An educator and administrator who headed diversity programs at colleges in Illinois and Iowa has been named director of West Virginia Universitys Center for Black Culture, announced Mike Ellington, assistant vice president for student affairs at WVU .

Marjorie Fuller comes to WVU from Kent State University in Ohio, where she taught in the Pan African Studies Department. Before that, she was an assistant dean of students and director of the Office of Intercultural Life at Knox College, in Galesburg, Ill.

She also headed the Diversity Affairs office at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

A nearly 20-year career of working with students of all races and walks will make her effective at WVU , Ellington said.

Marjories mission couldnt be more student-centered,he said.Shes the perfect person to help lead our Center for Black Culture.

WVU President Mike Garrison stressed that the Center for Black Culture is important to all students, staff and faculty at the University.

Majories background and experience working with a diverse student body will benefit the center and WVU ,he said.

Marjorie has worked with black students, white students and international students,said Todd McFadden, associate director of the Center for Black Culture.She has counseled nontraditional students and gay students, and shes very creative and innovative in the classroom.

And in Fullers book, a classroom doesnt necessarily have to contain four walls on a college campus. During spring break six years ago, she led a group of her students from Illinois on a civil rights study tour through the South.

Its that energy, enthusiasm and mission for awareness that has impressed every one here,McFadden said.Her experiences in Illinois and Iowa, especially, already make her a good fit for Morgantown.

She also revived Knox Colleges then-defunct Human Rights Center, which today handles rape crisis counseling and gender equality issues.

Fuller is an English graduate from Kent State. She also stayed on at Kent to earn a masters in English literature and composition with a concentration in multicultural studies.

Friday (Feb. 1) was her first official day on the job.

The WVU community has been very welcoming to me and my family,she said,and we look forward to what we believe will be a great working, educational and living experience. I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve at West Virginia University. I am going to work to the best of my ability to enhance and advance the objectives of the Center for Black Culture.

Ellington said plans are in the works to hold a welcome event for Fuller. Faculty, staff, students and the general public will be invited to the reception.

The Center for Black Culture was established in 1987 to educate students, employees and the community on the history of African people. It offers counseling and mentoring for students and also sponsors several cultural events during the year.