Published: April 17, 2018

MSU appoints new Neighborhoods director

Contact(s): Kim Ward Communication and Brand Strategy office: (517) 432-0117 cell: (734) 658-4250

Genyne Royal will serve as the new assistant dean for student success initiatives and director of the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative, a structure that divides up MSU’s residential housing system to help first-year students succeed by combining where they live and learn.

In this role, Royal will lead an interdisciplinary team focused on academic, personal and social success for undergraduate students. She will oversee all five neighborhoods, which are made up of 27 residence halls, two apartment communities and 10 residential dining halls.

"I am deeply honored to provide leadership for the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative as assistant dean," Royal said. "I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across campus as we strive to attain our institutional aspirations: decreasing our students’ time to degree, increasing our graduation rate and closing the completion gap between populations. Closing the gap will be a significant focus of the Neighborhoods over the next few years. We also will continue to partner with colleagues from across the country who also are deeply committed to this work."

Royal has served as interim director of the Neighborhoods since December 2017. Prior to this, she was director of MSU’s South Neighborhood. 

The Neighborhoods model is unique to MSU. Each of the five neighborhoods has an engagement center, which houses resources – from academic to social to health – in one central location. It’s here that students gather not only to socialize, but to study, get academic assistance or even see a health care provider. MSU research shows that students who use Neighborhood services have higher GPAs than those who don’t and are more likely to stay in college.

Royal is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration. She earned a master’s degree in counseling from North Carolina A&T State University and a bachelor’s degree in vocal music from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.  

“I’m thrilled that Genyne Royal has accepted this position,” said R. Sekhar Chivukula, associate provost for undergraduate education. “Her scholarly background, her experience as a neighborhood director, andher focus on addressing the opportunity gaps we see in the graduation ratesof our students make her the ideal assistant dean for student successinitiatives.”