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Mecca Marsh is passionate about student success. As director of the Norfolk Student Center and student activities at the Norfolk Campus, Marsh spends her days working in her "classroom."

"I come from a family of educators, so this is a family business. I come to work every day with the goal of teaching, guiding and mentoring the students who I encounter," she says.

The Norfolk Student Center is the first stand-alone center at a community college in Virginia. "It has been an amazing opportunity to be inaugural," Marsh says. "We are setting the pace for TCC and others across the Commonwealth."

Marsh brings a wealth of experience to the job, working at a variety of colleges and universities before joining TCC. Her career includes posts in residence life, student centers, admissions and multi-cultural affairs.

"What I love most about my work is impacting students' lives, even if that just means offering encouraging words in the hallway," Marsh adds. "Oftentimes, it involves mentoring students one-on-one and advising student groups. I encourage my full-time staffers to mentor at least two groups each year. In this role, we are the GPS, providing guidance, but letting students find their own way."

Norfolk Student Center staffAll hands on deck reflects Marsh's work style, as plenty of times you'll find her setting up tables and chairs or putting a space back together after an event. "We roll up our sleeves and help each other. I believe it is important to be the kind of leader who can do other jobs, to support the staff and make things work."

With a student-employee work program, Marsh is also teaching real-life work skills to 20 students each semester. They learn planning, customer-care and time management. "I empower them to use their resources to get the job done," Marsh says. "It is inspiring to see them become productive workers."

Marsh is excited about the future. "Student centers have to stay lively and flexible to meet student needs, and I believe we are up for that challenge," Marsh says. A member of the Association of College Unions International, Marsh enjoys this association as it enables her to stay connected with national and international trends.

"Students come to Norfolk Student Center to study, exercise, get a meal. Some spend the day with us, in between classes. It is here that they learn to interact and engage in a dynamic environment," Marsh adds. "It is my privilege to be part of all of it."