Michele Vancour gains a new title


Sofia RositaniReporter

Michele Vancour was the former Undergraduate Program coordinator for the Public Health Department at Southern for eight years, and then became the Director of Faculty Development before landing her new job as Interim associate dean of the school of Health and Human Services.

She received her Bachelor’s in English from Central Connecticut State University, a Master’s in Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University, and her Ph.D. at New York University.

According to Vancour, she has worked at the university for over 21 years.

“I also work with faculty and other colleagues towards improving enrollment and graduation rates, Vancour said. “I get to create new programs for professional development for faculty and staff in the Health and Human Services.”

She said she anticipates creating new curriculums to attract new students.

Vancour hopes to offer more hybrid, evening and Saturday classes to help accommodate students’ busy schedules.

Vancour pioneered the first breastfeedingfriendly campus at Southern, and the first in the country.

Due to Vancour’s efforts, there are now three lactating spaces for any student who is
breastfeeding on campus.

Now the institution has the highest number of registered undergraduate students breastfeeding.

Vancour created the “breastfeeding initiative” because she noticed how student mothers did not have access to private, comfortable areas to lactate. Connecticut state laws never specifically stated that women who are breastfeeding in college must have the required accommodations.

Vancour said this initiative will help student mothers to feel empowered and have a stress-free way of providing food for their baby.

Vancour has done extensive community service. She is the founder of the childcare committee, Work-Life Advisory Committee, Southern’s Chapter of the CT ACE Women’s Network, and is part of more than thirty other groups on campus.

Vancour received the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award in 2012 and was nominated again in subsequent years.

Vancour won the Robert Jirsa Award in 2019 for making extraordinary contributions and demonstrating an outstanding leadership to the university.

Vancour is the Founder of the Wellness Center, which provides students help with health issues, free screenings, mental health awareness, and information to help them to benefit their health.

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