CORVALLIS - Oregon State University's new director of Student Involvement sees her job as not much different than that of Dennis Erickson, OSU's head football coach.

"I see myself as a team leader here in Student Involvement," said Cheryl Anderson, who arrived at OSU in July from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Among the areas of focus within Student Involvement are Greek life, diversity development - including four campus cultural centers - information and referral services, student organization development, leadership programs community service, women's resources and student government.

Anderson credits her participation in both track and basketball during her student years for her team approach toward leadership. She said she plans to rely on each member of the Student Involvement team to work together in enhancing the opportunities for student growth and development.

"I appreciate that each person in Student Involvement has a level of expertise they bring to the table," she said. "I will work to encourage our team members to take an active role in using their expertise in developing and improving our service to the community."

Anderson said the program plays a vital role in student success. "Student Involvement has worked hard to develop and maintain programs that aid students in developing a sense of belonging at OSU."

Originally from San Diego, Anderson received her undergraduate degrees in sociology with an emphasis on counseling and Pan-African Studies from California State University, Northridge. She has a master's degree from Mississippi State University in counselor education and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

She has held a variety of positions in student affairs in California, Mississippi and Alabama, including stints as residence hall director, program coordinator for cultural diversity, assistant director of student life and assistant dean of students. Prior to her work in student affairs, Anderson worked for seven years in criminology and corrections.

"When this position came up at Oregon State I was very impressed with the approach to leadership here at OSU and the vast opportunities that are available here for minorities," she said. "Even before I arrived in Corvallis, I received a very warm welcome from community members. I'm excited about being here and I'm excited about the spirit that I find here at OSU.

"The office of Student Involvement will continue to work hard at reaching out to our students," she added. "We want to get them connected and motivated."

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Cheryl Anderson, 541-737-2101