USFSP Names New Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

A photo of Dr. Patricia Helton

Dr. Patricia Helton

USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska has appointed Patricia S. Helton, Ph.D., as Regional Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. As part of the university’s leadership team, Helton will oversee all aspects of student life, including Student Government, Campus Recreation, the Wellness Center, Disability Services, the Career Center, Housing, and Financial Aid.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Helton has accepted our offer to lead the division of Student Affairs,” said Wisniewska. “Student Affairs is integral to student success; the division plays a significant role in how students experience the campus and, ultimately, how well they leverage all of the opportunities we provide to complement learning in the classroom.”

Most recently, Helton was Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life at the University of Denver (DU). She joined DU in 2003 as associate provost for Campus Life while teaching in the University’s Morgridge College of Education. During her tenure she led or co-led several strategic planning initiatives, including the creation of an Office for Student Outreach and Support, the Center for Advocacy and Prevention Education, the University Chaplains Office, and expanded services in Housing and Residential Education and Academic Advising. Helton worked with the Center for Multicultural Excellence to create initiatives and programs that address social justice issues, including a division-wide Inclusion Change Team and the Task Force on Inclusive Hiring and Recruiting.

Helton earned her doctorate in Education from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville; an M.Ed. from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas; and a B.S. degree from Oklahoma City University. Her leadership training includes the Center for Ethical Leadership in Seattle, and the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

“Throughout my career, I have been inspired by students, faculty and staff to work together to create high-impact educational programs,” said Helton. “I look forward to exceptional opportunities at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and I am enthusiastic about continuing to advance important student-centered initiatives that make a difference.”

Helton will join USFSP in July. She follows Dr. Gardiner Tucker, who was invited to serve as an interim associate vice chancellor following the 2015 resignation of Dr. Julie Wong.