New role brings new staff member


Gannon University appointed Kimberly A. Harvey to the newly conceptualized position of executive director of Retention and Student Success to improve and be more efficient with processes throughout the Student Success Center, Commuter Life and New Student Services.
Becoming the executive director of Retention and Student Success means Harvey will have to look at Gannon as a whole to impact the student experience in a positive way, from orientation to graduation.
While the job entails quite a bit, Harvey said that she was up for the challenge.
The previous position was dean of the Student Success Center and held by Ward McCracken. When McCracken retired, Gannon had the opportunity for reorganization.
“This position was not so much created, but rethought of, bringing in more areas,” Harvey said.
Harvey was offered the position Oct. 7 and began work Nov. 16. Harvey comes to Gannon after spending four years as director of new student programs at State University of New York at Geneseo.
In her new position, Harvey said her daily tasks include supervising and having oversight of the staff and offices within the Student Success Center, Commuter Life and New Student Services.
She will also be looking widely at retention numbers to see where her staff can improve student satisfaction at Gannon.
Her primary goals are to work with her staff to discuss and work to create a mission, a mission statement and a vision for their work moving forward.
She also plans to examine all processes and procedures in an effort to make them more efficient and easier for students to access.
Harvey said she hopes to build relationships with the staff that she supervises, as well as other staff, faculty and students across Gannon.
Although she is more of a behind-the-scenes orchestrator, she is looking forward to meeting new people.
Harvey has been regionally and nationally recognized for her work with bystander intervention programs including Stand Up for One Another, which began as a reactive measure to an incident at SUNY Geneseo when a student died from alcohol poisoning on campus.
The premise of Harvey’s work was that other students were there and knew what was happening. Stand Up for One Another focuses on training student leaders in ways of identifying problems and knowing the resources to lead small group discussions with incoming freshmen and transfer students.
“Peers have the greatest influence among their peers,” Harvey said.
Harvey has also been recognized for her transfer student initiatives at SUNY Geneseo, including YouBelong, a series that provides programs that address the academic, social and transitional issues that transfer students encounter in both the fall and spring semesters.
Harvey grew up on a dairy farm in Collins, N.Y., and was a first-generation college student.
She received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from SUNY Fredonia, her Master of Science in college student personnel administration from Canisius College and is currently nearing completion of her Doctorate of Education in educational leadership from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, New York.
Harvey moved to Erie on Nov. 21 and does not have much spare time between work and writing her dissertation.
“While I don’t go to class anymore, I spend a lot of time reading and writing outside of work,” Harvey said. “I am looking forward to spending the spring and summertime here.”
[email protected]