Kimberly Young named UMW’s associate provost for career and workforce4 min read
by MADISON MCCALLUM
Kimberly Young was recently named associate provost for career and workforce at the University of Mary Washington.
“The position of associate provost for career and workforce was created specifically for Young, keeping her past experiences and work at the university in mind,” said Interim Provost Tim O’Donnell.
Young has been with the university since 2017, serving as the executive director of continuing and professional studies. Assuming responsibility for adult and graduate admissions in 2020, Young was able to further connect with local employers of the region, aiding her further development of the professional development programs, all the while receiving more personal interactions with individuals to allow her to further assist their needs in the process. For the last five years, Young has held the title of executive director for continuing and professional studies. She has also been a member of the provost’s council.
“I only saw an opportunity to present the best of what we have to offer to the external community,” said Young. “By the best we have to offer, I mean our students who will engage in internships, graduate work and full-time employment, and our faculty who create programs to develop skills in the existing workforce through degree and non-degree programs.”
Young shared that she was originally drawn to UMW because of the university’s focus on the liberal arts, central location between Richmond and Washington, D.C., and the opportunity for her to connect through educational programs to the surrounding community.
“This change in title appropriately recognizes the evolution in her role and the work that she has been doing at UMW over many months and provides for some consolidation in our executive team,” said O’Donnell. “At the same time it serves as an important signal to external audiences in our region, but also in Richmond and across the state, that UMW is serious about career and workforce development and that our efforts in this space report directly to the Chief Academic Officer.”
O’Donnell continued, “During this time, her work has involved building relationships with employers throughout the region and across the Commonwealth. Over this span, her visibility has expanded significantly because she is excellent at building relationships and forging innovative partnerships. She is now recognized throughout the region as a key UMW ambassador for external relations.”
Young’s biggest passions in her life are coaching, mentoring and helping to develop others. This new position allows her to not only continue that passion, but assume responsibility for how other associates in the program approach mentoring, coaching and preparing students for their post-graduate lives after Mary Washington. However with this change, comes new goals for Young.
“I want to see our students continue to be prepared to enter the careers that they have been working toward,” said Young. “What I know for sure is that the first job out of college can set a student on a course for success and change the trajectory of their lives and that of their family—it is important. I take that seriously and am committed to continuing the good work that has been started through our credit-bearing programs as well as other programming that integrates various facets of what the university has to offer.”
By this, Young hopes to not only aid a student with face to face interactions, but also assist them with establishing and further advancing their digital identity for their professional career. For instance, the University offers free access to Domain of One’s Own while enrolled in the school. Domain of One’s Own is a platform to assist students to create their own personal website through WordPress.
“The idea of helping students establish their digital identity at this stage in preparation for work and life is not only a good one, but doing so sets our students apart from their peers at other institutions and gives employers another dimension of our students who are their future workforce,” said Young.
With over two decades of academic and industry experience, Young acredits herself as being a “lifetime learner.” Beginning her studies at Duke University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy studies, she then continued her education at Cornell University, earning both a masters in Business Administration (MBA), as well as a masters of hotel administration. She currently is working towards her doctorate in educational leadership through Virginia Commonwealth University.
Previously overseeing the Executive MBA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Young was also responsible for her establishment of the Executive Education Center, where she assumed responsibility for multi-year relationships with global healthcare associations in a key collaborative role. Working closely at ARAMARK, a food, facilities and uniform service that does business in 19 different countries around the world, Young worked closely with global companies such as Coca-Cola, Boeing and Garmin, 3M Corp. and Eli Lilly.
As an active member of the Fredericksburg community, Young currently is a part of many organizations and committees, including the Mary Washington Healthcare Citizens Council, the Central Rappahannock Regional Library Board of Trustees, Leadership Fredericksburg, the GO Virginia Region 6 Council, the Institute for Learning Innovation, the Links Inc. and the UMW Women’s Leadership Colloquium.
Continuing and professional studies faculty member and assistant professor of business Kimberly Gower is happy to see Young advance to this new position.
“As a ‘late to life’ academic who has worked in many areas of the business world, as has Dr. Young, and after working with Dr. Young on several projects, I am thrilled to see a career center director who can and will guide their team to providing the best in career preparation, based on their experience and knowledge!”