May 04, 2011

Association to honor Payne-Kirchmeier

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The 2011 winner of the Marlene Kowalski-Braun Award for Service to Women in Student Affairs is Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, assistant provost for University College and director of University Housing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Women in Student Affairs will present Payne-Kirchmeier with the award at their June 17 conference at Ohio State University in Columbus. The award at the bi-annual Women in Student Affairs (WISA) conference recognizes an outstanding woman in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) IV-East Region for her service and contributions to and leadership within the student affairs profession. The award bears the name of the woman who, serving as the NASPA WISA knowledge chair for the Region IV-East in 2003, helped assure sustainability and growth of the conference.

The award recognizes Kowalski-Braun’s dedication to the advancement of professional women in student affairs and her commitment to assuring there is a forum for women’s voices, according to Jenesha Penn, co-chair of the 2011 Women in Student Affairs conference. She said Payne-Kirchmeier, like previous award recipients, demonstrates Kowalski-Braun’s commitment and personifies the concepts of collaboration, mentorship, promoting advancement of women in leadership roles and active involvement in campus or community life.

In her dual role at SIUC, Payne-Kirchmeier supervises University Housing’s $41 million program including the units of Residence Life, Education and Outreach, Fiscal, Facilities, Management and Residence Hall Dining. As assistant provost for the University College, she also oversees New Student Programs, Learning Support Services and Career Services and is coordinator for University College marketing and assessment.

“The goals of WISA are things I firmly believe in, and to be given this honor is truly humbling. I know Marlene Kowalski-Braun and admire her greatly -- her commitment to women and their professional development is unparalleled. I can only hope to continue my work in this field in a manner that not only honors the legacy Marlene has set for our profession, but that also continues to champion the work of women in the student affairs field,” Payne-Kirchmeier said.

Payne-Kirchmeier has more than 15 years experience in higher education, arriving at SIUC as the first female director of University Housing in December 2006. She became co-director of First Year Experience in June 2009 and more recently became assistant provost for University College. Prior to her work at SIUC, Payne-Kirchmeier was director of housing and residence life at the University of Southern Indiana, acting director of University Housing at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and held various positions at Texas A & M University, including working in the office of the dean of students.

Currently co-chair of the national Women in Student Affairs Knowledge Community, Payne-Kirchmeier is also technology knowledge community chair for the NASPA Region IV-E and authors the blog “The Feminist Lattice.” Along with two other women, she’s established the Women Housing Professional’s group on the organization’s networking site and is the establisher and moderator of the Women in Housing (#wihsng) Twitter Group. She and six other women recently formed the online community #WLSALT and the purpose is to “Support, Affirm, Lift and Transform” women in higher education.

She is also active in a variety of professional organizations including the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International, The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Student Conduct Affairs, the National Orientation Directors Association, the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers and served as conference host and president of the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers.

She continues her research regarding job search experiences for women in student affairs and has made numerous presentations at the national, state and regional levels regarding issues relative to women’s career advancement. She won the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International Herstory Award in 2010 in recognition of her efforts as a female professional and leader.

Payne-Kirchmeier earned her doctorate in educational leadership, administrations and foundations at Indiana State University in Terre Haute in 2009 and also holds a master’s of education in student affairs administration in higher education and a bachelor’s in genetics, both from Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas.