MBU Welcomes New Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement

LaRhonda Johnson Horton

Preparing students for the road ahead is the most meaningful part of the job for LaRhonda Johnson Horton, a 22-year veteran of student affairs, who joins MBU this month as the assistant vice president of student engagement.

“College students give you hope for the future,” Horton said. “The energy they have for life and the hopes and aspirations they have for the future really excite me and in the end are so rewarding.”

Horton’s mantra, “manage by walking around,” mirrors her No.1 goal: to be visible around campus as she brings compassion, a service-like mindset, and high energy to the student population.

“I’m excited to welcome LaRhonda to campus, and am confident that her charismatic personality, encouraging support, and higher education expertise will energize and elevate the MBU experience for our students,” said Vice President for Student Engagement Ernest Jeffries.

Working with Jeffries to increase student engagement is a high priority for Horton, who is excited about the new vision for MBU under the leadership of new university president Jeff Stein.

Horton will return to MBU where she started her professional career. One of her first job experiences was working in first-year experience at MBU while pursuing her master of education at James Madison University (JMU).

Horton comes to MBU from the University of Utah overseeing all aspects of student care, support and conduct processes such as academic integrity, review of enrollment, as well as facilitating education and training programs.

Horton took a career break in 2013 to become a full-time caregiver for her husband, a veteran of the U.S. Navy who was injured in the line of duty. During that time, she realized she had a gift for helping people navigate challenges.

“When I returned to the workforce, I found my gift and passion for working with individuals as they manage the challenges of pursuing higher education,” said Horton. “Every student is capable of achieving their educational goals and I see my role as being a supporter and advocate for students throughout their college journey.”

As a first-generation college student from eastern North Carolina, Horton received her bachelor of arts in religious studies from Elon University and earned her master of education in college student personnel administration from JMU.

Horton’s first day on campus is Friday, Aug. 25.