Dr. Penny Sanders named Adams State Asst. VP


Adams State University recently named Dr. Penny Sanders Assistant Vice President for Graduate Studies, Research, and Sponsored Programs, according to Dr. Chris Gilmer, vice president for Academic Affairs.

An associate professor of counselor education at Adams State since 2013, Sanders will head the university's new Office for Graduate Studies, which was approved by the Adams State Trustees in May. The office will centralize administrative services and support graduate programs and students in both on-campus and distance programs. Graduate student enrollment at Adams State has doubled in the last 16 years and now represents one-third of total enrollment. Adams State offers eleven graduate programs, with ten at the master's level and one at the doctoral level.

"I commend the Graduate Council on their vision to design this new office at a time when graduate enrollment is increasing and opportunities abound," Gilmer said, noting Sanders was unanimously selected following a national search. "Dr. Sanders brings talent, energy, and creativity to a new role which will be very important to our campus and the communities we serve. She is already a respected member of our academic community, and she has both the knowledge and passion for this new position, as well as a stellar reputation on campus which will allow her to be productive from day one."

Sanders' first step in her new position will be to staff the Office of Graduate Studies and work with the Graduate Council to review policies and procedures. "We need to maximize our strengths and work with the academic departments to see what works, then to create centralized, consistent systems for admissions and other processes. I want to be a consensus builder and meet the needs of each graduate program to allow them to achieve their individual goals," Sanders said. "Ultimately, we will work to grow graduate programs and support student recruitment." Sanders will also chair the Institutional Research Board.

With a Doctorate of Education in counselor education from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Sanders has taught in counselor education programs for the last 20 years. She previously taught at University of Texas-Dallas and at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in her hometown of Portales. She also has been a counselor in private practice and at a community clinic. She holds National Counselor Certification, as well as Licensed Professional Counselor certification in New Mexico and Texas. Sanders also gained administrative experience as graduate coordinator for counselor education at ENMU and as conference coordinator at Northern Arizona University (NAU). She earned a B.S. in radio/TV communication from ENMU University and an M.A. in counseling from NAU.

By Julie Waechter