager of programs, Richards is the Association’s primary event planner and manager of scholarships. Among other duties, she will plan and coordinate many of the Association’s external functions, including Homecoming festivities, commencement receptions, reunions, and will oversee Growing Up Gold, a legacy engagement program designed to create a black and gold bond with children and grandchildren of Southern Miss alumni.
The Southern Miss legacy graduate was raised a Golden Eagle fan. Each member of her immediate family graduated from the University, and her sister will be a senior at Southern Miss this fall.
“I couldn’t be more excited about returning to my alma mater and joining the Alumni Association team,” said Richards. “I look forward to collaborating with Association staff as we continue the tradition of excellence in providing programs and opportunities for our alumni.”
“The Alumni Association received more than 50 applications for the manager of programs position,” said Jerry DeFatta, executive director of the Alumni Association. “Following a very competitive interview process, there was no doubt that Lauren was the right candidate for the position. We are fortunate to have been able to hire someone with such a diverse background for this important role within our organization and look forward to the continued growth of our programs and initiatives under her leadership.”
To learn more about the Southern Miss Alumni Association, call 601.266.5013 or visit: http://www.southernmissalumni.com/s/995/index.aspx