Wesleyan College welcomes Dr. KaShanda Ray to the position of assistant dean of retention and student success. An office within the Academic Resource Center (ARC) that focuses on increasing the retention rates for first- and second-year students.
Dr. Ray began her career in higher education as a retention advisor for the University of Louisiana at Monroe where she worked with students with undeclared majors, conducted workshops, and advised student organizations. With almost two decades of experience in higher education, her experience includes serving as an advisor and counselor in higher education and public schools and as counselor for Student Support Services at Graceland University. There she provided counseling to students, taught academic success, and created a winter term to study black culture and its influence on American society. She has also performed social service work as a foster care worker and a community-based mental health therapist. Most recently Dr. Ray was the director of advising at Isothermal Community College in Forest City, North Carolina. She is a licensed professional counselor and counselor supervisor in North Carolina and earned a doctorate degree in organizational leadership from Gardner-Webb University.
This fall, Wesleyan also welcomed Ken Blair to the position of director of the First Year Experience at the College. Blair began his career at Mercer University in 2014 as an associate director in the Office of Student Financial Planning. He joined Mercer’s student affairs department in 2017, serving as an educational specialist, academic coordinator and advisor for the University’s TRiO programs. TRiO Programs consist of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students, especially first-year students, in their pursuit of a college degree.
Blair also served as a UNV 101 instructor at Mercer for first-year students, a co-advisor for Minority Mentor program for first generation students, Mercer’s National Pan-Hellenic Council, and W.O.M.E.N campus organizations. He’s also a Golden Key Honor Society member and served on the Student Affairs Assessment Committee. For the past two years, Blair was nominated for the Outstanding UNV 101 Instructor of the Year Award. He was recognized as Mercer University’s faculty/staff spotlight in 2019. Ken earned his bachelor of applied science in organizational leadership and a minor in education from Mercer University and his master in business administration degree from Brenau University.
Helen Carter has joined the Wesleyan family as a math specialist for the Academic Resource Center (ARD). Carter comes to Wesleyan from Mandeville, Louisiana, where she taught gifted mathematics. She earned a post masters certification in gifted education from Southeastern Louisiana University, her master’s degree in education in secondary education from William Carey University, and her bachelor’s of science degree in mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi
Carter believes all students can benefit from developing their ability to think critically and says she enjoys helping students achieve success in their coursework and showing them how to apply their skills in other disciplines.