Membership Spotlight on Lynanne Jamison

Get to know Lynanne Jamison Ph.D., Director of New Student & Family Programs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Lynanne is a long-time AHEPPP member and volunteer and currently serves at the Conference Committee Assessment Chair.

How did you become involved with AHEPPP?  What have been your favorite AHEPPP experiences?
I became involved with AHEPPP by volunteering at the conference to help with check-in and registration. Members of the conference planning team and board encouraged me to apply for the conference planning committee. I served for two years as the Conference Programming Co-Chair, one year as the Conference Awards Co-Chair, and am serving my second year as the Conference Assessment Chair.

What has surprised you most about working with parents and family members?
My family was completely uninvolved with my collegiate experience. I remember thinking at the beginning of my journey working with my families that were sort of a bonus for students...not necessarily an essential part of their support system...because I made it through just fine without mine. I have been surprised to learn for this generation just how critical family involvement is and how much easier student transition and success happens with their involvement.

What changes do you think we will see in the field of parent/family relations in the next 5 years?
I think we will see an increase in family involvement both programmatically and philanthropically. I believe family giving will be essential for university funding. I think families will demand both in-person and virtual opportunities to connect with the university, their student, and one another not only during signature events but throughout the year. I believe FERPA laws and access to student information for families will change just as we've seen increased access to student information for families in the K-12 system. I think universities will depend upon families not only when it comes to decision making during the college selection process but also with the retention of students.

When you're not working with parents and families, how do you like to spend your time?
I love spending time with my family, being in nature (especially in the mountains or on the river), antiquing, trying new restaurants, watching or reading something filled with suspense, and being creative with music, art, or baking.

Who inspires you? Why?
My mother. She has been a dancer her whole life and has been teaching dance since graduating from high school. She founded and directed her own performing arts studio and has won numerous competitions and awards. More important than that though, she accepts and inspires young people to set, achieve, and surpass their goals and never to give up. She was diagnosed in 2020 with ALS and is now focusing on herself and keeping hope while losing the ability to dance or to even walk and talk. Her perseverance and tenacity while having everything she has worked her whole life taken from her is inspiring.

If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
TACOS!!! So many different ways to prepare them!

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