Three of the newest members of the Student Life Office bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience stretching from coast to coast to assist students at University of the Ozarks.
Ruth Walton joined Ozarks in September as director of career services, Kayla Jackson joined the University in August as an area coordinator and Ozarks Outdoors program coordinator, and Allison Hayes was hired in June as an area coordinator and assistant director of campus activities
All three positions are part of the Student Life Office and report to Steve Weaver, dean of students.
“We are very pleased to have such gifted professionals join our team in Student Life,” Weaver said. “Ruth, Allison, and Kayla each come to us bringing excellent skills, varied perspectives, and the expertise and energy to develop and support our students. Allison and Kayla have been on campus from the start of the year and have already done an excellent job of engaging our students and making a positive difference on our campus. We are excited to have Ruth join our team. She has hit the ground running and is energized to get to know our students, to work with students through the process of discerning their life path, and cultivating the skills students need to be successful in achieving these life goals.”
Walton earned her undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University.
She served as director of career services at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., from 1986-2000 and was on the Stillman School of Business Advisory Board at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. from 2011-2015. Walton has more than 15 years of corporate experience in marketing, human resources and organizational effectiveness and was instrumental in creating curriculum programs at her church, Wyoming Presbyterian Church in Millburn, N.J. She has also worked with children and students at all levels, from newborns through Ph.D.
As director of career services, Walton will provide career discernment support as well as coordinate career and professional development for students, including internships, entry-level employment and graduate school assistance.
“I see my role at U of O as collaborating with and between academic departments, alumni and current and potential employers in an effort to advocate unique and dynamic work experiences for Ozark students,” Walton said. “Along their journey, I hope to assist students with the career development and discernment process.”
Jackson, who serves as area coordinator for King and Smith halls, earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. Her master’s degree is in educational leadership and administration. She served as the assistant to the director in the Humanities Scholars Program at Pacific from 2014-15 and also interned at California State University in its Student Organizations and Leadership Office.
“I really love the sense of community on this campus,” Jackson said. “I could feel it from the very beginning. There’s a mutual respect for everyone on this campus and that’s really neat to see.”
Hayes, who earned her undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in college student personnel from Arkansas Tech University, serves as area coordinator for MacLean Residence Hall and the apartments. She also advises the University’s Campus Activities Board and provides support for campus events and activities.
She most recently worked at Weber State University in Utah where she served as assistant director of residence life and marketing assistant from 2011-2015. While at Arkansas Tech, she was a resident director from 2006-2008. She was also a resident director at New Mexico State University from 2008-2011.
“I really enjoy how easy it is to engage with students here at Ozarks,” said Hayes. “You really have the opportunity to be one-on-one with the students here and get to know them on a personal level. That’s not the case at larger universities.”