Student Engagement
Staff

(540) 887-7045

View Profile

Dr. Ernest E. Jeffries

Vice President of Student Engagement

Dr. Ernest E. Jeffries

Dr. Ernest Jeffries serves as the Vice President of Student Engagement. As the chief student affairs officer, Dr. Jeffries provides leadership to the Division of Student Engagement which includes the areas of Residence Life & Housing, Community Standards & Title IX, Student Activities, First-Year Experience & Student Support, Public Safety & Security, Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG), Health and Counseling Services, Dining Services, and Athletics.

Dr. Ernest E. Jeffries started his career at the University of Tennessee as Residence Hall Director. He then served as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Director of Minority Affairs at Western Carolina University. Following that, he did a 20-year tenure at Davidson College during which he held various roles and titles including Assistant/Associate Dean of Student Life; Chief Judicial Officer where he served in the Title IX process; and he created the framework for a multicultural affairs office and then served as Director of Multicultural Affairs from 1996 to 2011. Most recently in his role as Associate Dean, Jeffries was responsible for the administration of judicial affairs, multicultural affairs, academic access and disability resources, academic support, student retention programs, and technology resources.

His professional affiliations include the Southern Association of College Student Affairs, the Association on Higher Education and Disability, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Student Conduct Administrators, and the Phi Mu Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternities.

Education

D.Min., United Theological Seminary
M.Div, Hood Theological Seminary
M.Ed., University of South Carolina
B.A., University of South Carolina

Strengths Finders Talent Themes
  1. Belief
  2. Responsibility
  3. Activator
  4. Context
  5. Analytical

(540) 887-7353

View Profile

Darren Jones

Associate Vice President of Student Engagement, Interim Title IX Coordinator

Darren Jones

Darren Jones serves as the Associate Vice President of Student Engagement.  In this capacity, he provides direct oversight for Residence Life & Housing, Student Activities, Community Standards & Title IX, and First-Year Experience & Student Support.  He also oversees the divisional assessment and evaluation processes, leave of absence/withdrawal process, and co-chairs the student support team, behavioral intervention team, and retention committee.

Darren began his career as an assistant program coordinator for Greek Life at George Washington University, where he assisted with the organization and execution of Greek Life programming and designed major event programming for the Multicultural Greek Council. From there, he moved on to successful roles within student engagement at Purdue University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Morehouse College.  His roles range in areas in student affairs including orientation, learning communities, retention programs, student life/activities, greek life, intervention services, residential life, and leadership development programs He comes to Mary Baldwin from Bucknell University, where he served as associate dean of students for living, learning, and leadership responsible for fraternity & sorority affairs, first-year experience, residential education, housing services, card services & student transit, and leadership programs.

As a Gallup-certified strengths coach, Darren leads the Empowered to Purse (EtP) retention plan which integrates a strengths-based approach to student engagement and support and transforms the university into a strengths-based organization.

Education

Ed.D., The University of Georgia

M.A., The George Washington University

B.A., The University of Virginia

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
  1. Strategic
  2. WOO
  3. Activator
  4. Communication
  5. Belief

(540) 887-7045

View Profile

Mary Barker

Executive Assistant to the VP of Student Engagement

Mary Barker

Mary Barker serves as Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Student Engagement, Dr. Ernest Jeffries. Ms. Barker supplies executive level support to Dr. Jeffries as well as support for special programs originating from the Office of Student Engagement, including Orientation, Family Weekend and Commencement. She is also a co-advisor to the Junior Class.
Ms. Barker’s background involves work in early childhood education as well children’s services in libraries. She applies strong customer skills in putting students first and has been with Mary Baldwin University since 2016, working in Admissions before transferring to Student Engagement.

Education:

B.S. James Madison University

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
  1. Input
  2. Adaptability
  3. Responsibility
  4. Includer
  5. Connectedness

 

(540) 887-7221

View Profile

Sarah Koerner

Student Engagement Office Manager

Sarah Koerner

Sarah Koener serves as the Office Manager for Student Engagement.  In this capacity she oversees the day to day operations of the office, providing a welcoming environment for students, as well as assisting with the planning and execution of various student-focused events on campus; including New Student Visit Days, Orientation, Family Weekend and Commencement . She also serves as the co-advisor to the Junior Class.

Education:

B.A., Catawba College

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
  1. Empathy
  2. Input
  3. Context
  4. Strategic
  5. WOO

(540) 887-7230

View Profile

Amber Ocasio

Director of Student Activities

Amber Ocasio

Amber Ocasio serves as the Director of Student Activities. In this capacity she advises the following clubs and organizations: Baldwin Program Board, Appropriations Committee, Inter-Club Council, Sophomore Class Officers, Senior Class Officers, Election Board and SOULS. She also serves as the Faculty Secretary for Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society. Interested in starting a new club or serving in a Student Government Association leadership position? Stop by Kable House 113A and Amber will gladly assist you with creating your ideal Mary Baldwin leadership journey.

Education:

M.S. (in progress), Mary Baldwin University

B.A., Mary Baldwin University

Pronouns:

She, Her, Hers

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
  1. Adaptability
  2. Deliberative
  3. Strategic
  4. Responsibility
  5. Consistency

 

(540) 877-7226

View Profile

Joy Brittain, Ed.D

Director of First Year Experience & Student Support

Joy Brittain, Ed.D

Reverend Dr. Joy Brittain is the Director of First-Year Experience and Student Support. She works with all first-year students to provide support and resources for a successful transition to college. In her role, Dr. Brittain oversees New Student Days, Fall Orientation, and Family Weekend. Joy also supervises the RISE Program, a program for first-year students who do not belong to any other affinity group.  She is part of the Student Support Team, The Behavioral Intervention Team, and collaborates with the “I’m First” Faculty/Staff gathering to assist first-generation students in completing a college education. She is a lecturer for the introduction to college (MBU 101) course and teaches the MBU 105 course as well.

Joy started her professional educational career as a math and science teacher in the Peace Corps (Nepal). She continued her journey working for several programs helping students receive their GED or to build up their skills to enter college. Joy used her passion for math and science teaching at several high schools for the learning disabled. Joy had the opportunity to be part of the National TRIO Programs at California Lutheran University as the Director of Upward Bound Math and Science. During her ten-year tenure, she built the program to be one of the best-practice programs in the country.  She continued her time in TRIO as the Director for two TRIO programs at Pasadena City College as well as a coordinator for a scholarship program. She worked with faculty to pilot very successful flipped classrooms as well as utilize supplemental instruction for her high school students.

Joy’s previous position was as Executive Director of Early Outreach and Support Programs, overseeing 14 federal, state, and privately-funded programs serving over 7,000 students (college and pre-college). The programs assist low-income, first-generation, disabled, migrant, undocumented, and foster youth in finishing high school and completing their college education.

Coming from a low-income and first-generation background herself, Joy is married with two grown sons.  She has a Bachelor’s degree from Lycoming College, a Master of Divinity degree from The Iliff School of Theology, and a Doctorate from California State University, Northridge.

Pronouns:

She, Her, Hers

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
  1. Connectedness
  2. Achiever
  3. Learner
  4. Responsibility
  5. Belief

 

(540) 887-7399

View Profile

Sarah Martin

Director of Residence Life & Housing

Sarah Martin

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
  1. Responsibility
  2. Input
  3. Relator
  4. Analytical
  5. Restorative

(540) 887-7141

View Profile

Tracy Hiner

Director of Dining Services

Tracy Hiner

Tracy Hiner started his career at the Highland Inn as a cook at the age of 15.  He then joined the U.S. Navy for over six years as a culinary specialist first serving on the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis where he facilitated numerous food service events for the crew and visiting guests/dignitaries.  After the Navy, Tracy came home to the valley as the Dining Services Manager/Executive Chef at The Inn at Old Virginia.  Tracy was introduced to college dining at Bridgewater College and joined Mary Baldwin University in 2005 as the Assistant Director/Executive Chef.  Tracy has served as Director of Dining Services since 2011.  “I thrive on fostering a team and positive atmosphere that allows us to make students and guests happy through great food, service, and personal attention.”

Education:

B.A., Mary Baldwin University

A.A.S., Johnson & Wales University

Certified Food Management Professional (National Restaurant Association)

Certified in nutrition (National Restaurant Association)

Certified safe food manager (ANSI)

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
  1. Achiever
  2. Self Assurance
  3. Responsibility
  4. Focus
  5. Futuristic

(540) 887-7099

View Profile

Thomas "Tom" Byerly

Director of Safety & Security

Thomas "Tom" Byerly

Tom Byerly is the Director of Safety and Security.  In his position he oversees the daily operations of the Campus Safety Office to ensure that the office is providing a safe and secure living, learning and working environment for all Mary Baldwin students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Tom enjoyed a 26 year career as a Police Officer serving the Staunton, VA community.  At the time of his retirement he was a Shift Commander with 15 years of supervisory experience.

Education:

B.S., Eastern Mennonite University

A.A., Community College of Allegheny County

Member of the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
Strengthsfinders Talent Themes:
  1. Analytical
  2. Responsibility
  3. Consistency
  4. Deliberative
  5. Connectedness

(540) 887-7281

View Profile

Nadia Kuley, Ph.D.

Director of Counseling & Psychological Services

(540) 887-7095

View Profile

Erin Marley

Nurse Practitioner

Erin Marley

Erin Marley, an employee of Augusta Medical Group, provides acute, chronic and preventative healthcare services for the students of Mary Baldwin University.  She has been practicing as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) since 2005 and joined the MBU family in 2015.  She truly enjoys taking care of students and above all, loves witnessing the amazing transformation that takes place within students during their four years at Mary Baldwin.

Education

BSN, University of Virginia

MSN, University of Virginia

Pronouns:

She, Her, Hers

Strengthsfinders Talent Themes:
  1. Connectedness
  2. Positivity
  3. Learner
  4. Achiever
  5. Responsibility

View Profile

Thomas "Tom" Byrnes

Director of Athletics

Thomas "Tom" Byrnes

Thomas Byrnes assumes the duties of director of athletics at Mary Baldwin University in August 2019.

Byrnes’ background encompasses NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), as well as committee work for the NCAA, Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), and others. He will provide leadership for all aspects of MBU’s Athletics Department including strategic planning, program and staff development, resource management, athletics and recreational activities, and ensuring compliance with NCAA, USA South, Title IX, and university policies.

He joins MBU during a time of strategic planning and expansion of athletics offerings and facilities, such as the recent addition of six men’s programs, including men’s soccer and baseball, as well as the construction of SMA Worth Field.

In his most recent position as director of athletics at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Denver, Byrnes oversaw a 500% increase in student-athlete recruitment and stewarded the school’s NCAA D-III membership application, a multi-phase process. He also expanded JWU Denver’s coaching and training staff, launched men’s and women’s golf programs, and initiated a student-athlete advisory committee.

Prior to JWU Denver, he served as the first full-time commissioner for the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), based in York, Pa. He recruited member institutions for CAC, enhanced membership services for their 21 championship sports, worked with NCAA D-III staff and commissioner organizations, and represented the conference both regionally and nationally.

Byrnes also has years of experience on the sports information and media relations side of collegiate athletics, serving as sports information director (SID) at California University of Pennsylvania, and, prior to that position, assistant executive director for media relations at the Pennsylvania-based Patriot League. He started his career as the first full-time SID at Franklin & Marshall College and then rose to the position of assistant director of athletics.

For more than 30 years, Byrnes has participated in soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball at the collegiate and scholastic level as an official. He also served on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Committee for 25 years.

Byrnes earned a BA in communications/journalism and an MS in organizational communication, both from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Coreena, have two children, Nathan and Lauren.

Education

M.S., Shippensburg University

B.A., Shippensburg University