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Message from the Department Chair

Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, Ph.D.

Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd
OWLS Department Chair - Associate Professor 

PED 101

Phone: (512) 245-2115



Dear OWLS Family,

I am excited for the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies! As an OWLS graduate and a mom, I understand firsthand what it is like to balance raising children, working full-time, and going to school. It can be pretty daunting to go back to school after being out of school for so many years. Alternatively, perhaps, you have served in the military or another occupation and are seeking to make a career change. I understand that our students come from diverse backgrounds and work in various roles (e.g., city leaders, government employees, first responders, teachers, truck drivers, business owners, restaurant workers, nonprofit employees, health care workers). I also understand that many of you have faced insurmountable odds that could have impeded your progress, yet you are still here! I commend you on your perseverance and hard work even during a pandemic. Yes, we all have been challenged by COVID-19 and its impact on our families, friends, loved ones, and ourselves. I know it has been challenging, and things have been unsettling at times. You may have encountered some uncertainty and anxiety as you have considered how your studies have been impacted. I encourage you to refocus your attention on the positive things in your life and celebrate your successes, no matter how small, from semester to semester. I firmly believe that you will succeed and accomplish your goals as you take small incremental steps, one step at a time.

As you settle into this new year, please know that my team and I are here for you! I hope that our OWLS family will stay connected to our current students and alumni and continue to build upon the successes of our BAAS, MSIS/MAIS, and MEd programs. I want to thank you for referring your friends, family, and colleagues to our programs. We are so fortunate to have had “fully-online programs” for some time now, even before the pandemic. I encourage you to pursue opportunities to serve on our Advisory Board or as an Ambassador as we strive to prepare our students to thrive in the 21st-century workforce. We also welcome your stories and testimonials about your experiences in OWLS to post on our website.

Finally, I urge you to take every precaution to ensure your safety during this next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am looking forward to connecting with you during our upcoming “Meet and Greet.”  I also welcome you to reach out to me or any OWLS faculty if we can assist you in any way.

Wishing you all the best,

Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Associate Professor