Melanie Hulbert, PhD, will be joining Lees-McRae this summer as the vice president for student affairs.
Hulbert most recently served as the associate vice president for academic affairs and the dean of students and director of operations for the School of Graduate Studies at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. In these positions, she oversaw academic programs and policies, led retention initiatives, implemented a new First Year Seminar curriculum, and oversaw the budgets and operations for the School of Graduate Studies.
“It is clear Hulbert has a tremendous passion for student engagement, and many elements of her academic and professional background are the right fit for our vision for Student Affairs at Lees-McRae,” said President Lee King. “We enthusiastically welcome her leadership on our student success, engagement, and diversity-related initiatives and look forward to benefiting from her perspective and experience.”
Hulbert earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in Women’s Studies and a PhD in Sociology from the State University of New York at Albany. Prior to her appointment as the associate vice president for academic affairs, Hulbert held faculty positions at multiple colleges and universities.
Throughout her career, Hulbert has demonstrated a commitment to improving student and faculty experiences at institutions of higher education. While teaching Sociology at George Fox University, Hulbert accepted appointments to the University Curriculum Committee, the Institutional Diversity Committee, and the Institutional Gender Task Force. Her input helped result in the establishment of the Women’s Leadership Development Institute and additional scholarship opportunities for students.
At Western Colorado University, a few of Hulbert’s accomplishments included successfully transitioning to online and hybrid instruction in 2020, partnering with Denver Public Schools to offer concurrent enrollment opportunities, and leading Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Internationalization initiatives.
Hulbert was drawn to Lees-McRae because her belief in the power of higher education to spark change matches the mission of Lees-McRae to be a college of opportunity and experiential learning.
“One just has to walk onto campus to know that Lees-McRae is a very special place!” Hulbert said. “It is clear that the faculty, staff, students, and the local community love where they live, work, and play. When the opportunity arose to partner with President King and the Lees-McRae College community in transforming students’ lives through fully integrated, innovative, experiential (in the truest sense of the word), meaningful, and purposeful educational and co-curricular learning experiences, I couldn’t pass it up!”
In her new position as the vice president for student affairs, Hulbert plans to take the lead in collaborative decision-making and listen to varied perspectives to create an environment that welcomes students of all backgrounds. Her history with addressing student needs and building strong relationships with other local schools and institutions will be vital to the future operations of Lees-McRae.