Meet your government
Every Monday, The Times takes a look at someone who keeps local government running smoothly.
Today, Marya Leatherwood starts her new job as the vice president for academic affairs at Gainesville State College.
Leatherwood served as the associate vice chancellor and director of enrollment management at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where she worked since 1991.
Her prior administrative appointments at the University of Illinois include department chair, interim dean and associate provost.
The Asheville, N.C., native said she’s looking forward to returning to Georgia, where she began her doctorate at Georgia Tech.
Leatherwood completed her doctorate in organizational behavior at the University of Iowa in 1985.
Now that her daughter is a freshman at the University of Dayton in Ohio, Leatherwood said now seemed like a good time to make the move.
"This is like coming home," she said.
Leatherwood said she was also drawn to the position at Gainesville State largely due to college President Martha Nesbitt, who Leatherwood calls a "visionary." Leatherwood said she is excited to work with Nesbitt in developing the school’s student-centered environment and expanding its degree offerings.
"I just think Gainesville State
College is a very, very special institution," she said. "I think Gainesville State College is at a really exciting point in its history."
In her capacity as vice president for academic affairs, Leatherwood will work with the faculty to ensure courses are delivered to meet students’ needs. She will also work closely with professors to make sure they have all the tools necessary to be effective educators.
Leatherwood said as the school offers more innovative four-year degree offerings, such as its theater technology and design program, Gainesville State will be working with Brenau University to turn out more students aiming to work in the arts realm.
With a personal love for photography, film, music and theater, Leatherwood said she is eager to build a "family" at Gainesville State College to support these students.