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Leslie Laing

Penn State Adult Learner Programs and Services for Student Affairs
University Park

Leslie Laing has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education. She presently serves as the Director for Adult Learner Programs and Services for Student Affairs at Penn State, University Park. She earned both her Bachelor's Degree in Humanities with Magna Cum Laude distinction and a Master of Arts in Higher Ed Administration from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

In her present role, she provides referrals, mentorship, advocacy, and programming for students who are 24 years or older, parents, veterans, and those returning to college after four or more years seeking an undergraduate degree. She meets with students individually, responds to adjustment, recruitment, childcare and financial concerns, participates in admissions and retention programs. She manages a list serv for over 1500 students, designs, develops and implements workshops and community events and also serves as an adviser to a student organization. Additionally, Ms. Laing solicits, identifies, raises and awards funds annually for the Adult Learner Opportunity Fund that she founded at Penn State.

Ms. Laing has hosted several Forums for Student Veterans and an interactive alcohol education simulation event, and has facilitated a CNED 304 Counseling Ed Course for the training and recruitment of peer mentors for Lion Support, a crisis intervention program and hotline. She has served on the Military Appreciation Committee for the past five years and the University-wide Commission for Adult Learners for over a decade. She has successfully chaired an internal conference for Best Practices for three consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011) and chaired two community-based diversity conferences (2014 & 2017) on embracing and implementing inclusion. She has a published chapter in Increasing Adult Learner Persistence and Completion Rates, a professional, national publication. (NASPA) Ms. Laing was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Shirley Hendrick Award in recognition of visionary accomplishments and service to adult learners.

Ms. Laing has served as president for the Forum on Black Affairs (2012-13) and is an active member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Community Diversity Group in State College.

Prior to arriving at Penn State, Ms. Laing worked in the office of New Student Experience at Montclair State University, coordinating orientation programs for first-year, transfer, and commuter students; intervention programs for provisional students; and teaching Freshman Seminar.  In the corporate sector, Ms. Laing has a decade of working in banking and business, including training, sales, and merger integration in New York.

Ms. Laing is a proud parent of 14-year old Elana Joy, who enjoys ice skating and the performance arts. The Laings also enjoy volunteering in the community and coordinating local efforts for Christmas caroling to the elderly and shut-ins, and supporting Santa for Senior and Operation Christmas Child as well as various other philanthropic endeavors.  Ms. Laing considers herself a creative strategist and believes in replicating success by making a difference.