Alumni share career experiences with students

Radford University's Center for Gender Studies hosted two former students Tuesday, Feb.11, to share their experiences working with compliance issues in public school systems.

Josie Loomis '07 and Lisa Pluska '07 presented a talk to RU students and faculty entitled "Equality in the School System: Title IV and Compliance." Their presentation provided an overview of the responsibilities of a compliance officer as related to complaint procedures within a school system.

Loomis, who obtained her M.S. and Ed.S. in School Psychology at RU, is the director of Special Education and Student Services at Floyd County Public Schools.

After working as a school psychologist for three years, she returned to Radford University to complete the administration program in Educational Leadership in RU's School of Teacher Education and Leadership (STEL) and has spent four years in administration.

Pluska obtained her Educational Leadership certificate from RU in 2007 and now serves as the assistant superintendent at Floyd County Public Schools.

Following their presentation, Loomis said she was honored to be asked to come back to RU, a place she said prepared her well for her career.

"Radford University is a wonderful place to get your education," Loomis said. "The professors are very helpful. I always felt when I was going to class I was learning a lot. They teach you skills that aren't book skills, and I felt they prepared us for hands-on applications."

Pluska noted the importance of "giving back" to the university and helping prepare the future educators.

"It's important that you share the knowledge with people who are coming through because that's how you can make things better," Pluska said. "You learn things when you're out there working that you don't always know before you get there. If you continue that process of always coming back to help educate, that makes a big difference."

Hilary Lips, chair of RU's Department of Psychology, stressed the importance of inviting former students to campus to help educate current students.

"The Center of Gender Studies sponsors this, and one of the things we're particularly interested in is when our graduates go on to do something important with respect to gender issues. We want to share that with our current students," said Lips, who also serves as director of the Center of Gender Studies. "These women have gone on to work on Title IX and compliance, which is clearly a big deal with respect to gender. And we're just very proud of our graduates, and we like to showcase them and to let our students see what the possibilities are."

Feb 18, 2014