September 14, 2008 12:00AM
A new interim director has been chosen to lead the Learning Center, a service of the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success at Pittsburg State University.
Kelly Heiskell began Sept. 1 as director of the Learning Center, which provides support services to PSU students with learning disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders. Heiskell replaces Dr. Jamie Wood, a professor in psychology and counseling, who is dedicating more time to his mobile ADHD clinic.
Heiskell will work with students with special needs to ensure they are provided with everything they need to succeed at Pittsburg State. Such services include note taking, tutoring, and securing extra time for tests.
"Basically we make it so (students with special needs) can display their true knowledge - and that's something that's more difficult because of the disability they may have," Heiskell said.
Heiskell said the assistance never modifies the curriculum. Students receiving help are responsible for learning the same information.
"(Heiskell) came highly recommended by the faculty of the Psychology Department," said Dr. Bill Ivy, dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success. "They had had her in class, observed her in clinical settings, and they really thought she'd do a great job for us."
Originally from Lamar, Mo., Heiskell earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from PSU in 2005, and stayed at PSU for a master's degree in general psychology in 2006. She recently became an education specialist in school psychology and started work as a counselor in the Lamar, Mo., school district, a position in which she will continue to serve in addition to her new duties at PSU.
"Pittsburg State has just been a wonderful place for me to grow," Heiskell said. "I had a great experience and worked with lots of great people that showed me what my talents were. They were really helpful to me and I wanted to provide that for students."
Heiskell has won numerous awards in her career. As an undergraduate, she was awarded with the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award, and as a master's student she won both the Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award and Dean's Scholastic Honors for maintaining a 4.0 GPA.