Lamar Hylton works to help students, spreads diversity across campus

Lamar Hylton, Ph.D. will replace Shay Little as interim vice president for student affairs. 

Lamar Hylton, Ph.D. will replace Shay Little as interim vice president for student affairs. 

Taylor Peach Reporter

Lamar Hylton, interim vice president of student affairs, started as a Golden Flash in 2016 as Dean of Students. He took immediate action to make sure students were on the path to success. 

Hylton attended Morgan State University with vocal music performance as his major. After completing his degree, he moved closer to his hometown of Columbus to attend Ohio University. During this time, Hylton discovered his love of college students. 

“I had a great opportunity to work in our College of Fine Arts, in the dean’s office at OU, and really fell in love with working with college students,” Hylton said. 

Hylton strives to meet every Kent State student’s needs to allow them succeed after graduation.

The passion to help students through their college experience has been ongoing for Hylton ever since. He attained his first position after receiving his master’s degree back at Morgan State. While working with students to create enjoyable college experiences, he also earned his doctorate in higher education administration. 

The next position Hylton took on was at the University of North Carolina Asheville. As director of multicultural programs and inner cultural center, he was able to get hands-on campus life experience and skills to equip college students with the tools for success. 

“I ran the center there and really built up the program for diverse-identified students,” Hylton said. 

This prepared him for his first senior-level student affairs position at the University of Minnesota. Hylton secured the assistant vice president of Student Affairs role there for the next three years. 

“I get up every day ready to take on the day,” Hylton said.

His dedication to Kent State is shown through his number of accomplishments. In 2019, he was asked to serve as the interim vice president for student affairs. 

“The role of the vice president for student affairs is to ensure that students are first and at the forefront of everybody’s minds as we’re making decisions, as we’re thinking through policy changes, as we’re developing programs, as we’re doing the things that make us a student-ready university,” Hylton said.

One aspect of Kent State Hylton wanted to highlight is how well the university creates student leaders. He helped create the campus Leadership Center, which gives students the opportunity to take leadership roles in their career path.

“It gave us an actual space for the campus to really identify where student leadership is happening and how we can all come together and talk about the way in which we equip our student leaders to be successful,” he said. 

Hylton continues to work hard to enhance the experiences of students of diverse-identified backgrounds. He is also the co-chair of a subcommittee called Great Place Initiative, which works with faculty and staff from the university. His goal is to make sure that Kent State remains a great place to live, learn and work. 

“Student mental health is a very big deal right now and we are working diligently to provide a greater capacity for us as a university to attend to student mental health in a way that helps students be successful,” Hylton said.

Many specifics are being looked at and analyzed, such as number of counselors, peer education and faculty training. 

Hylton is well-respected by his fellow colleagues and students at the university. He is also a committed husband and father to his wife and two little girls. 

“I’ve worked with Lamar as a member of our DLC for the three or four years he’s been here,” said Julie Volcheck, interim assistant vice president of student affairs and director of health services.

Hylton stays focused on his students and always thinks in an innovative way, taking every opportunity to better Kent State. Communication with his colleagues and students is important and allows him to meet the needs of everyone at KSU.

“So again, and again, we just know who he is, what he believes in and where he’s headed,” Volcheck said.

Hylton and Volcheck work closely together on the mental health task force and play major roles in KSU’s new strategic planning process. As colleagues they also share a common goal ensuring Kent State students have the tools they need to achieve success.

“He’s very much a forward thinker but is grounded in the realities of some of the constraints that we have to do our work,” Volcheck said.

“The vice president for student affairs should be championing the student experience and seeking to work collaboratively with everybody to try to make sure that at the end of the day our students have access to the resources that they need to be successful and to graduate from Kent State,” Hylton said. 

Taylor Peach covers student affairs. Contact her at [email protected]