The Division of Student Affairs recognized Marsha Norvell for her 30 years of work for the University of Arkansas. Norvell was the executive assistant to the vice chancellor for Student Affairs and has been at the U of A since 1989. She officially retired this month, but not before we had a chance to celebrate.

Marsha Norvell and Charles RobinsonThe Division held a drop-in reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 12, in The Classroom at the Inn at Carnal Hall. It was standing room only and was attended by people from all over campus and some who have already retired.

Marsha has a been on campus helping students and staff for many years and she will be greatly missed. Charles Robinson, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, expresses very well how people feel about Norvell and her retirement.

“There is no one quite like Marsha Norvell. Her passion, energy and commitment to students is something that we all should strive to emulate,” Robinson said. “She will be sorely, sorely missed.”

Many people currently on campus and students and staff who have left this campus feel the same about Marsha. She has been a confidant, supporter, sounding board, mentor and friend to many.

“It has been a joy to work with Marsha Norvell. She has always been my ‘go to’ person for anything related to Student Affairs, which I am sure you will hear from many people,” said Debbie McCloud, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources. “She always has a friendly smile, encouraging word, and able to get me what I need, when I need it. She has been a true friend to Human Resources and a great asset to the University in supporting our students. She will be missed.”

Norvell started working at the University of Arkansas in August of 1989. She has been in the Division of Student Affairs since 1997 where she started as an administrative specialist and worked her way up to the executive assistant to the vice chancellor for Student Affairs. But to folks on this campus Norvell is so much more than her title.

Mary Alice Serafini, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs, has worked with Norvell for more than a quarter century. She has witnessed Norvell’s commitment to students over those years.

“Every student is important to Marsha. She goes out of her way not only to help them but follows up with each student to make their experience meaningful,” Serafini said. “And she has been committed to student affairs, working hard to help diversify the profession.”

Maria Nessim, undergraduate senior student from Kansas City, Missouri, has worked with Norvell for the past two years as a NUFP (NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program) Fellow.

Marsha Norvell“Marsha has played such a prominent role in developing my passion for student affairs. From the moment I met her, she encouraged me and inspired me to want to work in this field. After seeing how many student affairs professionals she’s impacted across the nation, I strive to have just as much of a legacy as her,” Nessim said. “As a NUFP Fellow, there’s a reason we call her ‘Mama Marsha’ — she is kind and uplifting and always has our best interests in mind in order to help shape up into successful and confident student affairs professionals.”

Shaquille Lowe, assistant director of New Student & Family Programs at the University of Florida, was a NUFP fellow at the University of Arkansas in 2013.

“Marsha certainly has been the heartbeat of Student Affairs at the University of Arkansas and the backbone of the NUFP program, of which I am a proud alum,” Lowe said. “I certainly would not be the person I am today without the love, care and nurturing that ‘Mama Marsha’ has provided me.”

“Marsha “IS” the division of student affairs for so many people,” said Quincy Spencer, director of New Student and Family Programs. “Everyone instantly connects Marsha with the University of Arkansas. Her leadership and dedication to programs like NUFP and Leaders of Tomorrow have produced countless student affairs professionals across the country. She is the rock of the division and has guided so many students and staff to excellence and it comes from her ability to help inspire people. Her ability to make things happen is unwavering. Anytime that you need a pick me up, Marsha is the person to go to. I will miss her smile and enthusiasm.”