by Adam Lord

To demonstrate LSUA’s investment in educating the whole student, the University has created a new position for Holistic Education and Career Development. The newly hired Assistant Vice Chancellor, Dr. Beth Palmer, is focused on wraparound support for students during their academic experience and building partnerships with local businesses for internships and on-the-job training.

According to LSUA Provost Dr. John Rowan, this new position was developed to support the first goal in the university’s strategic plan, which speaks to holistic education and academic excellence.  At LSUA, academic excellence is about helping students establish the foundation for their future, and career development is at the center of holistic education, including career exploration, internships, and other forms of experiential learning.

Previously, Dr. Mary E. “Beth” Palmer has worked at Louisiana Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, Texas Wesleyan University, and Texas A&M-Commerce. She has also worked in secondary education as a physical educator and special education teacher.

Dr. Palmer holds a Ph.D. in Business and Sport Management and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University, a Master of Education from North Texas State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana College.

Vision, action, service, and results describe a lifetime of Palmer’s achievements. She has served as the NAIA Women’s Basketball President and on multiple committees with the NCAA. Palmer was named Coach of the Year in multiple college conferences. Palmer also held the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Texas State Guard, perhaps the accomplishment most deserving of recognition. She currently serves as Board Chair for United Way of Central Louisiana, on the Central Louisiana Women in Business Conference Committee, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Alexandria.

Dr. Palmer looks forward to assisting in the continued development of connections among all disciplines, helping to provide a pathway for employment and growth for students, balancing ideals and optimism while recognizing cultural influence and student needs, and ensuring that we find a way to address the needs of the whole student. Palmer said, “I am most excited to be a part of achieving LSUA’s mission…helping students. The history of the institution has shown dedicated attention to workforce needs with a focus on holistic, innovative student development and intentionality in all planning and direction. I am honored to continue my career as part of LSUA where ‘Within Reach and Without Limits’ is for all.”

“In searching for someone to lead these efforts, we were hoping to find an individual, preferably with a doctorate, with significant experience in higher education across a wide range of student-centered endeavors,” explained Dr. Rowan. “Dr. Mary Beth Palmer fits the bill. She comes to LSUA with over 35 years of progressive experience in higher education, including areas of senior leadership, academic success, project management, staff training, and community relations – an aspect that will serve her well in establishing partnerships with employers.”


Photo credit – Nathan Parish | LSUA Division of Strategic Communication

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