Julie Ray Named Director of Student Success
August 3, 2012
A former missionary, Julie M. Ray brings 18 years of higher education experience to Mississippi College as the Christian university’s new director of student success.
“I am passionate about helping college students thrive,” Ray says. “I love the way they keep me sharp in my thinking and my faith.”
The Jackson resident is a 1986 graduate of Milligan College in Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies and sociology. She received a master’s degree from Wheaton College in Illinois in 1992.
Ray brings solid credentials as the former associate dean for the first year experience at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts from 2002 to 2011 and served as an adjunct professor at the school.
Her other experience includes four years as a personnel officer supervising 55 teachers from North America at 15 Chinese universities. MC’s new staff member was a missionary in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam for eight years.
As director of student success since arriving August 1, Ray is responsible for new programs and managing the academic alert system along with faculty advisors, says Karen Lindsey-Lloyd, associate vice president of student success and career services.
Lindsey-Lloyd has led Mississippi College’s efforts to develop a student success strategy since 2010. It involves increasing the student retention rate among undergraduates from their freshmen to sophomore years and putting measures into place so they have a positive academic and social experience on the Clinton campus.
Ray says she looks forward to “helping students connect with their passions” and get linked with resources that will help them succeed.
Higher education is a Ray family tradition. Her father, Donald G. Ray, served as vice president of advancement and development at Belhaven University and Millsaps College, both in Jackson. He currently works for the Palmer Home for Children.
A graduate of Woodland Hills Baptist Academy in Jackson, Julie Ray also has MC connections. Her sister, Jene Ray Barranco, is a Mississippi College graduate.
When she gets away from campus, Julie attends Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Clinton, and enjoys writing creative non-fiction, cooking Chinese food and spending time with her family.
After just a few days on the job, Ray says it’s truly a blessing to be working at Baptist-affiliated MC. “I am blessed to have seen God’s hand in my journey to this place. Now, I can only hope to give Him and this community an acceptable sacrifice.”
With the 2012-2013 academic year beginning in late August, Ray is already hard at work getting ready to work with thousands of MC students. Her office is located on the third floor of Nelson Hall. She can be reached at 601.925.7776.
Photo: Director of Student Success Julie Ray