Black History Month Salute: Sharon Hunter
- Author: Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
Whether you call her the “Backup Singer for Students” or the “Meddler in Chief,” Sharon Hunter is a hidden figure at WKU using her role as Director of Strategic Enrollment Management and Retention Support to serve as an advocate for students.
“I am student-focused,” said Hunter. “If a student comes in with a problem, a difficulty, they don’t know where to go, they have run into some barriers, and it is going to interfere with them staying at WKU, then I act as an advocate.”
The Division of Enrollment Management is home to many departments including Academic Advising and Retention, Admissions, Student Financial Assistance, and more. Hunter acknowledges that a great deal of the services students need are in the division. Plus, she can partner with Students Affairs and Academic Affairs to assist a student.
“Every student here needs to feel as though they have someone on their side,” Hunter said. After meeting with a student, she can get an idea of the campus resources needed to provide the best support, then reach out to the office.
In addition to working directly with students, Hunter works behind the scenes with initiatives to support student retention. She said they have the ground work set to increase the current retention rate. This ground work includes the addition of five new advisors in the Academic Advising and Retention Center, availability of Schedule Planner and the undergraduate catalog online, continuing Fifth Week Assessment and Two-Week Assessment. She also listed programs such as University Experience, Best Expectations Program, Cornerstone, and the Nichols ISEC Academy.
“I am the perfect picture of a successful failure,” Hunter expressed. She came to WKU in 1975 struggled in school, then joined the military before returning to WKU. “I did everything wrong (those early years in college). So, I know exactly how students are feeling.”
Many students work with Hunter through partnerships with Academic and Student Affairs. Students can also find Sharon Hunter in Potter Hall 301.