news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb Division of Student Success Brings Changes to Build Campus Relationships

A group shot of the staff of the Division of Student Success
The Gardner-Webb Division of Student Success: left to right, Cindy Rochester, Mikki Gaines, Crystal Carter, Edwina Rozelle, Kara Alves, Alyssa Vernacchio-Sloniger, Michele Wallen, Aubree Bell, Lauren Washington, Cheryl Potter, and Ryan Erck. Not pictured: Carrie Baker.

Staff Pursues Mission to Empower Students to Succeed in Their Unique College Journey

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb University Division of Student Success and Executive Director Dr. Ryan W. Erck want to reintroduce themselves to the Gardner-Webb campus. They created a new vision and mission statement to define their purpose of helping students achieve their educational goals.  

  • Vision statement: All students are able to thrive in a community of growth.
  • Mission statement: The mission of Student Success is to provide resources and support to educate, equip, and empower all students to succeed academically and personally in their unique college journey.

“Our staff was already pursuing this mission, but I think when we put some language to it that helps to construct an identity of who we are as a division,” Erck stated. “We’re not this sort of ambiguous group of people on the third floor of Tucker who can help you. This mission compels us to go outside of Tucker. I want our staff to seek partnerships, initiatives and collaborative opportunities on campus.”

Some of those ideas include going to the residence halls or the Caf to engage with students. Erck observed, “We need to get in students’ way—be in the places where students spend most of their out-of-class time.”

The Student Success staff will also work to be campus partners, who volunteer to help with student events. While working alongside other staff members, the Student Success staff will become familiar with the jobs that other people do. “Then, when we are interacting with a student and realize they need assistance from another area, we know where to take them, because we have developed these relationships,” Erck explained.  

While enacting their mission, the Student Success staff also came up with values to guide them. “We have inward values, which we aim to demonstrate and personify amongst each other as we collaborate as a community,” Erck elaborated. “And we have outward values, which we publicly display and commit to work towards as pillars of support for our students.”

The inward values are teamwork, inclusivity, empathy, positivity, growth, authenticity and integrity. The outward values include access, empowerment, inclusivity, partnership and growth.

Erck commented that these values will affect every decision made by the Division of Student Success. “If we can commit to exemplifying these values in our work, I know that our students will be better positioned for success,” he asserted. “I know that we will do our best work, because we are doing it together, and I know we will be pursuing the larger purpose of the redemption of learners and learning.”

Find more information about the Division of Student Success, here.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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