Mary Ohashi is a new member of the Penn State World Campus Student Affairs team, focusing on providing administrative support to all of the Student Affairs staff. Learn more about her background, experiences and why she’s so inspired by students learning online.
Can you describe your role in Penn State World Campus Student Affairs?
I provide administrative support to the World Campus Student Affairs staff, including calendar support for the director of student affairs, assistant director, mental health case manager, career counselors, and the co-curricular program coordinator. I also provide logistical support that is at the heart of a variety of student-engagement events.
What was your background before you took on this role?
I received my bachelor of science degree from Penn State in rehabilitation services education and went on to provide services to victims of domestic and sexual violence for over 20 years. One of my greatest accomplishments was being the first advocate in the state of Pennsylvania to work in a police department to create a specialized unit servicing victims of domestic violence.
What are you looking forward to accomplishing in this role?
Penn State World Campus is a big place with vast resources. Often, issues that come to our office can stem from crises that students face, and I hope to connect them to resources that would be most helpful for them in their decision-making process. It is also exciting to be a part our department as we continue to create holistic experiences for our students. It is inspiring to hear of students who are working full-time and raising families, all while broadening their horizons through student government, clubs, and research opportunities.
What do you enjoy about working with students?
I love how enthusiastic students are! Maybe not all students would describe themselves this way, but anyone who is wanting to cultivate their education for future success is inspiring to me. At Penn State, there is such a strong commitment to excellence that I see reflected in our students and their commitment to their education. When I attended the World Campus Graduation Celebration, I enjoyed meeting our graduates and hearing their stories of perseverance and transformation while they obtained their degrees.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I am fortunate to be involved in several committees fostering Penn State’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives. I hope to support efforts to bring these initiatives to our online spaces within Penn State World Campus.