CSU Servant Leadership Program Welcomes New Director

CSU Servant Leadership Program Welcomes New Director Columbus State Universitys heralded Servant Leadership Program will be under the direction of a new leader Wednesday when Stuart Rayfield arrives on campus.

Rayfield, who has a doctorate in leadership, policy and organizations from Vanderbilt University, comes to CSU with experience in academia and in the business world. She will take over for Mary Sue Polleys, the longtime director of CSUs Servant Leadership program who retired last month.

Polleys has been the only director CSUs Servant Leadership Program has known since it started in 1999 as a comprehensive program committed to developing future leaders who practice the philosophy that power and authority are for helping others grow, not for ruling, exploiting or gaining advantage by pitting individuals or groups against one another.

Program participants develop leadership skills through leadership classes, hands-on modeling of leadership practices, increasing self-awareness with a variety of comprehensive assessment tests and participating in challenging community service projects.

Over the life of the program, students have contributed more than 30,000 hours of volunteer work to improve the Columbus-area community.

Beverly Davis, dean of University College where the Servant Leadership program is housed, said Polleys has established a wonderful foundation for Rayfields work.

We are excited to have Stuart on board, Davis said. Her stellar credentials and wide array of university leadership experiences provide a strong foundation for her serving as director of the CSU Servant Leadership Program.

Rayfield has been working with Auburn University since 2002, working on student programs, student life issues, enrollment management and leadership development. Shes also worked with students at Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University, teaching classes on academic success, leadership and the university experience. Additionally, shes been at TSYS since 2004 as an instructional designer, working with TSYS employees and clients in designing classroom and Web-based education.

She has a masters in higher education administration from the University of Alabama and a bachelors from Rhodes College.

Im thrilled about being at Columbus State, Rayfield said. Whats great about this job is that it takes all those pieces of the puzzle [in my background] and fits together so nicely to allow me an opportunity to do the things that Im so passionate about. I love working with students, I love working in leadership development and community service is a personal passion.

Mary Sue Polleys has built up a program basically from scratch and now its one of the most developed Ive seen, she said. My hope is to be able to continue this program at the level that is already reached and expand it so that more students can have exposure to servant leadership.

Students selected for CSUs Servant Leadership Program are able to network with other motivated students, develop leadership skills, volunteer both on and off campus, develop meaningful relationships with professors and have opportunities to meet community leaders. Members of the program are competitively selected and are eligible for a $1,250 stipend each semester for successful completion of the program requirements.