Profile: Timothy Fair
Because Mississippi State and Starkville have become Timothy Fair's home away from home, he works to ensure all students at the university are able to become part of the supportive family atmosphere he knows the campus provides.
After completing his undergraduate degree in Wisconsin around five years ago, Fair said he knew he wanted to go to a bigger university with supportive, but academically challenging, faculty.
"When I first came to campus, I felt I found the place I was supposed to be," he says. "This is a place that fit all my academic requirements, but it also really spoke to my heart. I knew I could grow here. I came in 2010, finished my public policy and administration master's, and now, I'm working on my PhD."
In addition to his studies, Fair was recently appointed to be the on-campus minister for Peter's Rock Temple Church of God In Christ in Starkville, and he serves as program coordinator for the Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, part of MSU's Division of Student Affairs. In that role, he develops university programming to help international students adjust, as well as celebrate their culture and share it with American students.
"We make sure the international students feel like the university cares," he says. "It's a joy to be the one to make sure that these students have programs and development. Pairing international students with staff or community members is instrumental in getting them acclimated not only to the university but to the community, as well."
Last year, Fair helped form the International Student Advisory Board to develop programming to help international students adjust to U.S. life. He says Mississippi State includes students from more than 80 countries, and his mission is to make them feel at home.
"I'm very excited to be working in Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, especially as we approach the 50th anniversary of Mississippi State admitting its first black student (in 1965)," Fair emphasizes. "I can see the progression of the university, and I see that the attitudes have changed and our university is committed to diversity.
Fair credits many faculty and staff members for his success at Mississippi State, including Rasheda Boddie-Forbes, assistant director at the Holmes Center; Cedric Gathings, assistant dean and center director; Dante Hill, associate director for residence life; and professor K.C. Morrison, head of the political science and public administration department.
"I'm a very proud bulldog, and I'm so excited to work every day to help further the university's mission toward diversity," Fair says.Writer: Leah Barbour | Photo: Megan Bean
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